Kicking Rocks: Stupid Human Tricks

One of the biggest criticisms of saber-enthusiasts is their tendency to ignore the human element of the game.  Their breakdown and analysis of the game is all about the numbers, statistical trends, replacement values, etc.  These aren’t robots here on the field playing the game, yet often during a study of it, they are, in a way, treated as such.  And for me, I have to agree with the critics.  You simply can’t ignore the human element.  It must be accounted for in some way.  Why?  Because humans are inherently stupid and common sense is the least common thing in this world.

Take Brewers catcher, Jonathan Lucroy.  I’m still scratching my head at this one but the gist of what I’m getting is that he was searching for a sock under the bed and while that was happening his wife shifted a suitcase which then fell on his throwing hand and fracturing it.


I feel like I need one of those crime scene TV shows that goes into flashback mode to recreate the scene so that we, the public, can understand the course of events.  Was one hand on top of the bed while he was looking under for this alleged sock and the suitcase fell on it there?  Was he shimmying under the bed and his hand was on the floor?  How did a suitcase fall onto his hand?  Someone help me understand, please, because this is sounding like the dumbest excuse I’ve ever heard.  Just because someone says, “You can’t make this stuff up,” doesn’t mean that they didn’t.

So as I’m searching the waiver wire deciding whether to pick up George Kottaras or some other shlub that’s still available in this 12-team, two-catcher league, it got me to thinking about all the other times my fantasy teams got hosed because of the stupidity of humans.  I thought about stupid Jeff Kent falling off his truck while washing it, breaking his wrist and my immediate need for a new second baseman.  What?  That was a lie?  He was violating his contract by riding his motorcycle?  Well then that’s even more stupid.

Then there was the time a promising young rookie named Clint Barmes, hitting close to .400 in mid-May, fell up (or down, depending on whose story you get) a flight of stairs while carrying a bunch of deer meat for Todd Helton after a hunting trip and broke his collarbone.  We would have still been trying to figure this one out, but since Barmes owns a career average under .250, no one seems to care anymore.  Either way, he was gone for months with zero trade value so early in the season.  To think, all the offers for him I passed up on…

Kevin Brown, punching the clubhouse wall.  The Sammy Sosa sneeze.  Chris Coghlan going after Wes Helms with a shaving cream pie.  Troy Tulowitzki cutting his hand while breaking his bat.  Carlos Quentin breaking his wrist punching his bat.  Sadly, the list goes on and on and over the years my, and countless others’, fantasy teams have been wrecked by the stupidity of humans.  If you get hurt sliding into second, then fine.  Break a finger squaring up for a bunt?  I’m cool with that.  Injuries are a part of the game.  But when you’re being careless or reckless and doing things off the field that maybe you shouldn’t be doing, well then we have issues.

Ballplayers should know, there are only so many times a fantasy owner can recover in one season when his players go down with injuries.  Winning a league is hard enough as it is.  Let’s not make it even more difficult by letting your stupidity get in the way of our championship run.


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Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over 10 years on a variety of websites. In addition to his work here, you can also find him at his site,, Fantasy Alarm, RotoWire and Mock Draft Central. Follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or for more direct questions or comments, email him at

24 Responses to “Kicking Rocks: Stupid Human Tricks”

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  1. malicevoyager says:

    Do you ever think these stupid incidences happen because baseball players aren’t the smartest people around? I mean most did go to college but did most really treat college as anything more than a stop on their professional baseball career? I certainly don’t think they are like the soccer players of Europe who notoriously lack certain “fundamental” skills like literacy in their native language…

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    • geo says:

      Did you ever think that these stupid incidences happen because stupid crap happens to pretty much everybody and that baseball players are people too?

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    • Mikey says:

      Yeah, because literacy and/or a college education has a lot to do with one’s tendency to punch baseball bats or to have suitcases dropped on one’s hand.

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  2. NatsFan73 says:

    FWIW my entirely groundless theory is that he punched something and broke his hand, then made up this nonsense story to avoid the potential fallout of what happens when a pro athlete not-entirely-accidentally injures himself off the field.

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    • juan pierres mustache says:

      my theory is that every one of these injuries that happen in weird, unverifiable ways is actually a sex-related injury

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      • grassyjones says:

        natsfan73 & jpstache’s replys were the first two ‘real’ reasons that popped into my head too

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    • Sam Samson says:

      I think it’s aliens.

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  3. lexomatic says:

    Does nobody remember Glenallen Hill? He probably has one of the best weird injury stories ever.

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  4. MustBunique says:

    One of my all-time favorites as a Red Sox fan: Paxton Crawford. A day after pitching a 7 inning no-hitter, he allegedly rolled off a hotel bed in Ottawa and landed on a glass that he had left on the floor. The injury required eight stitches.

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  5. TheWrightStache says:

    Can’t believe this post was devoid of a Kendrys Morales reference. And while it wasn’t intentionally stupid or particularly severe, Derek Lee injuring his back a couple years ago when the chair he was sitting in (eating, obviously) collapsed was hilarious.

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  6. Uncle Hulka says:

    In most cases, these “freak” accidents are cover ups for more embarrassing or potentially illegal acts. Clubs and players invent them to save face and/or to avoid getting contracts voided.

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    • BlackOps says:

      You sound so sure. Can you provide some of the real reasons?

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      • Uncle Hulka says:

        Most of the “injuries”: dropping venison on one’s hand, falling off treadmills, sneezing, etc are cover ups for any number of incidents. I think most are alcohol related, domestic flare-ups, punching things/people, etc. The stupid alibis are fabricated to save face for players/organizations.

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  7. Franchise says:

    Howard; check out Lexomatic’s link above – pretty good stuff there. Smoltz injuring himself ironing a shirt – while WEARING IT?!? Marty Cordova tanning booth injury?
    Not mentioned is Bob Ojeda severing a finger while gardening (not on the ‘funny’ list would be the boating accident that injured him and Tim Crews and killed Steve Olin, though).

    Doyle Alexander too, also.

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  8. Telo2 says:

    Matt Holiday went on the DL because of a moth

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  9. sprezzident says:

    Joel Zumaya – Guitar Hero

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  10. saskatunes says:

    I have a rock to kick: Tony Campana not in the Cubs starting lineup on an even semi-regular basis.

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  11. KCExile says:

    Nobody mentioned David Wells? He was chasing his friend around his basement bar, tripped over a bar stool and the cocktail glass he was carrying lacerated a tendon in his wrist. If my memory serves me correct.

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  12. Dingbat says:

    Kaz Sasaki and his not-at-all-drinking-related suitcase accident?

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  13. Joebreidey says:

    Okay, it’s not BB-related, but Gus Ferrotte head butting a brick wall to celebrate a TD just retired the entire genre for all sports.

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  14. Ryan D. says:

    Recently Ryan Madson broke his foot kicking a wall after blowing a save. That hurt my bullpen.

    My favorite might be Vince Coleman being eaten by automated tarp before a World Series game


    The story that David Wells once broke his pitching hand in a street fight outside a bar after his mother’s wake.

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  15. Reverend Jim says:

    Thanks for the article. I was just talking about the Clint Barmes accident the other day with someone but couldn’t remember who it was.

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