We are saddened this morning by reports of the death of former San Francisco Giants third baseman Chris Brown. We don't know what's going on with Giants infielders from the 1980s (Jose Uribe died in a car crash on Dec. 8), but Matt Williams, watch your back. Brown, who was Darryl Strawberry's teammate on the Crenshaw High (CA) baseball team, made the AP All-Rookie team in 1984, and was an All-Star with the Giants in '86. But Brown also missed more than 250 games in his career; famously sitting out one time with a "bruised tooth," and another because he "slept on his eye wrong." A complainer who could teach seminars to Terrell Owens, Brown played six years in the majors for three teams, retiring after shoulder surgery at the age of 28.

Brown did not go out as a whining malcontent, though. After baseball he got a job driving an 18-wheeler delivering diesel fuel for Haliburton in Iraq. His convoys were fired on more than once, including one attack in 2004 in which six drivers and one soldier were killed and another driver kidnapped and later released. Questions surround his death: He succumbed from burns suffered in a fire at his home near Houston, which was reportedly unfurnished and unoccupied at the time. He was 45. We never could figure out Chris Brown, even at the end. — RC

Chris Brown, Former All-Star Third Baseman, Dies After House Fire [SFGate]