Some beautiful writing and perspective that might ring true for many of us. Here's a snip, but go read the whole thing. It isn't that long, but will put this piece in context:
"The relationship that we, as fans, have with the athletes we follow is as genuine as it is bizarre. Not a single day has gone by since Opening Day 2006, when Hancock first appeared on the Cardinals' roster, that he has not been on our mental radar. We cheered him, we cursed him, we forgot about him, we repeated the process; he occupied a real place in our lives. We did not know him, and we were not particularly curious to do so; if he got batters out, he made us happy, and that was enough. His sudden departure -- shocking, horrible, insane -- makes us feel as if we have lost something that we never realized we had. We want to go back and cheer harder for him, forgive his mistakes more easily ... treat him as human in a way we never did as a mere fan. He shifts from middle reliever to human being only in death; this can drive a fan mad with guilt and confusion."