Atlanta reliever Cecil Upshaw missed the entire 1970 season after catching his ring on an awning after being dared by teammates to jump up and touch it. He tore ligaments in the finger.
Texas Rangers left fielder Jeff Baker sprained his right thumb in June 2013, when he received a high five from an overzealous teammate. Baker's thumb was sore enough the next day that he couldn't grip a bat. "I was giving my teammate a high five and the teammate was a little overexcited for whatever reason and bent my thumb back from my hand to my wrist," Baker said. "I'm not too happy about it."
D-backs right-handed ace Ian Kennedy missed a start in late May 2013 after cutting his right index finger while doing the dishes. Kennedy threw a bullpen session on a couple days after the incident with a Band-Aid on the wound. Manager Kirk Gibson said Diamondbacks considered several options that might have allowed Kennedy to pitch, including glue, but the team decided not to interfere with the healing process.
Jerry Hairston Jr.
Los Angeles Dodgers infielder/outfielder Jerry Hairston tripped over a suitcase in his hotel room and hit his head on a desk, opening a gash in his right eyebrow that required stitches. "I wish I had a really good story," he told Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. "I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, tripped on a bag and hit my head on a desk. I was hoping I was dreaming; I found out I wasn't. A lot of guys gave me grief. I guess my face has character. In the past month I wanted to pick a fight [suspended one game for his part in a brawl] and a desk finally beat me up."
Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez was listed as day-to-day during the first week of the 2013 season after catching his thumb on a metal bolt on the bat rack and suffering a cut that required eight stitches.
Oakland Athletics center fielder Michael Taylor sliced his finger during spring training 2013 after he hit his hand on a light fixture in the team’s dugout. Taylor suffered the injury while attempting to throw his gum away. He missed a week of spring training action while the cut on his pinkie healed.
St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Marc Rzepczynski was injured at a golf outing during spring training 2013 when a golf ball ricocheted and hit the left-handed reliever around his left eye. Rzepczynski missed his scheduled start and was listed as day-to-day.
The Texas Rangers shortstop missed a spring tarining game due to sensitivity in his arm where he had just gotten a huge new tattoo of his late father. Texas manager Ron Washington said he was glad Andrus decided to get the work done in spring training and not the regular season. "If that's what it does to you, I don't want him to," Washington said of Andrus getting an in-season tattoo. Andrus' father Emilio Andrus died when Elvis was seven.
During spring training in 2013, the Nats pitcher suffered a rug burn on his forehead wrestling with his bulldog, named Hollywood. Luckily for Hollywood, the injury didn't cost Gonzalez any playing time. “She gave me a rug burn,” Gonzalez explained. “I hate her. And then I love her. And then I look in her face and then I love her again.”
In spring training 2013, Los Angeles Angels pitcher Sean Burnett’s back tightened up when he was putting his 4-year-old son into a shopping cart. Last year, Burnett had to miss about a week of spring training with the Washington Nationals after his back locked up while he was reaching up to put his glove in his locker. “Both are random things that weren’t baseball-related and didn’t happen on the field,” Burnett explained. Burnett underwent an MRI and saw a back specialist was not sidelined very long.
Just before spring training in 2013, Tampa Bay Rays reliever Joel Peralta injured his neck climbing out of his Camaro while on a sandwich run. He was not expected to miss much playing time.
During the 2012-13 offseason, left-handed starter Francisco Liriano agreed to terms with the Pirates. on a two-year, $13 million deal. But later, a then-mysterious, and costly, injury reduced the deal to one year and $1 million. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Liriano broke his right humerus slamming his arm into a door on Christmas Day in an attempt to scare his children, who were in the next room. Although his new contract does include incentives which could push it close to the same value as the original one, he’ll be targeting a May return to the mound this year.
During the 2012-13 offseason, Pavano — a free agent at the time — suffered a ruptured spleen after falling while shoveling snow at his Vermont home.
Zack Greinke began the 2010 season on the disabled list because of a fractured right rib he injured while playing pickup basketball in the offseason. Initial X-rays were negative, but an MRI exam revealed a hairline fracture in one rib and a bruise in a second.
With a week to go in the 2012 season, the first baseman dropped a metal pipe on his foot while in the on-deck circle, breaking his right big toe and missing the rest of the season. The injury, which typically heals after a few weeks, was not expected to significantly impact Howard's offseason training program.
In September 2012, the Braves 2B suffered a cut on his hand that required stitches after he reached into an ice bin for a drink during the Braves’ playoff celebration, causing him to miss two of the last three regular-season games.
Outfielder Lucas Duda broke his right wrist in October 2012 while moving furniture at his apartment in Southern California. He had surgery but is expected to be ready for spring training in February 2013.
Chamberlain’s surgically repaired right elbow was hit by the head of Matt Wieters’ broken bat, on the Baltimore catcher’s leadoff single in the 12th inning of Game 4 of the 2012 ALDS. Chamberlain tried to remain in the game, throwing three warm-up tosses in an attempt to convince manager Joe Girardi and head athletic trainer Steve Donohue, but the elbow appeared to swell and Donohue escorted him off the field. X-rays were negative.
Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy was reaching under his hotel room bed for a lost sock when his wife shifted a suitcase causing it to fall on his hand. Lucroy suffered a broken hand and required surgery. His wife received hate mail from fans.
Rodriguez was all set to rejoin the Rays on Sept. 1, 2012, from the Triple-A club, where he has been biding his time. But everything changed in a fit of anger six days before, when he punched his locker after a game. The result: a hairline fracture in his right hand that ended his season, just when it was about to resume at the big-league level in a possible playoff run.
Red Sox outfielder Ryan Sweeney hurt his left hand after punching a door and had to leave Boston's victory over Detroit in the ninth inning on July 30, 2012. Manager Bobby Valentine said after the game that Sweeney was taken out for a defensive replacement because he had done something to his hand in his last at-bat and couldn't throw. Sweeney, however, said that he ''punched a door.'' The injury required surgery to insert a screw into the bone.
The Red Sox first baseman's back tightened when he bent over to greet a child at the mall in July 2012. Gonzalez told reporters he was at a mall in Tampa next to the team’s hotel when he ran into a family with kids. “I bent over to say ‘Hi,’ to one of the kids and when I came out of that, it locked up on me,” Gonzalez said, per CSN New England’s Sean McAdam. “I tried to get treatment, to go out there and move around, but it wasn’t feeling any better.” Gonzalez was able to return after missing just one game.
Infielder Hanley Ramirez lacerated his right ring finger punching a cooling fan in the Marlins dugout after grounding out in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals in July 2012. Ramirez received two stitches on the knuckle. To make matters worse, the cut became infected, causing Ramirez to miss some games. According to the Miami Herald, Marlins manager Guillen said Ramirez had not properly taken his prescribed antibiotics. “How do you forget to take a pill the doctor tells you to take?” Guillen asked. “Hopefully, the doctor finds exactly the right pills, and I will tell him, open your mouth, like a baby, and put them in his mouth and make sure he takes his pills every night.” Ramirez was traded a few days later to the Dodgers.
According to the Baltimore Sun, the Orioles placed first baseman Chris Davis on the disabled list with a shoulder strain on Aug. 16, 2011. Davis aggravated the injury when he slept on his shoulder wrong in Kansas City, and an MRI revealed wear and tear on his labrum and rotator cuff.
Infielder Mark DeRosa, already on the disabled list with a strained left oblique muscle, reportedly tweaked the injury when he high-fived Bryce Harper after the 19-year-old phenom stole home against the Phillies. "I don't know if that set back the rehab or not," Nationals manager Davey Johnson told The Washington Post. "But I said, 'Why didn't you use your [right] hand?' He said it was spur of the moment."
Guthrie frequently rides a bike to and from the ballpark, but an accident landed the pitcher on the 15-day disabled list. Guthrie was riding his bike when the chain broke, slamming him to the ground. "It was a kind of a freak accident. Most of the contact was on my elbow and it kind of jammed my shoulder," Guthrie said. "It wasn't like the wheel slipped out. I was just riding and the next thing I know I was on the ground."
The pitcher sliced the thumb on his pitching hand a few hours before an early 2012 game while opening a jar of mayonnaise. “I came in to make a sandwich and they said ‘You know we have people who can make sandwiches for you,’’’ Buehrle said. “(I said) ‘I’m a grown man, I can make my own sandwich.’ It was just a complete freak thing.” While the injury did not force him to miss his start, Buehrle said it was on his mind in the first inning when he allowed a hit, walked a batter and hit another.
Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Josh Outman strained his oblique hurling something that wasn't a fastball. According to manager Jim Tracy, Outman sustained the injury from vomiting due to a bout of food poisoning late in spring training. He began the 2012 season on the 15-day disabled list.
In March 2012, New York Yankees relief pitcher Joba Chamberlain dislocated his ankle jumping on a trampoline with his 5-year-old son Karter (shown with him in 2009). Chamberlain required surgery.
During spring training in 2012, Rays left-hander David Price suffered a neck spasm when toweling off between innings against the Detroit Tigers. The bizarre injury was enough to end Price's day against the Tigers. "I was just drying my head off in between innings after the second inning," Price said. "The towel kind of catches the back of my head and it pulls my neck forward and I just felt it a little bit in the back of my neck."
Giants lefty reliever Jeremy Affeldt's 2011 season ended after he sustained a deep cut in his right hand while using a knife to separate frozen burger patties while barbecuing on an off day. He needed surgery and suffered nerve damage in his pinkie. Then, in May 2012, Affeldt sprained the medial collateral ligament in his right knee catching his 4-year-old son, who had jumped off a sofa. The boy, who is reportedly large for his age, landed Dad on the DL again.
St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday had to leave a game on Aug. 22, 2011, after a moth flew into his ear.
Rays DH Luke Scott is a big proponent of alkaline water — at least he was. He'll start the 2013 season on the 15-day disabled list because of a right calf strain sustained after drinking too much of the water, which supposedly has a higher absorption rate than tap water. Scott drinks about a gallon of alkaline water a day, which contributed to the strain by flushing electrolytes out of his body. See how he ranks among the dumbest MLB injuries.
The Nats ace left a game on June 13, 2012, after six innings because of what manager Davey Johnson called a ''slight cut'' on his middle finger, something that happened as the right-hander was trimming a ragged nail between innings. Strasburg lobbied to stay in the game, telling Johnson it only aggravated the cut when he threw one of his breaking pitches, but his manager wasn't interested. Strasburg still won the game. The righty left another game after a rough outing of just four innings. His manager revealed after the game that the pitcher got "hot stuff" in the "wrong place" and that he didn't know how it got there. Translation: Strasburg accidentally applied Icy Hot to his genitals.
Kansas City third baseman George Brett thoroughly enjoys the game, and as a player he loved to watch great hitters. While he was doing laundry one day at his suburban Kansas City home during the 1983 season, Brett had the Cubs game on TV in his den. He heard the announcer say that Bill Buckner, a particular favorite of Brett's, was coming up to hit. Racing into the den to see the at-bat, Brett hit his foot on a door jamb, broke a toe and wound up on the disabled list.
The San Diego Padres Hall of Famer fractured a finger when he slammed his car door on his hand in 1996.
The Detroit Tigers third baseman went on the DL in 2008 after he pulled a muscle while moving his child's pillow.
The 10-time MLB All-Star pitcher broke a rib in 1992 when he vomited on an airplane.
Ken Griffey Jr.
The Seattle Mariners legend once missed a game in 2006 — then with the Cincinnati Reds — when he pinched himself with his protective cup.
The Atlanta Braves pitching star reportedly once burned his chest ironing a shirt he was wearing at the time, though Smoltz himself denies that account.
The American League Rookie of the Year in 1995, Cordova was a member of the Baltimore Orioles in 2002 when he fell asleep in a tanning bed. The resulting burns forced him to miss a few day games, as he was advised by doctors to stay out of the sun.
Coleman was a rookie for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1985 when an automatic tarp machine rolled over his leg during pregame warmups before game four of the National League Championship Series. The injury forced him to miss that year's World Series, which the Cardinals lost in seven games.
The Colorado Rockies infielder, then a rookie, broke his collarbone in 2005 while carrying deer meat up the steps of his apartment.
The longtime Chicago Cub strained his back in 2004 after a violent sneeze and was unable to play in the following game.
The Hall of Famer and former member of the Boston Red Sox once strained his back while putting on a pair of cowboy boots.
In September 2007, the notorious MLB powder keg was a member of the Padres. He blew his knee out when his manager was trying to restrain him from arguing with the umpire after a controversial call at first base.
The journeyman major-leaguer suffers from arachnophobia and, during his time with the Blue Jays, once fell out of bed and crashed into a glass table while having a nightmare about being covered in spiders.
The fire-balling (and oft-injured) relief pitcher strained a muscle while playing the video game Guitar Hero in December 2006.
Mitchell played for eight different major-league teams in his career and had two memorable injuries. He once strained a muscle while vomiting and also broke a tooth after biting into a chocolate donut that he had put in the freezer too long.
The Los Angeles Angels first baseman hit a walk-off grand slam against the Seattle Mariners in a May 2010 game. But he then fractured his leg in the ensuing celebration after landing awkwardly on home plate. He missed the rest of the 2010 season and the entire 2011 season.
The Seattle Mariners first baseman cut and bruised his toe tripping over a hotel room coffee table to open curtains at 5 a.m. in July 2010.
While walking down steps at Coors Field in July 2010, Latos stifled a sneeze, causing pain in his side serious enough to land him on the 15-day disabled list. “It’s sore,” said Latos. “I’m not going to lie.”
Reliever Grant Balfour was out four to six weeks after suffering an intercostal strain (rib area) while wrestling with Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey before a game.
Coghlan attempted to hit teammate Wes Helms in the face with a pie after Helms had sparked a walk-off win for the Marlins — a traditional MLB celebration — when it all went horribly wrong. Coghlan tore the meniscus in his left knee after landing awkwardly.
The Milwaukee Brewers starter went on the 15-day disabled list on Aug. 10, 2011, following an odd accident that required eight stitches in his left thumb. Narveson suffered the deep cut at Busch Stadium while working with a pair of scissors to trim the laces on his glove. The left-hander explained that it was not actually the sharp edge of the scissors that cut his thumb. "I guess the screw (holding the scissors together) stuck up a little bit and my finger caught the serrated edge of the screw," Narveson said. "It was actually the bolt. It wasn't the scissors, so that's what was crazy about it."
Closer K-Rod tore a thumb ligament in his pitching hand and needed surgery to repair the injury, which presumably was sustained when punching his girlfriend's father at Citi Field.
The Cardinals' 20-game winner missed his last start of the 2010 season after an MRI exam revealed a strained muscle in his forearm and inflammation near the elbow. Wainwright said he slept on the arm, woke up and found the arm numb, then flung it aside instead of waiting for feeling to return. ''I couldn't make this up,'' Wainwright said. ''I know that happens to almost everybody in your life. Usually what you do is grab with the other arm and move it to other side and you wait for it to tingle or whatever. It was like 3 in the morning and out of pure laziness what I did was just fling it backwards, and I wrenched my elbow a little bit.''
Joe DiMaggio missed the first 16 games of his rookie season with the New York Yankees in 1936 with first degree burns on his left foot. He was stepped on during an exhibition game, and when the foot began to swell he was given treatment that included placing the foot in a diathermy machine. The heat control was improperly adjusted, burning the foot so badly that DiMaggio had to have two large blisters lanced and then spent two days in the hospital. He did come back to hit .323 with 29 home runs and 125 RBI.
Kerry Wood was healthy when he showed up for spring training in 2006, which was unusual for him in his days with the Chicago Cubs. A few days later, though, he was battling back problems, suffered when he slipped getting out of a hot tub.
Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan showed up to spring training one year recovering from a coyote bite, suffered while tending cattle on his Texas ranch.
In spring 2010, Baltimore pitching prospect Brad Bergesen battled a sore shoulder, suffered because he overthrew while appearing in an Orioles commercial shot in the offseason.
Jim Lonborg never got to spring training in 1968. Coming off a 22-9 season in which he struck out an AL-high 246 batters and was a key to the Boston Red Sox advancing to the World Series, Lonborg spent the 1967 holidays at Lake Tahoe with actress Jill St. John. On his final run down the slopes on Christmas Eve, Lonborg fell, tearing ligaments in his left knee. The injury prompted teams to create what became known as the "Jim Lonborg Clause" in contracts, in which players are forbidden from partaking in various activities deemed dangerous. He underwent two hours of surgery, missed half the 1968 season and by his own admission never got back to being close to the pitcher he had been in 1967.
The New York Yankees invoked the "Jim Lonberg Clause" to void the contract of infielder Aaron Boone in 2004 when Boone tore ligaments in his right knee in a pickup basketball game. It was that injury, in fact, that prompted the Yankees to make the trade with the Texas Rangers for Alex Rodriguez. The Yankees shifted Rodriguez from shortstop — where Derek Jeter was entrenched — to the third base vacancy created by the release of Boone.
Milwaukee first baseman Richie Sexson was ready for the start of the 2003 season, but missed the Brewers first intrasquad game that spring with a strained neck, suffered while he was adjusting his cap during photo day.
St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Bill White, who later became president of the National League, missed the first six months of the 1967 season recovering from a severed right Achilles suffered while playing paddle ball.
Jeff Kent had his own problems during the spring of 2004, showing up one day at the San Francisco Giants camp with a broken wrist. Kent initially claimed he suffered the injury while washing his truck, but the truth eventually surfaced — he fell off his motorcycle when he was doing wheelies.
In 2004 pitcher Steve Sparks dislocated his left shoulder attempting to tear a phone book in half.