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Max Scherzer injures ankle celebrating Tigers clinching AL Central

Year after year, I watch baseball teams celebrating their postseason berths and division crowns and wonder how more people don’t get hurt. Between champagne and beer flowing everywhere and 40-man pig piles in the middle of the field, it’s a mystery how more players don’t break bones or tear ligaments. Unfortunately for Tigers fans, their team was unable to escape its AL Central-clinching celebration without injury.

Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer will reportedly miss his final start of the season on Wednesday after tweaking his ankle during Detroit’s celebration on Monday night. Manager Jim Leyland told reporters someone stepped on Scherzer during the festivities.

“This is a slightly twisted ankle,” Leyland explained. “You know, swollen, but it doesn’t appear to be serious. But it’s obviously serious enough that he won’t pitch tomorrow.”

Scherzer had missed his previous scheduled start because of a sore right shoulder, and the plan was to have him throw five innings on Wednesday to test it out. Leyland said Scherzer felt great while throwing off of flat ground on Tuesday and that the ball was “flying out of his hand.”

While Leyland did everything he could to downplay the injury and not cause a panic, it is obviously a concern for the Tigers. Scherzer was one of the better pitchers in the AL this season, finishing with a 16-7 record and 3.82 ERA. His 228 strikeouts were third-best in the AL, so Detroit obviously needs him in the postseason.

As fellow ballplayers like this one and this one could tell Scherzer, celebration injuries are an unintended consequence that are not fun to deal with.

UPDATE: Per Hardball Talk, Scherzer apparently woke up feeling fine on Wednesday and was penciled back in for his start against the Royals. Obviously good news for Tigers fans regarding the ankle. The issue to monitor now will be how his shoulder responds.

Photo credit: John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE

Buffalo RB James Potts suffers potentially serious injury while celebrating (Video)

Typically when players suffer injuries while celebrating we bash them for not using caution and acting recklessly. While that is true much of the time, it was not the case with Buffalo University backup running back James Potts.

During Saturday’s game against Morgan State, Potts scored on a 49-yard touchdown run and broke into a slight gallop and a hop. As you can see from the video above, he instantly grabbed for his knee.

“The James Potts situation right now is we’re getting a full workup on him and unfortunately it doesn’t look good at this point,” Buffalo head coach Jeff Quinn told The Buffalo News on Monday. “I know we’ll be losing him for the next game (Sept. 19 against visiting Kent State) and maybe multiple games and potentially, who knows, it may be the whole season.”

Potts has battled back from missing last season due to academic issues, and the touchdown was only his second touch at the college level. When we see guys go down because they’re hopping over railings or jumping up and down, we usually take the “what do you expect?” stance. What happened to Potts is bad luck at its finest.

UPDATE: Buffalo’s student newspaper confirmed that Potts has a torn ACL and is out for the season.

H/T Dr. Saturday

Aubrey Huff suffers knee injury celebrating Matt Cain’s perfect game

This seems to happen all the time in professional baseball, but we never tire of talking about it. Once again, an MLB player has managed to injure himself during a celebration. Wednesday night’s victim was Aubrey Huff, and he fell at the hands of Matt Cain’s perfect game.

According to Comcast SportsNet Bay Area’s Rael Enteen, Huff has an MRI scheduled for his knee and San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy has not ruled out a trip to the disabled list for his first baseman. As you can see from the animation above that SB Nation passed along, Huff took a tumble jumping over the dugout railing after the final out of the game.

With plays like this one over the course of the historic evening, it’s easy to understand why Huff was overflowing with excitement. Believe it or not — and I’m sure it’s easy to believe now given how many times this has happened — Huff’s injury is the second celebration injury in baseball this month. Just a couple of weeks ago, Mets reliever Ramon Hernandez injured his hamstring sprinting to the celebration pile after Johan Santana’s no hitter.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: somebody get these guys a plastic bubble.

H/T Hardball Talk

Rafael Nadal gave himself a shiner with the French Open trophy (Video)

Good thing Rafael Nadal doesn’t play hockey. If he did and he won a Stanley Cup, I would hate to see what type of damage he could do with that massive piece of hardware. Nadal defeated world No. 1 Novak Djokovic on Monday to win the French Open for the seventh time in his career. He continued his dominance on clay surfaces but seemed a bit out of synch after the match when he was celebrating with the Coupe des Mousquetaires (the French Open trophy). Check out this video that Busted Racquet shared with us. Skip ahead to the 1:40 mark for the good stuff:

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Mets pitcher Ramon Ramirez injured celebrating Johan Santana’s no-hitter

It was a night of celebration at Citi Field after Johan Santana notched the Mets’ first-ever no-hitter on Friday. Santana’s teammates were so eager to congratulate him, one strained his hamstring sprinting in from the bullpen to join the celebration.

Yup, reliever Ramon Ramirez injured his hamstring and is headed to the disabled list.

“He was just running in. He hadn’t even gotten to the pile where they were jumping on [Santana],” manager Terry Collins said. “He was just so excited. He was running in, running hard and all of a sudden, his leg grabbed him. I’ve never seen that.”

What a bummer, huh? Even Brian McCann thinks that’s a weird way to get hurt. Surprisingly, athletes getting injured during celebrations is fairly common. Here is a full list of athletes who have been hurt during celebrations.

Photo: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Brian McCann poked in the eye during grand slam celebration (Video)

Players injuring themselves during celebrations is something that happens all too often. With baseball, these injuries tend to occur after a walk-off win. When 25 grown men are all waiting at home plate to beat the crap out of the guy who just delivered the game-winning hit, something bad like this is bound to happen. On Wednesday night, the Braves reminded us that injuries can happen during low-key celebrations as well when Brian McCann was poked in the eye after hitting a grand slam.

As you can see from the clip above, McCann and Michael Bourn completely whiffed on a high five and Bourn’s finger ended up right in McCann’s grill piece. While he will likely be fine, it is interesting to note that the Braves catcher has had eye issues throughout his career. He had laser eye surgery back in 2007 but his vision remained blurry, so he eventually went with glasses. He then had a second Lasik surgery in 2010 that restored his vision. Hopefully this doesn’t set him back at all.

Minor Leaguer Josh Kroeger Blows Out Knee Celebrating Walk-Off (Video)

When does it end?!  Here is our promise regarding celebration injuries: when they stop happening, we will stop talking about them.  Unfortunately for people like the New Orleans Zephyrs Josh Kroeger, the end doesn’t appear to be near.  In a span of about two years, traditions like the home run trot and the pie-in-the-face have become increasingly dangerous.  Players like Kendrys Morales and Tyler Rahmatulla have shown us that pig-piling and celebrating after an emotional victory can be costly to your team’s future and your own personal health — at the professional and collegiate levels.  Now that we’ve seen the Josh Kroeger celebration injury video, we can add minor league baseball teams to the list as well.

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