Wednesday, May 07, 2014

It Was A Really Thick Sandwich

Baseball injuries are the best.

Case in point: Matt Cain, starting pitcher for the San Francisco Giants, just got himself put on the disabled list as a result of a - and I am not making this up - sandwich-related accident. Apparently Mr. Cain was making himself a snack in the clubhouse before his start and decided to go all Top Chef on that sucker, because he sliced a finger open trying to cut it into "fancy little triangles".

Now, if this were the NHL, that would be described as an "upper body injury", a term some marketing guy came up with to describe everything from "pulled lat muscle" to "lost five teeth stopping a snapshot with his face" to "got worked over by the Hanson brothers in a dark alley". It says everything and nothing, and allows the fan to imagine the heroic deed that led to his favorite unpronounceable Russian defenseman getting sidelined for two months.

If it were the NFL, the team's PR guy would have spun it as "KNIFE WOUND - QUESTIONABLE" and then put together a story about how it was entirely possible that Cain had gotten his wound fighting off a band of sneering Eastern European mercenaries trained in hand-to-hand combat in order to defend a group of elderly nuns who also just happened to be Chargers fans. Unless, of course, Bill Belichick were involved, in which case the spokesman would deny the possibility that knives even exist.

And if it were the NBA, half the fan base would be convinced that the whole "cut a finger making sandwiches" story was some kind of conspiracy concocted by the league office to distract from how putting Cain on the shelf was clearly part of a plot to get LeBron another title. 

But not dear, sweet, old-fashioned baseball, where generally they own up to their stupid when it comes to player injuries with a blessed lack of self-awareness and an honesty that's genuinely charming. And so Cain can take his place along Adam Eaton (stabbed self in stomach while opening a DVD double package), Glenallen Hill (beat himself up while having a nightmare about spiders), Francisco Rodriguez (stepped on a cactus barefoot), Carl Pavano (rochambeaued himself with a shovel), and Jonathan Lucroy (had his wife drop a loaded suitcase on his hand while reaching for a sock) in the ever-growing pantheon of Stupidly Disabled Baseball Players.

To me, that's just fine. Because there really is nothing like Chris Brown and his strained eyelash anywhere else, nor should there be. And if baseball's unashamed to tell me that a guy who signed a hundred million dollar contract to deliver a baseball to precise locations at speeds upwards of 90 miles an hour can't actually handle making his own sandwich, well, I'm OK with that, too.

Let the healing begin. And next time, let someone else make the sandwiches.
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