The first major injury from the World Baseball Classic happened on Wednesday to complete Pool D. Remarkably, the torn patellar tendon season-ending injury that New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz of Naguabo, Puerto Rico experienced was not during the game, but afterwards. Specifically, it happened in the celebration of all things, as Diaz and his Mets’ teammates celebrated the fact Puerto Rico had advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2023 World Baseball Classic following a 5-2 win over the Dominican Republic. With the win, Puerto Rico will play Mexico in the third of four quarterfinal games from LoanDepot Park in Miami, Florida.
History of Injuries during Baseball Celebrations
Diaz is not the first Major League Baseball player to be injured in a celebration following a baseball game. On May 29, 2010 in a 5-1 Angels win over the Seattle Mariners, Los Angeles Angels first baseman Kendrys Morales of Fomento, Cuba broke his leg after a walk-off grand slam when he celebrated at home plate with his teammates. He would not play in the Majors again for two years! According to the Associated Press, San Diego Padres pitcher Jake Peavy once broke his rib, Chicago Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster once broke his big toe and Minnesota Twins second baseman Denny Hocking once broke his nose.
All-Star in 2022
Diaz was an All-Star for the second time in 2022, following his selection in 2018 while with the Seattle Mariners. In 61 games this past season and 62 innings pitched with the Mets, he had a record of three wins and one loss. Diaz also had 118 strikeouts and 32 saves with an outstanding earned run average of 1.31 and a WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) of 0.84. In the offseason, Diaz was one of the first free agents to sign a contract. He re-signed with the Mets to a five-year deal worth $102 million on November 9, and was expected to be a huge part of a Mets franchise with World Series aspirations.