Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?
No Sunday night baseball tonight, because last night, Cardinals reliever Josh Hancock was killed in a car crash. ESPN's game was supposed to be Cards vs. Cubs, but the game was canceled, understandably.
Hancock was released by the Reds during spring training last year, supposedly for being overweight. Because of that, he was the butt of many a fat joke by Reds fans. They called him "Snax." He got the last laugh, though. The Cards picked him up almost immediately, and he won a World Series ring with them.
The preliminary investigation found that Hancock was driving at about the speed limit, and there were no open containers in the car. There are no toxicology reports yet, and I guess DWI is a possibility, especially given the time of the crash (12:30 am). But it wouldn't surprise me if this was just a very unfortunate accident.
I am not familiar with the road where the crash occurred, but if he wasn't speeding, I assume it's a high-speed area, just from the condition of the car:
I don't know if he was wearing a seat belt or not, but from the look of the car, it may not have made a difference.
I once worked as a bridge inspector in New York City. You spend a lot of time in harm's way. No, not hanging from 200 ft. high bridges. I felt perfectly safe doing that. It was the traffic going over or under the bridge that I was leery of.
Sometimes I would drive the "shadow truck." It's a large van or truck that parks behind a smaller vehicle that has to stop on the road, or behind a crew on foot. It often had one of those flashing arrow boards on the back, telling motorists to get over into the other lane. The purpose was not only to warn the motorists, but to physically protect the work crew. The shadow truck was usually big enough that you felt safe from passenger cars, but it was still a little unnerving. I never got hit, but there were a lot of close calls. And this was in broad daylight.
It sounds like it was just a really bad situation: a tow truck parked in the far left lane. At night. You just don't expect to find a parked vehicle in the passing lane. In the darkness, Hancock probably just didn't see it until it was too late. They probably should have had a couple of police cars there, to increase visibility.
In any case, it's a tragedy. Condolences to Josh's family and friends, and to the Cardinals and their fans.
(BTW, Yankee pitcher Colter Bean is one of Hancock's friends. They attended high school and college together. Peter Abraham reports that that's why Bean wasn't used in today's game.)
UPDATE: Turns out, Hancock was driving while intoxicated - and talking on his cell phone. What a pointless tragedy.
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