Earlier this season Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Ryan Madson committed one of the stupidest acts a professional athlete can commit. After blowing a save in the 10th inning of a game against the San Francisco Giants Madson threw a temper tantrum during which he kicked a chair. Proving that the chair is mightier than the foot Madson ended up on the disabled list with a broken toe. Madson was filling in as the Phillies closer due to an injury to regular closer Brad Lidge.
This type of injury is just plain stupid. Everyone understands how it feels to have had a bad day on the job. But when you make a living with your physical prowess you need to find an outlet for that anger that does not threaten the well being of your body. Such an injury is not only harmful to the player and his career but also to the team which must now find a way to fill the players spot on the roster with a capable replacement.
Madson is not the first player to cause his team damage by incurring a self inflicted injury. And he won’t be the last. We hear of these types of injuries several times a season.
Bust as stupid as this type of injury is a Met, as usual, has found a way to make it more stupid.
Francisco Rodriguez has taken this type of injury to the extreme. Though he’ll be out for the rest of the season it’s not the length of his absence that makes it so dumb. It’s how he incurred the injury.
Instead of kicking a chair and breaking his toe Rodriguez suffered a torn ligament in his thumb while beating up his girlfriend’s father, the grandfather of his twin children. (Details of the incident have been covered ad nauseam in other venues.)
In doing so K-Rod not only cost the team but may have done irreparable damage to his personal life and put his career in jeopardy. His girlfriend and her father have already gotten restraining orders that will keep him from his own house. As the situation develops his legal rights to see his own children could be in danger. Additionally, it’s expected that the Mets will be looking to void his contract. At the very least they will seek to make his stay on the disabled list an unpaid affair.
In other words, letting his temper get the better of him for just a minute may lead him to lose everything or at least a large chunk of it. After this episode it all changes for him.