Edwin Díaz was jumping for joy with his Puerto Rico teammates.
Then Díaz crumbled to the turf, and the party came to a sudden stop.
Díaz, an All-Star closer for the New York Mets, injured his right knee celebrating a 5-2 victory over the Dominican Republic on Wednesday night – a jarring scene that dashed the spirits of a club riding high from a berth into the World Baseball Classic quarterfinals.
The right-hander was jumping in the infield with teammates when he collapsed, and he was taken off the field in a wheelchair. Díaz’s brother, Reds pitcher Alexis Díaz, was also crying as Edwin was put in a chair and wheeled away. Mets teammate and Puerto Rico shortstop Francisco Lindor stood nearby with his hands on his head.
Díaz signed a $102 million, five-year deal to stay with the Mets in November, one of several moves Mets owner Steve Cohen hopes bring a championship to Queens.
Now, his season could be in jeopardy.
“It’s just a freak thing,” Phillies slugger Kyle Schwarber said after the United States beat Colombia 3-2 in Phoenix. “You hate to see it, but that’s the risk you have in these things. Someone can get hurt.”
Díaz isn’t the first player injured while celebrating. Here are some others:
– After the Los Angeles Angels’ Kendrys Morales beat the Seattle Mariners with a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth in 2010, he took a big leap onto home plate and broke his leg. The bouncing scrum at home was subsequently banned by manager Mike Scioscia.
– Chicago Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster broke his big right toe in 2009 when his foot got caught in the dugout railing while he was trying to run out with his teammates to celebrate a win over the Brewers.
– In 2001, Denny Hocking of the Minnesota Twins broke his nose, compliments of his overzealous teammates, who kept smacking the bill of his helmet – and a few accidental face shots – after his first walk-off home run.
– After the San Diego Padres clinched their division in 2005, pitcher Jake Peavy broke a rib while getting a big hug from his teammates. The injury wasn’t discovered until weeks later when Peavy had an MRI following his forgettable postseason (eight hits and eight earned runs in 4 1/3 innings).
– Washington Redskins quarterback Gus Frerotte decided to head-butt the padded wall behind the end zone after scoring on a short run against the Giants in 1997. Stunned but unbowed, he was checked by the team trainers and continued to play before leaving later in the game. He was then transported to a hospital with a sprained neck.
– Arizona Cardinals kicker Bill Gramatica ended his rookie season in 2001 with an ACL tear. He was hurt jumping up and down after making a 42-yard field goal against the Giants.
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