Not Their Brothers’ Keepers

The younger brother of San Francisco Giants outfielder Nate Schierholtz was arrested today for a drunken driving rampage in their hometown of Danville, California.

23 year old Cainan Schierholtz was driving a big red pick-up truck when he first struck a bicyclist, then hit a pedestrian standing a in a bicycle lane, then hit not one, but two parked cars and finally came to a halt only when he struck a light pole and two other pick-up truck drivers boxed him in so he couldn’t get away.

Cainan reportedly reeked of alcohol and was nearly incoherent when the police arrested him around 10:00 a.m. this past Sunday morning, and the authorities have tested him to see if he had any other substances in his system.

I’m obviously reminded of the conviction of Dustin Pedroia’s older brother Brett, who pleaded guilty last year to having oral sex with the nine year old son of the woman with whom Brett had been abusing methamphetamine.

Amazingly, Brett Pedroia was sentence to only one year in the county jail and eight years of probation for what is obviously a heinous and unjustifiable crime no matter how badly you’re tweaking. Apparently, the crime had been committed four years earlier, and in the interim Brett had made substantial progress toward beating his addictions and turning his life around.  Even so …

Incidents like these, in spite of their incredible sordidness, are only really news because the acts were committed by siblings of the wealthy and famous.  It is tremendously unfair to tar Nate Schierholtz and Dustin Pedroia with the stains of their brothers’ conduct.

At the same time, it is news.  The American public loves to hear stories about the mighty falling, or in these cases, the relatives of the mighty falling.

At the same time, there is some real value to these stories entirely distinct from the cheap sensationalism and schadenfreude they provide the public.  For example, it’s good to remind people that drug and alcohol abuse can effect anyone regardless of income or social class and that drugs and alcohol can lead people to do really f***ed up stuff.

There’s also a value in the public seeing that even the wealthy and powerful will have to suffer the consequences (including the negative publicity) when they do something really reprehensible.  I often suspect that it’s only the fear of being caught and the consequences that keeps a lot of us on the more or less straight and narrow.

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6 Comments on “Not Their Brothers’ Keepers”

  1. Evan Says:

    What a completely biased article and terrible journalism, are you really going to compare an individual who not only used drugs but raped a little kid to Cainan? Yes Cainan made a terrible mistake and will have a long road to correcting his ways but to compare him to Brett and suggest that they are two of the same mold is a pathetic attempt at journalism and self-promotion. Shame on you.

    • Burly Says:

      I wrote about the fact that Cainan Schierholtz’s recent conduct reminded me of Brett Pedroia’s conduct a few years ago. Here are what both incidents have in common, and why I drew a connection:

      (1) both Cainan and Brett are related to major league baseball players;

      (2) both Cainan and Brett committed serious felonies.

      (Brett’s may be more reprehensible, but driving so drunk that Cainan hit, injured and potentially could have killed two people, did not stop, hit two parked cars and had to be detained by law-abiding citizens who saw what he had done and were so appalled they took matters into their own hands is sufficiently reprehensible to remind me of Brett. If Cainan had killed the two people he hit, would that have been less reprehensible than raping a nine year old? That is a question hard to answer, but, I note that it is possible to recover from the trauma and emotional damage of a rape; it is not possible to recover from death.)

      (3) both Cainan and Brett have or had major substance abuse problems.

      (Is committing a horrendous act less horrendous because you committed the act whacked out on a legal drug (alcohol) than on an illegal drug (methamphetamine)? Again, a difficult question to answer, but most rational people, I think, would look at the conduct rather than the chemical that contributed to it.)

  2. Burly Says:

    Here are the first two paragraphs from today’s (8/4) story in the San Jose Mercury News:

    “A San Ramon man was charged Wednesday with four felonies stemming from a mile-long stretch of hit-and-run crashes that injured four people in Danville.

    Cainan Schierholtz, 23, the younger brother of San Francisco Giants outfielder Nate Schierholtz, will be arraigned on Monday morning on one felony count of driving under the influence of alcohol resulting in injuries, three felony counts of hit-and-run resulting in injuries, and one misdemeanor count of hit-and-run, according to the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office. He has one prior DUI conviction when he was 17.”

    Well, that speaks for itself.

  3. Matt Gery Says:

    Oh my God, how on earth could you even put Cainan and Brett in the same story? You do realize Cainan didn’t intentionally do what he did, right? And to your point of what if Cainan killed people? It still would have been an accident. You don’t accidentally get oral sex from a 9 year old. I don’t know a person in the world who would rather be convicted of raping a child than accidentally killing people driving drunk. You seriously crossed a major line! I really can’t believe this story was allowed to be published!!! You really should think about writing an apology article to the Schierholtz family!!! Come on, do the right thing! This is just weird!!! You’re WAY better than this!!!

    • Burly Says:

      It all depends on how serious a crime you think drunk driving is, particularly if you have a previous drunk driving conviction on your record and are driving on a suspended license.

      One can legitimately argue that driving a truck as intoxicated as Cainan Schierholtz obviously was is no different than firing a gun in the direction of a crowd of people or setting off an explosion in a public place. You may not “intend” to injure anyone by those actions, but the risk to other people is so obvious and extreme that it cannot be tolerated in a civilized society.

      The idea that Cainan did not “intentionally” get behind the wheel of his car drunk and risk the lives of the people he ultimately ran over and injured is ridiculous.

      I will remind you that I am not the one who just charged Cainan with four separate felonies. Coincidentally, that is the same number of felonies Brett Pedroia was originally charged with. Some felonies are more serious than others, but four felonies are four felonies.

      When I read in the San Francisco Chronicle a few days ago about Cainan’s outrageous conduct and the consequences, last year’s Brett Pedroia conviction immediately popped into my mind. I’m sure I am not the only person who made the connection. That’s why I wrote about it.

      I will also note that the Chronicle story did not appear in the paper’s Sports Section and did not mention that the driver was Nate Schierholtz’s brother until the second paragraph. In other words, Cainan’s conduct was so outrageous, particularly for wealthy and staid Danville, that it was news throughout the San Francisco Bay Area even without the celebrity connection.

      As for writing an apology letter to the Schierholtz family, don’t you think it would make more sense for Cainan to write apology letters to the people he nearly killed and their families?

      • Lisette Says:

        Cainan would write an apology letter because he has a big heart. You sound ugly in every way. There is no way to justify what he did but it is unfair to compare meth and alcohol; just like it’s not right to compare an unintentional DUI case with intentional rape. The connection is only present with the felony accounts but no where close with the intentions.

        Why don’t we just compare a donkey with an elephant?” But they both have four legs”- I’m sure you’d say.

        Should a person be compared to another for what could have happened vs what did? No. It’s unfortunate how the media has torn him up because I know from people who were there that they weren’t drinking that morning. Have you ever had a heavy night of drinking and tried to get somewhere the next day…then breathalyzed yourself before hopping in the car? It just doesn’t happen. Not drinking and driving is easier said than done. I don’t know anyone of age who has never made a bad decision in this case and I have extremely intelligent, level headed, successful friends & family who have committed the crime. If that’s you then great. Doubt it. I hope you are as ugly as you write.

        What I say has no intention of excusing drinking and driving. Cainan is very lucky he didn’t kill anyone, and so are we all. He is a great person and good people unfortunately make bad decisions.

        Rape isn’t a mistake. A multiple car-crash isn’t something to be ignored. He will be doing more time than a person who has changed a young boys life physically AND mentally. Intent is powerful.

        Again, I hope you are as ugly as you write & maybe you’ll get lucky (maybe make some money) someday by writing nasty articles of people.


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