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Roenicke recalls Adenhart after Gallardo's arrest

MILWAUKEE -- Manager Ron Roenicke had a very personal reaction to the news that Yovani Gallardo had been arrested early Tuesday and cited for driving drunk.

Roenicke was an Angels coach on April 9, 2009, when right-hander Nick Adenhart was killed in an auto accident caused by a drunk driver. Roenicke and Adenhart were very close, and four years later, talking about that incident is still difficult for the third-year manager, who nonetheless made sure to mention it in his chat with Gallardo.

"I asked him if he remembered the name, and he did," Roenicke said.

Adenhart was 22 and only hours removed from a sparkling season debut when he and three friends were struck by an impaired driver who had run a red light. Two members of Adenhart's party were killed instantly; Adenhart died later of his injuries.

The next day, Angels players and staffers gathered at the stadium, even though that night's game against the A's had been postponed. It was Roenicke who stepped forward and broke the silence.

Tuesday's news rekindled that memory, and Roenicke made sure to share it with Gallardo.

"[Gallardo] feels bad about it," he said. "He knows he shouldn't have been in that position to ever have something like that come up. … I guess the thing that I like out of this is that nothing bad happened. There wasn't any accident, which always worries me, because I've been through it before with Adenhart, when I was with the Angels. I think it's a lesson that is good, probably, to happen this way, instead of maybe something worse happening. I hope everybody else on the team realizes what can happen, and that everybody is smarter because of it.

"After talking to Yo, I think what he has to say to some of the guys, especially the young guys, is going to mean a lot coming from him, having to go through this."

Gallardo was not expected to address the team on Tuesday, but he has been told that when the time feels right, he should feel free to do so.

"Hey, I don't want this to be easy on him," Roenicke said. "He needs to know that this can never happen again, and I think he does."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy.
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