Prior VERBOTTEN, Hendry’s Downfall or Glenallen and the Spiders from Mars

TCR's guest correspondent Joseph Hecht, M.D. is back with a look at the wild and wacky side of baseball injuries. ---- Now that Mark Prior may be the only player in the arbitration process to receive a slight pay cut, he should be embarrassed but definitely motivated to make more money from here on out. No more excuses as to some wacky injury this year, correct? After all, he’s covered every possible thing that can go wrong, right? (Image courtesty of Jeff Roberson/AP) To paraphrase Johnny Carson’s line to Ed McMahon, “Wrong, oh traumatized Cub one”. Take a look at a few of the baseball injuries he’s yet to suffer. Our pitching prodigy is explicitly forbidden to see this stuff (just in case his ailments are psychosomatic). I “stumbled” onto the True Baseball Injuries website that has some beauties. Lets start by preventing him from talking to ‘70’s Cub outfielder Jose Cardenal at the next Cub convention. As a kid, Jose Cardenal must have had some great excuses to get out of school. He wouldn’t dare come up with a lame excuse like, my dog at my homework. He missed a game in 1972 because he was kept up all night by chirping crickets outside his hotel room. Two years later he missed a game because he couldn’t blink, reporting that his eyes were stuck, “open”.

Next I “bumped” into a website called The Baseball Injury Hall of Fame. Their list includes over 30 of the weirdest injuries that have happened to baseball players and of course our Cubs and their maladies have been able-bodied in their representation.

Some of these injury reports are the party line as to what happened. If the truth came out, some of these players just might have violated something in their contract or even worse been the laughing stock of the clubhouse and the whole baseball world. I’m sure they were the latter from those in the know.

Here are few of my favorites, but I’d love to see more from our readers:

We all remember Slammin’ Sammy Sosa was once sidelined for several weeks with back spasms, which he claims were caused by his own sneezing. We’re unlikely to hear what he really was doing, it’s was fun speculating. It was interesting that nobody blamed it on him working out. Rumor has it that he wrenched his back opening a bottle of Creatine.

Cub anti-LOOGY, Mike Remlinger fractured his little finger when he got it caught in a clubhouse recliner. He was told he might as well stay in that recliner because he had to be put on the disabled list for 2 weeks.

Slugger Glenallen Hill, severely cut up his foot causing him to miss several games. Supposedly, he was deathly afraid of spiders and he had a nightmare where he was being devoured by spiders. He was so startled that he fell out of bed, shattering a glass table and then stepped on the glass shards. If anyone see’s Glenallen, please remind him to return my copy of the movie Arachnophobia to me.

Surfing injury? Remember Carlos Zambrano’s non-throwing injury? He developed tennis elbow from using a computer to talk with his brother in Venezuela. Or was he just posting too much on TCR?

Because of Z’s sore elbow, our former manager’s wife supposedly went shopping to help Z recover from that dreaded ailment. Kindly, she brought her hubby’s ace pitcher “ergonomic” equipment for computer use, such as wrist and elbow guards. Reading between the lines, those items just may have been Dusty’s keepsakes she found laying around the house. Were they souvenirs from Barry Bonds locker? In addition to keeping his computer ailment at bay, maybe Carlos The Slugger could use them to dig in like BB does with all his body armor.

It “struck” me that this off season, while Cub General Manager, Jim Hendry signed Ted Lilly to a 4 year contract as he lay on a hospital bed being readied for an angioplasty, it may not have been his first signing of a free agent while being a patient. Apparently. he signed Greg Maddux in February 2004, while in a cast and recovering from surgery for a ruptured quadriceps tendon (the tendon just above his kneecap). He had tripped on a dustpan while carrying his son’s birthday present down some stairs. Could this be his modus operandi we’re seeing? In the next couple of weeks, if we see that Mr. Hendry suffers a severe ankle sprain or a debilitating hangnail, we should all keep our eyes open. It just might be his way of softening up Big Z’s agent, Barry Praver, to get that home town discount this spring, on what we all hope leads to the completion of Z’s very lucrative long term contract.


I wrenched my back sneezing over Christmas. I'm still in physical therapy.

Doug Strange got suntan lotion under his contact lense. That left the Rangers burned.

Zumaya's wrist cramps from last September - due to playing Guitar Hero 2.

Kerry to raise Extra Innings exclusive deal to FCC Chairman. Everyone cross fingers now.

I ran into a door the other morning and my ear bled for 20 minutes. I think something's wrong with me.


Was there spikes on the door?

Ryan Theriot will report a loss of vision in the coming weeks. Trying to read the black text on dark gray background on this website to gather ammunition to pass to Lou that the fans want to see him play in '07, Theriot strains his eyeballs.

I hit it real hard, Jacos. I think it threw my equilibrium off, too.

I always appreciated the "flu-like symptoms" euphemism for guys who were too hung-over to play.

At least I knew that someone was having a good time.

When I was a kid, my friends and I were catching flyballs from one of those water balloon "wingers". It would shoot balls into the stratosphere and come down as a knuckler. I lost one in the air, but it found me....right on the nose. My nose exploded, ending my baseball season. Blood, TONS of blood. I still can't breathe right.

One of my football teammates in high school was unable to play in an important game because an untreated (and extreme) case of jock itch extended all the way from his groin to his calf.

One of the most God-awful things I have ever seen.

This one time, at Band Camp.....

sophomore baseball team, Maine East High School, fields were wet (like they always were in March), so we'd find any remotely dryer spot of grass to take grounders and practice....

I was taking groundballs and it hit a rock or probably about three rocks, right smack in the mouth. No big deal except I was wearing braces at the time and my lip got caught on the front 2 braces. It was bloody and I've got a scar on my upper lip to always remember it...

I was back out there within an hour though taking grounders again. Of course I went from relentlessly charging the ball to the Aramis Ramirez ole' method, but whatever. It took me about 2 weeks to get over it....

LNL: This one time, at Band Camp…..

Moral: be careful where you put your flute

2nd sports story....

In our basement growing up, we took an old basketball hoop and my Dad welded it down so that it was the right size for those mini-basketballs. So I'd play down there against my brother or friends and it was like 8 ft ceilings and not much room on either side, so it was basically wrestling, no real rules or anything but you could dunk which was cool.

So one time I went up, got pushed a little and my wrist got caught on a jagged piece of metal that was sort of near the back that somehow we avoided over the last 5 years of playing. Tore up a very deep gash only a few inches from where you wouldn't want to tear up your wrist...

my only other sports injury was breaking my left elbow playing in some adult league game about 3 years back, just landed straight on and SMASH!!

Similar to Rob. I had a bad hop go right into my nose while taking grounders at third. Bled like a stuck pig

I took one off my teeth while playing 2nd base on a field that had a lot of erosion on the infield.

Wanted: Fact Checker

According to Phil Rodgers, Sammy Sosa hit 60 HR's in three consecutive seasons. Tim Kurkjin, apparently thinks that Goose Gossage had more wins than Eckersley.

The day I realized I should be a baseball watcher and not a fielder, was when a baseball was hit right into my eye. I have good video game reflexes though...

One for crunch:

From BP's Pecota prospect's article:

'which reveals that a typical pitcher can expect to have an ERA about 25% higher if he pitches as a starter instead of out of the bullpen. '

High school basketball, junior year, districts final game against our archrival. Late in the first half I saw that the baseline was open and went at full speed toward the basket, jumped as high as I could and almost overran the basket, but was able to get the dunk down with 2 hands. The other team's center closed on me too late and I bumped his face (hard) with my calf, leaving literally four deep teethmarks in the back of my lower calf as I was fully extended. Also, that collision pushed me off course and I scraped the bottom of my chin on the top of the backboard -- needed 7 stitches. For good measure I banged my right knee directly on the rim as I was coming down, leaving a nasty bruise. Not fun.

Off topic, but on they are giving you a free $2 to sponsor a page (you can pick from the list of $2 guys) if you signup for an account (free) and fill out a survey (takes like 2 minutes).

I did it and signed up for the "Snapper Kennedy" page. He played one game in the big leagues and it was for the Cubs in 1902. Unfortunately, he went 0-5.

In the sponsor field I gave a big shout-out to The Cub Reporter.

I think it takes a day or so for them to put it up...

thnx for the heads up Manny...

hmm, it was only good for the first 1500, I must have been too late, thanks for the TCR shout out too manny

I just did it earlier today. WOW!! I must of been number 1,500.

Manny, Snapper wasn't a great hitter but will forever hold a record that can never be broken: highest career fielding percentage. I believe he is tied for first on that one, but still, it's impressive.

Its fake, but man is it funny.

Leaving aside the stories of my own numerous sports injuries in high school and college (broken fingers, a dozen sprained ankles - one so bad it required a week in the hospital, broken nose, etc.) from all sports, here are two stories which illustrate how times have changed.

I went to a Catholic high school in Danville. At an away football game - I believe in Gibson City - my friend went down to cover a kickoff, and got his knee absolutely destroyed on a low block. The play went for a touchdown. They kicked the extra point with no one noticing my friend sprawled and writhing in the middle of the field.

But the real story was that not only was no doctor nor any medical personnel present at the game, we did not even bring a stretcher so he could be carried him off. No ice, no nuthin. He spent the rest of the game and an hour bus ride home holding his knee in place with his own two hands. Imagine the lawsuit that would ensue today. Not surprisingly, his knee was never the worth a damn, even post-surgery.

Secondly, occasionally in PE class we used to play 16-inch softball (we called it "mushball" - ignorant downstaters as we were) on the blacktop parking lot behind the school. The team I was on was at bat and we were standing along the third base line. The batter took a mighty swing, lost control of the bat and it came hurtling like a helicopter towards me. The fellow standing beside me had his back to the plate and never saw it coming. The bat smashed into the side of his head and blood spurted out of his ear, mouth and the rest of his head, too. No lawsuit, no nuthin.

It's been 34 years but some things you remember like yesterday.

a game of football with my high school buddies at our old elementary school field, in the pouring rain.
i catch a little swing pass and head up-field, somebody jumps on my back for the tackle, i lose my footing in the mud, and my legs went in opposite directions. my poor groin muscles on BOTH sides were stretched beyond what they were meant to do. i had to be carried home. a double groin pull is terrible, terrible thing.

and we have a winner .....

Danville Joe

During my schooling in Naperville we also played "mushball" in PE class. Only ours was inside, using either one of those souvenir bats or a T-ball bat. The end of the bat was taped so it looked like you were swinging a 16 inch softball on a stick. HR if you hit it over the basketball bleachers! I miss mushball.

Pitching in a Chicagoland college baseball game on a thursday afternoon I threw a low 80's fastball and fielded a 100mph line-drive between my eyes. Wearing glasses this was a miracle that I can still see. I went down but saw the ball laying nearby so I picked it up to throw to first but then I saw my hand was full of blood. I still remember saying "maybe I won't throw it" and just tossed it to the ground following the ball with my body. I remember watching the Hawks in a Stanley Cup playoff game or some big hockey game with an ice bag over my face all night. Boym when they pack your nose it sure is uncomfortable! Proud to say that I piched on Saturday. Threw the entire game submarine style since my body was in shock and during warmups I couldn't throw to the plate on the fly with a normal motion. Won the game 11-9 with teammate who was batting .150 hitting two homers over the centerfield fence. Actually got recruited to pitch for the Wheaton Cardinals by the umpire that day. What a memory!

Running the 800 at a track meet in 7th grade, I had the immediate and sudden need to go ... sit on a toilet. At the end of lap one I kept running, but it was towards to bathroom, not the finish line.

This is the stupidest sports "injury" excuse thread isn't it?

A few years ago, the Brewers lost their starting catcher, Dave Nilsson, to "Root River fever" that he contracted during the off-season in his native Austrailia. Apparently it is quite debilitating, as it pretty much ended his career as a player.

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  • I have a lot of faith in Baez that he's going to turn into a more consistent, solid player. It looks like it took him about a half season or so of futility at the plate to figure out he was not talented enough to get away with the crazy approach he had. I think his running game will eventually have a more measured aggression.

    Charlie 2 hours 48 min ago view
  • I hope the D and bullpen show up. Cubs haven't had much luck against Davies, and he's been going well lately. A little uncomfortable with the Cards only 6.5 back--feels like they're right on our tails compared to the 11 game lead I've grown accustomed to.

    Charlie 2 hours 53 min ago view
  • Cardinals, stop that. Right now.

    billybucks 3 hours 46 min ago view
  • In a year or two, a lot of fans are going to point at trading him as a mistake. He'll probably be slashing something like 280/400/480 for Seattle at the time. Of course, by WAR, he'll still be worth less than 3, since we're talking zero defensive value.

    John Beasley 4 hours 49 min ago view
  • vogelbomb debut for tacoma (AAA SEA)... 3-3, 1bb, 1 HR, 1 double...DH'd.

    while he mostly played 1st considerably more than DH for AAA CHC, DJ Peterson is probably going to see most of the time at 1st for AAA SEA.

    crunch 13 hours 16 min ago view
  • Carl Jr.! Very nice!

    Baez with another "WTF?" play trying a delayed steal with a runner on 3rd and one out.. Remarkable talent, needs to make better decisions.

    billybucks 14 hours 13 min ago view
  • m.montgomery up in the pen with a man on 2nd, 2 out, and rondon 20 pitches into the inning.

    ...and rondon ends it 22 pitches in with a popout to RF.

    crunch 14 hours 22 min ago view
  • I gotta say with the crappy defense the Brewers have displayed outside of Fowler I'm pretty disappointed the offense hasn't shown more and Rizzo seems to be very swing happy lately. That said my god am I happy Madden has finally given Carl Edwards a chance after multiple times up with nothing. I don't think he could handle a starting role with his body frame but his stuff plays so well in a relief role and he seems to be able to handle high stress situations very well.

    johann 15 hours 26 min ago view
  • 2nd at bat. Fowler is good for the Cubs run differential.

    Cubster 17 hours 2 min ago view
  • welcome back fowler.

    crunch 17 hours 28 min ago view
  • More slow news...

    Did Davey Martinez have to bring the shotgun?

    Cubster 17 hours 51 min ago view
  • glad to see almora going to AAA to get work.

    .265/.291/.422 through 86PA...2hr, 7 doubles.

    i don't expect too much of an improvement when he's taking over CF next year, but the team doesn't really need him right now as much as they need him to get regular work (imo).

    crunch 19 hours 47 min ago view
  • CHITOWNMVP01: The Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) has had one slot open since 7/6 (when RHRP Joel Peralta was Designated for Assignment). 

    Arizona Phil 20 hours 18 min ago view
  • The problem with the September roster is all of the pitching changes. They should find a way to limit pitchers to twelve except for extra inning games. More pinch hitters or pinch runners do little to slow the game down and are more fun than endless calls to the bullpen. I also think the fans get cheated when they use position players to pitch because employed a half dozen pitchers with righty-lefty switches. Having as few as four positions players on the bench to start a game also leads to some pretty ugly defensive substitutions.

    Non Roster Invitee 20 hours 29 min ago view
  • CHITOWNMVP01: Joe Nathan's 30-day Article XIX-C minor league rehab assignment expires tomorrow, but he doesn't have to be reinstated from the 60-day DL tomorrow. 

    Arizona Phil 20 hours 32 min ago view
  • Also, I think 40 man roster should be full, not at 39, unless I counted wrong. I'm in a hurry to leave the house.

    chitownmvp01 20 hours 36 min ago view