'When You Get a Good Kid . . . It's Sad'
After a few rough days, Adenhart said, he is also coming to grips with his situation.
"It's a fact you have to accept," he explained. "After three years at Carolina, I'll come out and should be expecting the same situation, if not higher."
So as orthopedist James Andrews paced in an examination room last week in Alabama, nervously trying to give Adenhart the bad news, the pitcher attempted to put the famous doctor at ease.
"I just told him that I understood that this year's draft was probably out of the way, and I should start concentrating on getting the surgery as soon as possible and getting back as soon as possible," Adenhart said. "And once I told him that, he was more relaxed."
Adenhart had made only vague plans for his theoretical riches -- meet with a financial planner, maybe get a car or a house. He will have to wait to give Warrenfeltz the promised catchers mitts, making up for the ones he's ruined over the years.
In the meantime, he has served as Williamsport's designated hitter in the Maryland 1A playoffs. In his first at-bat after the injury, he launched the first pitch he saw more than 360 feet to straightaway center field for a two-run home run. "See ya," screamed Adenhart's teammates as he jogged slowly around the base paths, smiling slightly as he reached home plate.
Tuesday, he reached base three times and scored twice as Williamsport won its Maryland 1A semifinal against Havre de Grace in a rout, 14-4. He and his friends will play today for a state championship, which would be the school's first since 1975.
But, in some ways, the pressure is off.
"Major League Baseball puts you in the situation where you can't turn down the kind of money that I was probably going to get offered," Adenhart said. "We always wondered how I could do both -- get the professional experience of baseball and the relaxed atmosphere of a college experience. . . . Do what most 18-year-olds are doing after they graduate -- go to school, plan your life out. . . .
"Before this, I wasn't really sure what was going to happen. The whole draft is a crapshoot. Now I don't really have to worry about the draft. My future is more straight, and I know what's going to happen."
© 2004 The Washington Post Company