The body of Baltimore Orioles' pitcher, executive, and broadcaster Mike Flanagan was found near his home on Wednesday, and the initial reports indicated that Flanagan might have committed suicide. Sadly, it looks like those reports are proving true. From Chick Hernandez of CSN Washington:
Baltimore Co. Police confirm Mike Flanagan died from self-inflicted gun shot. So very sad
While it's not appropriate to play amateur psychologist and pretend this horrible occurrence is the result of one specific problem in Flanagan's life, there are reports that part of his depression stemmed from his work in the Orioles' front office. From Tim Kurkjian:
"Flanny," as everyone called him, had not been his usual personable, hilarious self in recent years. The many losses he took as the Orioles general manager wore on him, and he took them home. Being replaced as GM in 2008 depressed him even more.
WBAL-TV 11 Sports Director Gerry Sandusky was even more specific, saying ...
Flanagan took his own life "despondent over what he considered a false perception from a community he loved of his role in the team's prolonged failure," Sandusky said.
It's not like this story was going to get less sad, but it hits home when you realize he really struggled with the criticism that fans don't think twice about doling out.