Friday, February 15, 2013

10 of the most bizarre spring training injuries of all-time

If this past week is any indication at all, baseball players suffer some of the most bizarre injuries imaginable. The 2013 version of spring training has already offered us two examples.

On Monday, it was revealed that new Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano broke his arm around Christmastime when he banged into a wall while trying to scare his kids. On Wednesday, Tampa Bay Rays veteran pitcher Joel Peralta reportedly injured his neck while getting out of his Camaro to stop for sandwiches. As strange as those two incidents seem, there have been countless more that have occurred during spring training over the years.

Here is a rundown on 10 of the more notable ones:

10) In 2003, Arizona Diamondbacks infielder Carlos Baerga had his finger smashed in a car door when he tried to hand money to his cousin to pay for fuel at a gas station. Now, that gives true meaning to feeling pain at the pump.

9) A piece of leaky ceiling was to blame for Anaheim Angels slugger Mo Vaughn missing a game, in 2000. The substance caused Vaughn great discomfort after it dropped into his eye and left him with an abrasion on his left cornea.

8) Last season, Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Domonic Brown was scratched from the lineup due to a neck injury he sustained while sleeping on the team bus. Who knew sleeping could be so hazardous to a baseball player's health?

7) In 2004, Oakland Athletics hurler Rich Harden strained his shoulder while reportedly attempting to turn off his alarm clock. That probably made rolling out of bed in that instance a lot tougher, eh?

6) Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Huck Flener was the victim of some flying luggage during his flight to Florida for spring training, in 1997. A briefcase allegedly flew out of the overhead bin, nailed him in the shoulder, and subsequently chipped the pitcher's collarbone.

5) In 2003, San Diego Padres pitcher Jay Witasick missed nearly two weeks after straining his elbow, while tossing out a trash bag that contained a watermelon rind. Seriously, have you ever held a decent sized watermelon, though? They are super heavy.

4) Minnesota Twins reliever Rick Aguilera began the 1996 regular season on the disabled list after hurting his wrist at the end of spring camp. The injury happened while loading his wife's suitcase into the equipment truck that was heading back to Minnesota.

3) In 1994, the Milwaukee Brewers had a group of motivational speakers come talk to the team. The group's routine included ripping up phone books to demonstrate mind-over-matter techniques. Pitcher Steve Sparks attempted to rip up a phone book himself and ended up dislocating his left shoulder. Talk about adding injury to insult.

2) A regular towel got the best of Tampa Bay Rays southpaw David Price, in 2012. Price had to exit a game after suffering neck spasms from allegedly toweling the sweat off of his head too hard. What makes the occurrence even more strange is the fact that Price said the same thing happened twice before.

1) In 2011, Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Jeff Suppan said that really bad pillows at the condo he was staying at were to blame for his stiff neck. Suppan's comments drew the ire of analysts who suggested that Suppan, who made $12.5 million that year, could have easily gone and bought his own pillows. Suppan began the regular season on the 15-day disabled list, instead. 

This spring has already provided a couple of weird injury stories, but it is sure to provide at least a few more. Do you know of any bizarre spring training injuries that didn't appear on this list? Feel free to drop them in the comment section below.


  1. Didn't Sosa hurt his back while sneezing???

    1. Indeed. But his injury was sustained during the regular season, not during spring training.

  2. Does no one remember Hunter Pence showing up for Astros camp in 2008 with cuts all over himself. The story goes he had left a sliding glass door open on the way out to the hot tub. His friend had come out to join him in hot tub and slid the door shut. Pence had to use the restroom and went prancing up the steps to the house thinking the door was open. As he lept from the top step into the house he went crashing through the sliding glass door causing a bloody mess, glass shards and a visit from EMT's. If thjat's not top ten, I don't know what is. Adult beverages perhaps. Story link below.