Those crazy, nutty injuries

From blown out knees to sneezing attacks, the 2004 season had its share of ridiculous injuries.

Originally Published: November 5, 2004
By Jayson Stark | ESPN.com

And now the latest, greatest additions to our never-ending list of Stuff That Never Happened To Cal Ripken ...

  • First prize: Padres minor leaguer Tagg Bozied hit a game-winning grand slam for the Portland Beavers on July 19, leaped into the air so he could jump on home plate -- and ruptured his patellar tendon. He was out the rest of the year.

    Rich Harden
    Harden

  • Second prize: A's pitcher Rich Harden strained his shoulder during spring training -- turning off his alarm clock.

  • Third prize: Sammy Sosa wound up on the disabled list after throwing out his back sneezing -- and couldn't even lie about it because he did it while speaking with reporters.

  • Practice doesn't make perfect division: David Wells needed right-wrist surgery and stitches in his left palm -- after a bar-stool mishap in his house.

    Brett Tomko
    Tomko

  • Did he or didn't he division: Giants pitcher Brett Tomko claimed this isn't what happened. But from everyone else's vantage point, he appeared to do a little pirouette to celebrate a Sept. 1 strikeout of Royce Clayton -- and sprained his ankle. Even manager Felipe Alou said he'd never seen that one before -- "not even with Pascual Perez." But Tomko said he was just turning to head off the mound (because it was third out) and caught his foot in a divot in the dirt. Oh, whatever.

  • Commuter division: The good news for Tom Glavine was, he stayed off the disabled list for the 19th straight season. The bad news was, he lost two teeth -- and missed a start -- after a cab ride from LaGuardia Airport to Shea Stadium turned into every New York taxi rider's worst nightmare. (Translation: ka-boom.) "New York," Glavine quipped, "has hit me hard in more ways than one."

  • Parenthood is dangerous division: Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson reached down to pick up his son's toy -- and twisted his knee.

    Wes Helms
    Helms

  • Only in San Juan division: Poor Brewers third baseman Wes Helms was waiting out one of those daily rain delays in San Juan before a game with the Expos, went outside to check out the conditions, slipped in the tunnel, blew out his knee and needed knee surgery.

  • Ship shape division: Yankees pitcher Sam Marsonek creatively strained his knee during the All-Star break -- when he slipped on a wet dock. He spent the rest of the season on the 60-day disabled list. Amazingly, George Steinbrenner didn't (ahem) dock his pay.

  • Owners division: Tampa Bay managing general partner Vince Naimoli got hit by a flying bat while sitting behind the dugout April 22 -- even though he was seated next to the Army's chief of staff, Gen. Pete Schoomaker. Somehow, Naimoli resisted the urge to ask for more troops to be deployed at future Devil Rays games.

    Jayson Stark is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

    Jayson Stark | email

    Senior Writer, ESPN.com
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