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Here's more proof that everything we know is wrong

May 23, 2004|By MARK KELLER

If the news that broke Saturday proved only one thing, it's that there are no sure things. Nick Adenhart's status as a top-5 pick in the upcoming Major League Baseball amateur draft looked like a sure thing.

Based on everything that was written about him - from The Herald-Mail to The Washington Post to USA Today - it sounded like a sure thing, too.

I was always taught if it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck ...

The news that Adenhart will undergo "Tommy John" surgery to repair a torn elbow ligament in a few weeks put an end to - or at least a three-year hold on - that sure thing.

The best part is Adenhart is OK with it. He's more than happy to attend the University of North Carolina in the fall and rehab his arm, working to become a part of the Tar Heels pitching staff for several years.

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The pressure of being "Everybody's All-American" is reduced. The number of scouts at Williamsport games has dwindled significantly.

All of a sudden, Adenhart is just another good player on a good high school baseball team, which is what he says he wanted to be all along.

Adenhart has been walking around with a tag attached to his name all season in this newspaper, like Smarty Jones trainer John Servis ("a Charles Town, W.Va., native") and the Hagerstown Suns ("a Class A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants").

Nearly every story written about him has contained some variation on this sentence: "Adenhart, a projected first-round pick in the major league draft ..."

With that tag now removed, at least temporarily, Adenhart can simply be himself again.

"The last couple weeks have been less stressful. It was kind of fun," Adenhart said.

So, if we learn nothing else from this lesson - and, in general terms, from this life - it's that there are no sure things.

That means it's not a given that Adenhart will struggle to recover after his surgery.

It means Adenhart could regain all of the velocity on his fastball.

It means Adenhart could once again be touted as "a projected first-round pick in the major league draft."

Hey, we can't be sure of anything at this point.




Mark Keller is sports editor of The Herald-Mail. His column appears every Sunday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2332, or by e-mail at keller@herald-mail.com

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