Baseball’s Most Bizarre Injuries
It isn’t uncommon for baseball players to be hard on themselves, but Baltimore Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts took self-punishment to a whole new level in October, 2010 when he beat himself in the head with his baseball bat after striking out at the plate. His temporary lapse of judgment resulted in a low-grade concussion which kept the two-time All-Star out of the lineup for the remainder of the season. “I’ve never had concussion-like symptoms in my life; it’s not fun,” a woozy Roberts said afterwards. “It’s not something you want to go through every day, that’s for sure. It’s a lesson to myself, a lesson to the kids to not do that, no matter how frustrated you are.” Bizarre injuries like Roberts’ are actually quite common in professional baseball, where players are constantly finding new and inventive ways to keep themselves on the sidelines. Put on your protective cup as we look at baseball’s most bizarre injuries:
Chris Coghlan won’t likely be ordering cream pie anytime soon. The Florida Marlins outfielder tore the meniscus in his left knee in July, 2010 while shoving a pie into the face of teammate Wes Helms during a television interview. The costly prank required immediate surgery, thereby ending Coghlan’s season after only 91 games. “It’s very humbling when the game is taken away and you don’t realize it because you play every day,” Coghlan said after the incident. “If you ever get injured you want to do it while you’re out there competing, not when you’re celebrating. Emotions get the best of you, you’re excited. There’s nothing wrong with that but be a little smarter when you’re celebrating a win.” Luckily for Coghlan the moribund Marlins aren’t expected to have many victories to celebrate this season.
Speaking of celebrations gone awry, Los Angeles Angels catcher Kendry Morales broke his leg at home plate in May, 2010 when he was mobbed by teammates after hitting a game-winning grand slam. The gruesome injury required surgery, keeping the usually dependable backstop out of the lineup for the rest of the season. “It’ll change the way we celebrate,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said after the incident. “It sure was exciting, but you always wonder if it’s an accident waiting to happen. This is definitely unfortunate.”
Baseball has always had its fair share of odd injuries, but none more so than the affliction that put former San Francisco Giants manager Roger Craig on the shelf back in 1992. The one-time Mets hurler was briefly incapacitated after slicing his hand on the hook of his wife’s bra.
Baseball injuries are nothing to sneeze at. Just ask Sammy Sosa. The former Chicago Cubs slugger strained a ligament in his lower back in May, 2004 after a particularly violent sneeze. “What can you do?” Sosa mused afterwards. “Some things in life you cannot control. This is strange that it happened.” Or maybe not. Sosa isn’t the only Big Leaguer to land on the DL because of a sneeze. Juan Gonzalez, Marc Valdes, Russ Springer and Goose Gossage all spent time on the pine after similar incidents.
Eduardo Perez played 11 seasons in the Major Leagues with six different teams. He could run, hit, throw and play multiple positions. In fact, there was only one thing Perez couldn’t do: kneel. The utility infielder missed the final game of the 2005 season after injuring his knee while posing for a team picture.
Carlos Zambrano can blame his surreal injury on his family. The Chicago Cubs righthander missed a start in 2005 with a sore elbow when his habit of texting family members in Venezuela for five hours a day finally caught up to him. “The thing I’ve seen about people on the computer and the Internet is that it’s addicting,” former Cubs manager Dusty Baker said at the time. “We told him not to get on it, and you turn around and he’s on the computer.”
Tigers’ phenom Matt Anderson was widely considered to be one of the best young pitchers in the game in May, 2002 when he agreed to take part in an octopus-throwing contest for fans at Comerica Park. It proved to be a very, very bad decision. The stunt took a toll on his already overworked arm and he ended up tearing a muscle in his armpit later that evening while warming up in the bullpen. Anderson tried to return the following year but the bizarre injury had robbed him of his trademark velocity and he was officially drummed out of the Major Leagues by 2005.Trending on the WebSpeak Your MindTell us what you're thinking... and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!