In what will go down as one of the greatest Bizarre Baseball Injuries of all time, Los Angeles Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis is headed back to the disabled list after severely spraining his right ankle during the on-field celebration of Josh Beckett's no-hitter Sunday afternoon.
The coincidental and even ironic twists that make Ellis's injury even stranger: He hadn't played in the game, but instead stepped awkwardly on the catcher's mask of Drew Butera, his backup, who carelessly (but understandably) had tossed the mask aside in order to get to partying with Beckett and his other teammates.
Ellis will be out an undetermined period.
As you can see from the animation, Ellis was just trying to get in on the scrum when...
"OW! I TOLD YOU KIDS TO PUT YOUR TOYS AWAY!"
What else compares in the Bizarre Baseball Injury department, just over the past few seasons?
• Kendrys Morales breaking his leg jumping on home plate after a game-ending home run.
• Carl Pavano lacerating his spleen while shoveling snow.
• Mark DeRosa being high-fived by Bryce Harper too violently and straining his oblique.
• Chris Coghlan's knee injury from trying to avoid a pie to the face.
• Russell Branyan cutting his toe in a fall while trying to close hotel curtains.
That's just part of the past five years. They could make an entire separate internet for these incidents.
It's beyond a tough break (figuratively) for Ellis, who had returned from knee surgery only 10 days ago, with Butera and Tim Federowicz, mostly, handling the catching duties while he was out.
Of course, Butera meant no harm, and any other catcher (including Ellis) might have thrown away his mask willy-nilly in that kind of moment. And yet, it's still a little like when the Broadway show's star dancer "accidentally" breaks her leg just before opening night and the understudy gets her big chance and then, the next thing you know, people are making jokes about Lou Gehrig taking over — forever — for Wally Pipp. Ellis certainly is a contender for Unluckiest Man of the Face of the Earth this week.
While it might not be Lakers guard Norm Nixon blowing out his knee playing softball in Central Park, this injury also ranks highly in the facepalm department for the City of Los Angeles.
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