Summer hasn’t even turned hot, but the Milwaukee Brewers are already melting away. They are Salvador Dali clocks, trapped in some surreal landscape where each new development adds another coat of disbelief.
Monday saw the disabled list claim its eighth player - 32 percent of the Brewers Opening Day roster - before they were 30 percent through the season. And for this latest twist, Dali himself might bow in bizarre reverence. Because the confluence of events that conspired to break Jonathan Lucroy’s hand is staggering.
1) A sock had to find its way under the bed in his Los Angeles hotel room. Or, at the very least, Lucroy had to believe that one did. Which, given the transient nature of socks, may not exactly be staggering. But hey, we’re just getting started.
2) One of his suitcases had to simultaneously be atop that same bed. You can already hear the quantum physicists stirring.
3) Lucroy’s wife had to simultaneously be in the same room. And because wives aren’t normally along for Brewers road trips, the odds calculator is starting to get its workout.
4) Lucroy had to make the conscious decision to go reach under the bed for that sock. Not leave it till the morning, or for five minutes while he checked for Gideon bibles, but grab it then and there. Cleanliness, in this case, was next to ominous.
5) While Lucroy reached under the bed, his wife had be in the general vicinity of the bed. Rather than, say, brushing her hair in the bathroom or heading down to the icemaker.
6) Mrs. Lucroy then had to take some innocent action that caused the suitcase to move. This is the part where your sympathy goes out to her, because no one could possibly feel worse about the unforeseen results. No matter how many Lucroy bobblehead dolls you’ve stashed.
7) The suitcase had to move enough so that it fell off the bed. Assist to Isaac Newton.
8) And it had to fall off the bed at the exact spot where Lucroy’s right hand just happened to be stationed. A suitcase with aim.
9) And it had to fall at such an angle and with such force as to cause a boxer’s fracture of the fifth metacarpal. So perhaps it was once owned by Mike Tyson.
10) Presto: Just like that, Lucroy’s breakout season was broken.
Understand that this is man is a catcher. Baseball folks lovingly call his equipment the “tools of ignorance,” because only the ignorant would play a position that absorbs so much on-field damage. Leg-sapping squats. Heat-induced dehydration. Bone-seeking foul tips. Bone-crunching home-plate collisions.
And yet, but for a brief stint in early 2011, when one of those bone-seeking foul tips cracked his right pinky finger, Lucroy has been relatively healthy. Right up until his luck ran out with the luggage.
Disregard those who think Lucroy is making up this story. And not only because he’s about the most standup guy you’ll find in the Brewers clubhouse. Just think about it: If he were going to craft an elaborate ruse to cover up something like punching a wall, it certainly wouldn’t have included his wife. No reason to make her part of the story unless it’s part of the truth. So you can bet the house on socks and suitcases.
And when you think about it, in the context of this surreal Brewers season, it all makes perfect sense.
Lucroy joins six other DL’d teammates who currently reside in that dreaded slice of roster purgatory. And all eight of Milwaukee’s DL transactions this season have taken place since April 20. That’s a window of less than six weeks.
Put in another context, if the Brewers were an NFL team with a 53-man roster, they’d have lost 17 players by the fourth quarter of Game 5.
Or if they were the hit TV show “Friends,” which lasted for 240 shows over 10 episodes, they’d have lost both Gellers by episode 71.
That’s “The One with the Screamer,” guest-starring Ben Stiller. Who, by the way, is starring in an upcoming movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. He’s playing the lead, a man made famous for his elaborate daydreams.
But whatever dreams Stiller’s Mitty may weave, none of them will approach the oddity of this Brewers season.