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Big League Stew

The Christmas injury that could cost pitcher Francisco Liriano $11.75 million

Big League Stew

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Most families have a story about Christmas gone awry. You know, the one that gets told for years and years into the future. The one everybody laughs at each time they hear it.

This is new Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano's Christmas story. Not only is it painful — it's crazy expensive. We're pretty sure he's not laughing about it either. Not yet, and maybe not ever.

Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Liriano broke his arm on Christmas Day when he slammed it against a door "trying to startle his kids."

Here's what's even more painful about Liriano's broken arm: It could potentially cost him $11.75 million. Yes, million. This is a moment when "ouch" isn't even close to being a strong enough word. The others, we probably couldn't print on this blog.

[More MLB: Report: Mike Piazza planned revenge on Roger Clemens]

Baseball players have suffered strange injuries in the past, like when pitcher Adam Eaton stabbed himself in the stomach trying to open a DVD. But, in this case, both the cause and the price being paid make Liriano's story worthy of the "fail" history books.

The injury, which is to Liriano's non-pitching arm, had been clouded in mystery until he reported to spring training. Six weeks ago, the Pirates agreed to, but didn't finalize, a contract with the oft-injured pitcher worth $12.75 million over two years. Days later is when Liriano broke his arm in what was initially reported as a "bathroom fall" in his Dominican Republic home.

[Also: MLB's first female scout dies at 100]

On Saturday, after weeks of uncertainty about Liriano's status with the Pirates, the two sides finally agreed to a contract. However, it wasn't for $12.75 million and it wasn't for two years. It was for $1 million and one year with a litany of injury-related incentives that could get Lirano back to $12.75 million if everything goes well, as the Stew explained here. Liriano is expected to start the season on the disabled list.

If you're Francisco Liriano, wouldn't you want to punch yourself right about now? But with his luck, he'd probably break his hand and end his career.

Pitchers and catchers are reporting.
Follow @MikeOz and @bigleaguestew, on Twitter, along with the BLS Facebook page.

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