Monday, May 30, 2011

Never a Shortage of Peculiar Injuries

(Above: Joey Votto, one of many MLB players diagnosed with social anxiety disorder)

I think we can all agree that ballplayers today don't really seem to be as tough as they were in the golden era of baseball. As fans we certainly shouldn't underestimate just how mentally and physically taxing it is to play 162 games a year. But at the same time, there just aren't that many Mickey Mantles out there anymore that are going to play every single day with broken arms and bad knees and still be able to produce. The game just revolves too much around large guaranteed contracts nowadays to take any chances on long-term injury. However, over the last several years, the interpretation of what constitutes an injury has become a major gray area. It's certainly understandable that something like "elbow inflammation" or a sprained knee is just something that a guy 40 years ago would have played through and not said a word. But reading the disabled list reports these days is almost comical.

It used to be that I made fun of somebody for having "turf toe" in football, but even that is so commonplace that it has lost all humor, much like the infamous "oblique strain" in baseball. I barely have time to laugh at a guy for having a ridiculous injury now before another one comes along. Here are just some of the illnesses and injuries that have put millionaire, adult baseball players in the infirmary in the last 5 seasons alone: tired arm, stubbed toe, bilateral leg weakness, social anxiety disorder, bleeding testicle, blisters, anal fissures, carpel tunnel, mono, emergency appendectomy, fatigue, and my personal favorite - sleep disorder. It is just seems like everyday there is something new, and they just keep getting funnier. Now, I'm not trying to say that it's funny to have anxiety disorder, I'm sure that is serious. And if your appendix bursts, I mean not much you can do about that one. But it's just strange to me that you never saw these injuries even as recent as 10 years ago, and that there is always something new cropping up. Whether that's a product of toughness or just how the times have changed, I don't know. Maybe Cal Ripken would never have admitted that he pinched a testicle or had anal leakage for fear of ridicule in Kangaroo Court. Or maybe Mickey Mantle was just too drunk to realize he ever had anything wrong with him.

And let's keep in mind that the list I presented does not include the source of any of these injuries, just what they are listed as on the DL - because that would be a whole other ballgame. I'd then have to include former Brewer reliever Matt Wise going on the DL twice - once after falling down stairs, and once after stabbing himself with salad tongs. Or the time Milton Bradley tore ligaments in his knee during a heated argument with an umpire. The list goes on and on.

Brewers 29-24, -2.0 (3 @ Reds, 4 @ Marlins)
Reds 27-27, -4.5 (3 v. Brewers, 3 v. Dodgers)
Twins 17-35, -14.5 (3 @ Tigers, 4 @ Royals)

Erik - 4
Peter - 15

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