In baseball, relievers are essential. A good middle reliever separates good teams from great teams. So for teams that expect to make the playoffs like the Red Sox and Yankees, any bullpen support is a comforting feeling. Unfortunately for the Sox and Yanks, Kenny Powers-like stupidity has struck relievers Bobby Jenks and Joba Chamberlain. Chamberlain injured his right ankle Thursday jumping on a trampoline with his kids. The legendary non-sports, sports injury is as frustrating as it gets. Easy rider Roethlisberger scared the terrible out of Steelers fans when his motorcycle accident placed him in serious condition. Tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. lost a whole season to a motorcycle accident. In Chamberlain’s case, I’m not sure how you prepare for the accident, because I don’t really see an anti-trampoline clause coming to any contracts anytime soon. Whether or not Joba could’ve avoided this clumsy injury is irrelevant at this point. Now, after emergency surgery, his future is up in the air. So is the future of Phil Hughes, whose possible trade situation is affected dramatically by the injury. No professional athlete should be injured jumping on a trampoline, but at least that’s an accident in the true sense of the word.
Bobby Jenks, on the other hand, is a moron. The plagued Red Sox reliever was arrested for DUI, destruction of property and leaving the scene of a crime at around 4 a.m. last night. This isn’t the first problem Jenks has had with alcohol. In 2002, he was demoted class AA by the Angels for bringing beer on the team bus. In 2010 Jenks claimed to have given up alcohol because of his four children. He’s also dealt with several injuries including two surgeries this off-season. His future was uncertain already, but a Red Sox team with a limited bullpen needed him as an option. Daniel Bard, who attempted to go from reliever to starter this spring, might have to return to his original position with Jenks’ controversy and sub-par starting numbers in the grapefruit league. It’s a frustrating day for both teams. Both of these relievers aren’t necessarily stars, but a successful baseball team is made of pieces, and none are more important than bullpen pawns. It looks, for now, like two valuable pawns are in jeopardy.