By now, those of you who care an ounce about baseball know about Edinson Volquez losing his father yesterday before Game One of the World Series. Sure, those who aren’t as interested in baseball might think, “Who cares? Death happens to people every day of every year.” You’re right, we all deal with death and the intricacies of life each day. We just don’t usually deal with it on the stage that some athletes do. That doesn’t make them superhuman, it just makes them human. They’re not above the rest of us, they’re just the same. As such, they deserve the same respect and period of grieving as the rest of us. I’ll explain for those who aren’t privvy to local media.
There’s been a near witch hunt-like pursuit to nail down the timeline for when Volquez learned of his father’s passing. My thought is, “Who cares?” I understand there are those in the media who are just trying to do their jobs, but is this really that important? From a performance standpoint, he pitched how he pitched, regardless of whether he knew of his dad’s passing or not. Is there really a need to edify his performance? Whether he knew or not, his output was what it was. We don’t need to inject drama where it may not exist. If it does exist, then let it present itself as it is without hyperbole. In short, allow the man some dignity and personal space to process his loss.
The sad news is that this isn’t the only tragedy to strike the team this year. Just a few months ago, Mike Moustakas lost his mother and, almost a month ago, Chris Young lost his father. Again, people go through these events on a daily basis, but just not on as large a public scale. I can sympathize with their loss, but like anyone not named Mike Moustakas or Chris Young, I can’t know their pain. I can only send out my thoughts and hopes for them in their time of crisis. It’s been refreshing to hear all the post-game interviews talk about “just being there” for the person who is suffering their loss. Again, I’m not saying other teams don’t do this, but there’s a genuine sincerity coming from each teammate that hearkens back to previous interviews about team and unity that isn’t always felt in other team’s interviews.
Enough talk of death and sadness, what if Death was perky?