04/30/10 6:43 PM ET
Madson placed on DL with broken toe
Injury occured after blown save and run-in with metal chair
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
The chair won.
Madson broke his right big toe and the Phillies placed him on the 15-day disabled list Friday just as they activated right-hander Brad Lidge, who had been on the DL since the season started. The Phillies recalled left-hander Antonio Bastardo from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take Madson's place on the 25-man roster.
"I'm embarrassed, I let down my teammates," Madson said. "I let down the fans that want us all to be out there playing hard for them. I feel terrible about that. That's probably the worst part. It is the worst part. I've done it before. Not kick stuff, but I've gotten upset before and never broken a bone. It's just one of those things. I learned from it. I won't do it again. I realize how much I'm letting my teammates down and the fans."
Madson blew his second save in six opportunities in an eventual 7-6 victory in 11 innings over the Giants. Madson said he slipped as he walked down a flight of stairs leading from the dugout to the clubhouse. He recovered, but the slip added to the frustration of the blown save, and he kicked a heavy metal folding chair at the bottom of the steps.
Madson said he thought he stubbed his toe, but woke up Thursday morning and had difficulty walking. He received X-rays on Thursday and walked in a protective boot on Friday.
"I tried to kick it over," he said of the chair. "I caught my toe underneath the chair instead of on top, and that's pretty much what happened. [The chair] just happened to be right there. It was bad timing."
It is bad timing. The Phillies had hoped to finally set up their bullpen like they want, with Lidge as the closer and Madson as the setup man. Now they will have to wait. The Phillies said they have no timetable for Madson's return, although manager Charlie Manuel said it could be as short as two weeks.
It is unknown if the breaks are similar, but former Pirates left-hander Oliver Perez broke his left big toe on June 26, 2005, after kicking a metal laundry cart in the visitors' clubhouse in St. Louis. He did not pitch again for Pittsburgh until Sept. 9, a span of 66 games. Cubs right-hander Ryan Dempster broke his right big toe during a celebration last July. He spent 26 days on the disabled list between starts.
"It's sore right now," Madson said. "It's a broken bone, so we'll just play it by ear. The good thing is I can do all my arm stuff and keep my arm in shape."
This is not Madson's first freak injury with the Phillies. Madson sprained a ligament in his right hand in 2004, when he tried to make a leaping catch at the wall during batting practice before a game at Citizens Bank Park. Madson jammed a finger into the outfield wall and missed more than a month of the season.
And this certainly is not the first time a player lost his cool. Former Yankees left-hander Kevin Brown broke his left hand after punching a wall in 2004. He missed most of the month of September. Former Padres shortstop Khalil Greene broke his left hand after punching a storage chest in July 2008 and missed the remainder of the season. Braves pitcher Jeff Bennett broke his right hand last season punching the clubhouse door. And Milton Bradley infamously tore his ACL while arguing with an umpire in 2007.
"I think once it heals, it should be fine," Madson said. "It's just going to take time."
Madson made sure to express his contrition to Manuel, who was understanding of the situation.
"It's one of those things that happens," Manuel said. "He's definitely embarrassed about it. I could tell. He was very apologetic."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.