Bartolo Colon once went 0-for-43. Soon after that one ended, he took off on another 1-for-50 “streak.” None of that stopped the Mets from including a fat bonus in his new contract for winning a Silver Slugger Award.
This is called the Pipedream Clause. What’s Bartolo supposed to do, say, “No thanks?” And if a guy can learn to hit at 43 and do it better than anyone else at his position … claim your reward, dude.
But for every Pipedream Clause, shouldn’t there be a Lead Pipe Clause? It calls for a deduction if you miss playing time after getting hit by a plumbing vessel, or for other equally sensible injuries.
Pulled oblique muscle, left (Mat Latos) or right (Kevin Pillar), or back spasms (Sammy Sosa), from sneezing.
Bruising your tailbone by falling off a beanbag chair (A’s reliever Fernando Abad did it this season).
Getting your face scorched by (oxymoron alert) chillin’ on a tanning bed (Marty Cordova).
Suffering a chest burn while ironing your shirt … while wearing it (John Smoltz).
Straining your back while yanking on boots (Wade Boggs).
Dislocating your shoulder ripping apart a phone book (Steve Sparks, the 1994 Brewers version).
Dislocating a thumb while pulling on socks (Randy Johnson; no, not that one — the Braves’ 1982-84 third baseman).
Hand lacerations while buttering a dinner roll (Oddibe McDowell, 1985-88 Rangers), washing dishes (Ian Kennedy) or cleaning a blender (Brett Cecil).
Dislocating your ankle while showing your 5-year-old son how to use a trampoline (Joba Chamberlain).
A swollen wrist by over-jamming on Guitar Hero (Joel Zumaya, during the 2006 postseason).
Frostbite … in August … by falling asleep with an ice pack on your foot (Rickey Henderson).
A stomach stab, when taking on a DVD box with a knife and losing (Adam Eaton).
Biting YOURSELF in the butt.
Okay, that last one requires an in-depth explanation. Clarence Blethen was a ’20s pitcher, forgettable except for one thing: He’d try to spook out hitters by moving his false teeth from his mouth to his back pocket while pitching. Well, one day he slides into second and the dentures chomp into his butt bad enough to force his removal from the game with excessive bleeding.
Yes, a century before cell-phone “butt calls,” we had a “butt call-out.”