Barmes blames fall on deer meat, not groceries or ATV

DENVER -- Colorado Rockies rookie shortstop Clint Barmes
says he was lugging a package of deer meat he got from teammate
Todd Helton, and not a bag of groceries, when he fell and broke his

"I just didn't think it was right to bring Todd Helton into
something like this," Barmes was quoted as saying in The Denver
Post on Thursday, explaining why he gave a different version of the
story when he first recounted the strange fall that will sideline
him for at least three months.

Barmes, who was leading National League rookies in most
offensive categories, underwent successful surgery to repair the
break in his left collarbone. Team doctors inserted a titanium
plate and nine screws to help the bone heal.

Helton said he and Barmes had ridden four-wheel all-terrain
vehicles at Helton's ranch near Greeley on Sunday after the Rockies
beat the Cincinnati Reds 8-6. Helton said the ATV ride had nothing
to do with the injury.

"I cannot say it strongly enough -- he did not get hurt riding
an ATV," Helton said. "I was there. He never left my eyesight the
entire time."

Helton said he, Barmes and rookie teammate Brad Hawpe were
riding about 5 mph.

Afterward, he treated them to a dinner that included deer meat,
and Barmes liked it so much that Helton gave him a package.

Nothing in Barmes' contract, which is just $1,000 above the
major league minimum, specifically prohibits him from riding an

Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd said he doesn't doubt Barmes'
explanation that it was a fall, and not the ATV ride, that caused
the injury.

"This is one of the greatest-character kids we've ever had come
through this organization," O'Dowd said. "I have no reason to
doubt him. It's an unfortunate injury for both him and for us, but
he'll get through this."