Off Field Injuries

Nov 8, 2019
Originally published on November 18, 2019 8:24 am

Songwriter Alejandro Escovedo returns to the stage for multiple choice quiz that challenges his baseball expertise in a game about mundane baseball injuries... will he hit a home run?

Heard on Alejandro Escovedo: Punk Rock Roots In Texas.

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Our final round is coming up. But first, let's play another game with our special guest Alejandro Escovedo.


EISENBERG: Welcome back.

ALEJANDRO ESCOVEDO: Thank you so much.

EISENBERG: So, Alejandro, before the show we asked you what are you into and you told us that you are a huge baseball fan.


EISENBERG: OK. So I have to tell you, I'm not really into baseball. Why should I get into it?

ESCOVEDO: Well, it's...

EISENBERG: Can you give me a selling point why I should watch?

ESCOVEDO: Well, it's a great American sport. I mean, it's - you know, it's classic. Along with - in my opinion, along with rock 'n' roll, jazz and, you know, gospel music, country music - baseball's right up there, you know?



EISENBERG: So just a - yeah. It's part of the fabric.



ESCOVEDO: Very much so.

EISENBERG: So we wrote a quiz about the more dangerous side of professional sports.

ESCOVEDO: Mmm hmm.

EISENBERG: As you know, one injury can derail a major leaguer's career. But no matter how careful players are, even millionaire athletes in peak physical condition can hurt themselves in dumb and mundane ways. So we're going to ask you a multiple choice question about a baseball player.


EISENBERG: You identify the real baseball injury that happened off the field.


EISENBERG: OK. Here's your first one. In 2006, the Detroit Tigers Joel Zumaya injured his wrist by doing what activity too much?


ESCOVEDO: He is a baseball player after all.


EISENBERG: A, writing short stories on his vintage typewriter; B, arm wrestling with his teammates; or, C, playing Guitar Hero.

ESCOVEDO: Wow. I would say Guitar Hero.

EISENBERG: Yeah. You're correct. That's right.


EISENBERG: A matter of fact, in the credits of Guitar Hero II, there is a message basically saying that Zumaya had it coming.


JONATHAN COULTON, BYLINE: In 2002, why was Marty Cordova scratched from the Baltimore Orioles lineup? A, he pulled his hamstring while stretching to prevent pulling his hamstring...


COULTON: ...B, he fell asleep in a tanning bed and suffered a burn to his face; or, C, he got food poisoning at a crab boil?


ESCOVEDO: I'm going to say the tanning salon.

COULTON: Yeah. That's correct.


EISENBERG: While playing for the Toronto Blue Jays in August of 1993, all-time stolen base king Rickey Henderson missed three games in a row. Why? He fell asleep with an ice pack on his foot and suffered frostbite, he tried poutine for the first time and discovered...

ESCOVEDO: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: ...That he had a gravy allergy...


EISENBERG: ...He dislocated his shoulder doing the "Macarena?"


ESCOVEDO: I think the dancing did it.

EISENBERG: The dancing?


EISENBERG: Dislocated his shoulder doing the "Macarena"? I wish it was something fun. He fell asleep with an ice pack on his foot.

ESCOVEDO: That's crazy.

EISENBERG: I know. How tired are you?

ESCOVEDO: Yeah, I know.


EISENBERG: In June of 1986, the Red Sox's Wade Boggs had a chance of hitting over a 400 batting average - which I'm told is very good.

ESCOVEDO: Very good.

EISENBERG: Very good. But it was cut short when he fell and bruised his ribs. What happened? A, he lost his balance while taking off cowboy boots...


EISENBERG: ...B, after a long flight he fell asleep waiting for his checked luggage and passed out on to the baggage claim carousel...

ESCOVEDO: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: ...C, he choked on a small chicken bone and had to perform the Heimlich maneuver on himself?


EISENBERG: Yes, A. He lost his balance while taking off...


EISENBERG: ...Cowboy boots.



EISENBERG: He used - I'm sure this happens, right? You use one foot to pry off the other boot, and he lost his balance trying to do that. And then he fell onto the arm of a couch.


COULTON: He was taking his shoes off and he fell on a couch, that's how he...


COULTON: That's an unfortunate injury. This is your last clue. In 1990, slugger Glenallen Hill injured himself at night. What happened? A, he was having a nightmare about spiders and sleepwalked into a glass table...


COULTON: ...B, one of his smoke detectors started chirping because of a low battery and he fell off a swivel chair while trying to replace it...


COULTON: ...Or, C, he was grabbing a midnight snack and somehow closed the refrigerator door on his thumb.


COULTON: That's a good guess. I'm sorry, it's incorrect. He was having a nightmare about spiders...



COULTON: ...And he walked into a table.

ESCOVEDO: Oh. That's great, though.

EISENBERG: He's scared of a - he has - he hates spiders. Well, he's scared of them. He doesn't even know if he hates them. Alejandro, you did great.


ESCOVEDO: Thank you so much, yeah.

EISENBERG: Alejandro's latest album, "The Crossing" is out right now. Give it up for Alejandro Escovedo. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.