Long live the “What the bleep???’’ Major League Baseball injury. Memorialized by incidents such as ex-Twin, Oriole and Red Sox Marty Cordova hitting the disabled list for burning himself in a tanning bed or San Diego Padres infielder Clint Barmes falling down the stairs and breaking his collarbone while lugging deer meat when he played for the Colorado Rockies, freak baseball injuries can be downright comical, if not unfortunate.
Now, we’re not condoning injuries here. No one wants to see anyone get hurt. But if an example of getting hurt involves something like, say, ex-Red Sox pitcher Paxton Crawford falling out of bed, on to a glass and then the DL, you’re allowed a quick chuckle. We’re only human.
All that being said, we’ve now seen three, count ’em, three head scratchers in the past three days and we’re barely a week into spring training.
On Thursday, Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Michael Saunders stepped on a sprinkler head while shagging fly balls and will need knee surgery that might keep him out of action until the All-Star break.
Then on Saturday, there was a double whammy starting in Tampa where Rays reliever Ronald Bellisario reportedly fractured his shoulder while getting out of a swimming pool. And if that isn’t weird enough: the injury reportedly occurred a month ago, though Bellisario was only examined now.
And before the ink was even dry on reports of Bellisario’s ailment, Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale — one of the best pitchers in baseball — fractured his foot on Friday, “unloading some stuff off the back of his truck and landing awkwardly when he got off the back of the truck,’’ as per White Sox GM Rick Hahn. The team announced Sale will miss at least three weeks.
Are any of these injuries as bizarre as last March when then-Sox pitcher Jake Peavy just missed cutting off his own finger with a fishing knife? Or when another Sox player, minor league outfielder Bryce Brentz, shot himself in the leg while cleaning his handgun?
Maybe, maybe not. But one thing is for certain: random, nonsensical baseball injuries aren’t going anywhere.