By: Daniel Wilkins
There can never be enough injuries in the world of baseball, it seems. While spring break is in full swing for many, let’s not forget that some are spending this year’s Easter or Passover on the IL for inexplicably obscure reasons. So today, for the sixth time, let’s dive in the rabbit hole of weird baseball injuries. Let’s begin:
Igneous rocks attack Cy Young winner (2019)
In 2018, Rays hurler Blake Snell was on a roll. He posted a 1.89 ERA, a 2.95 FIP, 11.01 K/9, and had a BAA of .176. However, Snell is proven to be human and not some sort of Superman when he broke his toe while moving a granite stand in the bathroom.
Wait, a what?
Yes, a granite stand. The last time that I had to think about granite was when I was watching HGTV or when I had to collect it in MineCraft. Snell reportedly did not know that the stand had three parts, and he was moving the large part of the stand when the pole fell on his toe. Luckily, he’s only expected to miss one start, and then he will return to the Rays’ rotation. But wow, a granite stand. Igneous rocks really must be dangerous. Just stick to sedimentary rocks.
Keep your anger to yourself (2007)
Milton Bradley was an interesting man.
Known for being a journeyman at best, Bradley was also often confused with the board game company, Milton Bradley, which created historically recognized games like The Game of Life, Monopoly, and Battleship. However, Bradley did not have a mild-mannered personality like the board game innovator. In fact, Milton is ranked twenty-eighth on Bleacher Report’s “50 Biggest Hotheads in MLB History”. Bradley should’ve been ranked higher, considering what happened during Bradley’s short tenure with the San Diego Padres in 2007.
Bradley went out to first base to squabble with the first base umpire about a bad call, and he got heated. He was ejected, but Bradley stayed out there in order to get his money’s worth. Padres manager Bud Black came out to restrain him, and that’s when Bradley slipped, fell, and tore his ACL. He missed the rest of the season, including the NL Wild Card match against the Rockies.
Strangely enough, Bradley would have a renaissance season in 2008, when he returned from injury. After signing a one-year contract with Texas, he would lead the AL in OBP (.436), OPS (.999),and OPS+ (162), along with career-highs in home runs (22), RBI (77), WAR (5.2), and RAR (51). These great stats sent Bradley en route to his first and only All-Star selection, and a 17th place finish in MVP voting.
Mountain bikes are better anyway (2017)
Actually, that title is not my opinion, I have no consensus on that.
However, that statement might be important for pitcher Madison Bumgarner, who missed nearly two months when his dirt bike crashed in Denver when he was riding a rental bike with some relatives. Bumgarner says that he’s been riding dirt bikes for his whole life, and that he doesn’t crash often. When Bumgarner crashed, he bruised multiple ribs and sprained his pitching shoulder.
When he came back, he was still a good pitcher, but not as good as he would’ve been if he had pitched for the full season. He had the highest ERA (3.32) since 2012, and had the highest full-season FIP (3.95) in his career. His HR/9 level (1.4) was the highest in a full season, and his K/9 (8.2) was the lowest since 2010.
Ooh, he trippin’ (2002)
Former Giant player and short-tenured Nats manager Matt Williams had a decent career that shouldn’t go unnoticed. He was just shy of 1,900 hits, hit 378 homers, drove in 1218 runs, and had an OPS of .805. While it’s not HOF worthy, it’s definitely not something to scoff at. However, towards the tail end of his career, in 2002, Williams broke his leg while working out.
Reportedly, Williams broke his leg when he tripped over something during a workout. While we don’t know what it is that Williams tripped over, it couldn’t have been something small, since he did end up breaking his leg in the process. When he broke his leg, it was still Spring Training, and Williams was fighting for a spot at third base. Obviously, this took him out of contention for the spot, and current Brewers manager Craig Counsell took his spot at third for the ‘02 season. Williams still managed to play 60 games during that season after he recovered.
Williams retired at the end of the 2003 season after only playing 44 games with the D-Backs. Counsell would also start at third for that season.
Baseball player & repairman (unknown year between 1994-2003)
Not to be confused with Mark Davis, who won the Cy Young award, Mark Smith was a former Oriole, Pirate, Marlin, Expo, and Brewer outfielder who averaged a measly five dingers a season and 15-25 RBIs. The former first round pick also played for the Yakult Swallows in Japan in 1999, along with the Hanwha Eagles in South Korea, in 2005. While in Japan, Smith was teammates with Akinori Iwamura.
While it is not known when this occurred, Smith is undoubtedly known for the time that he broke his hand while trying to repair an air conditioning unit. He reportedly tried to stick his hand into the unit, and the A/C ended up winning. That must’ve hurt bad, and Smith was sidelined indefinitely.
Let’s look at the standings so far:
Mark Smith - 0.
A/C Unit - 1.
Despite this pure act of stupidity, Smith would turn the tables, and become a hero after his retirement when he saved a man from a burning vehicle.