Tag Archives: baseball

A Tragic Ending For John Odom

During times of difficulty or struggle, many of us sometimes feel that our life may not be worth very much, but luckily we have family and friends to show us otherwise. Now, imagine already having a troubled past, struggling in the present, not knowing where you may end up in the future and having someone place a face value on your life equivalent to that of 10 maple bats.

By now, I am sure that most of you, if not all of you, have heard the story of the 26 year old minor league pitcher, John Odom, who was traded last season for 10 Prairie Sticks maple baseball bats valued at approximately $700.00 (including shipping costs).

John initially took it in stride. He appeared to take it so well that he agreed to do interviews regarding the trade and even joked about how it would make a great story if he ever did one day make the majors. Despite going from prospect pitcher to punchline, Odom dismissed all notions of despair and suicidal feelings. He was told that this was not done as a publicity stunt or to embarrass him , but three weeks after the trade and after one especially miserable night being taunted in Amarillo, Texas, Odom disappeared and merely five months later, he was dead.

While some argue there is no proof that the trade is what directly caused his death, many are concerned that it affected him more than he let on, and rightfully so.

People seem to forget that baseball isn’t always fun and games. Reliever Donnie Moore shot himself and sadly died, three years after giving up a big home run that kept the Angels from winning the 1986 American League pennant. Boston All-Star Bill Buckner became a scourge after letting a ball roll through his legs in the 1986 World Series. In 2003  Steve Bartman, fell off the face of the Earth after trying to catch a foul ball and (possibly) cost his team, the Cubs,  its first National League championship since 1945.

If being completely devalued wasn’t enough to cause John to kill himself, the awful night in Amarillo, followed by months of binging on drugs and alcohol and seclusion were defintely enough to cause him to do himself in. The medical examiner has named the cause of death an accidental over dose from heroin, methamphetamine, the stimulant benzylpiperazine and alcohol, but whether this truly was accidental or if this was just a cocktail put together by a young man that just no longer cared, we will never know. His life over the last few months and final days are left to the imagination. There is no record of where he was living, where he is buried, and his family and friends cannot be reached.

The infamous ten bats, on the other hand, can be easily located in a warehouse in Orlando, FL. They were never used and have now been purchased by Ripley’s Believe it or Not! for $10,000.00 which has been donated to the team’s children’s charity.

Quite the story has developed from the trade, unfortunately, it was not the great story that John Odom had hoped for. The story did not have the happy ending that he had once aspired for. Instead, it was a story of humiliation, cruelty and defeat. A life has been wastefully lost and all that remains are 10 pieces of wood.

The smiling John Odom: May he R.I.P.

The smiling John Odom: May he R.I.P.

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Florida Marlins vs. Albert Pujols and the St.Louis Cardinals

After having been completely spoiled at the Florida Marlins Fan Fest and the pre spring training practice at Roger Dean Stadium, I have to admit that I was definitely looking forward to today. Not because I was craving more autographs, but because I have been fortunate enough to meet every player on the Florida Marlins and feel like I know each and every one of them. At this point, they feel more like my buddies than players, and while the attitudes displayed today were more those of a professional ball player, the great memories that have been had at those last two events will forever out shine any instance of arrogance or having a chip on their shoulder.
Each and every one of our players are beyond grateful to be playing on that field and it clearly shows through their kindness and generosity.
However, after 3 losses thus far in Spring Training, it was quite evident that some egos had been bruised and some spirits were low. This did slightly affect the number of autos to be had, but did not take away from the game or fun loving atmosphere.

Today began like any other day for us. We rose early, hit the road for our 75 mile drive, and as usual, we were the first to arrive. I was eager to see all of the familiar faces and I was also dying to see the famous Albert Pujols. Everyone I had ever spoken to about him commented on his out of this world stature. A friend of mine even said that upon meeting Pujols, he saw that one of Pujols thighs was as large in thickness as my friend’s waist! I was terrified, but wanted to see the giant for myself. Upon seeing him today, I was shocked. His pants hung loosely around his legs and his once enormous muscles were no longer protruding from his jersey. It appears as though our friend recently lost a significant amount of weight. What ever could have made him lose all of that weight and muscle mass? A little odd, no?

After waiting for what seemed to have been a couple of hours, our friendly Florida Marlins emerged from behind the gates and I was thoroughly relieved. I had no desire in gawking at the Cardinal players like everyone else did, I was more interested in greeting my favorite players. Cody Ross, John Baker, Dan Uggla, Andrew Miller, Gaby Sanchez, and yes, even Hanley Ramirez were all as wonderful as ever. It is always a pleasure with these guys.

The game began, a few homers were hit, a few runs scored,  a few errors were made, and unfortunately my Marlins lost the game, but it was still as fun and exciting as it always is and that is what makes it worth going. After the game, many players dispersed the field with anger in their eyes. Even Dan Uggla left the field with a solemn look on his face, but not before he stopped to give two of his bats away to two little boys. We exited quietly with out requesting anything from any players. We understand what it must feel like to the players after a loss. After all, I am a die hard baseball fan and I feel every emotion with the players, from the joy expressed when a player scores a run to the agony felt after an excruciating loss.

As always, attending the games, capturing terrific photography(wish I was able to get more!), and experiencing these memorable moments is always a pleasure. Look out for next week’s game where I will be taking Mario to Jupiter to watch the Marlins take on the Orioles for his birthday!

My buddy, Fred, isnt too fond of tobacco. Can ya blame him?

My buddy, Fred, isn't too fond of tobacco. Can ya blame him?

Albert Pujols hocking a loogie. Eww....

Albert Pujols hocking a loogie. Eww....

Junior and Senior.

Junior and Senior.

St.Louis Cardinal pitcher, Kyle McClellan

St.Louis Cardinal pitcher, Kyle McClellan

Andrew Miller may not have been feeling it today, but he still looked great!

Andrew Miller may not have been feeling it today, but he still looked great!

Jeremy Hermida hasnt been having much luck on the field as of late...

Jeremy Hermida hasn't been having much luck on the field as of late...

But he is on FIRE at the plate! (this was the home run swing!)

But he is on FIRE at the plate! (this was the home run swing!)

Brett Hayes enjoying the scenery.

Brett Hayes enjoying the scenery.

Hayes getting to work.

Hayes getting to work.

Brett Hayes

Brett Hayes

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The Florida Marlins Come Through

The Marlins season is now officially over. The Marlins had a wonderful year, and despite not making it to the post season, I take pride in the fact that they exceeded everyone’s expectations and were able to come through in the very end. I’m not going to lie, I am slightly disappointed, but I look forward to coming in to my office Monday morning and seeing the looks on the faces of the handful of Mets fans.

I am not one to gloat or be boastful, but it will be a nice feeling to smile in the faces of those that tormented me everyday for 6 months for supporting my team. With each day that passed, I would sit humbly at my desk and pray that my Marlins continue to do well, as the “typical” Mets fan would walk around the office with their heads held high in arrogance. However, that didn’t start until the Mets got rid of their good for nothing manager and replaced him with Jerry Manuel, who did an excellent job as manager, but let’s not forget how poorly the Mets did at the start of the season.

To be fair, I will give the Mets credit for succeeding in possibly one of the greatest turn arounds. They worked very hard to climb back up to the top and while the team may have deserved to make it to the post season, their majority of unruly fans did not deserve that pleasure. I pity the Mets because it is a shame that a team with that much talent can still get booed for the smallest mistake at the drop of a dime. The Marlins may not have the strongest backing of fans, but I would rather have no one supporting me than a pack of wolves. And please understand, I know not all New York Mets fans behave in this way. I am just sick of people like this and this. The obnoxious troll like fans that have claimed to be “so much better” than me have now been silenced. For the genuine and sincere Mets fans, such as MetsManiacinNH, you have my sincere condolences. Better luck next year for your team and mine.

The Marlins celebrating their 4-2 win against the Mets

The Marlins celebrating their 4-2 win against the Mets

The New York Mets not hiding their disappointment after their loss to the Marlins

The New York Mets not hiding their disappointment after their loss to the Marlins

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White Sox Rookies For The Hazing

If you were hanging out by the player’s exit at Yankee Stadium yesterday evening, you were in for quite a treat. Sadly, I live a good 3 hours away (by plane) and was not able to be there, but alas, there is a thing called the internet that let me enjoy this moment of humiliation as much as the next person. I always thought hazing was for college students trying to become part of a sorority or fraternity, but this is a wonderful example of how hazing goes beyond the classroom and into the ball park.

As White Sox players began to come out of the stadium and enter their bus, along came other players dressed in very incriminating outfits. Lance Broadway, a right handed rookie pitcher, was unfortunate enough to be dawned the wearer of the voluptuous lifeguard with severe pubic hair issues. Alexei Ramirez was dressed as a US track and field athlete. Other rookies sported a Tinkie Winkie (Of the Teletubbies) costume and a Raggedy Anne outfit.

Sexy?

Sexy?

Photo courtesy of Scott Proctor’s Arm

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Sarah Palin Likes Baseball… and Guns

Sarah Palin is pretty hard to get an interview with. It may have something to do with her not wanting to talk about her pregnant 17 yr old daughter and her recent extra marital affair… allegedly, or maybe just the simple fact that she is the vice president nominee. Whatever the case may be, this lucky and unprofessional brodcaster for a summer collegiate baseball team in Alaska was fortunate enough to score an interview with Sarah. Fine. The interview was shot during the days when she was simply just known as the “hottest female governor” and not the VP nominee, but the interview is still worth a listen due to the fact that Mrs. Palin expresses her love for sports and nature. Plus, hearing her nervous laugh when she is asked “off the record” which ‘policitian she has most wanted to shoot’ is absolutely priceless. Ah, being part of the N.R.A. is fun.

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Rain delay?

For nearly 3 minutes, a very curious squirrel snagged the attention of every fan, coach, and player inside of Progressive Field while the Indians and White Sox attempted to play. I’ve heard of rain delays, but this squirrel delay completely caught me off guard.

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The Florida Marlins Reach The 600 Club!

And no, that’s not a good thing.

Everyone from the Associated Press to Wax Heaven to DeadSpin is writing about the measly 600 fans that turned up for yesterday afternoon’s game against the Atlanta Braves. Sure, it’s a horrible turnout. It’s beyond horrible, it’s disgusting and it is ridiculous. And while I want to sit here and bicker about how half of South Florida probably doesn’t even know we have a Major League team because they are too busy soaking in the cancer rays while sipping on a Pina Colada, I have to be honest and admit that I wasn’t even there myself and I think I have reached a conclusion as to why most of the fans that turned up that day were Canadian geese.

I don’t want to make excuses for the lame @$$ fans of the Florida Marlins because I have been to at least 15 games this season and all I have to say is “WHERE THE HELL WERE YOU PEOPLE?!”, but at least yesterday the lack of attendance was understandable and here are the reasons why.

1. The game between the Marlins and the Braves was scheduled to begin at 12:30pm… on a Wednesday. That is just begging people not to show up, for numerous reasons, and I will list them now.

2. People in South Florida need to work for a living. Property taxes, mortgages, and gas prices are beyond ridiculous down here, people, and they aren’t just going to pay for themselves! And chances are that if people aren’t working, it is because they are one of the thousand newly unemployed and I highly doubt they are willing to spend their savings on $10.00 parking and $7.00 beer.

3. The children in this city that love to play baseball and actually enjoy attending these games are all being held captive at a horrible place called ‘school’. Some one once told me that school was important because it provided you with an education and without an education, you will probably end up working as a custodian in that same school you once attended. ( Coincidentally enough, I did go to school, did not attend college; therefore not receiving the proper education, and I am now working as an extremely underpaid employee in a tiny office at a family owned printing company, which wouldn’t be so bad except that I wanted so badly to grow up to do one of two things: be a journalist or be a photographer. Stay in school kids.) Many parents do not want this for their children and so opt out of taking their children out of school, missing a day of work, and going to a Marlins game on a Wednesday afternoon during what has to be the hottest point in the day and risking dehydration and skin cancer. I love my Marlins, but honestly, I don’t blame them.

So there you have it. You can’t really blame people for not attending the game on Wednesday. It wasn’t exactly feesable. As far as reasons for missing any other games, the pathetic Marlins fans are on their own.

Empty. As usual.

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