Chris Colabello set a Twins record for RBI in April, breaking Kirby Puckett’s mark. It was a startling beginning to a season from the journeyman first baseman/outfielder, and many figured he would cool off quickly.
He did, eventually landing in the minors. But was there more to it than just the league catching up to him? In a story published at telegram.com, out of Worcester, Mass., this came to light:
Something that happened on April 23 contributed to Colabello’s drop off in production. Tampa Bay reliever Grant Balfour jammed him with a fastball, numbing Colabello’s right thumb. The thumb hasn’t felt right since. The Twins physician told him he had suffered nerve damage and only rest would help, but after taking nearly a decade to reach the major leagues, Colabello tried to play through the pain and numbness. He glued cotton to his batting gloves and tried a thumb protector, but his slump continued. … Colabello didn’t tell the media in Minnesota about his thumb injury. “I don’t like to make excuses,” he said. “I chose to play and I’ll deal with the consequences.”
Nobody will ever know how much of it was the injury and how much of it was just Colabello cooling off, but it is notable that through April 23 he was batting .346 with 26 RBI and a .962 OPS. For the rest of the year with the Twins, he hit just .157 with a .479 OPS.
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Vikings cornerback Josh Robinson limped off at the start of Thursday’s practice with an apparent leg injury.
It occurred during the individual drills portion of practice, in which Robinson hobbled over the trainer’s table before walking inside. Robinson has played well this season, despite a nagging hamstring injury dating back to the start of training camp.
Center John Sullivan (concussion) returned to practice but was limited during the open portion of practice. Guard Vladimir Ducasse (knee) was more active, participating in 1-on-1s against the defensive line but worked with the second team. Joe Berger and Mike Harris remained as the first team center and right guard.
Linebacker Gerald Hodges (hamstring) returned to practice after missing Sunday’s game against the Bills. Safety Antone Exum Jr. (ankle) and tight end Kyle Rudolph (abdomen/groin) were the only Vikings held out of practice. Rudolph continued to work on his conditioning for a second consecutive practice.
Many football fans remember that Marvin Harrison was the one who caught the first touchdown pass of Peyton Manning’s career. It’s less likely, but they might also remember that Rick Parros caught John Elway’s first one and that Sterling Sharpe was the recipient of Brett Favre’s first.
Someday, will fans remember — or have a reason to remember — that Cordarrelle Patterson was the Vikings wide receiver who caught the first touchdown pass of Teddy Bridgewater’s NFL career?
Today, Patterson didn’t seem to care whether he will be the answer to that trivia question someday.
“It might be in 20 years of whatever,” Patterson said. “We really don’t know.”
With the Vikings sitting at 2-5, Patterson has more important things to worry about this week. But he did acknowledge that it was a special moment for Bridgewater. Patterson wanted to keep the ball after this four-yard touchdown reception in the loss to the Bills, but he gave it up to the rookie.
“I gave Teddy the ball. I wish I could have kept it, but I gave it to him,” he said. “That’s the right thing to do, to give that young guy his ball and hats off to Teddy. I hope we get many more this week.”
Patterson didn’t say why he wanted the ball so badly. Sure, it was his first touchdown catch of the season. But he had four of them last season and has now scored 11 total touchdowns in the NFL.
He hoped a compromise could reached, but then he had a King Solomonesque moment of clarity.
“I wish we could split it half way, but that won’t work out so good,” Patterson said.