Here’s what we learned this season: It wasn’t safe to cross the street, take your kids to a lake, shower after a game, sleep on a sofa or even walk down the stairs. That’s what.
Yes, once again, we found ourselves amazed, confused and (last but not least) amused by all the inventive ways baseball players got hurt this season. So here they come -- the 2015 Injuries of the Year:
I know this isn’t supposed to be a career achievement award. But if, say, Dr. James Andrews ever constructs a Creative Injury Baseball Hall of Fame, Affeldt has to be the first inductee. Doesn’t he? Heading into this season, he was already a two-time winner of this prestigious honor -- for slicing up his hand trying to separate frozen hamburger patties, and for tearing knee ligaments after he kneeled down to let his son jump into his arms and instead got bowled over. And now? Well, make it three.
Affeldt took his kids to a lake on an August off day. He lost his footing at just the wrong moment. And next thing he knew, he had a “patellar subluxation” in his left knee. Which, according to manager Bruce Bochy (aka Dr. Bochy) is a medical term for “Jeremy being Jeremy.” Affeldt spent the next two weeks on the disabled list, but did return to pitch in September -- thanks, he said, to “every brace known to man on every joint known to man.” All in all, Affeldt told the San Jose Mercury News’ Andy Baggarly, it was just “another standard 'me’ injury.” And just in time, since he’s retiring after the season. But at least he rose to the occasion by winning this thing one more time. We’ll miss this guy!
I regularly award extra credit to players who get hurt while they’re already hurt. So Reed Johnson makes this list because he went on the disabled list with a foot injury, then headed out for a rehab assignment. While on the rehab assignment, he got hit by a pitch and wound up with a sore rib. Then he made that rib really sore by breaking it -- while sneezing. Uh, gesundheit?
Third Prize: Fernando Abad, Oakland A’s
Did you know that beans can lower your cholesterol, provide a valuable source of fiber and improve your digestive system? Of course, that’s only if you eat them. But if you try sitting on them? That might not work out so hot. And we can thank A’s reliever Fernando Abad for teaching us that valuable lesson. The San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser reported that Abad tried to settle into a beanbag chair one day -- except that the beanbag went left when he went right. Or something like that. So he missed the next week and a half with a bruised tailbone. I bet he’ll never eat black bean soup again.
For a change, nobody got hurt this year (that we know of) washing the dishes, the car or even the dog. But poor Scooter Gennett managed to get hurt in April -- while washing himself. He was merely minding his own business taking a postgame shower when he reached for the body wash and somehow cut his hand on the body-wash holder. But to his credit, at least he came clean about it afterward!
Can't believe it! Literally trying to grab some body wash in the shower (post game in Pittsburgh) and... https://t.co/TO1j6BRuQH
— Scooter Gennett (@Sgennett2) April 20, 2015
For sheer degree of difficulty, this might be the most innovative injury of 2015. Kevin Kiermaier injured his eye -- by stretching his leg. Now I know what you’re thinking: When did the leg bone get connected to the eye bone? Hey, I told you this was innovative. According to the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin, Kiermaier was stretching his legs before a game in July when his elastic stretching band snapped back at him and zapped him in the left eye. He was back in the lineup the next day. Which enabled him to hear a famous song line that we bet will never seem the same again: “Oh say can you see…”
Five more Injury of the Year classics!
The Dodgers’ Justin Turner missed a game with an infected pimple. You’d think a team with a $300 million payroll could afford Clearasil.
Robinson Cano was just innocently sitting in the dugout between innings when a warm-up throw from Los Angeles Angels infielder Taylor Featherston whooshed past Albert Pujols and conked Cano on the head. Sounds like a Tylenol endorsement waiting to happen.
Mets reliever Jerry Blevins was already on the disabled list with a broken arm. It was on the mend, but he made the mistake of attempting to cross the street. Whereupon he fell off a curb -- and re-broke that arm. Should never have left the hotel.
Then again, hotels can be hazardous to a guy’s health, too. All Angels reliever Joe Smith was doing last month was walking down a flight of steps at the team hotel in Minneapolis. But it turned out he’d have been better off pitching to Miguel Sano. Smith slipped, sprained his ankle, and was out two weeks. Next time, we’re guessing, he’ll take the elevator.