05.25.05

Remlinger Felled By Deadly Chair, Reds Take Note

Posted in Baseball at 11:20 pm by

Why can’t Mike Remlinger learn to get hurt the way a real major league pitcher does….by spending too much time online? The Chicago Tribune’s Paul Sullivan reports :

When the Cubs upgraded their clubhouse decor before the start of the 2004 season, they added a few lounge chairs and soon informed the media they no longer could walk past the recliners to talk to any players.

The imaginary line that separated the players from the media was nicknamed the “Remlinger line” by some, for Cubs left-hander Mike Remlinger, who allegedly started the ban.

In a bizarre twist of fate, Remlinger said Wednesday he suffered a broken little finger on his left hand from accidentally getting the tip of the finger caught between two chairs. Remlinger was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 21.

Remlinger said he was sitting on one of the recliners Sunday when the freak accident occurred.

“The handles on them are wood,” Remlinger explained. “I just kind of turned quickly and didn’t know the other chair was right there.”

Perhaps mindful of the dangers posed by chairs, the Cincinnati Reds have removed two Sharper Image massage chairs, owned by Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr., from the team’s clubhouse. From MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince.

On Tuesday, it wasn’t a matter of “who,” but “what,” as manager Dave Miley had the two Sharper Image massage chairs owned by outfielders Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr. removed from the clubhouse.

And with the clubhouse still reeling over the loss of popular closer Danny Graves, who was designated for assignment a day earlier, some players saw this move as somewhat comical.

Dunn had grown quite attached to his chair, which he bought last season. It was a popular tool several players used before pregame stretching.

“I don’t know where they’re hiding it,” Dunn said of his chair. “I need it, though. My back hurts. It’s therapeutic. That’s what they’re there for.”

What followed for Dunn was an equally therapeutic lament over the loss of his beloved chair. The big left fielder looked as though he didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

“Poor little guy,” he said, looking at the spot where the chair once sat. “He didn’t do anything wrong. He didn’t complain. He just came to play every day.”

Apparently Miley wants his players to come to play without any fancy clubhouse accoutrements.

“We’re just changing it up,” Miley said. “Let’s leave it at that.”

Dunn, who hung Graves’ jersey near his locker as an homage to his departed friend, didn’t leave it at that.

“So now we’re going to start winning,” he said. “It was the chair’s fault.”

5 Responses to “Remlinger Felled By Deadly Chair, Reds Take Note”

  1. David Roth says:

    John Kruk FREAKED OUT yesterday night on Baseball Tonight on just this subject. He was so worked-up that I honestly couldn’t tell what he was talking about, but it went something like (deep breath) honestly Karl I’d say they’re a minor league organization but that’d be an insult to a minor league organization I mean how you gonna throw out Jason LaRue’s desk where he keeps his pitch charts and what about the massage chairs and if you don’t want a country club atmosphere then okay I guess it was okay to release D’Angelo Jimenez because he was lazy and didn’t want to play hard, but why don’t you at least try to trade Danny Graves! Is the MATTER WITH THESE GUYS? (beefy exhale)

    By the time Kruk finished, Karl Ravech was sitting a full foot further away from him, and an awkward silence settled over the set. “Was that well said?” Ravech asked. Another beat. Then Gammons: “yeah, I think it was well said.”

    The above article was much more substantive, but it dodged Kruk’s biggest point: the outrage, the hurt that a dead-in-the-water last-place team feels when its most ineffective pitcher (arguably MLB’s most ineffective) is released. The idea that Cincinatti didn’t try to trade him might outrage Kruk, but as a fan of a team that I watched try to deal a dead-armed Mel Rojas, among many other burned-out ex-closers, I know it’s not that easy. The Mets got a surly, way-over-the-hill Bobby Bonilla for Rojas. The Reds would have a hard time getting Bobby Brown for Graves’ flat, 84-mph heater, overworked middle finger and $9 million deal. I say this, by the way, in full knowledge that Graves will go to the Braves and immediately become himself again.

  2. beedlebaum says:

    After the chair wrecked Remlinger’s hand, it was promptly nicknamed “Dusty Baker”

  3. CSTB says:

    upon further review, the damage Graves suffered as a starter in ’04 (a job he did not covet) might have more than a little to do with his problems in 05 and should be considered an extenuating circumstance, if not by Reds fans, than at least by his longtime employers. They’ve got an Midwest League team in Dayton, 50 miles away, where Graves could’ve tried things out for a couple of weeks without even leaving his family. Hard not to imagine this was an overreaction to the bird flipping.

  4. David Roth says:

    I agree about the starter stint damaging his career, although that was in ’03 and he was actually very effective for the first half of last year — he was even on the ’04 all-star team. But he was weak in the second half and just terrible this year. He’d been giving up more and more hits-per-inning in every year over the last four, and seems to be near the end of the line, much as I fear a Mazzone resurrection (or, worse, a stint in a Mets uniform).

    If the Reds had continued their slow slide into awfulness, Graves probably would’ve been phased out with some dignity, as was done (kinda) with the declining Barry Larkin. But they’re crumbling, and he flipped the bird, and management clearly felt the need to shake things up. And management decisions and Cincinnati Reds are not words that appear together in a positive context.

  5. [...] This week, two more chair-related incidents occurred. Cubs reliever Mike Remlinger broke a finger when his left hand was caught between the wooden armrests of two recently purchased massage chairs. [...]

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