The St. Louis Cardinals ace hits the DL again after another freak Achilles accident.
Freak injuries don’t happen twice…right? Think again. In a gut-wrenching turn of events St. Louis Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright has reportedly reinjured his Achilles tendon — the same one he tore last season running out of the batter’s box.
How in the world could this happen on the outset of Opening Day? The answer starts with a handshake.
Wainwright is world-renowned for his elaborate pregame handshakes and dugout antics. This season, coupled with the frustration of being called an old-timer by Jason Heyward, the Cardinals ace decided he needed to step up his game in the handshake department. He had something big planned for Opening Day in Pittsburgh, but it went horribly wrong.
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Wainwright told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
"“I work day and night on these handshakes and to have one go this wrong, it’s embarrassing,” Wainwright said. “One part of what is going to be the handshake to end all pregame handshakes required me and (Matt) Carpenter to do the MC Hammer shuffle from ‘U Can’t Touch This.’ I thought I had it down after a couple weeks of practice, but my cleat slipped on a water bottle in the dugout yesterday and, well, here we are.”"
It’s a devastating blow for the Cardinals who will now go with lefty Jaime Garcia to start on Sunday against the Pirates, if, indeed, he truly is healthy to start the season.
Last year Wainwright miraculously came back in just five months after tearing his Achilles. The 34-year old believes he can cut that timetable even shorter this time around.
“I think I can come back in two,” Wainwright said. “You’ll see me back on the mound in 2016, for sure. In the meantime, I’ll rehab and work on hammering out this handshake.”
When asked if Major League Baseball should get rid of pregame handshakes, Wainwright said “absolutely not.”
“My stance on pregame handshakes is the same as pitchers hitting in the NL,” he said. “It is a part of the game. There is a rich tradition here, and it doesn’t need to be messed with. Pitchers deserve to show they can hit, and by God, they deserve to bust out these pregame handshakes and dance moves, too. It gets the team pumped up and ready to get out there.”
We’ll see if Wainwright can bounce back as quickly as he thinks. The Cardinals will sorely miss their ace in the coming months. Wainwright says one thing is for sure.
“I’m going to make it through this and grind it out,” he said. “And I promise our fans that they will see the most epic handshake of my career. Just you wait.”
In other news, happy April Fools’ Day everyone.