Daily Dose: When celebrations go wrong

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Ryan Dempster was put on the disabled list Tuesday with a broken toe suffered while celebrating Sunday’s victory. Seriously.
Dempster was attempting to jump over the dugout fence and onto the
field after the final out when he stumbled and slammed into the ground.
His teammates laughed at the time, but X-rays showed a non-displaced
fracture and he’ll also soon be missing a toenail.

Dempster has pitched very well since a poor April, posting a 3.57
ERA and 64/30 K/BB ratio in 75.2 innings spread over a dozen starts
since May 1, but he’ll likely miss at least three weeks and could be
sidelined for more than a month. For now at least Kevin Hart has been
tabbed to replace him in the rotation, but giving Jeff Samardzija a
chance to start in the majors for the first time is also an option.

While the Cubs add to this season’s extensive list of woes, here are some other notes from around baseball …

* Picking up Mark DeRosa two weeks ago looked like a solid deal for
St. Louis at the time, but he went hitless in nine at-bats before
suffering a wrist injury that put him on the disabled list Tuesday.
General manager John Mozeliak called the DL stint a “precautionary
move,” but there are reports that DeRosa may be out for a long time
after being diagnosed with a torn tendon sheath.

While admitting Tuesday that he doesn’t “know all the jargon” DeRosa
explained: “There’s definitely something wrong with it. There’s
definitely a partial tear of the sheath. It’s one of those things where
you hope time allows it to heal itself.” Now it’s back to Joe Thurston
and Brian Barden at third base for the Cardinals, who’re in the same
spot as two weeks ago except without Chris Perez in the bullpen.

* Despite being out for six weeks with a shoulder injury Erik Bedard
didn’t miss a beat returning from the disabled list Tuesday, striking
out eight and giving up just two hits in an abbreviated four-inning
start. Despite multiple injuries Bedard has yet to stop being a
dominant pitcher in between DL stints and the impending free agent is
now 5-2 with a 2.58 ERA and 73/23 K/BB ratio in 69.2 innings this year.

* Adam Wainwright was two outs short of a shutout Tuesday and Colby
Rasmus backed him by going 3-for-5 with a homer as the Cardinals
extended their lead in the NL Central with a 5-0 win against the
Brewers. Rasmus’ overall numbers are plenty strong, but the 22-year-old
rookie has been fantastic since a slow first two months and is now
39-for-106 (.368) with 17 extra-base hits since June 1.

AL Quick Hits: General manager J.P. Ricciardi said Tuesday that the Blue Jays are willing to listen to offers for Roy Halladay, but was vague about the likelihood of a trade … Chicago has reportedly acquired
reliever Tony Pena from Arizona for first-base prospect Brandon Allen …
Scott Rolen extended his hitting streak to 24 games with an
eighth-inning single Tuesday … Alfredo Aceves has joined the rotation
in place of the Chien-Ming Wang and has AL-only upside … Shaun Marcum
is said to be on track for an August comeback from Tommy John elbow
surgery … Scott Hairston started in center field Tuesday and blasted
his first A’s homer … Justin Verlander allowed five runs Tuesday, but
picked up his ninth win and struck out 11 … Grady Sizemore went deep
twice Tuesday and has 15 RBIs since coming off the disabled list on
June 23 … Jeremy Bonderman played catch from 60 feet Tuesday and said
afterward that his shoulder “feels pretty good.”

NL Quick Hits: Carlos Beltran (knee) has yet to begin
high-impact workouts and likely isn’t close to coming off the disabled
list … ESPN reports that the Phillies are “more interested” in Pedro
Martinez “than they’re letting on” … Jose Reyes (hamstring) received a
cortisone shot Tuesday, pushing his return timetable back even further
… Kyle Lohse (forearm) gave up two hits over six innings in a rehab
start Tuesday at Triple-A … Chipper Jones was scratched from Tuesday’s
lineup with a sore groin … Hanley Ramirez missed his third straight
game Tuesday with a hip strain … Clayton Kershaw tossed six scoreless
innings Tuesday, allowing two runs or fewer in his fifth straight start
… Manny Ramirez was ejected from Tuesday’s game for arguing a called
third strike, but drove in three runs before leaving … Javier Vazquez
tossed seven innings of one-run ball Tuesday, cutting his ERA to 2.95 …
Freddy Sanchez (back) missed a fifth straight game Tuesday.

James McCann is in The Best Shape of His Life

Detroit Tigers catcher James McCann blows a bubble while warming up during a spring training baseball workout, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, in Lakeland, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
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As I note every spring, “Best Shape of His Life” stories aren’t really about players being in The Best Shape of Their Lives. They’re about players and agents seeking to create positive stories.

We know this because the vast majority of Best Shape of His Life claims are about guys who were either injured the season before, guys who had subpar years the season before or players whose conditioning was a point of controversy the season before. These folks, or their agents + reporters who have little if nothing to write about in the offseason = BSOHL.

James McCann hurt his ankle last season and had a subpar year at the plate. So not only is he a perfect BSOHL candidate, he went old school with the claim and hit it right on the money, verbatim:

Spring training is less than a month away, folks!

Bo Jackson is not gonna change kids’ minds

1989:  Bo Jackson #16 of the Kansas City Royals practices his swing as he prepares to bat during a game in the 1989 season.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Last week Bo Jackson said that, if he had it to do all over again, he would have never played professional football and that he would never let his kids play. The sport is too violent, he said. “I’d tell them, ‘Play baseball, basketball, soccer, golf, just anything but football.’”

Fair enough. Thom Loverro of the Washington Times, however, thinks that Bo could do more than simply give his opinion on the matter. He thinks Bo should become an official ambassador for Major League Baseball:

Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, pick up the phone right now and call Bo Jackson. Tell him you have a job for him — vice president of something, whatever you would call the man in charge of converting a generation of young athletes to baseball. And pay him what he wants.

You won’t find a better symbol of the differences between the two sports than Bo Jackson. After all, he was an All-Star in both. Bo knows football. Bo knows baseball.

Bo, tell the children — baseball over football.

The Children: “Who is Bo Jackson?”

Yeah, I’m being a bit flip here, but dude: Jackson is 54 years-old. He last played baseball 23 years ago. I’d personally run through a wall for Bo Jackson, but I’m 43. I was 12 when he won the Heisman trophy. While he may loom large to middle aged sports writers, a teenager contemplating what sport to play is not going to listen to someone a decade or more older than his parents.

This isn’t terribly important in the grand scheme of things, but it’s indicative of how most columnists process the world through their own experiences and assume they apply universally. It’s probably the biggest trap most sports opinion folks fall into.