Opinion Pieces

Baseball Injuries That Dr. James Andrews Can’t Fix with Tommy John: Weird Injuries From This Season

Baseball’s a funny game, when you think about it. These guys get to play a kid’s game for a living, and we pay money to see them throw a little white ball 95 MPH. But they’re also normal people, like you and me. So that means they do dumb stuff, just like we encounter in our everyday lives.

Baseball injuries are often very run of the mill: rotator cuff tears, UCL injuries, ACL/MCL tears, muscle sprains, pretty much anything you’d expect when you use your body almost every day for six months straight.

But then there are the ridiculous injuries that would maybe cause us to miss one day of work but we don’t get put on a disabled list at our job. If you’re a baseball player, you get moved to the DL and everyone knows about what you did.

Before I get to three recent injuries, there’s always one #BaseballInjury that sticks out to me. Back in 2012, New York Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain dislocated his ankle at a trampoline park while with his son and lost a life-threatening amount of blood when his bone pierced through his skin. He recovered, finished up the season in pinstripes before signing with the Detroit Tigers in 2013, hopped over the northern border to the Toronto Blue Jays in 2015, signed a minor league contract with the Kansas City Royals before having two short stints with the Cleveland Indians and Milwaukee Brewers. He announced in October 2017 he was done playing baseball.

I’m not 100% sure if his trampoline injury had anything to do with his declining career, but you have to watch your extracurriculars. I only really remember this because one of my high school teachers was a diehard Yankees fan and used it as an example that your homeowner’s insurance goes up if you have a trampoline. (At the time, I thought Joba hurt himself on a trampoline in his yard and not at a trampoline bounce park. Still, a good life thing to know.)

So, this season, we’ve seen three dumb baseball injuries, and I’m sure we’ll see more before the final out of the World Series in the fall.

Let’s start with Chicago Cubs reliever Brandon Morrow, who went on the DL a few weeks ago with back spasms from taking his pants off. Taking his pants off. How do you screw that up so badly you have to be put on the DL? Morrow shared his frustration with his injury:

“It’s frustrating any time you can’t get out there, especially when you can’t go for something as stupid as taking your pants off,” Morrow said on Tuesday. “Getting hurt any time is frustrating, but when it’s not related to throwing a baseball, it’s even more frustrating.” (MLB.com)

This next one seems to be the number one dumb baseball injury that’s experienced during the baseball season: San Francisco Giants closer Hunter Strickland is on the DL for breaking his hand while punching a wall. He’ll be out six to eight weeks after having surgery on the pinkie finger of his right hand. He punched the door after a blown save last week.

Has no one learned yet not to punch a door? Lebron James did that during the NBA finals and “played with a broken hand.” (Of course, he was having too many issues with JR Smith’s inability to read a scoreboard with four seconds left on the clock in the 4th quarter.) But still. When you need your hands to do your job, think twice before punching something and most likely hurting yourself.

This injury is also similar to the “throwing objects at walls and hurting oneself.” Boston Red Sox reliever Carson Smith is now out for the season after having shoulder surgery to fix a shoulder subluxation. He threw his glove at the wall after giving up a run to Oakland A Khris Davis back in May.

Have you also noticed a common theme with these #BaseballInjuries?

They’ve all happened to pitchers. Not sure what that means, if it means anything.

Other common dumb baseball injuries include:

  • Arizona Diamondbacks pitchers Ian Kennedy cut his finger washing dishes in 2013 and missing a start.
  • Texas Rangers pitcher Martin Perez suffered a broken radial head in his non-pitching elbow in an incident with a bull and had surgery in December 2017.
  • Then Rangers pitcher Derek Holland fell down the stairs in his home after playing with his dog and had to have microfracture surgery on his knee in 2014.
  • Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez slipped carrying his luggage and was out four to six weeks with an MCL tear earlier this season.
  • Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner got hurt during a dirt bike accident on an off day in 2017.
  • Cincinnati Reds pitcher Raisel Iglesias slipped in his shower and was questionable for 2017’s opening day.

This list was comprised by a few quick Google and Twitter searches for baseball injuries, and all but one are by pitchers. There’s definitely gotta be something going on. Something in the water?

Expect the unexpected when it comes to #BaseballInjuries, and it appears no player is safe, but you’re most likely to get hurt if you throw off a mound.

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