We asked the original ouchie reporter himself, Will Carroll, author of the "Under the Knife" column at Baseball Prospectus and fantasy football injury dude at SI.com to write a piece for us. He agreed. We're still kinda shocked. Please to enjoy:
So I was sitting in a bar with Tiger Claw, Iracane, and our usual bevy of models fetching us drinks and cigars when Iracane tossed out another of his annoying "let's debate this in a bar" questions. "Who's the historical creampuff?" he asked, his head tilted up as if he was talking to the ceiling fan more than Claw or me.
"It depends," I responded, "on how you define it. Is it the guy who spent the most time on the DL? Is it the guy who ended up losing the most because of an injury? Is it ..."
"Quit pontificating, Carroll. Nobody likes it when you do that." Tiger Claw was right. Drunk, rambling, and disheveled, but right. There was no need to use Clintonian definitions here. A creampuff is a creampuff, even an historical creampuff. Immediately, I started tap-tap-tapping on my iPhone and came up with some candidates:
Mike Hampton - Way too easy. Hampton has gone from being one of the most athletic pitchers in the game to an easy joke in the space of a couple years. He signed a big contract in Colorado and like so many guys who signed there, he just fell apart. He escaped, but his body didn't and pieces of it have been falling off since. The way that Hampton declined, especially paired up with his ludicrous contract, makes you wonder if he's pulling a Pavano and cashing his checks while avoiding that pesky "throw every fifth day" part of his deal. It doesn't seem like it, since Hampton keeps coming back and keeps coming back despite injuries to virtually every part of his anatomy, save the Snyders. At least Pavano got a roll in the hay with Alyssa Milano for his trouble.
Moises Alou - Alou can't win this because Iracane would never shake his hand. Even with a Costco size bottle of Purell beside him, Iracane's still weirded out by the whole pissing on his hands thing. That's too bad, because Alou looks like a war veteran in the locker room. His ankle - one of the worst injuries ever and sadly not on YouTube, so instead, watch this and pretend - is swollen and purple. Yes, purple. It's an odd shade and if I was one of those guys who spent too much time watching "Trading Spaces" I could probably give you the accurate color. Ok, it's Premium Sumptuous Purple at the Lowe's. His shoulders have scars that go over scars. His hamstrings and calves have had so many strains that if you opened him up, it's either be a big wad of scar or Terminator-style machinery. On those brief occasions when he's healthy, even at this advance age, he can hit. Alou could probably take a couple years off, play with the kids, paint his bedroom to match his ankle, then roll out of bed one morning and go three for five with a double off Greg Maddux Jr.
Albert Pujols - Leitch is going to crap when he sees this. Heck, I'd put Pujols on the list just to see Leitch spitting like Buzz Bissinger, but the fact is that Pujols has never been healthy. He's blown out his elbow, suffered through the same plantar fasciitis that cost Mark McGwire two years of his career, and put up huge numbers just the same. Huge? Sure, he's had an historic first few years in the league, but if he'd been healthy, what could he have done? He's never had surgery to correct things and maybe that's kept him from having a Sosa in '98, Bonds in '01, or Adam Duritz in '95 kind of run. If he'd just been healthy or not so scared of a scalpel, maybe Pujols would have put up a season that would have made everyone get all Cal Ripken weepy and saved baseball from the Mitchell Report.
Mark Fidrych - If a dude stood on the mound and talked to the ball today, I think they'd gently remove him from the mound, cut to an ad for Effexor, and then take him to the showers where they'd all beat him with sanitary socks filled with gravel. Of course, that would have been a good thing to do to Ralph Houk, the manager that sent a 21 year old rookie out for 250 innings in just 29 starts. While we don't have pitch counts for these games, he only had three starts where he faced less that 25 batters. He also had 24 complete games, including five that went into extra innings. His arm turned to mush the way his head already had and he didn't have as many starts in the rest of his career as he did complete games in that magical '76. It had to be worth it for the Tigers since they finished ... oh, thirteen games under .500. Maybe it wasn't and maybe Houk is still calling Fidrych a creampuff.
Sandy Koufax - I'm not sure if a guy who slathered his arm in capsacin before starts can be a creampuff. Koufax would use the substance, the stuff that makes hot peppers hot, so much that he needed new uniform tops since the clubbie couldn't get near it without his eyes burning. By the time his shoulder gave way, Koufax was the poster boy for "what if" baseball nuts, especially if you made the mistake of invoking his name around a Jew. Face it, Shawn Green or Ian Kinsler aren't going to work their way into many trivia answers. The story goes that if Koufax had been playing a few years later, we'd call it "Sandy Koufax surgery" instead of Tommy John surgery, but Koufax didn't stick around, did he? You might also want to re-read this paragraph, because it was his shoulder (likely a labrum) that caused Koufax to hang it up. Koufax did later have Tommy John surgery, but it was due to a golf injury. Golf injury? Unless you're Tiger Woods and win a tournament on a broken leg, there's no such thing as a golf injury that doesn't involve me calling you soft.
But the "winner" is Jose Canseco. Sure, it might be the first time "Canseco" and "winner" have been in the same sentence since baseball writers stopped ignoring his track marks, but there's no question the guy is a creampuff. It's bad enough to bounce a ball off your head and into the stands. It's bad enough to convince your manager you can pitch, then go out and blow out your elbow on a knuckleball. What makes Canseco the ultimate creampuff isn't even his chronic case of craniorectopathy, it's the medical condition that caused him to not seal the deal when he had the chance with Madonna. Sure, the Kaballah thing is a bit creepy now and she's a bit too muscled for Tiger Claw's taste - he likes women curvy and compliant - but Canseco was hooking up with her back when she was looking like this. (Holy crap, what is Arli$$ doing in the video?!) In his book, he mentions that shrinking his balls with steroids made his cock look bigger, but he fails to mention that besides backne, tiny balls, and rage, the other side effect of steroids is impotence. He must hate Alex Rodriguez for being able to get it in places he had to pass on. Wow, that picture of Jessica Canseco makes me a little E.D., but at least I can, Jose, you frakking creampuff. At least I can.