If you haven’t already heard, young Marlins star Chris Coghlan may require surgery after he tore the meniscus in his left knee while applying a shaving cream pie to the face of teammate Wes Helms during a postgame TV interview. Here’s the video .
The only thing positive you can say about this injury is that at least it isn’t a cover-up for even stupider, more reprehensible cause of injury.
I will say this: the episode adds further fuel to my suspicions that Coghlan is kind of a putz.
Last season, I wrote about an extremely silly incident in which Coghlan badmouthed to the press the Milwaukee Brewers fan who caught his first major league home run in the bleachers of Miller Field. The fan wanted to negotiate as much in memorabilia as he could get for the home run ball, which was essentially the fan’s right, since the ball belonged to him once he caught it.
Although the fan wasn’t entirely sympathetic, Coghlan came across as another spoiled ballplayer jerk who doesn’t appreciate the fact that it’s the fans and their money spent that makes guys like him rich, rich men.
In Coghlan’s defense, he did end up winning the NL Rookie of the Year Award, so one could argue he has at least some foundation for his inflated self opinion. I’m hoping that the shaving cream pie fiasco causes Coghlan to do a little soul-searching, although I kind of doubt it.
For what it’s worth, I would like to note that Coghlan was having a Pablo Sandoval kind of sophomore season before the injury. After hitting .321 and posting an .850 OPS last year (and winning the big award), he is hitting .268 with a .718 OPS this year.
By way of comparison, Sandoval (who was not a true rookie last year since he had 145 at-bats in 2008), hit .330 with a .943 OPS in 2009, but is hitting only .263 with a .710 OPS as I write this. I’d still rather have Sandoval going forward, however, because he’s 14 months younger than Coghlan.
The point is that sophomore seasons can be a real bitch, especially for young hitters, and it’s foolish to give up on a young player just because he has a bad sophomore season. The time to get worried is if he doesn’t bounce back in Year Three.