Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?
Ryan Freel during a spring training game, 2008
Shocking and tragic news last night. Ryan Freel was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He leaves a wife and three young daughters.
I can't imagine the pain that would drive someone to do this to his children three days before Christmas. Poor kids.
I also can't help wondering if Freel's injury history contributed to his death. He always went all-out, and had had a dozen or so concussions. Concussions are linked with clinical depression and suicide, as we're seeing with former NFL players. We're only just starting to understand how dangerous they can be.
This is one of my favorite photos: Ryan Freel and Bubba Crosby, fishing near the Reds' former spring training complex in Sarasota, FL.
Rest in peace, Freelie.
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