Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Angels' Scioscia calls it 'traumatic'
By Mark Saxon
NEW YORK -- The Los Angeles Angels' first day on the road got off to a grim start Tuesday morning when a man jumped to his death from the 42nd floor of the Manhattan hotel where they are staying.
About 15 players witnessed the aftermath of the apparent suicide when they walked out the front door of Le Parker Meridien hotel to board the team bus. The 39-year-old man landed on W. 56th St. at about 8:15 a.m. ET. The Angels' bus was scheduled to leave at 9 a.m. for Yankee Stadium, where they are playing in the Yankees' home opener.
Pitchers Jered Weaver and Matt Palmer, according to witnesses, were at a coffee shop across the street at the time of the fall. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said they saw the fall and were shaken up by it.
Neither pitched at the Yankees' home opener. New York won, 7-5.
Weaver declined comment.
"It's obviously traumatic when you witness something like that, but these guys understand the privilege of playing baseball," Scioscia said. "I think when something like that happens, it just reinforces how lucky we are. I don't know anything about the guy, but obviously something was troubling him."
According to Angels publicist Eric Kay, several autograph seekers witnessed the man's death. The man was not a guest at the hotel, but asked to take a look at the hotel's pool, located on the top floor.
By the time most of the players and Angels staff members reached the scene, police had closed the street and covered the man in a white sheet.
"It was just sad," Kay said. "It was a surreal scene, like something out of a movie or a New York crime show."
The hotel has more than 731 rooms and suites that range in price from $300 to $700.
Mark Saxon covers the Angels for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.