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Kendry Morales: Walk-Off Fail

The Angels won a game in May and saw their season end simultaneously

Another possible title for this post: “Kendry Morales does his best to one-up Bill Gramatica.

Chalk up another case of seeing something new in every baseball game — and even slightly after the game ends. Here’s the abbreviated description:

Morales, the Angels’ best power threat and a fifth-place finisher in last year’s MVP vote, blasts a walk-off grand slam Saturday to left-center field and Angel Stadium’s inhabitants burst into euphoria. Here comes the slugger around third, all of his teammates are waiting to beat him up, you know, in a good way. He tosses his helmet to the ground, races for the plate, hops up into the air aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand …

SNAP!

Morales’ teammates don’t need to beat him into the ground. He’s already there due to what turns out to be a fractured left leg. All by just bounding onto home plate. After witnessing that scene, there is only one question to ask:

Seriously?

How is this possible? Morales isn’t exactly nimble, but he’s a big guy with big legs and the force of his lower half landing on home plate shouldn’t cause a possible season-ending injury. Yet, that’s seems to be exactly what happened. There’s the really strange part of this. I could be wrong, but it didn’t look like Morales landed on anyone’s foot or turned his ankle by landing on another uneven surface.

He just landed and broke.

He’ll have surgery on Sunday.

This should bring back memories from a few years ago of Milton Bradley blowing up his knee while being held back by his manager as he argued with an ump. It was a surreal moment. But Saturday’s unfortunate-yet-somewhat-hilarious event topped it. Bradley’s injury occurred during a moment of frustration and rage. If he had just kept his cool to the point where he didn’t need to be restrained, he would have been fine. Instead, he turned into a pitiful character.

Morales was in the midst of baseball bliss. And when the player of the moment hits a walk-off home run, they almost always cap it by putting an exclamatory stomp on home plate. Some players run straight into the masses, but the majority decide to fly in. Remember how Andrew McCutchen arrived home after his walk-off  homer in August 2009?

But he was fine.

Not so much for Morales. The Angels certainly won’t be fine without him in the lineup. It was already struggling even with him as the Angels are hitting just .248 and are in the middle of the pack among runs scored. Morales leads the Halos in the Triple Crown categories as well as hits. Now, no healthy Angel has more than seven home runs and I’m not sure if there is anyone major league pitchers will legitimately fear in their starting nine. Hideki Matsui is in a huge slump. Bobby Abreu isn’t a power hitter any longer (even though he hit a pretty special shot on Saturday). Maybe pitchers will still be wary of Torii Hunter.

Oh, but guess what!!

Hunter left this game in the first inning after his left wrist ran into one of Felix Hernandez’s 95-MPH fastballs. The good news — and “good” is a very relative term in the Angels’ situation — is that Hunter’s precautionary X-rays came back negative and he is listed as day to day.

Through all this, the Rangers have to realize that AL West is really theirs for the taking.

I’ve already read some sports scribes calling this a dumb move by Morales, which is such ridiculous hindsight criticism. Perhaps this injury will change the way players celebrate a walk-off victory. But it’s more likely that they will understandably write this off as a completely freak occurrence and keep on about their ways.

Oh, that felt good. Let's get outta here

This just in: I'm the man

Give me room, boys. It's time to dance

It's like viewing the few final frames of smooth gliding from the Hindenburg before it runs into a bit of electrical trouble

Past the pain of this photo, it's just funny how it looks like the Angels take supreme joy in their teammate's agony. Francisco Rodriguez in the middle, a little too much so.

Lame. Get well soon, Kendry

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