The Water Cooler, part three

It’s been a while since I’ve had the chance to sip some H2O and spit sunflower seeds with you. Good to be back after a nice spring break. A break in which all I did was watch baseball, sleep, play baseball on Playstation 3, eat and watch more baseball. Talk about a great spring break —what can top that? Parties, booze, and sunshine? I’ll take my television remote, tune into some baseball and pop open a bag of ruffles any day of the week.

Tragedy hits Baseball

Speaking of baseball, a couple of tragedies hit the sport hard in the first two weeks of the 2009 season. Anaheim Angels prospect Nick Adenhart was killed, as well as three of his friends, in a car accident in the early morning of April 9. This happened just hours after he had pitched six innings of shutout ball against the Oakland A’s. Adenhart was perceived by many as one of the top young pitchers in baseball.

Adenhart, 22, was the passenger in a gray Mitsubishi Eclipse when a driver in a red Toyota Sienna Minivan ran a red light and hit the Mitsubishi.
Andrew Gallo, the driver of the minivan, had a blood alcohol content of nearly triple the legal limit and has been charged with three counts of murder. Every ballpark in baseball honored Adenhart with a moment of silence on the day the public learned of his death. The Angels will wear a black patch with the number 34 on the front of their jerseys the rest of the season.

Harry Kalas, longtime voice of the Philadelphia Phillies, has also left the baseball community. Kalas collapsed in the broadcast booth Monday April 13 while getting ready for the Phillies game against the Washington Nationals. Kalas had been the voice of the Phillies since 1971 and also joined NFL Films in 1975. He was a narrator for “Inside the NFL” since 1977. Kalas was 73.

His voice was great and his intensity, passion, and smoothness was what made him one of the best at his craft. Even though I’m not from Philly, I feel lucky to have heard Kalas call a few innings.

Random Thoughts

Last time I got a chance to speak to you folks, I explained how bad I was at filling out brackets. North Carolina breezed through the whole tournament and beat Michigan State 89-72. I got a first place trophy in my Yahoo fantasy sports profile by picking the national champion—Nothing like bragging rights, and for once, I look like a genius.

You know it’s a slow day in sports when the NFL is promoting the release of the schedules for the 2009 football season. Word on the street is the 49ers will be wearing the jerseys from the glory days of the 80s. If that makes a 10-6 team, I’m all for it.

In a previous column I made a prediction and said the Giants will finish third in the NL West. If you have no offense you can’t win, no matter how good your pitching is. The Giants offense drew no walks in a recent three game stretch. No walks? So much for taking a patient approach at the plate.

The pitching has been off to a rough spot as well. Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincicum hasn’t looked sharp. Barry Zito has been … Barry Zito. The Giants are off to a slow start. Again, when does training camp start for the 49ers?

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