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Hamp(ton) Pool
2008-04-03 12:00
by Bob Timmermann

Braves pitcher Mike Hampton is scheduled to make his first start since August 19, 2005.

Your task: Pick the injury and the inning in which Hampton gets hurt tonight against Pittsburgh.

Specify left or right as needed. You may also guess "no injury."

Note: I wish Mike Hampton no actual harm.

2008-04-03 12:08:46
1.   Eric Stephen
Deep vein thrombosis, right leg, 4th inning.
2008-04-03 12:14:08
2.   Xeifrank
I predict he gets hit by a line drive on his pitching hand in the 2nd inning and has to leave the game with a broken finger.
vr, Xei
2008-04-03 12:15:44
3.   misterjohnny
Let's see, anal fissure has been done, so let's go with Oblique strain, 3rd inning.
2008-04-03 12:21:00
4.   Eric Enders
No injury.
2008-04-03 12:33:23
5.   JL25and3
Hamstring, warming up before the game.
2008-04-03 12:35:13
6.   Cliff Corcoran
right hamstring, 4th inning
2008-04-03 12:45:13
7.   MC Safety
Finger nail/blister, 2nd inning.
2008-04-03 12:49:39
8.   DXMachina
Hamstring, 47th pitch.
2008-04-03 12:50:28
9.   dianagramr
Oblique, 3rd inning, during his own at-bat.
2008-04-03 12:58:36
10.   Woden325
Spontaneous Combustion, 2nd inning.
2008-04-03 13:02:40
11.   Sushirabbit
Broken Hand, from dugout tantrum, 3rd
2008-04-03 13:30:00
12.   Humma Kavula
Stroke, resulting from being hit in the right eye by a screaming line drive, immediately following the first pitch.
2008-04-03 13:36:08
13.   yankee23
back spasms, 4th inning.
2008-04-03 13:43:42
14.   invisibleman
No injury.
2008-04-03 13:47:10
15.   Bob Hendley
Trips on dugout step coming out to pitch 1st inning (they seem higher these days) and scraps knee. But stays in the game with blood visible on pants, until umpire invokes NBA rule.
2008-04-03 13:49:25
16.   Shaun P
Two out in the top of the 5th; groin strain.

10 I'd like to see Mac Thompson's video of that one!

2008-04-03 14:15:07
17.   kinbote
Vertigo--scratched from start.
2008-04-03 14:22:07
18.   Bob Hendley
Is Tracy still managing there? If so, I would like to change my pick to some sort of collision involving the two of them.
2008-04-03 14:22:29
19.   underdog
No injury in first game; but in his second he pulls his groin badly and is out for a month.

He might also bruise his eyeball, and possibly his ego.

2008-04-03 14:30:31
20.   dianagramr
A Cialis-induced ummm .... problem lasting more than 4 hours, preventing him from even getting to the ballpark.
2008-04-03 14:51:57
21.   Tom Meagher
Hampton enters the top of the 9th up 3-0, having yielded only a third inning single to this point, with 6 K and a pitch count of only 73. He retires Jack Wilson and pinch-hitter Luis Rivas on weak grounders to third.

McLouth hits a pop-up to Escobar. Mark Teixeira, overjoyed for his teammates apparent one-hit triumph, rushes the mound to shake Hampton's hand. Escobar gets excited and loses track of the ball, which plummets to the ground just as Teixeira grabs Hampton's hand. Teixeira, stunned by this turn of events, jerks away from Hampton abruptly, causing a minor injury to Hampton's pinky. Hampton panics and pretends he is not hurting. McLouth is on second.

Freddy Sanchez steps to the plate. Hampton doesn't bother to pitch from the stretch, and McLouth goes to third on defensive indifference on the first pitch. Strike one to Sanchez. The pinky is throbbing. McLouth takes a giant lead off of third, tempting Hampton to make the throw over. Hampton knows McLouth doesn't matter and wants to focus on Sanchez. McLouth won't let him. He goes halfway down the line. McLouth begins to taunt Hampton. Hampton tries to stay focused on Sanchez. The pinky feels like it is going to explode.

Hampton throws a fastball up and in. Strike two. McLouth doesn't budge. He's still 45 feet from the plate.

Hampton won't give him the satisfaction. He's not gonna waste what little tolerance he has for the pinky pain on a throw over. Another fastball up and in, and Sanchez delivers a 2-strike swinging bunt down the third base line. Chipper is guarding the bag, so Hampton has to get it. The ball stops rolling about six feet from McLouth, who still hasn't budged. Hampton picks it up and sees he can't make the play at first. So he charges after McLouth. McLouth doesn't even budge for the first split second, then starts back to third. Hampton throws to Chipper, and McLouth doubles back toward home. Hampton doesn't get out of the way in time, and McLouth bowls him over. Chipper to McCann, McLouth hurdles Hampton back toward third, and Sanchez takes off for second. McCann thinks he can nail Sanchez at second, and throws before he realizes no one is covering the bag. McLouth darts for home again, but forgets about Hampton and trips over his still body. Out of nowhere, Jeff Francoeur materializes behind second base, catches McCann's throw, and fires a rocket toward home. McCann gets it and runs to tag the fallen McLouth. Both Hampton and McLouth try to get up at the same time, but McLouth is more successful at this endeavor. Just as McCann lumbers up the line to tag him, McLouth scoots between Hampton's legs, leaving McCann to run directly into Hampton. McCann lands on Hampton's outstetched pinky, and the bones shatter. McLouth returns to third, Sanchez holding at second.

Hampton stands up and walks calmly to the mound. Cox comes out for a visit. Hampton isn't gonna say a thing about that pinky.

"Well Mike, I was hoping to save the bullpen for the Mets, but..."

"But nothing, old man. I'm getting this third out."

"Hampton, you fool, I'm not letting you pitch to Jason Bay with the game on the line."

"How much is it worth to you, Cox?"

"What do you mean?"

"Coxie, I know you must hate that you're the best manager in the game and I'm who I am and making money from a different stratosphere. I'll tell you what. You let me finish this shutout, I'll make it worth your while."


"Don't believe me? Cox, I will give you every cent that the Marlins paid me; I keep it in a special account, cos I ain't spending no blood money. Just let me get this out."

Cox pauses. "I'm not letting you pitch to Bay."

Hampton stares.

"Fine, Hampton, I'll let you get your out, but NOT against Bay. Give him the open base, and you can get the lefty, LaRoche."

Hampton pauses, then accepts. Bay to first. LaRoche steps in. Hampton gets two strikes quickley. Pitch three, foul. Pitch four, foul. Pitch five, foul. Pitch six just misses - ball one.

Hampton's pinky swells to half the size of the ball. Pitch seven: foul ball. LaRoche fouls off three more. Hampton misses down and away. Two more fouls, and then Hampton can't get the call on an outside fastball that paints the black.

Cox is fuming, but richer than ever. The Braves fans are still just focused on cheering the throw Francoeur made to the plate earlier in the inning.

Hampton comes with another fastball, high and over the plate. LaRoche smacks it. Hampton can't believe it. In his pinky-addled mind, he thinks he's got a shot to catch it, and he darts toward right-center.

Francoeur and Kotsay both chase LaRoche's deep fly, which looks like it could go over the fence. Hampton is still in hot pursuit from the infield. Kotsay jumps to make a leaping grab, gets his glove on it, and...

Francoeur leaps, extends his glove, and...

...knocks it right out of Kotsay's glove. The ball hurtles upward and back toward the field of play. Hampton is still running, churning and churning, and will not be denied.

The spinning white orb descends toward the earth, and Hampton dives, glove outstretched. Just then, a masked figure who has run onto the field tackles Hampton, and the ball falls to the ground. Hampton's left shoulder is instantly dislocated, but he does not notice this amidst the pinky pain.

McLouth and Sanchez have scored, and Bay and LaRoche are on their way in when Bay trips on third base. Hampton gets up, grabs the ball, and tries to throw it in, but his dislocated shoulder does not cooperate. Bay gets up, and LaRoche is right there with him; they run towards home separated only by a few feet.

Hampton switches the ball to his right hand, and somehow throws a bullet to McCann. McCann reaches down to tag Bay, misses, and goes for the sweep tag of a headfirst LaRoche.

The umpire extends his arms. Safe!

Hampton cannot believe this turn of events. He reaches down to unmask the intruder.

"BRIAN SABEAN! What the..."

"I'm sorry, Hampton. But I will NOT have anybody suggesting your contract worked out better than Zito's!"

Peter Magowan suspends Sabean for the remainder of the season, but due to Sabean's contract extension, elects not to fire him.

The Pirates finish 88-75, beating out the 87-win Braves for the wild card.

In November, Sabean is welcomed back by Magowan and the Giants. In his first move, Barry Zito is traded to the Marlins. The Giants will pay $72 million of his remaining salary. In exchange, they receive Alfredo Amezaga.

2008-04-03 15:04:42
22.   vockins
mumps, 3.2 innings.
2008-04-03 15:28:23
23.   Potsy
gout, pregame.
2008-04-03 16:50:06
24.   Bob Timmermann
Hampton scratched from start for undisclosed reason:

2008-04-03 17:02:56
25.   underdog
21 Well done!

But alas, reality is more banal.

So who had "wincing" as the cause?

2008-04-03 17:09:30
26.   Humma Kavula
Judges, which is it, 5 or 17 ? We need a winner.

If I am a judge -- and I may not be -- my vote is for 17 .

2008-04-03 17:33:14
27.   David Arnott
If I were voting, 5 would get my vote. Yahoo says was a strained chest muscle while warming up.
2008-04-03 17:35:26
28.   Bob Timmermann
I would agree.
2008-04-03 17:36:42
29.   Ken Arneson
Images of Hampton's warmup:

2008-04-03 18:29:27
30.   El Lay Dave
20 One-track mind.
2008-04-04 08:15:22
31.   ToyCannon
Looks like Tom is eager to write again.
2008-04-04 14:40:11
32.   68elcamino427
Hangnail? Oh, sorry, contest was yesterday.
This is one of the funnier of the funny ones. This morning I woke up chuckling about this. Tom's is especially hilarious.

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