We hurt each other, then we do it again
I was 17 years old and a high school senior when the Columbine High School massacre took place. It was the first national tragedy that truly hit home with me, because I remember feeling that what happened in Littleton, Colo., that day in 1999, could have happened at any high school anywhere, including my own. What school, after all, wasn’t — and isn’t — home to cliques, bullies and alienated teens?
When you’re that young, you’re supposed to feel invincible. At that point in your life, it takes quite a jolt to the senses to feel otherwise, and Columbine was it for me. It was an unwelcome — but perhaps necessary — reminder of our fragility.
Perhaps that’s what drew me to Littleton this morning. Driving aimlessly through Denver, I saw a sign for the city and pushed ahead. Before long, I was standing in a beautifully constructed memorial to the 13 victims of the school shooting.
An inner ring of the memorial contains a wall of stone etched with tributes written for, about and even by the victims. Each family found its own way of leaving a lasting memory of the deceased — be it through anger, prayer or a simple story. One father used his tribute to his dead son to chastise a “Godless school system” and apologized to his child for sending him to a public school. Another family shared their daughter’s journal entry in which she voiced her desire to be in heaven, even though she still seemingly had so much life ahead of her. A third wrote of their son battling developmental disabilities and enrolling at Columbine just three months before his life was snuffed out prematurely.
This was evidence that different people deal with death in different ways. But I can’t imagine anybody visiting this memorial and not coming out with the singular notion that it is our basic and unwavering duty to take care of one another. It’s just an unfortunate glitch in the human condition that sometimes it takes a senseless act such as Columbine to get us to remember that.
All right, let’s completely shift emotional gears for the moment and turn our attention back to baseball. Here are tonight’s lineups…
INDIANS (33-38): CF Grady Sizemore, 2B Jamey Carroll, LF Ben Francisco, 1B Ryan Garko, SS Jhonny Peralta, 3B Casey Blake, RF Franklin Gutierrez, C Kelly Shoppach, LHP Aaron Laffey.
ROCKIES (29-42): CF Willy Taveras, RF Ryan Spilborghs, LF Matt Holliday, 3B Garrett Atkins, 1B Todd Helton, 2B Jeff Baker, C Chris Iannetta, SS Omar Quintanilla, LHP Jeff Francis.
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…
- RHP Fausto Carmona has had a setback in his recovery from a left hip strain. Inflammation has returned to the area, so Carmona, who was originally expected to go out on a rehab assignment on Friday, will be shut down for three days, then reevaluated. More info on the site a little later.
- No update on DH Travis Hafner’s visit to Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham today. That update will come tomorrow.
- You might have noticed the Indians had some trouble dealing with the spacious outfield here at Coors Field last night. The outfielders always seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Tonight, they’ll be in a different place. With a sinkerballer on the mound, Wedge is having them move in a bit to counterract those soft and shallow fly balls. I guess we’ll just see how it goes.
- This has nothing to do with anything, really, but I find it interesting that in the visitors’ clubhouse at Coors Field, players have the old Connect Four game available to them. It’s been a hit with several players, but not David Dellucci. “Once you start playing those old games you can’t stop,” he said. Dellucci also said he was the best Connect Four player on his street when he was a kid. If you grew up on Delluccis street and wish to refute this claim, feel free to drop me a line.
- RHP Oneli Perez, who was designated for assignment last week, was claimed by the Yankees today. Perez had a 7.11 ERA in seven appearances at Buffalo.
- Newly signed first-round pick Lonnie Chisenhall made his debut at Mahoning Valley last night and went 2-for-5 with three runs scored.
- 3B Wes Hodges has hit safely in 11 straight games for Double-A Akron, batting .442 with a homer and 12 RBIs. He leads the Eastern League with 54 RBIs.
- Laffey is still 13 2/3 innings shy of qualifying for the AL ERA lead. His 2.83 mark would rank third, if he qualified.