By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Red Sox reliever Carson Smith, a 28-year-old adult, injured himself throwing his baseball glove in frustration.
Smith then had the gall to suggest that Red Sox manager Alex Cora was at fault for the injury, implying that it was a result of the Red Sox overusing the right-hander, who has thrown 14.1 innings in 18 appearances this season. Smith’s 14.1 innings, by the way, rank as the third-fewest among Sox relievers this season. Only Bobby Poyner and Steven Wright have pitched fewer innings than Smith, and that’s because Poyner has spent half the year with Pawtucket while Wright was activated for the first time all season earlier this week. So, Cora’s response could not have been more perfect, really.
“I don’t agree with it,” Cora said before Wednesday’s win over the A’s when told of Smith’s fatigue excuse. “On a daily basis, we talk to pitchers and see how they feel. If they don’t feel that they can pitch that day, we stay away from them. [Smith’s comment] caught me by surprise. If he felt that way, he should have talked to us.”
Smith even double-downed on his initial comment on Wednesday, saying he had ‘no comment’ for Cora’s rebuttal.
But that’s all besides the point here.
Smith’s injury, which could very well be a severe (read as: season-ending) according to Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, has to be up there for dumbest injury in Boston sports history.
And it’s only not the dumbest thanks to some fierce competition that you’ve probably enjoyed forgetting.
If Smith can take comfort in anything, it’s that he’s not the first Red Sox pitcher to suffer a ridiculous injury.
Here's the glove smash that popped Carson Smith shoulder out of place. You could see the immediate pain. pic.twitter.com/g9TgpMDrBt— Dan O'Mara (@Dan_OMara) May 16, 2018
It was in May 2013 that Clay Buchholz injured his AC joint when he fell asleep holding his baby in his arms. That ailment prompted a “can’t police them 24/7” line from manager John Farrell. Buchholz, meanwhile, would only pitch in six regular-season games after the injury, but made four postseason appearances en route to a World Series title over the Cardinals.
One-time Red Sox prospect Paxton Crawford had an even more unusual injury after a Triple-A no-hitter in July 2000, though, when he allegedly rolled off his bed in his hotel and landed on a glass he had left on the floor of the hotel room. Paxton, who was about to be recalled by the Red Sox, cut his back on the tumble and ultimately required eight stitches. Crawford, a ninth-round draft pick in 1995, was out of Red Sox organization after 2002, and was out of baseball by 2004.
In addition to keeping drinking glasses on the floor, Crawford is known for his involvement with steroids, including a 2006 interview in which he claimed that several members of the Red Sox were using steroids from 1999 to 2001.
But maybe Wade Boggs set the stage for these guys back in 1986 when he tried to take his cowboy boots off but instead fell, suffering a strained back and bruised ribs in a Toronto hotel. Boggs, whose No. 26 is retired by the Red Sox, was hitting close to .400 at the time of the injury and saw a noticeable dip in his production while trying to play through the injury. In defense of Boggs, he still finished with an MLB-best .357 average that season, which ended with the Red Sox in the World Series.
The Bruins know a few things about unfortunate tumbles as well.
The hard-nosed Adam McQuaid is no stranger to the physical side of things, especially in his role as the B’s tough guy supreme. But McQuaid suffered the first concussion of his pro hockey career in Providence. In his apartment in Providence, to be exact, when he took a spill over his suitcase following a 2010 demotion back to the minors during the Olympic break.
McQuaid got off easy compared to Bruins goalie John Grahame.
Walking out of a Boston club one late night during training camp in 2000, Grahame stumbled off a curb and broke his ankle. (You can do the math there.) Grahame, who had impressed with a .910 save percentage in 24 games as a rookie the year prior, never quite regained his form in Boston after the injury, with just 22 wins and an .895 save percentage in 52 appearances over the next three years before he was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Then there’s the classic rage injuries such as Marcus Smart smashing his hand when he punched a picture frame at a Los Angeles hotel or Red Sox outfielder Ryan Sweeney punching a wall during the infamous Bobby Valentine year.
But perhaps no injury was more embarrassing than Tony Allen blowing out his knee in Jan. 2007.
Fouled by Stephen Jackson, Allen tried to put on a show for an undoubtedly depressed Celtic crowd (seriously, it’s impossible to describe how utterly terrible that season truly was for the Celtics) with a meaningless post-whistle dunk. Now, not only did Allen’s uncontested dunk get denied by the rim, Allen suffered a tear of the ACL, medial meniscus and lateral meniscus on his way down. Carried to the locker room by his teammates, it would be the last we saw of Allen in 2007. Fortunately for Allen’s career (and pride), he became a significant roleplayer for the Celtics on their march to the 2008 NBA Championship.
How this all ends for Smith remains to be seen, of course.
But right now, he’s in some truly bizarre company.
Ty Anderson is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Ty? Follow him on Twitter @_TyAnderson.