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Zack Greinke didn’t violate his contract by playing basketball

Mar 9, 2011, 8:45 AM EST

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When I saw that Zack Greinke’s broken rib came playing pickup basketball, my first thought was “man, that dude just cost himself some money.”  Tom Haudricourt reports, however, that the Brewers don’t agree:

[Doug] Melvin said Greinke did not violate his contract by playing a game of pick-up basketball, which is how he was injured near the start of camp.

“The contract stipulates against playing ‘competitive’ basketball,” said Melvin. “They don’t want you playing in men’s leagues or things like that. If he had suffered a severe injury playing in a men’s league, there probably would be repercussions with his salary.

It’s been a while since I played basketball, but in my experience unsupervised pickup basketball was always way more physical than organized leagues. I mean, you never hear “no blood, no foul” during intermural games down at the rec center. Depending on what gym, park or playground you’re hitting for a pickup game, however, you could be taking your life in your hands.

But hey, a contract is a contract. And I bet that future baseball contracts take out or at least redefine that “competitive” language in the future.

  1. BC - Mar 9, 2011 at 9:02 AM

    This guy is a chipwich. What if he blew an ACL or something? Remember that guy Robert Edwards for the Patriots about 12 or so years ago – played flag football, destroyed his knee, never came back. Big Ben and Kellen Winslow almost killed themselves riding motorcycles.
    Stick to your normal offseason baseball workouts, Zach. Smarten up.

    • Lukehart80 - Mar 9, 2011 at 12:35 PM

      If a guy wants to play ball and his contract doesn’t forbid it, there’s nothing wrong with it. If teams/fans want players to spend every moment either playing baseball or sitting in a protective egg, they should ask to put such a stipulation into the contract. I’m sure for an extra $20-million a year, you could get some of them to agree to it. Otherwise, let the man live his outside of work life, the same as any of us is allowed to do.

  2. lar @ wezen-ball - Mar 9, 2011 at 9:22 AM

    Cal Ripken was pretty famous for his love for basketball. He was also pretty famous for his ability to stay uninjured. I suppose it’s reasonable for a player to think that he’ll be fine playing basketball in the offseason/his free time…

    • BC - Mar 9, 2011 at 9:32 AM

      I guess Greinke is a klutz and Ripken wasn’t. Either that or Ripken played shooting guard and Greinke tried to play 4 and got beaten up.

  3. phukyouk - Mar 9, 2011 at 9:23 AM

    2 words. AARON BOONE! moron!

  4. cur68 - Mar 9, 2011 at 11:22 AM

    Leave Zack alone! We should be going after whoever fouled him. Indications are (or something) that in might be Sabbathia, though Kevin Garnett’s name has been mentioned by sources not close to the situation. Who ever did this, they owe the Brewers the money, not Zack. Zack’s an excellent pitcher with good instincts, natural ability and the kind of grace that reminds me of a young Bobby Brown (before the crack & Whitney, I mean). Someone needs to be shoving a mike in the faces of those 2 ballplayers and demanding to know if it was their scrappy play that injured Zack, who is a great natural talent.

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