It is with a heavy heart that I must report, based on the reporting of others, that Marlins utility man and former Braves All-Star Omar Infante has sustained a devastating injury. To wit:
MIAMI — Florida Marlins second baseman Omar Infante has broken his right middle finger diving for a grounder against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Infante appeared in pain but stayed in the game Thursday night after his unsuccessful attempt to field the grounder by Skip Schumaker. The ball deflected off Infante’s glove and rolled into right field for a two-run double in the third inning.
This injury will severely limit Mr. Infante’s ability to make obscene gestures and play baseball for a yet undisclosed period of time. As of now, we can only hold our breaths and hope for the best.
Many may believe that this injury can be understood only as a freak occurrence that can simply be chalked up bad luck. I reject that. Every calamity must happen for a reason, after all, and (as NotGraphs’ foremost expert on the supernatural) I believe that Omar Infante is yet another player to fall victim to the infamous “Curse of Old Hoss.”
You may know Charles Gardner “Old Hoss” Radbourn as the mustachioed pitcher who between 1881 and 1891 pitched 4527.1 innings, amassing 309 wins and 71.6 WAR, mostly with the Providence Grays and the Boston Beaneaters. You may also know him for his active Twitter presence. I know him, however, as the man who flipped the bird in his 1886 team photo.
Radbourn died in 1897 at the age of just 42 after a long bout with syphilis (which we can assume he contracted at one of the many brothels of which he was a regular patron). With much unfinished business left to attend to before he died, Radbourn has since made his presence felt in the physical realm in the only way he knows how.
There remain unanswered questions, though. For instance, a quick (but scientifically sound) search of Google reveals that Old Hoss has been especially busy over the last few decades. Why might this be?
With Omar Infante his most recent victim, we can only hope that Old Hoss spares our favorite players.