Spring is in the air …. not because the weather in Chicago is spring-like (it is not), but because in Arizona and Florida, baseball is springing to life again.
In Chicago, the Cubs are using the marketing campaign “Year One” in an attempt to reinvigorate their fans into thinking that this new ownership will somehow do things differently than past ownerships, now that they have spent themselves to near bankruptcy. I guess “Year One” also beats “Year 103” …
And no sooner has the season not even started yet, but the string of freak injuries befalling these multi-million dollar athletes has begun. Cubs favorite slugger Derek Lee was pulled out of a game after three innings after a recent acquired back injury kept him from performing. How did he hurt his back? The chair he was sitting in at a pregame meal collapsed.
That led me to a Dan Brown article on freakish injuries in recent MJB history. You would think with all of the money on the line that players would take better care of themselves, and that teams would take more care to assure that their investments took care of themselves. Aside from DeeLee above, here are others:
Glenallen Hill: placed on the 15 day disabled list after sustaining cuts, scrapes and bruising to lower and upper extremities.
reason: Hill was having a waking nightmare about being chased by spiders, bumped into a table and fell down a flight of stairs.
Sammy Sosa: in May 2004 the Cubs slugger was placed on DL for back spasms.
reason: prior to a game in San Diego, Sosa sneezed so hard, he hurt his back.
Carlos Zambrano: saw reduced pitching time in 2005 for what inflammation in the elbow.
reason: Zambrano was spending several hours a day e-mailing relatives in Venezuela, and begin developing pain through repetitive position and use of the keyboard.
Joel Zamaya: a notable non-Cub was a relief pitcher for the Detroit Tigers. In 2006, he was unavailable for three games in the AL Championship Series after injuring his right wrist and arm.
reason: Zamaya was playing Guitar Hero too much and too hard.
Adam Eaton: while with the Padres, Eaton was put on the DL after he was stabbed in the stomach.
reason: It was a self-inflicted wound; he had been trying to use a penknife to open a CD package.
Steve Sparks: In 1994, the Brewers’ pitcher dislocated his left shoulder.
reason: apparently inspired by a motivational speaker, Sparks tried to rip the yellow pages in half (no word on his success).
Marty Cordova: suffered severe burns to the face, and lost several games.
reason: tanning bed (seriously folks, don’t use these things!)
Clint Barnes: broken collar bone; lost three months of the 2005 season.
reason: Fell while lugging a large package of frozen venison, which was a gift from Rockies star Todd Helton.
Jeff Kent: broke his wrist
reason: while exiting his pickup truck.
real reason: It turns out that the San Francisco Giants were smart enough to put a “don’t so stupid things” clause in their star second baseman’s contract. In fact, Kent had been popping wheelies on his motorcycle …. specifically verboten in Kent’s contract. His lie was exposed by the local media, and Kent lost his salary for his time away from the game.