This afternoon, about 3:15, began a very strange four-hour period for me. I was out getting lunch as the news began getting out about the small, single-engine plane that struck and set on fire an apartment building on New York's Upper East Side. Since I live near where the accident happened, I began receiving worried calls from friends and since there was so little info out there, everyone was calling me with differing details.
So, essentially, I got about 20 or 25 phone calls, all piggy-backed one after another, to the point that I couldn't hang up with any one person because each call was interrupted by another via the magic that is call-waiting. Don't get me wrong -- I'm not complaining that my friends care enough about me to make sure I was okay -- it was just very surreal. Every third person on the street was on a cell-phone talking about the "helicopter" -- most people seemed jittery, and with good reason -- although it was going through my head that if anyone wanted to make a real splash, they would have parked the aircraft -- helicopter, plane, whatever -- in the middle of Times Square. So I assumed this was the result of an accident.
Anyway, I was knee-deep in work upon my return to the office when I got an e-mail from CNN Update. It essentially said that Joe Torre said the plane that crashed into a building in Manhattan is registered to team pitcher Cory Lidle. And me, in my quasi-cloudy, yawning state of mind, thought "Why would Cory Lidle lend his plane out to someone that crashed it into a building?" And then it dawned on me. Cory was the guy drivin' the bus, so to speak.
By now, most of you have gotten the scoop on Lidle's background and what apparently happened with the plane. His biography, his family history, and the last public statement he gave prior to leaving Yankee Stadium will have been splashed across every New York-centric newspaper and website on the planet.
And yet, once I realized he had died in the crash, my first reaction was "Wow, now the Yankees really need pitching."
As I said, I'm definitely going to hell.