You can play the "what-if" game with this all day long. From management's decision not to trade him to individual decisions in the game last night, you can assemble a phone book-sized list of factors, any single one of which slightly changed would've kept Nick from being in that intersection at that exact moment in time. It's mind blowing.
The Rev wrote a great piece on why so many Angel fans are feeling so much grief for someone who, honestly, we didn't even really know. And I think that's accurate, in that so many of us spend a great deal of time watching these players and developing a semi-familial bond with many of them. Nick, in particular, was a player many of us watched from his draft at age 18 to his major league debut at 21. The fact that we're the same age made his journey particularly fascinating and his death infinitely more depressing.
The Angels play the Red Sox tonight in a game which now feels completely different.