Sad News in Baseball

Sad news today. Free agent Joe Kennedy died Friday morning after passing out at his home in Florida. He was only 28 years old.

Editor’s note: before you think this is your generic news alert, please read the end of this post for some startling news… 

After passing out, Kennedy was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead, said Hillsborough County (Fla.) sheriff’s spokeswoman Debbie Carter, who had no further details.

“We are deeply saddened and shocked to hear of Joe’s passing,” A’s assistant general manager David Forst said in a club release. “He was a valued teammate and friend to everyone with the A’s organization. On behalf of the entire A’s organization, we extend our condolences to Joe’s wife, Jami, and his entire family.”

Kennedy, who opened the 2007 season as Oakland’s No. 5 starter but was dropped from the rotation and subsequently picked up on waivers by the Diamondbacks, closed the season with the Blue Jays, who signed him on Aug. 29 after he had been designated for assignment by Arizona.

“This is tragic and stunning news,” Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi said in a statement. “It is difficult to express the emotions felt by the Blue Jays players and our organization. My sincere sympathies go to his wife, their son and the entire family.”

Kennedy was 43-61 with a 4.79 ERA in seven seasons with Tampa Bay, Colorado, Oakland, Arizona, and Toronto.

The cause of death is unknown at this time. Early speculation is that it was either a heart attack or a brain aneurysm.

This is the third active MLB player to die in about 13 months. On October 11, 2006, Cory Lidle died at the age of 34 when his small aircraft crashed into a Manhattan building. On April 29, 2007, St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Josh Hancock died at the age of 29 in an auto accident.

What really bothers me is Jeff Passan’s column which has been updating the status of free agents through the offseason. Passan ranked Joe Kennedy at #71 out of 144 free agents (see the text edition of the list which I uploaded on 11/13/2007), calling him “Not bad. Just not good, either.” Looking back at the list today, Kennedy’s name has been taken out and the list is now composed of 143 free agents. Absolutely no mention is made that Kennedy has passed away. It is a shameful omission, and one that is making me really upset. Do you think Passan is feeling guilty for calling Kennedy “not good”? Irrespective of how he feels, there should be a disclaimer about Joe Kennedy’s death.

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~ by mlb2007playoffs on November 23, 2007.

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