Let’s not Hide from these Awful Revelations about the Death of El Keed

Last month Macondo, like the rest of the MLB community and fans everywhere, was stunned and wounded by the tragic death of El Keed and two of his friends in a boating accident off Miami Beach. Since then speculation has been rife about the condition of the boaters at the time of the accident, and whether alcohol or drugs might have played a part.

Yesterday, after the Miami Herald successfully sued the district attorney’s office to release the toxicology reports from the bodies of the victims,  speculation was rendered moot. El Keed and one of his friend were over the legal limit for blood alcohol. Worse, Jose and friend who was apparently driving the boat at the time of the crash had cocaine in their systems.

Another unnamed friend of El Keed says he/she was talking to him at the time of the crash and that he was not operating the boat, but instructing one of his friends (apparently Emilio Macias) to steer further away from the shoreline at the time of the collision with the jetty. The police say that cellphone records of the witness in question verify that he/she was talking to Jose when the impact occurred.

That’s not really a mitigating factor, though. All three had been drinking and Macias, the putative driver, was wired as well as Jose. None of them had any business being out there in the dark in a high-powered boat. If Jose snorted with Macias and knew he was high, whatever mitigation he earns by not having been the driver is pretty much negated by his letting his stoned friend drive instead.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t deeply disappointed in Jose. This vapid, delusional celebrity culture we inhabit appeals to the lesser angels of our nature, the crabs at the bottom of the bucket who keep pulling back the crabs who want to escape from it. We are encouraged to dwell on the accomplishments of those whose excellence in some areas exceeds our own, and to envy them – often spitefully – at the same time. When they fail us on any level, we fall all over ourselves to tear them down to ours. To our inevitable chagrin, our heroes are flawed human beings like the rest of us, and Jose’s fatal mistakes that night may tarnish his image but certainly don’t erase his remarkable achievements or acts of courage, kindness or generosity. They do force us to be more realistic about what we ought to expect from the people we admire.

Meanwhile, we’re still waiting for the Feesh factotems [sic] to pull their heads out of their cloacas and issue some kind of reasoned statement about these disclosures. I know it’s difficult, and I’m sure some of the delay is attributable to their desire to avoid inflicting any more pain on his family. Sill, they can’t run away from the reality of what happened indefinitely.

 

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10 thoughts on “Let’s not Hide from these Awful Revelations about the Death of El Keed

  1. I saw a report on this this morning, and was debating whether or not to post something about it. I’m glad that it was Gator who opened the door.

    I spent my late teens and early twenties in Fairbanks Alaska, in the company of a brother a couple of years older, and completely without adult supervision. We bought and smoked pot literally by the pound. I remember once being so stoned while driving the freeway which brings one into the Fairbanks area from the south and approaching a stop light marking the end of the freeway, that I could not sense the lower part of my right leg. For some critical seconds my brain was unable to send a signal to my right foot to move from the gas pedal to the brake. Obviously the blockage passed in time and I survived. It may be that I survived because my potential death vehicle was a 66 Belvedere that I had bought for 50 bucks, not an expensive high powered speed boat affordable to a rich young celebrity.

    Frankly I suspected at the beginning that some kind of substance abuse on the part of at least somebody on the boat was a factor. High speed fatal crashes usually involve some kind of miss-behaving. Young men do reckless, stupid things. Most survive. Tragically, a few don’t. Adulation and scads of money only worsen the odds. I don’t think any less of Fernandez because of this, I see some of myself in him.

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  2. I agree that Fernandez, and all (most?) athletes are humans, and as such they are not supermen but make human mistakes. Fans often pedestalize superstar players, and those with rose-colored classes think they can do no wrong. Fernandez’ legacy as a player can’t be denied.

    His conduct here, however, is absolutely irresponsible to his now-widow and child and his family. Not only do they have to deal with the tragedy and grieve for their husband/father taken from them so young, they’re going to have to face the repercussions of the people who will certainly come out of the woodwork to sue the family–victims’ families, the owner of the jetty where the boat crashed, etc. If police find that Fernandez was driving, that’s even more irresponsible.

    I guess when you’re young you feel invincible, maybe.

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    • To youth goes joyousness and illusions of invincibility. That’s the blessing and curse.

      Still and yet, the loss of anyone — especially so young — is tragic and heartbreaking. All the more so with Jose, because he escaped to a better life and had so much potential. Death is indiscriminate and we all earn it, really. Some of us just dodge paying the piper a little longer.

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  3. Well, he was 24. Nearly all of us did many many things that could have or should have killed us when we were 18-25. I’m not sure that those of us that were lucky enough to survive are in a position to judge those that were less lucky.

    It sucks that he died. It sucks that he left behind a wife and child. It sucks that he died in such a stupid way. It just sucks.

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  4. I can’t judge Jose too harshly. I have done some stupid things myself in my youth, some of them not even relating to and sort of substance abuse. I recall a time in high school where I thought it would be really funny to weave in and out of those big round construction traffic cones one day. On the highway. Doing 60 mph. The police officer in the unmarked car apparently thought it was also funny as he simply turned on his sirens in an attempt to be like “Come on man, knock it off.” That could have easily gone the wrong way. We all make mistakes. Most of them happen when we are young and as my mother calls it “Bulletproof”. It does not make it any less tragic. We all should have suspected some sort of drug/alcohol involvement as that’s pretty typical of a late night motor-vehicle accident. Especially one at sea where drinking and driving is more common as people think they are somehow safer in the water. Hopefully when people get ready to judge Jose, they will remember what it was like being young and stupid themselves and realize that most of us can name at least a half dozen times where we should have died, but for some strange stroke of luck didn’t.

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  5. I was really disheartened by this news, even though it was not unexpected. Far too many times, we’ve had young, talented people die from really bad choices. Not just in sports, but also in music and other entertainment fields. The list is staggering.
    That being said, from personal experience, I know that young people can do some extremely dumb things, with absolutely no thought of consequences, and hardly anyone at all is immune to the combined influences of youth, inexperience, and bravado.

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    • That’s all too true but given how much Jose had already been through – jail in Cuba, that nightmarish crossing of the Gulf, working his ass off to learn English, fit in, and rise to the level of an MLB pitcher – then the year of painful rehab (and make no mistake, rehab from ligament or tendon replacement is the Red Queen of bitches) – that maybe he had grown up ahead of himself and was more mature than other 24-year-olds because of it. So, over the past month I have held out hope that substance abuse (which at worst I figured would be limited to alcohol) wouldn’t finally prove to have been a part of it. I’m so sorry that my hopes came to nothing and worse, given the cocaine issue. El Keed was one of my very few heroes in sports, and this hurts. But it is what it is.

      So far, the Feesh still haven’t faced up to it and their home page carries on like they’re tripping through the dew in lala land.

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  6. Cocaine is Satan’s dick, just like that dick, Cheney, and now Hair Hitler The Chump Trump. Amazing how the natives of Bolivia have used the coca leaf for generations to get more work done but when white men got a hold of it they made it into an insidious drug of death and destruction. May El Keed rest in peace.

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