Rivera’s accident not freak – and we’ve got some real freak accidents to prove it

New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera torn his ACL during batting practice last night shagging fly balls. Media is calling it a freak accident – but is it really?

McGILLIGAN: Why is everyone so shocked that Mariano Rivera was injured playing baseball?

It is, after all what he does for a living. I know he’s not an outfielder, but he was shagging balls during batting practice. If this was a past time the New York Yankees disapproved of, don’t you think he wouldn’t have been out there.

People are calling it a freak accident. It’s not.

It was a sports related injury suffered by a professional athlete. A baseball player getting injured playing baseball is not a freak accident or unbelievable. Athletes get hurt in practice all the time.

However, I did find some injuries that could best be described as freak accidents or just plain ridiculous.

1.       Former Blue Jays outfielder Glenallen Hill (great name) has a fear of spiders. He had a nightmare about spiders and while trying to get away from them in his sleep, he crashed through a glass table, embedding himself with shards of glass.

2.       Bret Barberie was making a plate of nachos with hot peppers and hot sauce and neglected to wash his hands afterwards. When he went to put in his contacts later he experienced burning in his eyes due to the residue of the spicy ingredients on his fingers. His missed the next game.

3.       John Smoltz is alleged to have burned his chest because he was ironing a shirt while wearing it

4.       Smoltz’s teammate Tom Glavine apparently injured his ribs throwing up an in-flight meal

5.       Perhaps my favourite is Clarence ‘Climax’ Blethen. A player with the Red Sox in the 1930s, he was bitten on the butt while sliding into second place by his molars, which he had in his pocket. There are conflicting reports as to why they were in his pocket and when this actually took place.

So while it was unfortunate for Rivera, it was not crazy or a freak accident. Now if he had been concussed by a painting of A-Rod as a centaur (Rodriguez reportedly has two in his home) falling on his head we could chalk that up to a freak accident.




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