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19-29, Game Thought

See, this here puts me in a funny position.

It's low to delight in another player's injury. Unsportsmanlike, if you will. And, in some ways, it can be an acknowledgment of inferiority. To root for a player to get hurt or to cheer when he does is not only insensitive - it can carry with it the unspoken message that, yeah, now the team is more beatable. It may imply a lack of confidence in your team's ability to beat the other at full strength.

But of all the ways to get hurt...everybody celebrates walk-off homers in the same way, so it's not like the Angels were being exceptionally boastful, but to get hurt after jumping into the pile? To get hurt badly? Although it may not seem like it, baseball is a dangerous sport. People can get injured at any moment, whether by throwing a pitch, or getting hit by one, or diving, or running, or sliding, or anything. There are few points in a baseball game where you can observe a certain circumstance and say, okay, from a health perspective, this is completely safe. Celebrating a dramatic win, ordinarily, is one of those moments. The game is over. There's no need to exert. So watching Kendry Morales crumple into a twisted heap the instant he steps on home plate - it's so ridiculous, so absurd as to be comical.

Injuries are an unfortunate reality, but that doesn't mean that some of them can't be funny. Rick Honeycutt cut himself on the mound with a thumbtack. Bill Gramatica. Ricky Bones went on the DL after hurting himself watching TV. Charlie Hough broke his pinkie shaking hands. Kendry Morales didn't take a line drive off the skull. He didn't get beaned in the face. Kendry Morales apparently hurt his ankle. He's going to be fine. And it's the fact that he'll make a full, normal recovery that allows us to laugh at his ludicrous injury without the slightest tinge of guilt. He hurt himself celebrating his own home run.

So maybe it isn't the classiest thing in the world to joke. Morales is a person, after all. This is his job. He has teammates, and coaches, and a season on the line. And family, too. Kendry Morales isn't laughing. For Kendry Morales, this totally sucks. But so what? Since when are fans under some obligation to be 100% classy, all of the time? This situation is funny. It's funny. Again, he's not in any real danger. At worst, he, what, broke a bone? Tore a ligament? It isn't severe, and his isn't a career that depends on his footspeed. He'll be fine, which allows us to joke. It isn't funny because Kendry Morales is really good. It's funny because Kendry Morales hurt himself celebrating his own home run.

If anything, now we're even. The M's have had to deal with injuries to Cliff Lee and Jack Wilson. The Rangers have had to deal with injuries to Nelson Cruz and Ian Kinsler. The A's have had to deal with injuries to Brett Anderson and 75% of the rest of the roster. The Angels have had Brian Fuentes and a host of bad catchers. It was their turn. It's too bad that Kendry Morales had to get hurt, but it's too bad that all those other players had to get hurt, too, and at least this one gets us all caught up.

Injuries - like a lot of things in life - we would all prefer to not have be a normal part of living. But they are, and if you can't find the humor in unfortunate situations, you're in for a rough road. I do feel bad for Angels fans, a little bit. Especially Ms. Jeff. Kendry Morales is really good. A struggling team never wants to lose a good player. If the same thing happened to Gutierrez or Ichiro, though, I'm certain that, once I got over the initial shock, I'd look back on it as one of the most bizarre and hilarious points in the season. So what if that's cold? This is sports. Sports don't matter. Sports are entertainment, and this afternoon, I was entertained.