Matt Harrison #54 of the Texas Rangers pitches during a spring training game in 2013.
LeBron James finished a dunk with a bloody, broken nose. Tony Romo led the Cowboys to a win despite a punctured lung. Hockey players often pull out their teeth and then hop over the boards for their regular shift.
And in baseball, a Rangers’ starting pitcher might miss the season’s first series because of a soft mattress. Technically, yeah, Matt Harrison was injured while, of all things, sleeping.
The lefty had a forgettable 2013 in which had as many back surgeries as starts (2). But his recovery in 2014 at spring training in Surprise is now about 10 days behind because he suffered stiffness in his back.
The culprit? A too-soft mattress on a bed in his spring training rental home. The cure? He slept on the floor one night.
Harrison said he feels better after switching to a firmer mattress, but nonetheless will return to Arlington to see the Rangers’ spine specialist. In the big picture it’s more punchline than serious worry.
The Rangers will need Harrison in September more than in April. And for that happen, the pitcher needs a good (hard) night’s rest.
Obviously a conservative approach is the right move with Harrison, whom the Rangers will rely upon heavily if they hope to make a serious run at the AL West.
But while he’s resting a sore back, no funny business. Once upon a time Rangers’ outfielder Oddibe McDowell spent time on the disabled list after slicing his hand while attempting to butter his roll at a team luncheon. And Rangers' reliever Greg Harris injured his arm while flicking sunflower seeds in the bullpen.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.