The Worst Jump Of All Time
Tim Chalberg • Saturday, May 29, 2010
Kendry Morales is done for the season - again. While his leg has healed from the broken leg he suffered last year, significant scar tissue remains. The surgery required puts him out for the entire 2011 season.
Of course, this story isn't that far separated from the Mariners. Not only are the Halos a division rival, but it's hard to forget how Kendry broke his leg in the first place - on a walk-off grand slam against the Mariners. At the time, I found the broken leg a little fluky, and in a morbid way, humorous.*
*Not to be confused with humerus, ironically enough an arm bone
While I felt somewhat bad for Kendry, a broken leg on such a fluky "play" didn't seem like too big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. Sure, Morales would have to rehab, but baseball is now a full time job, and he had access to professional trainers. In today's sports world, with today's medicine, it seemed to me like he would recover and go on with his baseball career. I hate the Angels, but even I have my limits. I wasn't vicious enough to laugh at a debilitating injury. It was funny to me because I knew it would hurt the Angels.
Now I'm having second thoughts.
Kendry Morales was a pretty good baseball player when he got injured, but how good is he? This injury happened in the middle of May last year. If and when Kendry plays his next MLB game, the earliest it will come is April (or really late March) 2012. We are talking 23 months between competitive ballgames. In other words, a month short of two entire years.
How many players are good enough to miss two years of baseball without missing a beat? Even without any sort of injury, I wonder how many players would pick up right where they left off. I also wonder how many players would recover from the kind of leg injury we are talking about with Morales now. His bone isn't the issue. The scar tissue can be cleared out, but it's hard to believe that Kendry's leg will ever fully recover; so in turn it is hard to think that Kendry Morales will come back as the player he had become.
Kendry's story is nothing short of a tragedy at this point. He defected from Cuba for a chance to play in the big leagues. Granted, he was uber-talented, and he had his suitors. This isn't a complete rags-to-riches, diamond-in-the-rough kind of story. Still, how many people leave behind everything to go to a completely foreign place, in hopes of a better tomorrow while chasing their passion? Morales, like handfuls of Cubans, risked a ton to gain a ton.
Now, it might all be gone. If it is, it was taken away by a grand slam of all things. How cruel is that?
On a lighter note, it's hard to believe that something like this can happen in 2010, and now 2011. Doesn't this story read like something from a turn-of-the-century biography? It' so easy to imagine some old-timer reminiscing about a fellow ballplayer, saying, "He would've been one of the best ever, but he broke his leg stepping on home plate after a grand slam. Never was the same after." One of those classic pseudo-myths that baseball, especially old time baseball, is so good at spinning out of hazy facts.
I'm rooting for Kendry at this point, even though the Mariners are in better shape if he can't recover. It's a fact of life that fluky things happen, both bad and good. Usually I celebrate when a fluky bad thing happens to an opponent, especially one I loathe like the Angels. I don't have the heart to root for fluky disasters though, especially when someone's life passions and goals are stolen.
For the time being, with all due respect to Mark Trumbo, I hope Trumbo swats flies all summer. However, I also hope that Kendry Morales trots out to first base in 2012, and gets a chance to cross home plate again without incident...not against the Mariners, of course.