Shanoff's W.U.C.: The Nick Adenhart Tragedy

Today's Calls: Nick Adenhart, Yankees, Chris Carpenter, Andrew Bynum, Jonny Flynn, Angel McCoughtry, BU hockey and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: Baseball's opening week should be defined by hope, not tragedy. ↵

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↵It should be about the Rays taking 2 of 3 from the Sox at Fenway. Or tracking Twitter tweets about Chris Carpenter's unlikely no-no magic. Or thinking that maybe those Royals fans were right about this being their team's year. Or being thrilled you drafted Joey Votto for your fantasy team. ↵

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↵But instead it is about the sad story of Nick Adenhart, who made a sparkling 2009 MLB debut on Wednesday night before being killed early Thursday morning. ↵

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↵It stunned the Angels and all of the baseball world. It stunned fans everywhere. ↵

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↵Any death is a loss, but what makes it feel especially tragic is that here was this rookie who had just made it -- I mean "Made It," in the way we baseball fans only dream about -- with a seemingly bright future ahead. ↵

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↵What a heart-breaking way to start the season, whether or not you were Adenhart's teammate or an Angels fan. For the rest of us, the way to appreciate his memory is to appreciate the fleeting day-to-day joy of the game. ↵

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↵Condolences to his family, friends and fans.  ↵

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↵• Yankees Panic Watch: Hysteria contained, after a crack-the-seal W over the O's that featured Burnett's solid debut, plus HRs from newcomers Teixeira and Swisher. ↵

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↵• Story line Tracker: Chris Carpenter's no-no into the 7th. ↵

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↵• Guess what? The Rays were not a fluke. ↵

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↵• Break up the ... Royals! ↵

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↵• Fantasy Stud: Joey Votto ↵

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↵Masters: If there is one non-Tiger event of any given golf tournament -- particularly the Masters -- it is which players get a smidgen of spotlight by leading after the 1st round. Hey, it's Chad Campbell! (In his honor, the first-day leader should get a green ... vest or something.) ↵

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↵NBA Instant History: If any of you had any misconceptions that any team in the West would be able to challenge the Lakers in the upcoming playoffs, they dismantled the next-best team in the conference yesterday. (And the Nuggets were riding an 8-game W streak.) ↵

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↵Oh, and if the Lakers weren't good enough: Andrew Bynum is back: 16 pts and 7 reb on 7/11 FG shooting in 21 minutes. It's like a late-season trade for a young superstar center. By the NBA Finals -- the next time the Lakers will see any competition -- he will be fully integrated. ↵

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↵NBA Draft: Orange flavor. Jonny Flynn (Lottery material), Eric Devendorf (possible late-pick sleeper) and Paul Harris (what's he thinking?) are all entering the Draft. Flynn may still come back, but if he will be a Top 10 pick (as he should be) and his backcourt buddies are gone, why stay? (More: Wake PF James Johnson and UCLA SG Jrue Holiday.) ↵

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↵WNBA Draft: Louisville's Angel McCoughtry was the No. 1 overall pick, going to the Atlanta Dream. How was Courtney Paris drafted all the way down at No. 7 (Sacramento)? Was this some deal to get her back to California, where her father played for the 49ers? ↵

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↵NBA Must-Read: Shoals on Gilbert Arenas. ↵

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↵Frozen Four: Top-seeded Boston U. ain't to college hockey what UNC or UConn were to hoops -- the Terriers needed a late rally to survive the semifinals with Vermont. (Too bad Hobey Baker votes don't incorporate the Frozen Four; BU game hero Corey Wilson - a Baker finalist - would be a lock.) ↵

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↵(BU will play Miami (Ohio), which ruined everyone's storyline by ousting little-known but fun-to-say Bemidji State.) ↵

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↵NHL: Next Winter Classic at Fenway? That would be as sick as having it at Wrigley this year. ↵

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↵CBB Coaching Carousel: Jim Calhoun will be back at UConn next season. Coming off his team's disappointment in the Final Four and the likely NBA defection of Hasheem Thabeet, Calhoun can look forward to ... well, an NCAA investigation, mostly. ↵

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↵Scandal-Watch: USC. You know you're in trouble when the NCAA has so much to investigate within your program that they just roll everything up into one. ↵

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↵Lance: Did Armstrong try to avoid a French drug-tester? I can understand why Lance would be leery of giving some unaccountable French drug-tester any excuse to game evidence to accuse him of anything, but if Lance has nothing to hide, why is he ducking tests? ↵

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↵The Last Word: Why should the NFL be considered a year-round sport? Because they announce their season schedule April 14, in prime-time. And, two weeks from tomorrow, they have the tentpole offseason event -- the Draft. ↵

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↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/danshanoff. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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