What is wrong with baseball players? In making the list of the 27 lamest sports injuries of all time, baseball players make up 18 of the 27 players.
The stuff that takes these players out of the games is absolutely ridiculous. No other sports seem to have this problem, so one would have to come to the conclusion that baseball players are complete spazzes.
When the Florida Marlins' Chris Coghlan, last year's NL Rookie of the Year, tore his meniscus giving a shaving cream pie to teammate Wes Helms, I figured that this injury would be close to the top.
Spoiler alert: It is not, and not by a long shot. These athletes have injuries that no regular human being in civilized society could have.
Without further ado...
27. Geoff Blum, Houston Astros
This injury happened just this year, actually. Somehow, hitting only .241 this year managed to be the least of Blum's problems. He went on the 15-day DL after feeling what only could be described as a "pop" in his elbow. He now has to have arthroscopic surgery.
The reason for the pop? Putting on a shirt, something he has done about 465,000 times in his life. How could this have happened? Putting on a shirt is one of the simpler aspects of life, something people do without thinking.
26. Doc Gooden, New York Mets
Doc Gooden missed a start in 1993 when Lame Injury MVP Vince Coleman struck him with a golf club, as if Coleman was a 1994 Jack Nicholson. Once again, this was another instance of an injury being the least of someone's problems. Honestly, did anything go right for the Mets in the '90s? That year, the Mets went 59-103 and had a pitcher named Anthony Young go 1-16. Fun times for all in Queens.
25. LaRon Landry, Washington Redskins
Landry's injury can be described as the peak of the Physical Comedy Mountain—which is, simply, a guy getting hit in the balls. In a team-building outing in 2007, the Washington Redskins decided to hold paintball as one of the events, which sounds like fun until you realize that they had world-renowned crazy people like Clinton Portis on their team.
Anyway, Landry, the Redskins' first round pick that year, got hit in the groin with a paintball, much to the amusement of anybody who has ever lived.
24. Kendry Morales, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
This injury could have ruined my fantasy baseball season. When Morales jumped on home plate after hitting a walk-off grand slam this season, he broke his leg pretty much on impact. I almost cried when I saw this, as Morales was having a stellar season and was just starting to heat up. If not for a genius move to trade Matt Holliday for Adrian Gonzalez, I could have been left without a first baseman.
Anyway, this broken leg changed the way people celebrate walk-offs forever. It is no longer a spectacle so much as a mild celebration.
23. Carl Edwards, NASCAR
Using my infinite NASCAR knowledge, Edwards has probably replaced Jeff Gordon (?) as the most hated driver today. I personally like the guy, mainly because he does a backflip off his car when he wins. Come on, how cool is that?
Edwards broke his foot last year, much to the delight of Edwards haters around NASCAR. He broke it playing frisbee, naturally. This raises the question: Was it done playing regular frisbee or ultimate frisbee? Ultimate is understandable, because they can do awesome stuff like this.
22. Monta Ellis, Golden State Warriors
In the 2008-2009 NBA season, the poor man's Kobe was suspended for 30 games. Why? Because he violated paragraph 12 of his contract by being injured through non-basketball-related activity.
Originally, Ellis told Golden State he had been injured playing a pickup hoops game. He lied. He tore a ligament in his ankle in a low-speed moped accident. Ellis reached a hallowed ground only few have seen before, where contract violators like Aaron Boone and Jeff Kent roam freely.
21. Chris Coghlan, Florida Marlins
The man of the hour, Chris Coghlan. Coghlan forever etched his name in lame sports injury history when he tore his meniscus giving out a shaving cream pie. Fortunately, this celebration has not been blacklisted the same way home run celebrations were by Kendry Morales. That is probably because all managers not named Edwin Gonzalez have not overreacted to this injury.
Gonzalez, manager of the Marlins, banned these celebrations for his ball club, as if this is a regular occurrence. This is the first recorded instance in the history of man where somebody has been hurt by a pie.
Speaking of the shaving cream pie celebration, self-appointed President of Shaving Cream Pies A.J. Burnett had an opinion about the whole deal: "You can't take the fun out of the game, but you have to do it right, I guess. It's an unfortunate event, but I am still going to throw pies."
Shouldn't he be more concerned? Isn't he worried that the Yankees could lose their most erratic and unpredictable starting pitcher? God forbid the Yankees lose a guy with a 4.52 ERA and the league leader in hit by pitches!
20. Tony Allen, Boston Celtics
In 2007, Boston Celtics role player Tony Allen tore his ACL while attempting a post-whistle slam dunk. For me, this act of arrogance is the Celtics' lamest injury of the past three years, narrowly edging out Big Baby Davis' broken thumb he suffered fighting a childhood friend.
Injuries like this make me thankful that the Celtics have some form of veteran leadership, or there would have been a decent chance that every young Celtic would have had some freak, stupid accident. Even with Kevin Garnett, who has made players cry, the Celtics still have trouble with lame injuries.
19. Kevin Brown, New York Yankees
This is the section of the column where I rant. If not for Carl Pavano or Kei Igawa or Jaret Wright, Brown would have been the Yankees' worst free agent signing of the decade. Brown only trailed Joba Chamberlain and Kyle Farnsworth as pitchers who I physically pulled out hair while watching them pitch.
The year of the injury, 2004, Brown went 10-6 with a 4.09 ERA—decent numbers, but not for the money they were paying him. Brown was 39 years old at the time, and this was when the Yankees decided to sign anybody, no matter what age or how many prospects they had to give up for him.
Brown, until that point, had a decent career. Baseball-reference.com says his career compares well to those of Catfish Hunter and Orel Hershiser. Brown was a two-time ERA champ and once finished second in the Cy Young voting. But he was awful for the Yanks when it mattered most; he truly was. He shriveled in big situations, which we'll get to in a second.
Brown shattered his non-pitching hand after another crappy start in 2004. Although this is not the hand he threw with, it still seemed to affect his game.
In the 2004 ALCS against the Red Sox, he had one of the worst postseasons of any player to my memory. He started two games and went a combined total of 3.1 innings, an average of 1.2 a start. He allowed eight earned runs for an ERA of 21.60. He was the losing pitcher in Game Seven, where he got shellacked.
He is the losing pitcher that allowed the Red Sox to reach the World Series. He is the losing pitcher on the game where the Yankees finally lost to the Red Sox in the postseason—and he always seemed indifferent about it. For that, I can never forgive Brown.
18. Derrick Mason, Tennessee Titans
Mason broke his hand after an awkward swing during a charity golf tournament hosted by his head coach, Jeff Fisher. Never mind that this is physically impossible; accidents at a charity golf tournament always remind me of Brick Tamland in Anchorman:
Ron Burgundy: Um, Brick, before I let you go, are you still having your celebrity golf tournament?
Brick Tamland: Um, no, no. Too many people died last year.
Is Brick Tamland the funniest comedic character of all time in a movie? I don't know if he is, but he's pretty damn close. That character reaches the rarefied air of Frank the Tank, Bluto, Tommy DeVito, Alan from The Hangover, and Carl Spackler.
17. Clint Barmes, Colorado Rockies
In 2005, NL Rookie of the Year front runner Barmes injured his shoulder while hauling a slab of deer meat he killed on a hunting trip with teammate Todd Helton. Barmes ruined his candidacy, and eventually his career, as he has never been the same since. Why venison? At least haul something cool like buffalo or lion or polar bear.
16. Ken Griffey Jr., Seattle Mariners
In 2006, Griffey Junior pinched a testicle because his cup was too tight. There is no joke you can make about this, as it has reached the peak of comedy already.
15. Danny Ainge, Boston Celtics
Danny Ainge was bitten by Tree Rollins in 1983 playoffs after Ainge and Rollins got into a scuffle. Ainge had to get stitches in his middle finger and cannot flip anybody off anymore. According to Larry Bird, Ainge "got off the floor laughing saying, the sissy just bit me!" The icing on the cake is one of the greatest headlines of all time, when the Boston Herald printed, "Tree Bites Man."
14. John Smoltz, Atlanta Braves
Allegedly, Smoltz burned his chest ironing a shirt that he was wearing. He ironed the shirt while the shirt was still on him. To this day, Smoltz denies this vehemently. This is why this one is not ranked any higher due to the fact that it may not have happened. But I am pretty sure it did.
13. Steve Sparks, Milwaukee Brewers
Knuckleballer Sparks dislocated his shoulder in 1994. The cause? He ripped a phone book in half, and this caused enough stress to dislocate the shoulder. Apparently, Sparks was inspired by a motivational speaker who did the same thing. Sparks also forgot that he was not Lou Ferrigno; instead he is a 185-pound guy who rarely gets the ball over 70 mph. Sparks went 10-12 that year in minors.
12. Sammy Sosa, Chicago Cubs
Sosa, one of the greatest home run hitters of all time, steroids or not, had back spasms in 2004. Back spasms are a common injury for an athlete, and Sosa went on the 15-day DL.
Unfortunately for Sosa, and fortunately for everyone else, the cause of the spasms is one of lamest injuries of all time. Sosa apparently sneezed hard enough, TWICE, so that his back could be thrown out of whack. Who is this guy, Poseidon? Can't you see Kramer doing something like this on Seinfeld?
11. Gus Frerotte, Washington Redskins
Frerotte was so juiced up over a touchdown in a 1997 game against the Giants that he rammed his head into a concrete padded wall, spraining his neck. This was the second worse thing to happen in his life, only behind being named Gus.
10. Jose Cardenal, Chicago Cubs
In 1974, Cardenal missed a game because he couldn't blink. Again, there is no joke you can make about this, as this has already reached the peak of comedy.
Wade Boggs strained his back putting on cowboy boots. Honestly, these last two have been ridiculous. One guy can't blink, and this guy can't put on cowboy boots without messing it up. Then again, he was probably getting ready for this:
8. Rickey Henderson, Toronto Blue Jays
Rickey being dumb. Henderson may be one of the few people to ever get frostbite in August, so more power to him. Henderson missed three games in August because he fell asleep with an ice pack on.
The only thing I could find similar to this was in 2006, when Steelers (of course) guard Kendall Simmons received a disgusting bruise from an ice pack he left on too long and missed a Monday Night Football game in fear of it becoming infected. This type of injury really could only happen to Rickey, honestly.
I cannot think of another professional athlete besides Vince Young having this happen to them.
My Top Five Favorite Rickey Quotes of All Time:
5) If they gonna pay me like Mike Gallego, I'm gonna play like Gallego.
4) Kevin, this is Rickey, calling on behalf of Rickey. Rickey wants to play baseball.
3) I'm a walking record.
2) I don't care about them...It's Rickey time (them referring to Mickey Mantle and Joe D).
1) They kept that s--- a secret from me...I wish they had told me. My God, could you imagine Rickey on roids? Oh, baby, look out!
7. Joe Sakic, Colorado Avalanche
Usually, players who have to end their careers due to injury have to do it because of some debilitating injury suffered on the field. The list is endless. Sakic ended his career because he broke three fingers trying to start a snow blower. Has there ever been a lamer way to end a career?
Joe Sakic was named the 94th greatest hockey player of all time by the Sporting News. Pulp Fiction was named the 94th greatest movie of all time by the American Film Institution. My God, could you imagine Pulp Fiction ending the way Sakic's career did?
This would be like Honey Bunny and Pumpkin getting hit by a car when Jules and Vincent allowed them free. Or Jules messing up his Bible passage and getting shot in the face by Pumpkin. There is no real precedent for this kind of futility.
6. Chris Brown, San Francisco Giants
During a minor league game, the immortal Chris Brown whined out of a game because he strained his eyelid. Oh, he slept on it funny—that was the cause of it. Thankfully, for the sake of the human race, he only played six seasons in the majors. Somehow he made an All-Star team in 1986. 1986! Were they really that desperate for players in 1986 they chose a guy whose line was .317, 7, 49 at the end of the season?
Early contenders this year for Chris Brown Status are John Buck, Omar Infante, and Hong-Chih Kuo. I was unaware there was a baseball player named Hong-Chih Kuo before the All-Star Game; I am not going to lie.
5. Orlando Brown, Cleveland Browns
No, this is not the actor who played 3J on Family Matters, but this is the guy who got a penalty flag thrown into his eye, a flag filled with popcorn kernels. Brown handled the situation calmly for a guy who just got a bag filled with food thrown at him: by pushing over the referee who threw it, garnering a suspension from the NFL.
The NFL repealed the suspension when Brown's injury did not heal, and he got $25 million in compensation from the NFL after Brown sued them. Brown had a loss of vision and had to sit out three seasons because of the eye injury.
4. Glenallen Hill, Toronto Blue Jays
To say Glenallen Hill just has arachnophobia is to say that Tommy DeVito just has anger problems. Both of these statements are true, but both really don't serve justice. Hill once popped out of his bed during a spider nightmare, broke a glass table, and fell down a flight of stairs, all while sleeping. He had to go on the 15-day DL and earned the endearing nickname "Spiderman."
3. Joel Zumaya, Detroit Tigers
Zumaya, baseball's version of the Glass Man, seemingly gets hurt every other month. His most famous injury was in the 2006 ALCS, when he strained his arm playing too much Guitar Hero. Did he play the game for six days straight? How is this even possible? The Tigers would go on to lose the World Series as Zumaya seldom played in the ALCS.
2. Bill Gramatica, Arizona Cardinals
This was my first experience with lame sports injuries. Before watching this game, I thought athletes were invincible. Even if Gramatica was a kicker, it still changed my perception of the game. Gramatica celebrated a first quarter field goal by doing his usually jumping celebration, only this time it went down horribly. He tore his ACL on the way down on the jump, pretty much ending his NFL career.
The craziest part I found out about this one is that Pat Tillman had to do the kickoff for the Cardinals following the field goal.
1. Vince Coleman, St. Louis Cardinals
Already on this list once for hitting Doc Gooden with a golf club, Vince Coleman is the owner of the lamest and costliest lame sports injury of all time.
During stretching exercises, Coleman was run over by the automatic tarp at Busch Stadium before Game Four of the 1985 NLCS. The tarp, going about 2.5 miles per hour, ran over a guy who had just set the rookie record for steals in a season, with 110. Coleman could not play for the rest of the World Series, and the Cardinals would go on to lose a seven-game Series to the Royals.
Does Don Denkinger's fatal call in that World Series ever happen? The Cardinals go on to win that series with Coleman! Never has a lame sports injury meant so much.
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