Skip to content

If I was a free agent I don’t think I’d be skiing

Jan 1, 2014, 10:37 AM EDT

Nelson Cruz Getty Images

From the Star-Telegram, some quotes from Nelson Cruz about his time in Texas apparently coming to an end. The usual stuff: it’s been good, I’ll always remember my time there fondly, but it’s a business, etc, etc. But this is what caught my eye:

Free-agent slugger Nelson Cruz was in Colorado on a ski vacation, his first time hitting the slopes, when his phone rang with the news that he won’t be returning to the Texas Rangers.

Talk about ruining a good time.

I guess as a free agent there are no contract provisions in place keeping him from engaging in activities that might get one injured. At the same time: if you’re facing a free agent market as tough as this one is for corner guys with no defensive value and draft pick compensation attached to you, maybe you want to do everything you can to keep from adding one more knock against your marketability. Like, I dunno, a broken leg.

  1. sextonbrian13 - Jan 1, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    Two words…RON GANT.

    • dakotaandotter - Jan 2, 2014 at 3:16 PM

      Sonny of Sonny and Cher.

  2. dondada10 - Jan 1, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    Maybe it was a euphemism. Baseball players in the 80s used to ski all the time and the only thing they broke was their noses.

    • Old Gator - Jan 1, 2014 at 11:14 AM

      They also used to fly their own airplanes. The only things they broke were the landing lights at the ends of runways and the sides of skyscrapers. The rest, they incinerated.

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 1, 2014 at 11:55 AM

      maybe he is glad to leave Texas. the skiing there must be horrible.

    • spudchukar - Jan 1, 2014 at 12:11 PM

      Maybe he is boarding, somewhat safer.

      • Old Gator - Jan 1, 2014 at 12:15 PM

        Depends on who his landlady is. If it’s Paris Hilton, no.

      • moogro - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:39 AM

        No one at any level of either sport, or who has ever been to a ski area would ever say that.

      • spudchukar - Jan 2, 2014 at 5:17 PM

        I live in Sun Valley, I hit the slopes often, when I had my knee replaced I opted for the board over skis, because boarding was safer. I think I have an idea of what I am talking about.

    • clydeserra - Jan 1, 2014 at 2:57 PM

      better than Kobe’s excuse of “rehabbing in Colorado.”

  3. philsieg - Jan 1, 2014 at 10:59 AM

    Like, I dunno, a broken leg.

    Leg, hell. Look at F1 champ Michael Schumacher.

    • lordfletcher - Jan 1, 2014 at 11:12 AM

      Really hoping Schumacher survives this ordeal. Sad news.

      • philsieg - Jan 1, 2014 at 11:17 AM


      • Old Gator - Jan 1, 2014 at 11:36 AM

        I do too, but look at it this way – it’s not like his main line of work wasn’t dangerous in the first place. It’s sadly ironic that he wound up doing this to himself on the slopes instead of on the track.

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 1, 2014 at 11:56 AM

      and he was wearing a helmet.
      I hope that dude recovers.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 1, 2014 at 12:19 PM

        He was. It’s the only reason he’s still alive because his head hit a rock when he fell.

  4. Old Gator - Jan 1, 2014 at 11:12 AM

    Lindsey Vonn makes a broken leg look good. Nelson Cruz doesn’t.

    • Old Gator - Jan 1, 2014 at 11:23 AM

      Ackcherley, while we’re on the subject, are ballplayers contractually permitted even to join pickup basketball games? Mutts fans will remember the sad story of rookie wunderkind Mike Vail who, I think, ruptured his Achilles tendon in one of those and was never even close to the same ballplayer after that. I still recall Dick Young’s column about Vail in the Daily News – especially his remark, “This is what their union has won for them – the right to destroy themselves.”

      Anyone out there hoary enough to remember Dick Young? I didn’t care for his politics much but he was one bad muta’fik’ha (with apologies to Ishmael Reed) of a baseball writer. When I find us bogged down in discussions of hacks like Chass and Shaughnessy, I get nostalgic for Dick Young versus Howard Cosell (the journalistic equivalent of Rousy versus Tate) and the World Series goat horns.

      • sdelmonte - Jan 1, 2014 at 11:46 AM

        How can any Mets fan not remember the man who drove Tom Seaver out of Shea? Yeah, there was probably more to it than that, but Dick Young has forever earned a place of shame in Queens, though far below that of M. Donald Grant.

      • Old Gator - Jan 1, 2014 at 12:00 PM

        Like I say, I didn’t agree with his politics and the Seaver fiasco was just that. Young was a firm believer in the plantation theory of employer-employee relations, since in his odd way he believed it maintained order and stability in the ranks and enabled guys like him to keep their minds on “the game.” Young thought Seaver was violating the God-given orderliness of that hierarchy by openly criticizing Grant. At the same time, Joe Valerio got fired from the New York Post for refusing to write a hatchet job on Grant, and Young lauded him for his…er…integrity. Of course, on one hand you had Young scathing Seaver for his defiance of Grant and praising Valerio for his defiance of his boss. Odd times, indeed – Young let his animus for James Wechsler’s then very left wing Post get the better of his ideological consistency.

        Of course, it could be argued that (a) Seaver detested Grant so deeply that he deliberately pushed the issue to the point of getting himself sprung from the Mutts and (b) shipping Seaver to Cincinnati in those days was a gift – for Seaver, at least. We all thought Steve Henderson would be the next Robert Clemente, and for the first few months after the trade some of us were thinking, hmmm, maybe this wasn’t such a bad deal after all, remember?

      • henryd3rd - Jan 2, 2014 at 2:56 PM

        Dick Young was a racist, anti Semite as well as Neanderthal. Having said that he was a great sportswriter. Unfortunately his 19th Century ideas constantly clashed the 20th Century time frame he was living in.

        Had he been able to stop sucking on those Lucky Strikes he might have lived longer and seen what the unions have really done to our sports world

  5. Tim OShenko - Jan 1, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    If I was a multi-millionaire, I don’t think I’d let the threat of reduced pay due to injury keep me from a little outdoor fun.

    • Old Gator - Jan 1, 2014 at 11:45 AM

      If you’re talking about taking a picnic blanket and your secretary to that meadow in the woods, I’m with ya. Skiing when your multimillionaire status depends on keeping yourself in one piece, not so much.

  6. yahmule - Jan 1, 2014 at 11:48 AM

    Safe to say Jim Lonborg would agree the risk outweighs the reward. There are millions of ways to have fun.

  7. blynch67 - Jan 1, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    As a Yankee fan of 50+ years, I humbly submit the following entry for dumbest injury away from the game of baseball (via Wikipedia).

    “On February 27, 2004, Aaron Boone was cut from the Yankee roster after tearing a knee ligament during a pick-up basketball game played in violation of his contract with the Yankees. He was replaced at third base by former Texas Rangers shortstop Alex Rodriguez. Since the Yankees would most likely not have tried to obtain Rodriguez if Boone had not been injured, it has been jokingly dubbed by some as the most important basketball injury in the history of baseball.”

    • Old Gator - Jan 1, 2014 at 12:12 PM

      Ah, thanks so much for that! In the brouhaha (Brouhaha? Hahahaha….) surrounding A-Roid’s brawl with Bud Light and the Borg front orifice, I had totally forgotten about that misbegotten sequence of events.

      But its dumbestness is based on hindsight and on the stellar qualities of the principals involved. For sheer inherent-in-the-act dumbness, I wish to offer Bob Ojeda cutting off his own finger with his hedge trimmer and Joba the Hutt’s trampoline disaster.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 1, 2014 at 12:21 PM

        Joba the Hutt’s trampoline disaster.

        Really? that’s one of your worst? A guy, whose dad was confined to a chair for most of his life due to polio, wanted to spend sometime with his kid doing an activity most of us have done with little to no harm afflicted upon us.

        How about guys throwing their backs out sneezing? Or who was it (tulo?) that hurt his knee carrying deer meat upstairs? Or Jeff Kent doing wheelies on a motorcycle (against his contract a la Boone) and hurt himself, but blamed it on falling off a ladder.

      • Old Gator - Jan 1, 2014 at 12:31 PM

        Not worst. Dumbest. I submit into evidence:
        When I wanted to spend time with my kids, I took them camping or trout fishing. Naturally, I’d get the hook up my ass on the backcast, but still….

        But the Kent biking accident certainly belongs on the list. The deer meat thing….well….I don’t know how to classify that. “Dumb” seems entirely too ordinary.

      • yahmule - Jan 1, 2014 at 12:49 PM

        Twas Clint Barmes who lost his duel with the deceased slab of venison, not Tulo. It takes way less than that to injure Tulo.

      • clydeserra - Jan 1, 2014 at 3:09 PM

        of course, Tim Crews.

      • cackalackyank - Jan 1, 2014 at 7:40 PM

        Those are epically dumb. ….and for those that think trampolines are a good idea…. there is a reason they ask if you have a trampoline when you apply for homeowners insurance.

  8. gsrider911 - Jan 1, 2014 at 2:24 PM

    So, you presume that Nelly will break his leg just because he’s skiing?
    If he’s in Colorado, he knows that the snow is great, powder day today! And I would rather give him the benefit of doubt that if he can manage a pro career as an athlete – he can manage to ski without breaking a leg. We’re not all frail sports writers, Craig!

    • stex52 - Jan 2, 2014 at 8:23 AM

      Yeah, because fortunately athletes never get hurt skiing.

  9. blynch67 - Jan 1, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    Coming back to my Aaron Boone story for a minute…

    It’s important to remember that the early-mid 2000’s were the absolute zenith of the Yankee/Red Sox rivalry. We stuck it to the Sox in ’03 (see below), and they returned the favor in ’04.

    Ironically, AB was on the fast track to Yankee sainthood. He had performed the one act necessary for canonization – ending the Red Sox postseason with one swing.

    October 17, 2003, Yankee Stadium, 11th inning, Game 7… he hit that series ending pinch hit homer off Tim Wakefield, stunning the Red Sox.

    I don’t think any single act will earn you a spot in Monument Park, but I’d be willing to wager that there were a lot of newborns named Aaron in the fall 2003.

    Then AB goes and injures himself in the off season, and the Yankees trade for A-Rod. And the rest is…

    • Old Gator - Jan 1, 2014 at 3:53 PM

      Yes, if only Aaron realized that all he was doing was feeding the Borg to the Feesh in a debacle known down here in Macondo as “Dave Dombrowski’s Last Hurrah” (and yeah, I understand that Dave has gone on to pad his laurels in Detroit but from a tropical’s point of view that’s like Don Corleone reading about Michael’s war exploits in the newspapers and snorting “For strangers he does this, not for me”). That should have warned Borg fans that a cheel weenter lay ahead. Worse, for Boone’s sake, was that he didn’t look anything like anybody in The Warriors – and his aversion to eyeblack doomed him to footnote-to-history status while the Fates leered down on Bucky Farkin’ Dent and vouchsafed him immortality.

      What this all boils down to is that it makes nice, symmetrical karmic sense that A-Roid’s saga should climax like this in the handwritten spreadsheets and note pads of a quack rehab clinic across the road from the University of Macondo. One more local mythic epicycle teeters on the x/y axis of completion.

  10. jwbiii - Jan 1, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    All this talk of possible skiing accidents and no mention of Jim Lonborg?

    • yahmule - Jan 1, 2014 at 4:38 PM

      @ 11:48 AM.


      • jwbiii - Jan 1, 2014 at 4:59 PM

        Oops! My first apology of the new year.

  11. illuminancer - Jan 1, 2014 at 6:22 PM

    A discussion of stupid injuries and ballplayers and no one’s mentioned Jeremy Affeldt? First there was the cutting his hand nd needing stitches after trying to separated frozen hamburgers. The next season he threw out his back picking up one of his kids. It’s become a running joke, not just with Giants fans but with the rest of the team. (see also: #thisguyneedsbubblewrap)

  12. yordo - Jan 2, 2014 at 1:25 PM

    If Craig was a free agent, how many of us would bid for his services?

Leave Comment

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

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. D. Wright (3177)
  2. G. Stanton (2598)
  3. M. Teixeira (2491)
  4. H. Olivera (2419)
  5. Y. Cespedes (2405)
  1. J. Fernandez (2399)
  2. K. Medlen (2193)
  3. Y. Puig (2155)
  4. G. Perkins (2095)
  5. J. Eickhoff (2066)