Through the years, Major League Baseball players have become known for the unusual (read: absurd) circumstances in which some of them become injured. There have been car-washing accidents, sneezing disasters, and even a torn ACL in the middle of a home-run trot. However, Texas Rangers 1B Jeff Baker may have established a new benchmark.
Baker was placed on the 15-day DL (retroactive to June 13th) with a sprained thumb that came as a result of a missed high-five. Yes, you read that right. Baker was injured on Thursday after he attempted a high-five celebration with an undisclosed teammate, and the over-aggressive manner in which the action went down caused Baker’s hangup. To make matters worse, Baker was absolutely mashing the ball in a Texas uniform this season, hitting .317 with 9 home runs since garnering increased playing time in the absence of Mitch Moreland.
As a result of Baker’s DL stint (and the demotion of 1B Chris McGuiness), the Rangers were able to promote RP Joseph Ortiz and C Robinson Chirinos, but the story is Baker. The unusual circumstances will grab the headlines, but Baker’s prospective absence also hurts Texas on the field, as they are without Moreland until Friday (at least), and manager Ron Washington will be forced to deploy Lance Berkman (and his achy body) in the field at 1st base until then.
We would need a more scientific poll to establish who the leader in the clubhouse is among ridiculous baseball injuries, but one thing is for certain. Jeff Baker is now in the running.