Ever have one of those nagging feelings that you're forgetting something? It can last a few minutes, several hours, or in my case, several days.
This is no big deal; it's not as if I embarked on a cross-country journey and discovered hours later that I'd left my wallet at home. It was just a strange coincidence that almost rose to the surface when I wrote a bite-sized blurb the other day about former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Bob Welch's death, and noted that the Los Angeles Dodgers also had a Bob Welch — an All-Star pitcher during the 1980s.
It seemed to me Welch the Dodger had struggled with drugs and alcohol, but I looked him up and that was not the case. But I knew the Dodgers had a pitcher who had a long, sad struggle with substance abuse, and who no longer abides in the temporal world. Why did he have a name I should remember?
So I did a Google search and came up with the late Steve Howe, who died in 2006 at age 48. Howe, Rookie of the Year in 1980 and whose Dodgers won the 1981 World Series, shares the same name as the lead guitarist of the longtime progressive rock group Yes. Yes, it was Steve Howe who strummed those memorable acoustic notes at the beginning of the 1970s classic rock staple "Roundabout." The British Steve Howe is alive 'n' kicking at age 65.
HOWE THE PITCHER grappled with alcohol, cocaine and other drugs, going into treatment and relapsing, and getting suspended seven times by Major League Baseball, including for the entire 1984 season. He died when he rolled his pickup truck in Coachella, Calif., in 2006. Toxicology reports found traces of methamphetamine in his blood.
Ironically, the two pitchers, Howe and Welch, both were born in the Detroit area, Howe in suburban Pontiac, Mich., and Welch in Detroit proper.
RACISM ALERT — The Los Angeles Kings won their first ever Stanley Cup Monday night, finishing off the New Jersey Devils in a 6-1 rout, taking the championship series 4 games to 2. Washington Post sports writer Cindy Boren tread on thin ice by noting in her blog that following the Kings' home victory, "For a refreshing change, there were no riots, no urban melees...." She was alluding to the fact that five times since 2000 when the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers won the chanmpionship, riots, assaults, vandalism fires and other mayhem broke out in L.A.
News flash: Few blacks give a rat's ass about hockey, but large numbers of blacks and hispanics are avid fans of basketball and the Lakers. Now, I certainly wouldn't accuse Ms. Boren of being a racist, but there are plenty of weak-minded, knee-jerk liberals in this world who would go ape-schmidt over her entirely accurate and reasonable observation. Watch your back, Cindy!