So, the sad part of the story first: Back in November, former Oakland A's pitcher Joe Kennedy died unexpectedly -- and tragically -- when he collapsed at his in-laws' home. It came out today that he apparently suffered from hypertensive heart disease, a condition in which the walls of the heart harden and thus slow or even stop the heart. Kennedy was only 28, and left behind a 1-year-old son. Yeah, there's nothing funny about that.
There is, however, something funny about the ESPN.com front-page headline regarding this story:
Ex-pitcher Kennedy died of heart disease
Maybe it's just that I have a macabre sense of humor, but... referring to a dead pitcher as an "ex-pitcher"? I couldn't help but think of that Monty Python sketch where the guy tries to return a dead parrot to a pet store to no avail, and ends by screeching out "THIS IS AN EX-PARROT!" And, upon reflection, I'm pretty sure this is the mental connection I was supposed to make.
My first thought was that they referred to Kennedy that way because he was done pitching, but Toronto apparently had plans to include him on the roster for the 2008 season (which is still so very, very far away). So now I'm pretty sure that some nerdy, copy-writing intern at ESPN was just being a smart-ass and thought he could sneak this by everyone. Well, junior, you've got to get up pretty early in the morning to sneak one by this girl.
'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory!