Strangest baseball injuries 2012
It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt, and then it’s even funnier. Presenting our occasionally annual roundup of the year’s weirdest, stupidest or most unfortunate injuries that befell MLB players (and one manager).
First, a few ground rules. The criteria for the list:
- Injuries in Spring Training, batting practice, workouts, warmups, etc., are highly prized
- Non-sports injuries or mishaps at the home or during off-day shenanigans are awesome
- Unless they’re particularly odd, injuries suffered during games don’t qualify
- Bizarre/embarrassing illnesses/ailments (like the hemorrhoids outbreak from a few years back) are fair game
- Injuries sustained while celebrating or taking out frustrations earn extra points for irony
- A guy does not have to miss game time or get sent to the DL, but it sure helps
- Guy had to be on a major league team at some point in 2012 or his injury had to impact the big league club
And here’s your 2012 MLB All-Injury Team lineup:
A.J. Burnett, Pirates The newly acquired Burnett got off to a great start with the Pirates in Spring Training by bunting a ball off his face and breaking an orbital bone.
Corey Hart, Brewers While rehabbing from arthroscopic surgery, Hart needed eight stitches after getting “whacked on head by the bar while lifting weights” during Spring Training.
Joba Chamberlain, Yankees While playing with his 5-year-old son at an indoor trampoline arena, Chamberlain suffered an open dislocation of his ankle. Sounds funny, until you discover that he lost a life-threatening amount of blood in the incident.
Bryce Harper, Nationals Harper needed 10 stitches to close up a gash in his head he caused by slamming a bat against the clubhouse wall in frustration. The bat bounced back and struck him in the head.
Josh Outman, Rockies Vomiting from food poisoning put Outman on the DL with an oblique injury. “The food poisoning, there was a lot of vomiting and I really believe he strained his oblique,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “He’s been much better over the last couple of days but he hasn’t been able to throw.”
Mariano Rivera, Yankees The future Hall of Famer and all-time saves leader tore his ACL while shagging fly balls during batting practice before a game.
Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers The Brewers catcher was having an outstanding season until that fateful night when he reached under his hotel room bed to grab a sock at the same moment a piece of luggage fell and fractured his hand. Adding insult to injury, angry fans harassed Lucroy’s wife on Facebook.
Ramon Ramirez, Mets Mets reliever Ramirez strained a hamstring during the celebration for Johan Santana’s no-hitter in June. “He was just running in. He hadn’t even gotten to the pile where they were jumping on [Santana],” manager Terry Collins said. “He was just so excited. He was running in, running hard and all of a sudden, his leg grabbed him. I’ve never seen that.”
Hanley Ramirez, Marlins The third baseman took out his frustrations by punching a cooling fan in the dugout. He required stitches on a finger and had to leave the game. “Very stupid injury. Very immature,” said now former Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen. “You’re going to hurt yourself because you can’t hit? Good hitters don’t do that. Good hitters battle back and try to get better.”
Aubrey Huff, Giants Another great celebration injury, Huff sprained his knee jumping over the dugout railing after Matt Cain’s perfect game.
Ryan Sweeney, Red Sox Sweeney injured his left hand after punching a door and had to leave the game in the ninth inning. Now former Sox manager Bobby Valentine tried to come to Sweeney’s defense, saying that Sweeney injured the hand in his last at-bat and had to be replaced on defense because he couldn’t throw. But Sweeney told it like it was after the game, admitting he “punched a door.”
Sean Rodriguez, Rays After being sent down to Triple-A for a week, Rodriguez was set to be called up when rosters expanded in September. But Rodriguez broke his hand by punching a locker in an argument with a teammate, postponing his return to the Bigs. “Definitely the dumbest thing I’ve ever done,” he said.
Josh Hamilton, Rangers Suffering from vision and balance problems, Hamilton missed five games with what was eventually diagnosed as ocular keratitis (basically dry eyes) caused by too much caffeine and energy drinks. “I was loading up on caffeine, and I’m out there in the bright lights,” Hamilton said. “I can’t control my eyes. They are stuck.” “It’s me we’re talking about here,” Hamilton told reporters. “It’s going to be something weird.”
Max Scherzer, Tigers Scherzer missed a start after someone stepped on his ankle and twisted it during the celebration following the Tigers’ win that clinched the AL Central.
Bobby Valentine, Red Sox A fitting end to Valentine’s disastrous lone season as Red Sox manager, the Sox skipper was riding his bike in New York City’s Central Park when he received a text message from Dustin Pedroia. Valentine was reading the text and had to swerve to avoid hitting some tourists, sending the manager and his bike into a ditch. He suffered minor injuries to his knees and hips. “I shouldn’t have been reading a text while I was riding,” Valentine said. “That’s the wrong thing to do. But at least I was wearing my helmet.” He was fired two days later.
[Update] Lucas Duda, Mets The Mets outfielder broke his right wrist moving furniture around in his apartment.