Written by Maury Brown
Thursday, 12 October 2006 03:24
Yesterday was a shock to many in the US and around the world as a small plane flew into an East River condo high rise in Manhattan, rekindling fears of 9/11.
I happened to be at a local television station getting ready to do a CNBC segment with Darren Rovell during much of the news reporting of the tragic event. At the time, little in the way of details were known, and the producer in the studio with me kept the live reports on as I was wired up for taping.
When Rovell came on in my earpiece, I mentioned that I thought we might get bumped due to the news. At the time, he said we should get in and would let me know.
It wasn’t until later that word was released that the plane was licensed to Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle, and that his passport had been found on the street below. Later came the sobering news that Lidle and his flight instructor were in the plane.
At that moment, my thoughts went to the family and to the people of New York. Given all that had happened to the city prior, it was bound to rip the scab off old wounds that may never fully heal.
Lidle had crisscrossed MLB with a number of teams, and therefore, players around the league were shocked at the news. Lidle’s former jersey hung in the A’s dugout during Game 2 of the ALCS. Fortunately, Game 1 of the NLCS at Shea was rained out.
With this tragedy, however, there has been some mentioning in the media that the ALCS, or at least the NLCS game last night should have been canceled due to the events. It’s my opinion that the games should have played on.
This isn’t a case of cold callousness on my part. Lidle had a family and the loss will never be fully removed. He did, however, engage in a dangerous hobby. Flying is by no means a 100% safe endeavor.
If the Yankees were still in the playoffs, it would have been a different matter. It was the off-season for Lidle, so that was not the case.
If we are to cancel games in these cases of tragedy, then make it uniform. Countless athletes have been killed in auto accidents and several have died in plane crashes, most notably Therman Munson and Roberto Clemente. If we are to stop for Lidle simply because he was a NY Yankee and because the tragedy occurred via a plane crashing in this post-9/11 world we live in, we do a disservice to those that have died in other places or on other teams.
Mourn the loss of Lidle. Better yet, mourn the loss of all that have died untimely deaths.
Maury Brown is the editor of The Biz of Baseball and an author for Baseball Prospectus. He can be contacted here.