Friday, September 25, 2009
Lee injured after slap from teammate
By Bruce Levine
While celebrating a come-from-behind, ninth-inning win over the San Francisco Giants on Thursday, the Chicago Cubs couldn't avoid yet another "Cubby Occurrence."
First baseman Derrek Lee scored the game-tying run ahead of Jeff Baker, whose two-out, two-strike home run off San Francisco closer Brian Wilson put the team in line for the win.
As Lee and Baker were mobbed by teammates in the dugout, relief pitcher Angel Guzman slapped the side of Lee's helmet, causing Lee to experience neck spasms that forced him to come out of the game for defense in the bottom of the ninth.
Lee has missed numerous games over the years with neck and back spasms, after initially suffering the injury in a home-plate collision in 2006.
After the game Thursday, Lee told team personnel that he'd be in the lineup Friday night, but the team's training staff could insist that he sit out a game or two.
Manager Lou Piniella coined the term "Cubby Occurrence" to explain strange happenings that may have factored into the organization going more than 100 years without winning a World Series.
Bruce Levine covers baseball for ESPNChicago.com.