Indeed, there was a massive dark cloud hanging over the Phillies' defeat last night.
The team's focus might've been less on the developments in Milestone Loss No. 9,980 -- i.e. a lotta smack-talkin' takin' place in Miami re: the intent of pitches which sailed behind hitters, etc. -- than what happened off the field on Thursday.
What is of great concern to the Phillies -- and why their minds might've been elsewhere last night -- is the possibility that Dean Hancock (father of the drunk-and-dead Josh Hancock) might feel inclined to file suit against the Philadelphia Phillies Baseball Club, thus naming the team as a defendant in "Dean Hancock's Rampage Against Every Irresponsible, Mutha-Effin' Bastard Who Didn't Adequately Protect The Sober Josh Hancock From The Wasted Josh Hancock."
For those of us who mourned Josh Hancock (in entries dated 5/1 and 5/5), it was interesting to learn that Dean Hancock will not only wage war against the owner of Mike Shannon's Restaurant (Mike Shannon himself) and the restaurant's manager (Mike Shannon's daughter), but also against Eddie's Towing, the driver of Eddie's Towing flatbed tow truck and the driver of the car which stalled on I-64 (which led to a service call to the driver of the available Eddie's Towing flatbed tow truck).
The litigation might seem somewhat (if not totally) frivolous to 93 percent of America.
Yet, those who are chuckling are using that laughter as a futile attempt to disguise their own culpability.
Maybe we should listen to Deano when he answers his own rhetorical question.
"Who killed my son? You ALL did!"
Apparently, we're all going to pay for what we did to Josh Hancock.
Once you break it down, though, Papa 'Cock has a winnable case.
However, Deano's list of defendants seems woefully short, aside from the obvious culprits -- i.e. the restaurant personnel which offered a boozehound more and more booze and the motorists (stalled vehicle; flat-bed tow truck) whose due diligence was not apparent when it came to protecting America from boozehounds which are intoxicated two times the legal limit when they get behind the wheel.
This is where the trial could hang in the balance -- when a Phillies rep (probably puppet Asst. GM Ruben Amaro) testifies that at no point during Hancock's two games w/ the ballclub in '03 or his four games in '04 did Hancock arrive drunk to work.
On re-direct, Amaro will be queried about his own sobriety.
"Mr. Amaro, are you, in fact, drunk right now? Are you under the influence of any recreational drugs? Are you addicted to any prescriptions meds, i.e. Vicodin or Oxycodon? If we checked the Thermos in your briefcase, would we find cough syrup mixed with butter ripple schnapps?
"And, remember ... you ARE under oath ... "
Makes ya wonder who's on trial here.
The Phillies surely will be cast as an organization which failed to identify Hancock's substance-abuse issues.
And, it will be argued, that it was the Phillies' mishandling of the young pitcher back in '03 and '04 which , in fact, drove the player to the bottle in the first place.
That's on you, Larry Bowa and Joe Kerrigan.
As per the matters of marijuana, that's a clear-cut, distributor/end-user matter.
However, if the dealer who sold the weed to Hancock was a little more into customer relations, he'd've smoked a bowl with the pitcher and, thus, maybe prevented the Redbird from hittin' the highway.
Therefore, it's probably serves Deano's best interests to have the dealer subpoenaed as we all sing that merry tune from 25 years ago:
"I smoke two joints in times of peace / And two in times of war / I smoke two joints before I smoke two joints / And then I smoke two more ..."
In the grand scheme of this Dead Redbird, the drunk pitcher's name seems less like "Hancock" -- and more like "Jackpot."
And, Papa 'Cock is doin' what any grieving father would do if his own Junkie Josh Jackpot got hisself all drunk and dead.
He's exercising his Contitutional rights, here in the Jacoby & Myers of America -- and what that means is that we're not finished compiling our list of farging bastages who killed the junkie jackpot.
What about the asphalt company which got the initial I-64 contract -- and which failed to apply to the highway an anti-drunk-driver sealant, thus rendering the blacktop "DWI-proof."
What about the rental car company which failed to offer Junkie Josh the rental package wherein he had the a choice of the armor-plated vehicle which would have ensured the protection of any/all drunk operators of said vehicle from the sober motorists who clog up traffic?
What about M.A.D.D. (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) ... and S.A.D.D. (Students Against Drunk Drivers) ... and D.A.P.A.D.P (Drunk Airline Pilots Against Drunk Pitchers) ... and T.D.A.D.L. (Topless Dancers Against Duke Lacrosse) for not vigorously picketing every St. Louis home game and brigning attention to Josh's "illness"? What about 30,000-plus Cardinal fans who showed up at Busch Stadium and New Busch Stadium and asked for autographs from Junkie Josh -- giving him the false sense of indestructability and thus empowering Josh with the unrealistic hope of one day claiming, "I'm gonna see if I can drive my rental car at 100 MPH while on PCP AND HGH, baby!"
Left to our own devices, we could probably list 50-100 defendants -- and then submit that list to Dean Hancock. In a twisted way, spending time pondering who killed Josh Hancock is a lot more enjoyable than remembering how god-awfully crappy he was in relief for the Cards in Game 2 and Game 4 of last year's NLCS (which was worse than watching Jeff Lahti pitch for the Cards in the '85 World Series or Danny Cox attempting to pitch for the Cards in the '87 World Series).
La Loser didn't allow Junkie Jackpot anywhere near the mound in last year's World Series -- not with that unsighly 162.00 ERA (which, no doubt, shook Josh's confidence and exacerbated his substance-abuse issues).
In the end, it does seem as though Dean Hancock is doing the right thing -- just to take our minds off the fact that, in the pantheon of mediocre Cardinal pitchers, Junkie Josh probably ranks at No. 78 (between No. 76 Reggie Cleveland and No. 77 Tom Urbani and No. 79 Omar Olivares and No. 80 Rick Folkers).
And, once the dust has settled from these lawsuits, we can expect Dean Hancock to use his courtroom winnings as start-up money for the creation of J.D.D.M.P.A.D.D. (Jackass Dads of Dead Mediocre Pitchers Against Drunk Drivers) ...