Robbery-Wreck Kills Two Former Astros


Luis Valbuena
Rest in Peace


Jose Castillo
Rest in Peace

Two Days Ago, Thursday, December 6, 2018 ~ Another senseless and sad day is upon us as we receive and try to digest the news from Venezueula that ~ upon this day ~ former Astros Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo both have been killed in a vehicle collision that occurred when their transportation car from a game in winter ball hit a large rock in the road that caused a multiple fatality wreck.

Four men have since been arrested as suspects in an apparently common practice down there in which robbers place these rocks on streets in targeted attempts to stop the cars of affluent travellers for the purpose of their robberies, dead or alive. The bodies of Valbuena and Castillo both had been pillaged at the scene and apparently some to all of their belongings had been found on the personage of the four men arrested.

A friend of mine with some awareness of the harsh conditions that exist all over South America explained it this way:

“South America is a place in which the few ruling class members control all the wealth ~ and some of those got there in the most directly criminal ways ~ like the production, sale and movement of drugs to all places that are reachable by the cartels they have been established to the service of those aims.

“Most of the people live in abject poverty ~ with no middle class ledge inside their countries to inspire hope for any honest pursuit of a stable, secure future.”

And so we leap: Playing baseball was much bigger than a simple career choice for Valbuena and Castillo. It was their chance to rise above the normally poor options of ~ living at home in relative to abject poverty;  going to work for one of the cartels; becoming independent criminals, like the ones whose robbery plan caused their deaths; or, by joining the masses trying to escape these conditions by crashing the US border, becoming two additions, plus their families, to the probable millions still seeking political asylum as illegal aliens who chose to start their own game by “stealing home.”

Here’s a link to one the coverage stories. This one contains some quoted reactions from some Astros people:

Rest in Peace, Luis and Jose! ~ Know too that we fans loved you ~ and that we shall miss ever seeing either of you again playing the beautiful game of baseball!



Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle


3 Responses to “Robbery-Wreck Kills Two Former Astros”

  1. Al Doyle Says:

    It’s Valbuena, not Valenzuela.

    • Bill McCurdy Says:

      Thanks, Al. ~ Please know that I do actually know that it’s Valbuena ~ and not Valenzuela, as originally derailed. I was simply lost in one of my far less gloriously anchored “Casey Stengel” moments. Please bear with me, folks. When I start making regularly published mistakes on my line of thought coherence, and not on simple name transferential error, I promise to stop writing altogether.

      Please forgive me too, Luis Valbuena, Had I only done a few dozen thought-visual MIND SPEECH reps of the name “VALBUENA” with the phrase “BAT FLIPS” ~ this error most probably would not have occurred.

      • Bill McCurdy Says:

        What’s a typical “Mind Speech” rep like. Here’s one that takes in both Valbuena and Valenzuela (The parenthetical options are the two add-on phrases that convert the exercise into a four-line rhyming poem for those who prefer the learning script as one complete thought.) :

        Line 1: “Valbuena ~ Bat Flips” (~ Every Damn Time!)
        Line 2: Valenzuela ~ Salsa Zips” (~ WIth a Squeeze of Lime!

        Say the thing quietly for 50 times, 3x a day, using both of the short name and phrase versions ~ or the expanding into poetic rhyme longer version. Take your pick.

        When you get tired of doing the exercise by Day 2, what will you have learned?

        Line 1: Unconsciously, you will learn to associate the “b” in Valbuena with the word “bat” in “bat flips;”
        Line 2: You also will learn to associate the “z” in Valenzuela with the word “zips” in “Salsa Zips.”
        In General: You will be nurturing distinct and separate memories of Valbuena and Valenzuela and be far less likely to mistake one for the other in any future expression context.

        Have fun.

        Fortunately for me, my error in this public column has rapidly accelerated my own learning rate on the difference between Valbuena and Valenzuela. Thank you again, old friend, Al Doyle, for your kind and merciful rescue. 🙂

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