Every year around this time, we marvel at the many creative ways baseball players find to appear on the ever-popular Strange But True Injuries of the Year list.
So we’d like to thank this year’s baseball players for… making breakfast… playing the piano… and doing their best to get in and out of the hotel bathroom safely. But you know what’s particularly surprising? None of these incidents are even high on this list!
Truly? Yes, really. So here they are, the strangest but most real injuries of 2023.
First prize: Confess the eye!
We always award Injury of the Year bonus points to guys who manage to get hurt while already injured. So here’s to Rays relief warrior Pete Fairbanks, who couldn’t even hide the Giannis impersonation that got him into this mess.
When Fairbanks met with the Rays’ media delegation in June, after returning from a stint on the injured list with hip inflammation, he brought with him a stunning black eye — and one of How I Did’s biggest stories This of the 21st century.
Apparently this could happen to you too if you try to dunk your 3 year old in the pool.
“I threw the pool basketball hoop in my face after dunking on a 3-year-old,” Fairbanks confessed, “to teach him an early life lesson that, when you’re in the play area, you can’t get caught.” unknowingly under the edge.
To which we can only hope that his son said: Send it to me, Jerome!
Second prize: It’s all the alarm clock’s fault!
We’ve always thought of Blue Jays starter Yusei Kikuchi as a sleeping giant.
We didn’t know!
Why did he exit early from a strong start to September at Yankee Stadium? Because he had cramps, he said, after sleeping “only” 11 hours – unlike his usual 12-14 hours. So he might not lead the championship in closing. But what the heck. You have to love his chances of leading the league with his eyes closed. And if that’s your sleep goal, T-shirts are available!
Third prize: when you (and your back) have to go
When Diamondbacks third baseman Evan Longoria injured his back last July, he was only expected to miss about a week. So why did it last three weeks? Because, according to him, his back has worsened get up from the toilet in a hotel bathroom in San Francisco.
So you thought making out could be dangerous to a baseball player’s career, huh? Watch out for the latrine!
Fourth prize: Here is his walking report
Need more proof that most spring training drills are overrated? Dodgers pitcher Tony Gonsolin went through a routine drill during spring training last March — and he came through the fielding portion well. Turns out it was his exit strategy he should have been working on.
He tripped coming off the field, sprained his ankle and missed the first four weeks of the season. But was it worth it? He hasn’t made a mistake all season!
Fifth prize: They had plenty of time to be an even better dad
Finally, there were so many great moments in fatherhood this season… that led to not-so-great moments in trying to break into the field… so we’re rounding them up here. If their families would print it out and frame it, it should make a great Father’s Day gift.
• Giants pitcher Anthony DeSclafani broke his toe while playing piano with his son!
• Adam Wainwright burned his finger while preparing breakfast for his son!
• Josh Donaldson cut his thumb… while assembling a toy for his daughter!
This all seems problematic. But hey, at least they didn’t try to dunk their kids in the pool.
The year in strange but true
The strange but true year: MLB’s 20 most mind-blowing pitching and pitching feats of 2023
The Strange But True Year: The Weirdest, Wildest MLB Teams and Games of 2023
(Top photo by Pete Fairbanks: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)