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.