February 14, 2010
But when I first read that Bergesen, one of the many young promising pitchers on the Orioles staff, hurt himself in December filming a TV commercial for his club, the unfortunate Jackson/Pepsi incident of 1984 came to mind.
It's just the kind of thing that's not supposed to happen.
Bergesen, 24, won't be ready for the start of spring training this week — he says he's about 10 days behind his teammates — after straining a capsule in his right shoulder while giving his all for the Orioles' marketing department.
He told the Baltimore Sun that his baseball activity for the commercial, in which he's seen throwing pitch after pitch to an unidentified catcher (neither Matt Wieters(notes) or Joe Nolan) was the first time he threw since a leg injury shut down Bergesen's otherwise fine rookie season last July.
"Obviously, I hadn't picked up a ball. I'm kicking myself in the head about it. That's really what it was from. Not working on a mound up to that point," Bergesen said. "I just jumped up on the mound and gave it a go. I was trying to be game speed. I was trying to be realistic as possible with it.
"The production company that came in wanted it to be as realistic as possible. And I was trying to please, and I got caught up in a moment."
If they had only taken him out in the eighth in real life, maybe the production company wouldn't have pressed him for TV! Where was pitching coach Rick Kranitz?
And, hey, Andy MacPhail, Orioles' president of baseball operations: Just what kind of ship are you running, here?
"We have already made some adjustments in terms of making sure we have medical personnel or baseball personnel present for anything we do in the future," said MacPhail, who used to run the Cubs. They lost millions and who knows what else because of recurring problems trying to keep Kerry Wood(notes) and Mark Prior(notes) healthy.
MacPhail downplayed Bergesen's injury, of course.
"He did too much too soon, which isn't terribly uncommon," MacPhail said. "And we expect he'll be ready by Opening Day, maybe be a week or so behind in spring training," he said. "So it wasn't something totally alarming to us, if it works out as we anticipate it will."
Obviously, Bergesen should have used common sense. And the Orioles should have somebody — Earl Weaver, even — standing by to watch such activities. But this kind of injury is new to me. I know the pro volleyballer Misty May-Treanor hurt herself while "Dancing With The Stars," and actress/model Heidi Klum failed to film a simple Guitar Hero commercial without going on the hottie DL.
But Bergesen can't be the first pro athlete to fall victim to a TV commercial, can he? Maybe one of those informed Yahoo!ligans can recall another athlete getting hurt in a similar way.
One more thing about the Bergesen commercial:
Did they make the catcher use a knuckleball mitt? Because that thing looks huuuuge.