- Paul Walker secretly bought $9K wedding ring for Iraq vet
- Mystery sign poster hits Washington state town: ‘It’s OK to say Merry Christmas’
- Pope Francis forms commission to advise on sex abuse
- Anthony Weiner on radio? Cumulus says, ‘Never, ever’
- Executive order: Obama ups green-energy mandate on feds to 20 percent
- GOP launches candidate training: How to talk to women
- N.Y.’s Rockefeller Center lights up, as Bloomberg flicks on 76-foot Christmas tree
- Northern Ireland turns to ‘Game of Thrones’ to draw in tourists
- Washington woman live-tweets husband’s horrific car death
- China City of America mulled for New York — with $65M tax dollars
Bernadina reflects on friend’s death
Halman was Mariners prospect when he was stabbed in November
VIERA, Fla. — In the back of Roger Bernadina’s locker is a crumpled blue bag holding two baseball cards.
Bernadina can’t escape the carefree face that grins at him from the cards.
“In Memoriam,” the cards read. “Gregory A. Halman.”
While Bernadina fights for an outfield job with the Washington Nationals this spring, the memory of his murdered friend is never far away. Last November, Halman, a 24-year-old outfielder with the Seattle Mariners, was stabbed to death in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Halman’s number is still in Bernadina’s iPhone. They remain Facebook friends. Bernadina talks about Halman as though he’s still alive. The baseball cards distributed at Halman’s funeral keep him close.
“It’s still a shock,” Bernadina said in a quiet voice. “I still can’t realize it actually happened.”
The two worked out together in the Netherlands. They talked almost every day. They played on the Dutch National Team in 2007. That was the first time Bernadina noticed Halman’s raw ability: power, arm, and speed.
“I saw him on the field hitting the ball,” Bernadina said. “Oh, my god. That guy was unbelievable.”
In November, Halman and Bernadina joined a group of major leaguers touring Europe. A week after they parted, Bernadina’s phone buzzed with calls and text messages. Halman was dead. It’s not true, Bernadina insisted. But the messages kept coming. Bernadina refused to believe them.
The messages told a horrific story. Halman’s brother, Jason, played music loudly that night to stifle voices in his head, according to the Seattle Times. The brothers aruged about the music. And then, the paper said, Jason Halman stabbed his brother in the throat and severed his cartoid artery.
“His brother was his best friend,” Jason Halman’s lawyer, Frits Huizinga, told the Haarlems Dagblad, a Dutch newspaper, last week.
Baseball felt distant, from the omelets, hash browns and pancakes sizzling in the clubhouse’s makeshift kitchen at Space Coast Stadium to the 27-year-old Bernadina’s odds of making the club. He’s been with the organization since 2001, its longest-tenured member, and is out of minor league options. Bernadina’s above-average speed, defensive ability and occasional pop haven’t coalesced into consistent production.
“He looks a lot more comfortable [at the plate],” manager Davey Johnson said. “He’s another one who hasn’t reached his potential. … That’s why this spring is a big spring.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- FENNO: No obvious answer for Redskins in determining Mike Shanahan's fate
- FENNO: After another loss, Redskins a franchise in free-fall
- Learning to play football right: Some hope to bring safety back to game
- FENNO: NCAA finds way into Rep. Linda Sanchez's crosshairs over concussions
- FENNO: RG3's words not the Redskins' biggest problem
Latest Blog Entries
- CURL: 'Mission Accomplished' for Obamacare
- Hack attack: 2 million Facebook, Twitter passwords stolen
- NAPOLITANO: Pope Francis should be saving souls, not pocketbooks
- Democratic infighting erupts over 'we can have it all' fantasy on entitlements
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality
- American teacher shot and killed at Benghazi international school
- Obama returns to class warfare as poll numbers plunge
- HARPER: 'Knockout game' not a myth to liberal Sharpton
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- Pentagon may give recruits 'a shot to start over' after shameful social media posts
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
A collection of reader guest articles, thoughts and opinions by Communities writers and breaking news and information.
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
Politics, economics, and business from a real world perspective.
Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness from the carpool lane.
White House pets gone wild!