February 21, 2009
Spring training is only a week old, but we already have strong two entries for baseball's weirdest injury of the year.
Well, kind of.
Cleveland outfielder David Dellucci, our first contestant, would have no doubt clinched the award with the tale he told reporters on Saturday of how an alligator chomped his thumb while he was saving a child — if only it were true.
"Right before I came here," Dellucci explained, "I was fishing on the side of my lake, and I heard a little boy screaming. I ran over there, and an alligator had him by the leg. I jumped on the gator, poked him in the eyes, freed the kid, but he [bit] me in my thumb. I got stitches, had surgery and the stitches will come out on Monday."
Dellucci had reporters sold on the story, but his conscience got the better of him and he broke the silence with a well-placed "just kidding." Turns out Dellucci slammed his hand in a trailer tailgate before leaving his home in Louisiana and had to get three stitches that will cause him to miss the beginning of Cactus League play.
When it comes to our second contestant, Kansas City outfielder Jose Guillen, we can only wish he were just kidding about his self-inflicted injury earlier this week. When told by team doctors that an ingrown nail on his right big toe might require surgery, Guillen took matters into his own hands and removed the nail by himself with a pair of tweezers later that night.
At this point, I'll pause so that you can all recollect your thoughts, your dinner and whatever else you might have lost ....
All good, now? No? Well, let's move onto Guillen's recollection of the "surgery," via The Kansas City Star anyway:
"Let me tell you, I cried. I had one tough hour. But I got it out.""I reached in there (with the tweezers) ... and poked around until I got the end of it. Then I counted one, two, three and just pulled .... Oh, my God. It came out, but tears were running down my cheeks."
Not that the story needs any more context — I'm sure most of you have already clicked off the page in digust by now — but here' a short conversation that Y! Sports' own Jeff Passan had with his own mother, who works as a nurse:
JP: "How much would it hurt to yank your big toenail out with a pair of tweezers?"
JP's mom: "They have a word for that. Torture."
JP: "So someone who would do that himself ..."
JP's mom: " ... is crazy."
Guillen's toe is currently being treated with antibiotics, but he has has since developed a sore shoulder and was limited to light conditioning work Saturday in Arizona. No word yet on whether Guillen plans to scope the shoulder himself with assorted kitchen utensils ...