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Joba Chamberlain shouldn’t have been on that trampoline

Mar 23, 2012, 11:33 AM EDT

Trampoline center

Since the Joba Chamberlain news came out, a debate has sprung up about the wisdom employed by Mr. Chamberlain in being on that trampoline in the first place.  Between the comments and Twitter, I’ve seen opinion range from “leave Joba alone!” to “Joba is the biggest idiot in the history of idiots.”

I think both of those are extreme. My view: it’s understandable that he wanted to have fun with his son. Who wouldn’t want to?  But it was probably a bad decision here because trampolines are really freakin’ dangerous.

As it is, if you have one, your homeowner’s insurance company will make you pay a higher premium.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports there are approximately 100,000 backyard trampoline injuries a year. Kids die on them too. And while the CPSC hasn’t yet gathered numbers on those indoor trampoline centers — which is where it appears Chamberlain’s injury happened — they are likely pretty freakin’ dangerous too.

For an idea of that, check out this article from last summer about trampoline centers. It starts out with the business model for these places, but moves on to just how damn dangerous they are:

Since November, one Midwest trampoline park has had ambulances dispatched to it for trauma injuries ranging from broken ankles and dislocated shoulders to a head injury— a 13-year-old girl who fell on her head and reported tingling in her arms and difficulty breathing. Another West Coast center had fifteen ambulance calls since the place opened last fall, several of which were for serious injuries. These are only the ambulance calls; they don’t include the injuries where the parents took their children to the hospital.

The potential for devastating injuries concerns Dr. Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio …. we will probably shortly be seeing multiple lawsuits about trampoline park injuries, insurance companies refusing to continue to insure them, municipalities passing regulations prohibiting them and probably the Consumer Product Safety Commission cracking down on them.

Back to Joba.  Is he a dumb guy for wanting to play with his son? Of course not, and my heart breaks for him. But at the same time, this is not just one of those situations where we look back at the decision after an injury and say, only then, that the decision was a poor one due to the occurrence of the injury.

Trampolines aren’t bicycles or community swimming pools. They do not require you to be particularly careless in order for an injury to happen. They are way more dangerous, and  anyone whose career depends on being physically healthy has to think twice before participating in an activity with this much risk and where they make you sign elaborate injury waivers.

So, sorry, but for as understandable as it was that Chamberlain wanted to play with his son, he made a bad choice here. And that choice will cost him at least this season and maybe more. Maybe his career.

In other news:

  1. uyf1950 - Mar 23, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    Craig, thank you.

    • Alex K - Mar 23, 2012 at 3:12 PM

      This is far from Craig calling Joba a moron. It’s him calling jumping on a trampoline a bad idea. I actually agree with him, too. But, I still applaud Joba for playing with his son, that is never a bad idea.

      Following through with a bad idea is far from being a moron.

  2. poprox13 - Mar 23, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    Lets hope he’s able to bounce back from this injury……..

    • snowbirdgothic - Mar 23, 2012 at 11:52 AM

      I’m sure he’ll rebound from this.

    • makjak2 - Mar 23, 2012 at 1:38 PM

      That one was obligatory. Well done.

  3. dashortstop517 - Mar 23, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    Wo! Didn’t see that coming. Well I can’t blame him fr wanting to wanting to play with his son

    • yankeesgameday - Mar 23, 2012 at 1:15 PM

      Yes, you can. I’m sure HR blames himself.

  4. mybrunoblog - Mar 23, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    The words “job a chamberlain” and “trampoline” in the same sentence make me afraid. Very afraid.

    • Old Gator - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:56 PM

      Has anyone checked the effects of the FAT TOAD’s lattes folly on the precession of the axis?

      • vivabear - Mar 23, 2012 at 1:19 PM

        No.

      • Old Gator - Mar 23, 2012 at 1:43 PM

        Wouldn’t have expected you to. The extent of your intellectual curiosity has to be measured in quantum packets.

      • vivabear - Mar 23, 2012 at 5:08 PM

        I’d rather not have you measuring anything of mine Gator. You can look, but don’t touch.

  5. El Bravo - Mar 23, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    Trampolines are like motorcycles. Use them at your own risk, and by God, if you play professional sports, stay the F away from both. Also stay out the clubs…and cars while drunk…and don’t own a gun…

    Also, I did not know there were things called Trampoline parks, but as a lover of those dangerous toys, I’m so going to check one out.

    • skids003 - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:13 PM

      100,000 injuiries? That’s worse than guns. Ban trampolines!!! Or at least make people register them, or make a law they can only buy one per month!!!

      • koufaxmitzvah - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:20 PM

        Last time I checked, you can’t use a trampoline to shoot somebody because that person is black and in your neighborhood.

        I also don’t think you can storm a schoolyard with a trampoline and shoot an 8 year old girl in the head twice to confirm the kill.

        That is all.

      • thefalcon123 - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:29 PM

        Also, according to Wikipedia, about 105,000 are injured or killed by guns each year.

      • hasbeen5 - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:42 PM

        No need to turn this into a gun control debate, but to quote the great mind that is Larry the Cable guy, blaming a gun for killing someone is like blaming your pencil for spelling a word wrong.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:49 PM

        Then maybe gunners should stop whining about gun control.

      • Old Gator - Mar 23, 2012 at 1:01 PM

        Well, I sure am glad there was no need to turn this into a gun control debate.

        On the other hand, it’s time MLB got serious about trampoline control – or are they just going to wink at it for a decade or two the way they did at PEDs? I mean, let’s face it – the guy who tests for trampolines isn’t likely to leave it in his fridge all weekend….

      • thefalcon123 - Mar 23, 2012 at 1:04 PM

        “No need to turn this into a gun control debate, but to quote the great mind that is Larry the Cable guy, blaming a gun for killing someone is like blaming your pencil for spelling a word wrong.”

        Okay, seriously…you’re quoting Larry the Cable Guy to back up your argument? That’s it, I’m done debating gun control. This debate has officially moved on to why the hell anyone would bring in Larry the Cable Guy to back up a political point. Are you going to cite Delta Farce in debating a potential conflict with Iran next?

      • Gobias Industries - Mar 23, 2012 at 1:17 PM

        I became pro-life after watching Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector.

      • hasbeen5 - Mar 23, 2012 at 2:00 PM

        Give me a break man, my point was that even someone like him can see the obvious fault in blaming inanimate objects for the decisions that people make.

      • deathmonkey41 - Mar 23, 2012 at 2:22 PM

        Gobias Industries – Mar 23, 2012 at 1:17 PM
        I became pro-life after watching Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector.

        Really? That movie made me pro choice.

  6. zackd2 - Mar 23, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    Didn’t Heath Bell do some flip into his pool on MLBNetwork? And it was OMG heath bell is sooooo crazy and funny ahahahh what a “real” guy.

    Point: It’s only a big deal when someone gets hurt

  7. Jonny 5 - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    But there are five sports more dangerous-to- much more dangerous than jumping on trampolines and baseball is one of them so the 100,000 trampoline injuries stat isn’t as bad as it looks when comparing to sports, and we aren’t going to tell people to stop doing them.

    Basketball — 680,307
    Baseball — 170,902
    Softball — 118,354
    Football — 413,620
    Soccer — 163,003
    Volleyball — 55,860
    Track & Field — 15,113
    Hockey — 63,945

    I can only assume that in Canada Hockey probably ranks much higher than in the US. But those are the numbers on the injury rates for the US.

    • cur68 - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:25 PM

      I cannot believe that hockey injuries are so low…we skate around with knives on our feet, carrying a club and wearing body armour made of heavy gauge plastics, thus doubling the impact and damage caused by checking. We have a culture where “dropping the gloves” is THE term for inviting a bar fight (as in “you wanna drop the gloves, pal? Then stop makin’ sheep eyes at my girlfriend”). How is it that we have fewer injuries than baseball, a non sharp object sport and where a fight involves a lot of grown ups hugging in a heap? I can only surmise that it is because us Canadians are tougher than a billygoat’s intestines.

    • El Bravo - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:29 PM

      Then there’s boxing. You must be critically injured to even begin playing the sport.

      • Jonny 5 - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:35 PM

        Critically injured in the cortex at least. I never “got” boxing. But it sure entertains the hell out of me when two good boxers square off for a long fight.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:44 PM

        Boxing is a great workout, and you don’t have to hit or be hit by anybody to have a great boxing workout.

      • Utley's Hair - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:48 PM

        Which makes ultimate fighting how much worse?

  8. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    If they are so notoriously dangerous, there must be some language in the standard MLB player’s agreement forbidding their use, on pains of a breach of contract claim. If MLB did not think to do such a thing (like Aaron Boone’s ill-fated basketball games) it seems a bit silly to put the onus on Chamberlain to automatically exclude himself from such activities.

    People get injured walking across the street and eating ham sandwiches, sometimes fatally, but that will not stop most of us from doing such things. Without specific instructions to the contrary from MLB, it is tough to blame Joba for horsing around with his kid.

    • phillyphreak - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:29 PM

      RIP Mama Cass (at least in myth)….

  9. hasbeen5 - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    How many people are injured riding bicycles every year? My kid is almost old enough to ride, and he’ll get one when he’s ready for it. I might get him a damn trampoline in a few years. You teach them how to be careful, you can’t put them in a bubble and protect them from everything.

    • Old Gator - Mar 23, 2012 at 1:03 PM

      Sure you can. I can get your kid a used immunodeficiency bubble cheap. Don’t forget to irradiate the hot dogs before passing them through the airlock.

    • phillyphreak - Mar 23, 2012 at 1:46 PM

      Teaching how to be careful is one thing, actually being careful is another. It’s a wonder that I am alive after all of the royal rumble trampoline fights my friends and I had.

  10. CJ - Mar 23, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    He was at a trampoline park? Nope, still don’t think he got hurt while “jumping”. This is Joba Chamberlain we’re talking about here (plus he probably let loose while recivering from TJ).

    Nope, I’m sure he took one step out on one of the trampolines and fell straight through. He’s lucky it was only that bad. It’d have been horriffic if he had landed on his son.

  11. deathmonkey41 - Mar 23, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    Like the old saying goes- it’s all fun and games until a fat guy breaks his ankle in a trampoline park.

  12. themikebowers - Mar 23, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    I went to a trampoline park in Washington State last year. After about an hour, I jumped up and landed wrong.

    Pop.

    A torn ACL, knee cartilage, reconstructive surgery and six months of rehab later, my knee is as “normal” as it will be from now on. There were two things that really stood out that night:

    1. The three-page waiver I had to sign. It included a statement along the lines of, “All the risks of trampolines cannot be eliminated without reducing the enjoyment factor.”

    2. The number of people in the area already familiar with the park. Someone in the ER had also hurt themselves there that night, the nurse in the ER said, “Our business has skyrocketed since they opened,” and my orthopedist said he wouldn’t let his kids go there.

    But it was pretty fun.

  13. randomdigits - Mar 23, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    And yet you didn’t have a problem with R. A. Dickey climbing a freakin mountain.

  14. yankeesfanlen - Mar 23, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    Yes APBA, it can only become capitalized while he is pretending to play a sport he is paid for.

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