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Scott Downs Breaks Toe Playing with Kids

We may be more than two weeks away from the start of baseball season, but that hasn’t stopped the weird injuries from continuing to roll in.  Last week, the Royals announced that shortstop Alcides Escobar would miss time in spring training after a bug bite became infected.  The latest weird injury victim, Angels pitcher Scott Downs, is a repeat customer.  You might recall Downs injuring his foot in 2009 trying to run out of the batter’s box.

This time, Downs has a broken toe.  Unlike his first foot injury, the left-hander suffered this setback in the comfort of his own home.  According to ESPN Los Angeles, via Hardball Talk, Downs fractured his toe while playing with his kids at his Arizona home.  He’s expected to miss at least a couple weeks, and likely the start of the regular season.

“I was just doing normal dad stuff at home,”  he said, noting that the toe swelled up and turned purple. “It’s obviously very frustrating, but I think it’s just a minor setback.”

Can’t fault a man for spending some quality time with his kids, right?  Don’t be surprised if MLB teams are including “no horsing around with your children” clauses in contracts in the near future.

Alcides Escobar Misses Spring Training Game With Bug Bite

By now, we all understand that weird injuries in sports cannot be avoided.  Over the years, we’ve featured stories about tennis players hurting their hands playing Playstation, photographers injuring football players, and countless weird baseball injuries that seem inexplicable. On Sunday, Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar brought us our first ever bug bite injury.

As the Kansas City Star pointed out, via Ben Maller, Escobar was scratched from the Royals lineup on Sunday because of an infection on his arm that stemmed from a bug bite. Kansas City manager Ned Yost said the bite became infected when Escobar scratched it, and he now has “red streaks (up his arm) and it’s swollen and warm.” Escobar has been given an antibiotic that should clear the infection up.

You can’t make this stuff up, folks.  It’s important to note that the “injury” was suffered during spring training, so there’s no telling whether or not something like this would have caused Escobar to miss time during the regular season.  In any event, maybe this will teach him to stop scratching and leave his bites alone. My mother always told me not to scratch.

Robert Meachem Injured by Photographer, Sean Payton Not Happy

Saints third-year wide receiver Robert Meachem had one of his best games of the season Monday night against the Falcons. He had 10 catches for 101 yards in New Orleans’ 17-14 road win that makes them 11-4. You would think he’d be all smiles after the game, but an overzealous photographer screwed things up by tripping Meachem, injuring his ankle:

Saints coach Sean Payton was understandably upset Tuesday over the circumstances by which Meachem was hurt. “I heard about it,” Payton said. “I think he’s going to be fine. You can make any type of light of it that you want but there’s an issue though. I have an issue when there’s free reign.” Payton went on to say that aggressive photographers who want the picture create problems. He’s right, and those on-field mad rushes after games turn out to be stampede-like dangerous situations.

The good news is Meachem should be fine and we now have another addition to our large collection of weird sports injuries. Thanks to LBS tipster Billy Johnson for the story.

Photo Credit: Michael DeMocker/The Times-Picayune

New Mexico Quarterback Brad Gruner Knocked Out Carving a Pumpkin

New Mexico is 0-8 this season and unfortunately for the Lobos things aren’t getting any better. They’ve played four different quarterbacks this year but will be one shorter on their roster now. SI Hot Clicks shared the story with us about quarterback Brad Gruner who is done for the season after requiring season-ending surgery on his throwing hand. How did the injury occur you ask? He sliced his pinkie carving a pumpkin. Gotta love Halloween.

New Mexico not only has Gruner out for the year, but true freshman Tarean Austin has a bad ankle and B.R. Holbrook hurt his shoulder against Colorado State. The Lobos will likely be in position to start true freshman Stump Godfrey (great name) against Wyoming. They’ll need a big game out of Stump because this could be their last chance for a win. After the home game against Wyoming, they’re at Air Force, at BYU, and home against TCU to finish out the season. If they don’t win this weekend, they could be in worse shape than New Mexico State.

Andy Murray Hurt His Hand on PlayStation

Here I was thinking that baseball players were the only ones who sustained weird injuries in sports, but now I’m starting to find out that tennis players are right up there. Now tennis players are underrated as far as toughness goes, and because it doesn’t involve contact people don’t realize how physically taxing the sport is. It’s a one-man game and players have to be in peak physical condition to compete for five sets. Take a play off and you’re bounced in the first round of a tourney (not traded to Minnesota). But if tennis players train hard enough to go five sets, then why are we seeing Robby Ginepri get taken out by a squirrel and Andy Murray get knocked out by PlayStation?

SI Hot Clicks tipped us off to the story about Murray’s injury that occurred before he was supposed to serve as the best man in his brother’s wedding. A British paper informs us that Murray “was playing Pro Evolution Soccer against doubles partner Dani Vallverdu when he was felt a twinge in his hand.” The twinge was nothing wimpy either — he strained a tendon and had to wrap his hand in ice. You can’t make this stuff up.

Look, I’ve had a bad case of Nintendo thumb just like everybody else (and I’m pretty sure I’m starting to develop carpal tunnel from all the blogging), but tough it out Andy! You really telling me you had to go get an ice pack for it? Be a man next time and just rub some dirt on it!

Robby Ginepri Taken Out by a Squirrel

Robby Ginepri is a tennis player of whom you’ve probably never heard. He’s ranked 75th in the world and his best showing this year was reaching the 4th round of the French Open before losing to Novak Djokovic. Now that you’ve heard of him, you’ll remember him for a distinct reason.

Ginepri is out 4-6 weeks because he broke his left elbow falling off a mountain bike. How did he fall off the bike? Was he going too fast through a dangerous downhill curve? Was he on his 99th mile out of 100 when he collapsed because of exhaustion? Did he black out because of dehydration? How about d) none of the above.

From FOX Sports who got the story from the ATP Tour’s site, “Ginepri was riding near his Georgia hometown when a squirrel ran into his path. He swerved to avoid the critter and rolled about 50 yards, breaking his ulna.”

We’re big fans of weird sports injuries on the site, but I think that may be the first one attributed to a rodent. I’m guessing Ginepri would have preferred if most people only knew him for his tennis at this point. At the least maybe PETA can hook him up with an endorsement deal to ease the pain.

Jim Edmonds, Russell Branyan Add to Weird Baseball Injuries

The extensive list of weird injuries continues to grow. Sadly, it looks like we also have a couple of repeat cases too.

Reds outfielder Jim Edmonds hit a home run on Tuesday night and hurt himself circling the bases. Edmonds thought he had popped his Achilles tendon taking his victory lap but it turns out he did not tear it. Either way, the entire spectacle was pretty strange to see, as I came across through SI Hot Clicks. Strangely enough, Edmonds isn’t the only player to hurt himself on a home run trot this year.

Even though we have frequent additions to the weird injuries list, Russell Branyan may have distinguished himself as the first two-time member of the club. The Mariners first baseman was inducted in July for hurting his toe on a coffee table in his hotel room or something like that. He has earned a second spot on the list for hurting himself in a pizza parlor. No joke. He said he was bending over to pick up his son’s flip flop when the chair underneath him went out. Apparently he fell to the ground and landed on his tailbone. Honestly, this poor guy is cursed.

You hear stories like these ones and it makes you really appreciate Cal Ripken Jr. more than you had before. Either that, or it makes you realize how much more difficult every day living is than you ever thought.