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Francisco Liriano pitches against the Toronto Blue Jays while with the White Sox in 2012. / Getty Images


Abelimages/Getty Images

Francisco Liriano had a terrible Christmas. The Pirates' new starter cost himself over $11 million in guaranteed money when he broke his non-throwing arm in a household accident initially said to be a bathroom fall. On Monday, multiple reports had it that Liriano actually broke his arm slamming it against a door to startle his children.

That news is fascinating for a couple of reasons. For one, how hard to you have to slam yourself against a door ?? intentionally, mind you ?? to break your arm in the process? Was it just a funny angle, or is Francisco Liriano a masochist? (He did sign a free agent contract with the Pirates this offseason.)

Also, and more important, why is he trying to startle his kids on Christmas? Isn't that type of behavior more appropriate for Halloween or April Fool's Day? If it actually went down the way he's saying it did, the only reasonable explanation I can figure is that he was trying to approximate the noise of Santa Claus landing on the roof or coming down the chimney. And if that's the case, he's going to have a heck of a time trying to recap what happened to the little ones.

"Merry Christmas, kids! Santa came, and he left you all these presents! Only thing is, he randomly kicked the crap out of me before he left. ... No, no idea why. Maybe I was naughty this year, or maybe he just had a rough night. Can't be easy, you know, being Santa."

Liriano's misfortune is just another in a long line of ridiculous off-field injuries to baseball players. Here are our top five:

5) Joel Zumaya: During the 2006 playoffs, flamethrowing Detroit Tigers reliever missed three games due to inflammation in his throwing wrist and forearm. When doctors suggested the pain was more typical of guitar players than pitchers, the team identified the source of the injury: Zumaya's Guitar Hero habit. To be fair, playing video games is hardly the most destructive off-field habit a 21-year-old professional athlete can have. Plus, Guitar Hero is fun and, presumably if Zumaya was playing it enough to hurt himself doing so, he was really, really good at it.

Richard Marshall/AP

4) Clint Barmes: When he broke his left collarbone in 2005, Barmes initially told the Colorado Rockies he injured himself carrying groceries, a strange enough story. But the truth came out that Barmes sustained the injury while carrying a package of venison given to him by team leader Todd Helton after a day spent driving ATV's on Helton's property, and Barmes lied to the club to protect Helton. One can only assume that it takes a whole lot of venison to break a man's collar bone, and it seems entirely possible that Helton just lobbed an entire dead deer to the unsuspecting young infielder, like, "You want some deer meat, man? Here's some deer meat!" To which Barmes responded, "OW MY COLLARBONE!"

Barbara Jean Germano/USA TODAY Sports

3) Nolan Ryan: In a rare bit of evidence proving that Nolan Ryan was not invincible, in June 1985 the Hall of Famer was bitten by a coyote on his left hand when he reached into a pen full of coyotes. This probably makes for a good maxim: If you reach into the coyote pen, you're going to get bit by a coyote. Even if you're pretty much the toughest old Texas dude of all time.

Kevork Djansezian/AP

2) Glenallen Hill: If there's one thing Hill hates, it's shortening his swing deep in counts. But if there's two things he hates, it's that and spiders. While with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1990, Hill arrived to the clubhouse on crutches, telling reporters he had "a phobia about spiders" and that he fell through a glass table in his apartment while in the midst of a nightmare about spiders.

Douglas C. Pizac/AP

1) Kevin Mitchell: One of the best hitters of the late 80s and early 90s, Mitchell had big power, a big personality, a big waistline, and a big legend. So it's hard to decipher the exact details of the doughnut-eating injury that required emergency dental work and caused him to arrive late to Spring Training one year. By the most reputable accounts available, it wasn't actually a hardened, frozen doughnut that did the damage ?? a common misconception ?? but molten chocolate from a microwaved doughnut that seeped into his fillings and required a root canal. Either way, it's obviously the winner.


Mark Duncan/AP



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Francisco Liriano broke his arm scaring his kids

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