RIP Oscar Taveras 1992-2014

As with many members of Cardinal Nation (ugh, how I hate that term), I was shocked last night to hear of the tragic passing of the Cardinals’ very promising young prospect, Oscar Taveras, and his girlfriend, Edilia Arvelo. They were tragically killed in a car crash in Taveras’ home country of the Dominican Republic. My brother Jeff texted me the news last night during the Royals-Giants game.

I don’t typically get all that shaken up when celebrities, athletes, etc., pass away- save for a very select few. A lot of it could be due to the detachment. I don’t know any celebrities and, for the most part, their deaths, while tragic, really don’t affect me or my life that much. However, hearing of Taveras’ death really kind of affected me. I didn’t break down or anything like that, but I actually felt a strange sense of loss over two kids I’d never met, nor would I realistically have ever met. I can’t explain it. My heart legitimately hurt last night.

I think what got me more than anything else is not just that a young athlete was taken before he could realize his potential in his sport, but more the realization that this young man was 22 when he died, only 10 days older than my oldest niece, Erin. Miss Arvelo was only 18. Kids, those two. Babies. Whatever the cause of death, there are simply far too many young people dying these days. Maybe I’m just getting old and soft, but I’m so, SOOOO friggin’ over children and young people dying or being killed.

What also bothered me was that I saw a tweet from some dickhead Brewers fan on Twitter last night that said something along the lines of, “HAHAHAHA, Oscar Taveras is DEAD! SUCK IT, Cardinals fans!” Yes, all teams in all sports have their share of douchenozzle fans- even the BFiBs- but I was really extraordinaly angered by the absolute cold, callous, heartless nature of this man that tweeted such a thing. Also, I was listening to the game in the car on the way home from dropping Jeff off at home, and when they announced it (or put it on the Jumbotron™, whichever happened) at AT&T Park last night, I could have sworn I heard a handful of fans actually cheering. I do really hope it was just an unfortunate coincidence, bad timing, or whatever, but I was disgusted at what I heard, and then I read that tweet from the Brewers fan, and I just was pissed the entire rest of the night.

The Cardinals lost in the NLCS to the Giants, who are playing the Royals in the World Series. Much of my extended family live in NoCal, and are, naturally, huge Giants fans. So even though there is still that bitter sting of losing to the Giants- THE FRIGGIN’ GIANTS! (long story, long history)- I wouldn’t mind the Giants winning the Series, if only for the enjoyment of my family. That said, I’m also rooting for the Royals to win. The National League has been represented by either the Cardinals or the Giants every year since 2010, while the Royals haven’t been to the World Series since 1985. As fate holds, the Royals beat the Cardinals in the 1985 World Series, so I think I actually hope both teams win and I hope both teams lose.

At any rate, it could just be little more than sour grapes from the Cardinals not being in it, but the outcome of this year’s World Series suddenly doesn’t seem very “important” any more. I put that word in quotations because the winner of ANY game or sporting event is not important in the least, in the grand scheme of life. It really is JUST A GAME.

It’s a game I love so dearly.

Rest in peace, Oscar and Edilia.

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