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By Jeremy Schiffres, Daily and Sunday Freeman, Kingston, N.Y.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Back to blogging

Just got back from five days out of town. Here's what's been accumulating in my mind during my time away:

* The car accident that claimed the life of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart was a crying shame - not only because I'm a fan of the team, but because there's nothing more heartbreaking than a life full of promise being snuffed out at such a young age. (Adenhart, an outstanding rookie, was a mere 22.) I was completely unsurprised to learn that Andrew Gallo, the hit-and-run driver who killed Adenhart and two friends, tested above the legal limit for drunken driving and had a prior DUI record and a suspended license. But I was completely, and pleasantly, surprised to learn that California law allowed authorities to charge Gallo with three counts of murder and that he could be locked up for 55 years if convicted. Under New York state's wussy drunk driving laws, the most serious charge against Gallo would have been vehicular manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide, and he probably would have been sentenced to no more than three years in prison. Say what you will about some of California's nutty laws, but they got this one right.

* I loved how the New York City newspapers, especially the tabloids, reacted to the Yankees' opening-day loss as if it was a sign of certain doom for the Bombers this year. Yes, high-priced off-season pickups CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira stunk it up last Monday, but it's not like they've forgotten how to play baseball. Now, five games later, Sabathia is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA, Teixeira is 4-for-16 with two doubles and a home run, and the Yankees are 3-3. In other words, last Monday was too soon to be making predictions about how the Yankees (or any team) will finish this year, and today is equally too soon. As my friend and former Freeman colleague Bob Mitchell likes to say, the baseball season is a marathon, not a sprint. The Yankees have 156 games left this season. They could finish 159-3, but they won't. They could finish 3-159, but they won't. They probably will win between 85 and 100 games, but anyone who claims, only a week into the season, to know what the team's 2009 record will be is, quite simply, full of crap. (And yes, I know that I, too, in my last post, poked fun at the Yankees' opening-day loss, but I certainly didn't predict that they had no hope of succeeding this season.)

* Driving on the Thruway near Albany today, I had the radio tuned to one of those stations that plays only 1970s and '80s music, and I was quite amused to hear Madonna's "Like a Prayer" come on. This is, after all, Easter Sunday. I guess the station's programmers forgot - or simply didn't know about - all the outrage in the Christian community that "Like a Prayer" and its accompanying video created 20 years ago. If you, too, have forgotten, do a Google or YouTube search and refresh your memory.

* Four days down, four to go for those of us observing Passover. Thursday night can't come soon enough!



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