Cleveland Indians left-hander Scott Kazmir has been one of the best comeback stories of the season, posting a 9-9 record with a 4.14 ERA in first full season since 2010. For 90 frightening minutes on Thursday night, though, Kazmir was just hoping to get back to the ground in one piece after getting trapped in an elevator at the team's hotel in Minneapolis.
Kazmir was on the elevator at the W Hotel going to his room when he heard a loud bang as it arrived at the 28th floor. The elevator then went down to 27, when he heard another loud bang. It then stopped.
“I heard a bang, and I was like, ‘Get me out of here,’” Kazmir said. “Then it banged again and it shook like it must have hit something. I guess it wrecked the hydraulics and knocked the door off the tracks.”
Just stating the obvious, but loud bangs and shaking are the last things you want to hear and feel while in an elevator that's 27 floors above ground.
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According to the report, Kazmir immediately placed a call to the hotel and Indians traveling secretary Mike Seghi, but the hotel's staff was of little help. The door wouldn't open despite their best efforts, so there Kazmir stayed hanging, helplessly, for what had to be the longest 90 minutes of his life.
“When they keep telling you that they don’t know what’s going on and they can’t open it, it was freaking me out,” he said. “Every bit of news I was getting, the panic level was in waves.”
All Kazmir could do was wait, and he said he wound up sitting in the corner of the elevator.
“In the fetal position pretty much, probably,” he said.
He tried to keep positive, but he told Seghi to have someone “get the jaws of life or something and get me out of here.”
The jaws of life were not an option at that moment, and there was no exit through the ceiling. Kazmir was forced to wait, and worry, and wonder a bit longer.
Finally, a worker from the elevator company arrived and was able to manually release it from the stuck position. No small feat, by the way, as he was forced to risk life and limb to climb on top of the elevator. But the door was still jammed shut. It wasn't until the fire department arrived and pried the doors open that a thankful Kazmir was freed, and by then his nerves were pretty much shot.
“It took me a little while to unwind from that one,” he said.
Probably a good thing Kazmir wasn't scheduled to pitch on Friday.
On the plus side, there was one benefit for Kazmir. He received a complimentary breakfast on Friday morning. But the down side is it will be a long time before he walks on to an elevator without some trepidation. He might not be alone on that one, either.
Oh, and for those who might be wondering. Yes, the W hotel is the same hotel that leaked the Indians rooming list back in July. They may want to re-evaluate before their three trips to the Twin Cities in 2014.
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