Friday, March 30, 2007

The machismo and the frustrated: The Dugout Wall vs. The Water Cooler vs. The Electric Fan

MLB Players who have attacked the dugout or clubhouse wall:

* During Game four of the 2004 NLCS, Julian Tavarez punched a dugout telephone and broke bones in two fingers of his left (non-throwing) hand.

* On Sept. 3, 2004, Kevin Brown punched a concrete wall inside the Yankees' clubhouse, breaking two bones in his left (non-throwing) hand, requiring surgery.

* Andy Sisco, a tall (6'9") left-handed pitcher power pitcher who was drafted by the Cubs out of high school, was so confident that he would lead the Cubs to a World Series title, he had a phoenix tattooed on his arm. In 2004, after a frustrating outing, he punched a clubhouse wall and broke his hand. As he struggled to recover, the Cubs left him off their 40-man roster and the Royals picked him up in the Rule 5 draft for $50,000.

* Jose Bautista, a third baseman, was rated as one of the Pirates' Top 10 prospects entering the 2003 season, but he endured a disappointing season at Lynchburg, hitting just .242 in 51 games and missing nearly three months with a broken hand, suffered when he punched a dugout wall in frustration.

* On Sept. 1, 1998, Mike DeJean. a Rockies reliever, went to work on a partition separating two lockers, fracturing his left (non-throwing) pinkie.

* On June 15, 1993, John Franco, closer for the Mets, punched the door to the sauna in the visiting clubhouse in Atlanta and the knuckle of right index finger had to be stitched.

* In early June of 1988, Randy Johnson was gearing up for his major league debut with Montreal. However, on June 15, right before he was going to be recalled by the Expos, he was forced to leave a game against Richmond after knocking down a line drive with his pitching hand. A frustrated Johnson punched the bat rack with his right hand and broke it (his hand). His left hand, which had been hit by the batted ball, was perfectly fine. Johnson finally made his major league debut on Sept 15, in a game against Pittsburgh. Johnson pitched five innings and allowed 2 runs, picking up his first major league victory. He finished the season in Montreal strong, winning 3 of his 4 starts and putting up a 2.42 ERA.

* On May 6, 1982, Doyle Alexander gave up five runs in the third inning for the Yankees, then slammed his pitching hand into the dugout wall and broke a knuckle on his pinkie.

* On July 24, 1978, Mets pitcher Pat Zachary kicked a dugout step and broke his toe after being removed from the game. Joe Torre was his manager.

* On June 27, 1967, Al Kaline, then the Tigers rightfielder, punched the dugout bat rack after a strikeout and broke his hand.

MLB players who have attacked a water cooler:

* In May of 2006, Greg Maddux attacked a water cooler with a bat after going 0-4 at the plate that day.

* On June 17, 2005, Kenny Rogers, after being removed in the seventh inning against Washington, punched a dugout water cooler, breaking a bone below his right pinkie.

* In August of 2003, Tyler Yates let his emotions get away from him and punched a water cooler in the dugout after being taken out of the game. He broke the little finger on his right hand, which ended his season.

* In 1999, Carlos Perez took fourteen vicious swings at a water cooler after being yanked from a game in which he’d just walked the bases loaded (including a walk to Pirates pitcher Francisco Cordova). He broke no bones.

* Paul O’Neil has attacked water coolers too many times to list here in this space.

* On Aug. 21, 1993, Terry Mulholland, angered after serving up a home run, beat up a water cooler and broke his right (non-throwing) hand.

* 1938, the year before he went to play for Boston, Ted Williams nearly ended his career before it started. At the time, he was leading the American Association in everything—runs, hits, RBIs, homers, everything. Lloyd Brown was pitching for St. Paul. Brown was a short, tough pitcher with a good curve. Ted got him to 3 and 1 in the first inning, bases loaded, two outs. Brown threw the fastball, right there. If Ted had gotten a little more of the ball, it would have gone 440 feet, but he made a bad swing and popped out to the first baseman to end the inning. He went back to the bench and punched a half-full water cooler. Blood and glass flew everywhere (they didn’t use paper cups back then). One piece of glass went pretty deep into his hand and just missed a nerve. He continued to play in the game, collecting four hits before it concluded.

MLB players who have attacked an electric fan:

* On Aug. 27, 2004, Kyle Farnsworth, then a reliever for the Cubs, gave up six runs in the ninth to Houston. After the game, he kicked an electric fan and sprained his right knee. He was placed on 15-day disabled list the next day.

* On Oct. 27, 1985, John Tudor punched an electric fan in the clubhouse and severely cut his hand after getting knocked out of Game 7 of the World Series in the third inning.

Others incidents of note:

* On April 11, 1997, Jason Isringhausen fractured small bones in his right (throwing) wrist by punching a clubhouse trash can during a game with the Mets' Triple-A affiliate, Norfolk.

* On March 6, 1993 John Wetteland, then the Expos closer, fractured his right big toe after kicking a batting-practice screen in spring training.

Final Score:
The Dugout Wall: 10
The Water Cooler: 7
The Electric Fan: 2


Steve McClearn said...

This is unbelievable. Maybe MLB GM's should start putting "stupidity clauses" into contracts for stuff like this.

How in the world did you find this stuff anyway?

DrGravitee said...

My secret? Just a handful of google searchs.

And about your clause suggestion: Ha! Then again, some GM's should put "stupidity clauses" in their own contracts!

DrGravitee said...

Addition: Jeff Sparks
"Seven years ago, Sparks started the season in the Tampa Bay Devil Rays bullpen. His reputation was well-established: Sparks was a malcontent, like Marshall, only 30 years younger. The Cincinnati Reds drafted Sparks in 1995, tired of his act and, a few weeks after he punched a wall and broke his hand in '97, released him."