DENVER -- Clint Barmes went out to the grocery store and
came home with a spot on the disabled list.
The Colorado Rockies' rookie sensation is expected to miss at
least three months after breaking his left collarbone while
carrying groceries up the stairs in his apartment building after a
game Sunday night.
Surgery is scheduled for Tuesday.
"Obviously, accidents happen," said Barmes, a shortstop who is
leading National League rookies in most offensive categories.
"It's very unfortunate for this to happen the way it did."
Barmes said he was returning home with a bag of groceries
cradled in his left arm and a sweat shirt in his right hand. He got
tired of waiting for the elevator and decided to take the stairs to
his fourth-floor apartment.
"I figured, I'm an athlete, I can walk up the stairs, it's not
that big a deal," Barmes said in an interview Monday, his left arm
hanging in a sling. "Obviously, if I had to go back, I would have
waited, or at least been a bit more careful going up."
Barmes said when he felt himself slipping, he dropped the sweat
shirt and tried to grab onto the railing. Next thing he knew, he
had landed directly on his shoulder. Once in his apartment, he said
it didn't feel too bad, but he moved it around, felt some cracking
and knew something was wrong.
"It hit hard enough, I guess," he said. "It hit hard enough
to make it hurt for about three months."
Barmes hovered around .400 and led the major leagues in batting
average for about the first six weeks of the season. After a mild
slump, he was still leading NL rookies in hitting (.329), runs
(40), hits (74), doubles (16), home runs (8) and RBI (34) heading
into Monday's game.
He was definite rookie-of-the-year material, but now those hopes
are gone due to what he called "the craziest thing that's happened
to me, by far."
"I was stunned," teammate Brad Hawpe said. "Those are the
freakiest of injuries. Clint is the kind of guy you expect to be in
the lineup every day. Someone like that doesn't want to sit down."
Barmes' slip and fall adds to a long list of freak injuries
sustained by baseball players over the years.
Some of the more memorable included:
• Sammy Sosa spraining a ligament in his back after sneezing last
• John Vander Wal tearing cartilage in his knee while shoveling
snow soon after signing with the Reds last year.
• Marty Cordova of the Orioles burning his face in a tanning
salon in 2002.
• Toronto's Glenallen Hill, in one of the strangest of them all,
sustaining cuts and scrapes on his feet, knees and arm during a
violent nightmare about spiders. Hill popped out of bed, bumped
into a wall and scrambled up a staircase -- all without waking up.
In Denver, Barmes will take a place aside former Broncos
quarterback Brian Griese who, in a five-month span in 2002,
sprained his ankle tripping over his dog and was knocked
unconscious after tripping on a driveway at Terrell Davis' house.
"This is going to be hard sitting there watching when I know I
could be out there helping the team," Barmes said. "I'm as
disappointed as anyone else could be, if not a lot more."
The injury is devastating news for the Rockies, who entered
Monday night's game against the Chicago White Sox on a four-game
winning streak -- their longest of the season -- but also with the
NL's worst record (19-36).
Barmes was the most promising rookie on a roster filled with
young players and few dependable veterans outside of Todd Helton.
Now, Barmes joins second-year second baseman Aaron Miles (rib cage)
on the disabled list.
His wasn't the only unusual news on a most unusual day in the
Manager Clint Hurdle wasn't at the ballpark because his
2-year-old daughter, Madison, was readmitted to the hospital.
Madison was in the hospital last month with seizures, forcing
Hurdle to skip part of a road trip. Bench coach Jamie Quirk took
Also, the Rockies lost catcher Todd Greene, who tripped just before reaching home plate on his home run trot Sunday against the Reds, injuring his hamstring
Greene was placed on the 15-day disabled list and was replaced
by Triple-A catcher Danny Ardoin.
Barmes, meanwhile, was placed on the 60-day disabled list and
his spot on the roster was taken by infielder Tim Olson, also from
Triple-A Colorado Springs.
"We'll move on," Quirk said. "That's what minor league
systems are for. We're not worried about that part of the Rockies
right now. We hope he gets well."