05.01.07 10 years ago 10 Comments

The assistant editor spared me the trouble of writing about Cardinals pitcher Josh Carpenter's [oops] Hancock's death by posting about it on Sunday, but it looks like new details are forcing my hand here.  Over the last 24 hours, the following details have surfaced:

 •  Two days earlier, Hancock had been in another accident at 5:30 a.m., just five hours before he was supposed to be at the ballpark for a noon game. A tractor trailer going between 45 and 50 mph ripped off his front bumper when he edged into oncoming traffic preparing to make a left-hand turn.

 •  Witnesses to one of Hancock's final conversations — with ESPN's Dave Campbell — say that Hancock missed the start of that Thursday game because he had been drinking.  Manager Tony LaRussa, himself arrested for DUI before the season, allegedly fined him $500 and was angry he was "too hung over to play."

 •  Those same witnesses claim Hancock was severely intoxicated the night of his death, one of them noting "He [could] barely put a sentence together."  When Hancock left around 12:30, the bar/restaurant's manager offered to call him a cab. He declined.

Obviously, there's a lot that can be insinuated here, and anyone with a sixth-grade education could do anything from lambaste the Cardinals' organization to decry Hancock's seeming disregard for his fellow man by driving drunk.  It's not really something I want to tackle, though.  Thankfully, The Dugout knows how to write about Hancock's untimely death properly: with wisdom, perspective, and a touch of humor.  It's the only must-read I've seen on the subject.

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