Skip to content

Cliff Lee struck in the ear and bloodied by a broken bat splinter

Sep 24, 2010, 10:15 AM EDT

Cliff Lee struggled again last night, giving up four runs in five innings while falling to 4-6 with a 4.25 ERA in 14 starts for the Rangers, but was able to narrowly avoid being the second player this month to suffer a major injury from a broken bat.
In the fourth inning Jack Cust singled up the middle to drive in the first run of the game and his bat broke into three pieces, the smallest of which struck Lee on the right ear.
Lee seemed completely unfazed at first, focusing instead on the run he just allowed and the fact that the barrel of the bat flew over his head, but then noticed that his ear was bleeding. Pitching coach Mike Maddux came out to the mound, looked at the ear and told Lee something along the lines of “yep, it’s bleeding,” and then manager Ron Washington and the trainer hopped out of the dugout to take a look. has the video.
Compared to Tyler Colvin he certainly got off lucky, but how long can we keep counting on players avoiding major injuries by a matter of inches?

  1. BC - Sep 24, 2010 at 10:23 AM


  2. Chris Fiorentino - Sep 24, 2010 at 10:31 AM

    Lee is obviously a guy who needs the adrenaline to pitch well, and he just isn’t feeling it right now. Come playoff time, just as he did last year with the Phillies, I have no doubt in my mind he will be back to the force he was last year in the postseason. And any ungrateful idiot Phillies fans who talk negatively about Lee should be forced to watch Cole Hamels AWFUL game 3 start, where he was staked to a 3-0 lead and proceeded to give up 5 runs in 4 1/3 innings. Better yet, watch ALL of Cole Hamels postseason 2009 and come back to me and tell me how much you are glad we don’t have Cliff Lee. Dude was a freaking beast. Doc has zero postseason experience and the last time Cole Hamels pitched in the postseason, he was telling everybody after the game that he couldn’t wait for the season to be over. Doc will be fine, and Hamels is much better going into the postseason this year…but lay off Lee boys…

  3. AdamK - Sep 24, 2010 at 10:32 AM

    I don’t think banning maple bats is the answer. As long as they use wooden bats in the Majors, there is going to be a risk of a broken bat piece hitting someone… There is really no alternative to wooden bats without substantially changing the game.

  4. ThatGuy - Sep 24, 2010 at 10:51 AM

    You apparently missed all the talk about the BatGlove and other solutions after Colvin got hit. There are solutions, MLB just needs to implement them.

  5. Aarcraft - Sep 24, 2010 at 10:51 AM


  6. Jonny5 - Sep 24, 2010 at 10:58 AM

    I don’t see any Philly fans speaking badly of Lee. You sir, are an idiot. And it was more like “I’m not too upset about Lee being traded” . Look at what we have going for us now. I think you need to take some prozac or something.

  7. APBA Guy - Sep 24, 2010 at 11:03 AM

    That was a close one. Lee, like Colvin, was watching the ball and didn’t realize the shard was heading towards him. It helicoptered by his head and you could see his ear flap as the fragment descended and brushed him (using Ultra-Mo, the super slow motion replay the A’s broadcasts have.)
    It’s apparent that players follow the ball and if they don’t notice the bat breaking immediately they take no action to protect themselves, making maple bats more dangerous than they already are.
    Banning maple bats right now won’t help-a lot of guys would have no bats and no way to get a supply before the end of the season. But a ban after the WS until corrective measures are in place would work.
    It’s just a question of time before an even more serious incident occurs.

  8. Chris Fiorentino - Sep 24, 2010 at 11:10 AM

    Here’s what you said, dude “Yup, BTW ,I’m sooo not upset about Lee getting traded. He seems, and he seemed in Philly too At times, He seems to be very hot and cold. The kind of pitcher were you just never know if it’ll be Jekyl or Hyde showing up. ”
    If that’s not a diss of Cliff Lee, then I don’t know what is. Say something and stand by it…show a little backbone!!!!!

  9. Gobias Industries - Sep 24, 2010 at 11:16 AM

    Uh oh. Looks like we have a bit of a spat amongst HBT’s Phillies fans. I’m interested to see how this one’s gonna play out. Fiorentino v. Jonny5! Who will win this battle?! Who will be tased? Who will be puked upon? Stay tuned!

  10. Chris Fiorentino - Sep 24, 2010 at 11:30 AM

    I love Jonny…just wish people would stop the whole “I’m glad we got rid of Cliff Lee” thing. And the whole “Amaro is a genius” thing. Drives me NUTS!!!!!

  11. Jonny5 - Sep 24, 2010 at 11:35 AM

    Do you read, or just predict what i was going to type then quote that??? “”MARK MY WORDS!!”

  12. Jonny5 - Sep 24, 2010 at 11:44 AM

    Do you read, or just predict what i was going to type then quote that??? “”MARK MY WORDS!!”

  13. The Steve Jeltz Experiment - Sep 24, 2010 at 11:45 AM

    Amaro isn’t a genius. But the overwrought hand-wringing about losing Lee from the fanbase earlier this year was annoying. Halladay effectively replaced Lee in the rotation — the problem I had was that the deal had to be payroll-related, and the team tried denying that.
    Yeah, you could argue that Lee was a post-season beast… but prior to 2009, so was Cole Hamels (the 2007 start against the Rockies wasn’t spectacular, but I’d take a WHIP of approximately 1.0 over seven innings or so from my starter any day). Who’s to say that Lee won’t have a bad start in the post-season this year, especially if he’s not at full health? The small sample size involved in evaluating Lee in the postseason makes me wonder if it’s a little premature to classify him as a great post-season performer (like, say, Schilling). It could be just as easy to argue that he got hot at the right time last year. My guess is, he’s probably a great postseason pitcher because he’s a great pitcher. The same will likely be true of Doc.

  14. Jonny5 - Sep 24, 2010 at 11:47 AM

    That wasn’t a “diss” it’s how i feel. Lee is what he is. Still great.

  15. Old Gator - Sep 24, 2010 at 11:47 AM

    Ahhh, so nice to hear those three little words again….
    Anyway, the immediate answer to the problem of the bats is the Batglove. The gossamer spool of mylar wire in the sleeve will enable the hitter to reel back the broken pieces the instant its tiny built in sensors and microprocessors detect the wood shattering. The immediate answer to local traffic is the Batmobile. The immediate answer to how your wife reaches you to come home for dinner when you’ve accidentally turned off the ringer of your cell phone and it’s not deep enough in your pocket for the vibrator to affect any sensistive areas is the Bat Signal. The last place you want to duck into in a rainstorm is the Bat Cave, unless you like accessorize with guano.

  16. Chris Fiorentino - Sep 24, 2010 at 11:54 AM

    2010 World Series Champions…Philadelphia Phillies. Despite Ruben Amaro. MARK MY WORDS!!!!!

  17. Jonny5 - Sep 24, 2010 at 11:58 AM

    GENIUS!!! You’d be twice as good as Selig.

  18. Old Gator - Sep 24, 2010 at 12:13 PM

    You got it. I’d be paid twice as much, make three decisions a year – that’s all that’s necessary, by the way – and never doubletalk my way around an issue. As for the head of the Player’s Association, I’d send a nymph after him, have a paparazzo follow them to the motel, and that would be the end of labor problems in MLB.
    Oh yeah, and I’d send the DH back to hell where it came from.

  19. Nikoli - Sep 24, 2010 at 12:28 PM

    Cole Hamels must not have had his adrenaline going in 2009.

  20. John_Michael - Sep 24, 2010 at 12:32 PM

    Dear Derek Jeter,
    If you’re really a leader, like the MSM portrays you, please use a Bat Glove for the rest of the season and throughout the playoffs. You don’t need to get paid to use it. While it would be a nice PR win for you, do it because you should do it.

  21. Jonny5 - Sep 24, 2010 at 1:00 PM

    I love you man.. sniff snifff. You got my vote gator. If you made one good decision you’d be twice as good as Selig. It’s what baseball fans need, just one good decision a year. Imagine the outrage if the DH was wiped out??? Wow. It would be sooo great. and so destructive to all the guys on the “superior AL” bandwagon.

  22. Chris Fiorentino - Sep 24, 2010 at 1:08 PM

    Nope. And as he said after he got shelled in Game 3 last year…”I wish this season would just end” His head wasn’t in it and he admitted as much. Too much crap after the World Series the year before. He’s more focused this year, and i fully expect him to go back to his 2008 form. I also expect Lee to pitch like he did when the money time comes. Least that’s what he did last year and there’s no reason to think differently.

  23. IdahoMariner - Sep 24, 2010 at 1:43 PM

    bat glove. bat glove. bat glove. duh.

  24. birdmancometh - Sep 24, 2010 at 1:59 PM

    Is a bat glove something that can be used at the plate AND in the field?!

  25. Omega - Sep 24, 2010 at 2:47 PM

    Why are they looking at his right ear in the picture?

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. J. Baez (2276)
  2. B. Crawford (2247)
  3. H. Pence (2192)
  4. B. Harper (2123)
  5. A. Rodriguez (2012)