FanDuel - WFBC

March 23, 2012

Joba Chamberlain suffers life-threatening ankle injury on a trampoline.:
What. The. F***.?!

posted by grum@work to baseball at 04:19 PM - 66 comments

What. The. F***.?!

What. The. F***.?! is right. I can understand wanting to have fun with your child, but What. The. F***.?! was he doing on that trampoline in the first place?

I'm betting there's more at work with his body than a dislocation of his ankle. No way it can be that severe if he's not taking something on the substance ban list.

posted by NerfballPro at 05:17 PM on March 23

Trampoline's are dangerous. When the public safety experts advised parental supervision, I don't think this is what they had in mind.

posted by bperk at 05:24 PM on March 23

I'm neither a Yankee fan nor a Joba Chamberlain fan, but that really sucks. Of course, most people know how dangerous trampolines can be, and most agents would advise their professional athlete clients to stay off of them. That being said, this really boils down to a dad trying to do something fun with his five year old son, and quite possibly suffering a career ending catastrophic ankle injury. Poor guy.

posted by tahoemoj at 06:06 PM on March 23

Life threatening? Maybe career threatening but I did not read where the injury was life threatening. In any case hind sight is always 20/20 but what is a guy who makes his living with his body doing on a trampoline? Sometimes it is OK to say no to your kids. Like son dad makes his living pitching in the majors and cannot risk injury.

posted by Atheist at 06:26 PM on March 23

The article stated that the compound nature of the fracture led him to lose enough blood that the injury was considered life-threatening at first.

what is a guy who makes his living with his body doing on a trampoline?

Trying to enjoy an afternoon with his child and get his child out from in front of the playstation? Neither one of us knows whether he was being reckless, but considering the fact that a 5 year old child was involved, I'm going to go out on a limb and assume he wasn't getting too crazy. A freak accident happened, and now his career may be over. Is it too hard to have a small amount of empathy?

posted by tahoemoj at 07:25 PM on March 23

Atheist:

Life threatening? Maybe career threatening but I did not read where the injury was life threatening.

I did. I clicked the link. Look, see? It's right there in the title: "Yankees relief pitcher Joba Chamberlain dislocates ankle, loses life-threatening amount of blood, 2012 season and career may be over"

tahoemoj:

Is it too hard to have a small amount of empathy?

Well, of course, this is spofi, where people know what he was doing, why he was there, and what substances were in his body, and can -- nay, are obliged -- to open their pie-holes and judge accordingly. Aaah, the internet, where nobody knows that you're a dog, but everybody can tell that you're a jackass.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:22 PM on March 23

The initial reports were that he was jumping on a trampoline 'of sorts', which was strange. It seems it was during "athletic activities featuring trampolines".

Trying to enjoy an afternoon with his child and get his child out from in front of the playstation? Neither one of us knows whether he was being reckless, but considering the fact that a 5 year old child was involved, I'm going to go out on a limb and assume he wasn't getting too crazy. A freak accident happened, and now his career may be over. Is it too hard to have a small amount of empathy?

When I was a kid we called them Trampolines of Death, because they caused so many injuries. Trampolines are very dangerous, more dangerous when used wrong, but dangerous regardless. This is not a secret. This is not judging, this is a fact.

Emergency rooms hate trampolines. Your home insurance can refuse you insurance or force you to exclude the trampoline. Five year olds are daredevils on a trampoline. Weighing 240 pounds can make the injury much more devastating.

Athletes have to make these decisions all the time. Camping, seems safe. Hiking, probably safe, wall climbing, I'll skip that one. Joba is my least favorite player in the league, by a wide margin. But I'd never wish this on anyone. Would much rather see Joba lit up on the field. But he was asking for trouble, and I'm not lacking empathy by thinking this was a dumb choice.

I'm glad he's spending time with his kid, but there are a thousand safer ways of spending time with your kid. If he never gets back to being an effective pitcher he's given up an unbelievable amount of money. Walking to your mailbox, tripping on the newspaper and breaking your leg is a freak accident. Hurting yourself on a trampoline is a common occurrence, and this is NOT a freak accident.

posted by justgary at 08:27 PM on March 23

When I was a kid we called them Trampolines of Death, because they caused so many injuries.

Really, when you were a kid you called them that? Nobody called them "trampolines of death" when I was a kid, and all the kids couldn't wait to get up on them. No doubt we were wrong, but my point is, no one knew them as agents of death just waiting to reach out and grab us and smash us on the ground. I question whether it's really all that widely known today -- you can make the "look at what you're doing on the thing for godsakes" argument, but still, do you think anyone would get on one if that were widely known?

But he was asking for trouble, and I'm not lacking empathy by thinking this was a dumb choice.

I'll grant you the dumb choice, but "asking for trouble" seems callous. Subtle difference, perhaps, but I think there is one.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:42 PM on March 23

He was at Rebounderz, a Tampa facility with 6,700 square feet of trampolines. "After strapping on a helmet and donning some special shoes provided by Rebounderz, guests are free to jump around, bouncing off of the trampolines on the floor or the trampolines that comprise the walls."

Here's a YouTube video.

Look sensible for Joba to be doing? Leaving aside the normal trampoline risks -- they cause 98,000 ER trips a year -- he was rehabbing an arm and might've been reluctant to put weight on it in a fall.

(Still looks cool as hell, though. Super-fun trampolines of death, you vex me.)

posted by rcade at 08:44 PM on March 23

I've never been to Rebounderz. I know these places are trying to make trampolines safer, but you can only do so much.

Also, have no idea if this is true or not, but according to this site they make you sign a waver:

Second you MUST sign their waiver. The waiver basically says, trampolining is dangerous and could result in in injury or death and you are participating knowingly and accept the risk and won't hold Rebounderz responsible. So, assuming you are okay with all that you can either fill out the waiver online prior to arriving, or fill it out at their designated sign-in station in the lobby.

Edit: Yep, waiver is real.

posted by justgary at 08:50 PM on March 23

Really, when you were a kid you called them that?

Not at 5, but later, yes. Of course, Faces of Death was big back then, so it felt only natural.

when I was a kid, and all the kids couldn't wait to get up on them.

Yeah, kids tend to ignore possible danger when it comes to having fun. Part of being a kid. I doubt telling a kid that skate boarding is also very dangerous will keep them off one.

I question whether it's really all that widely known today

You're right. I can only speak for myself and those I grew up with. I also worked in a children's clinic where we saw weekly trampoline injuries. Perhaps it's not as widely known as I would think. It should be.

posted by justgary at 09:14 PM on March 23

From rcade's link:

Trampoline safety expert Marc Rabinoff, of Metropolitan State College of Denver, Colo., calls trampolines "quad machines" because they can turn you into a quadriplegic in four seconds."

Sums it up, but quad machines doesn't have the ring of 'trampoline of death'.

posted by justgary at 09:20 PM on March 23

I'm surprised it took this long for someone to post this clip.

posted by grum@work at 10:14 PM on March 23

Chamberlain was quickly becoming a non-factor as a pitcher for the Yankees anyways, so it's really no big deal. Let your ankle heal up, then begin your post-baseball life, Joba.

posted by dyams at 10:22 PM on March 23

I question whether it's really all that widely known today -- you can make the "look at what you're doing on the thing for godsakes" argument, but still, do you think anyone would get on one if that were widely known?

Parents probably know. The CPSC has warned against them. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises against letting your kids on them. The trampolines have warnings all over them. People still take the risk because they are fun. Bike riding is risky as well, but you don't see parents keeping their kids away from bikes.

posted by bperk at 10:59 PM on March 23

So is an organized outing at a business like Rebounderz the same thing as jumping around on a backyard trampoline without extra safety features? Just curious, because I was willing to feel bad for the guy when I thought it was just the backyard variety. I feel even worse for him knowing he had gone to a place that attempts to make trampolines even safer. Is climbing a mountain the same thing as going to a local climbing gym?

The waiver basically says, trampolining is dangerous and could result in in injury or death and you are participating knowingly and accept the risk and won't hold Rebounderz responsible.

Big deal. If you look at the back of a baseball ticket, it has the same disclaimer on it. Has it ever stopped you from going to a ballgame? Go to Disneyland and read the disclaimers at the ticket booth. Just because the legal department has you sign a waiver to do something doesn't necessarily make you stupid per se for doing it.

I'm not lacking empathy by thinking this was a dumb choice. No, I suppose not. In hindsight, I guess I have to agree that it was foolish. My response was a) directed to the post above it, largely because we could all have seen it coming before it arrived; and b) just to point out that empirically, it's pretty goddamn sad that a guy may have lost his career due to making an effort at fatherhood.

posted by tahoemoj at 01:53 AM on March 24

Big deal. If you look at the back of a baseball ticket, it has the same disclaimer on it. Has it ever stopped you from going to a ballgame? Go to Disneyland and read the disclaimers at the ticket booth. Just because the legal department has you sign a waiver to do something doesn't necessarily make you stupid per se for doing it.

Well, I don't think that's really a fair comparison. I've driven go carts, hit in a batting cage, been to a ball game, and gone to an amusement park over the past few years, and I'm sure somewhere in each case there was a warning, but I've never had to SIGN a two page waiver. That seems a little more severe than a warning listed on the back of a ticket. I would also think common sense tells you that jumping around 10 feet in the air represents more danger than attending a ball game. Maybe I'm wrong.

Then again, my point was not that Joba should have run away in horror, but that even if Joba had reached adulthood without ever hearing the dangers of trampolines, having to sign a waiver for his son should have been a clue that yes, it can be dangerous.

I do feel bad for him, and even with all the dangers, most people going to these places are going to leave just fine. Saying he was asking for trouble was probably too strong. Let's just say that I wasn't surprised a 240 pound man coming off surgery was hurt on a trampoline. Jeter called it a fluke injury. Well then a lot of fluke injuries take place on trampolines, which seems to contradict the very meaning of the word.

Then again, they also haven't said exactly how the injury happened. The most I've heard is Cashman saying he guesses 'he landed wrong'. So I'm curious exactly how this happened.

posted by justgary at 06:52 AM on March 24

Anyone who's ever seen an episode of America's Funniest Home Videos knows how dangerous trampolines are.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 09:57 AM on March 24

I've driven go carts,...
...but I've never had to SIGN a two page waiver.

Really? I'm very surprised your local go-kart track doesn't have you signing a waiver before getting in the vehicles. The two tracks I've been to in the past 10 years have both made me sign a document that says I understand the rules of the track (no bumping, slow down when told, drive in only one direction) and a limited liability waiver.

posted by grum@work at 10:12 AM on March 24

Being a parent doesn't automatically make one smart or responsible. MANY yards in my rural community have trampolines and kids jumping on them without supervision. Many of the local kids have their own ATVs and ride without helmets. Each year the newspapers are littered with stories of children and adults being maimed and killed on snowmobiles. Each year more people have kids without having a clue as to how to even try to keep them safe.

My mother was an ER nurse and as much as I complained about how much she didn't love me growing up because she wouldn't let me have a trampoline or a BB gun, etc, etc, I am damn glad she didn't because I was dumb kid and did stupid things, and would have killed myself.

As for Joba, I wish him a speedy recovery and hope he spends his time recuperating thinking of better things to do with his time with his children.

posted by scully at 06:41 PM on March 24

Being a parent doesn't automatically make one smart or responsible. MANY yards in my rural community have trampolines and kids jumping on them without supervision.

I'm not sure what that has to do with anything. Did someone on this link suggest that Chamberlain was smart because he was a parent? A few have suggested that he was stupid for engaging in a recreational activity provided by an ostensibly reputable business. If the danger of maiming was that severe, and if occurrences like this are as common at Rebounderz as some of you suggest, what the fuck are they doing in business?

This is a story about an athlete who took his kid to a local business to spend some time with him. You act as though he was in the backyard at a hillbilly friend's house with a steel-sided 30-year old trampoline in it playing Thunderdome with his kid. Looking at the links provided about Rebounderz, it it not only marketed as a great way for a family to spend a day together, it is touted by the local press as a viable alternative to send your kids for recreation (The headline-"Kids bouncing off walls? Send them to Rebounderz"). Is he really so fucking stupid and irresponsible for taking his kid to this place, waiver or not?

posted by tahoemoj at 08:16 PM on March 24

Confession time: I have played Thunderdome on a trampoline.

As an adult.

(and then...we played nails...)

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:13 PM on March 24

Confession time: I have played Thunderdome on a trampoline.

Pfft.

That's nothing.

I played with lawn darts.

posted by grum@work at 09:52 PM on March 24

All of this is sittin' at home eating marshmallows out of the bag compared to going motorsickle ridin' with Big Ben or Jay Williams.

posted by beaverboard at 11:31 PM on March 24

Confession time: I have played Thunderdome on a trampoline.

Pfft.

That's nothing.

I played with lawn darts.

posted by grum@work at 09:52 PM on March 24

Amature grum, growing up I had the luxury of a strip mine swimming hole that was about a quarter mile from our house. And we swam in it UNSUPERVISED BY ADULTS!!!

posted by steelergirl at 11:59 AM on March 25

27 years old... a little bit beyond the age where you think you're going to live forever and accidents happen to other people. Usually by 25 you start to consider that your actions have consequences. Jeopardize millions of dollars to bounce up and down? There's really only one word for that; Stupid. It's people like Joba that make prove the statement 'youth is wasted on the young' a true statement. I wonder if he violated any of the terms in his contract. That would add insult to his injury. Every so often you hear of some bone-headed move by an athlete that defies wisdom. Hopefully others in a similar position will take heed and wait until a more appropriate time to stick their neck (foot) out for a thrill.

posted by mitchigan at 12:33 PM on March 25

Usually by 25 you start to consider that your actions have consequences. Jeopardize millions of dollars to bounce up and down? There's really only one word for that; Stupid...Hopefully others in a similar position will take heed and wait until a more appropriate time to stick their neck (foot) out for a thrill.

I'm going to assume that you've never been in the position where you stood to earn millions of dollars over a short period of time as long as you didn't suffer a disabling injury. Going on that assumption, I won't necessarily disagree with the "stupid", but I will question whether you could say with any degree of certainty that you (or any of us) would be smarter in the same situation. I mean, really, it's a different way of living that none of us are used to. I remember reading in Martina Navratilova's pseudo-autobiography, written quite late in her career, how she was finally giving herself permission to go skiing again. The idea came as a shock to me, that you'd live your life not doing something you loved to do, because an injury might happen, and if it did happen, might possibly endanger your livelihood. This wasn't a case of someone "out for a thrill", as you put it, just someone wanting to partake in an enjoyable and pretty commonplace activity, and feeling unable to do so. It makes sense in a way, but it's also an alien way of thinking and a not-very-fun way to live.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 01:05 PM on March 25

... I will question whether you could say with any degree of certainty that you (or any of us) would be smarter in the same situation.

I have trouble believing I'd be more reckless if I had more to lose. People make sacrifices for their careers all the time. Not engaging in leisure activities that might imperil your athletic career seems like a reasonable one to make.

Chamberlain's done with surgery and out of the hospital.

posted by rcade at 01:49 PM on March 25

There's really only one word for that; Stupid.

There's plenty of other words for it; perhaps you should make an attempt to expand your vocabulary. You could read some of the previous comments on both sides of the issue rather than rehashing (albeit less eloquently) a statement that was made much earlier in the thread.

Usually by 25 you start to consider that your actions have consequences.

So you lock yourself in a padded room and hope that nothing bad happens to you? This guy wasn't out drunken motorcycle racing. He took his fucking kid to a local recreation center. Climb of that goddamn high horse. Jesus.

posted by tahoemoj at 02:12 PM on March 25

Climbing off a high horse could be dangerous.

posted by rcade at 02:37 PM on March 25

Climbing off a high horse could be dangerous.

That's why highly paid jockeys are stupid.

posted by tahoemoj at 02:58 PM on March 25

A few have suggested that he was stupid for engaging in a recreational activity provided by an ostensibly reputable business. If the danger of maiming was that severe, and if occurrences like this are as common at Rebounderz as some of you suggest, what the fuck are they doing in business?

This is a story about an athlete who took his kid to a local business to spend some time with him.

This is getting kind of ridiculous. Look, trampolines are dangerous. Period. You seem to really have a difficult time understanding/agreeing with this, comparing it to going to a ball game, and I don't know how much more proof you need to just admit that it is dangerous. This isn't even debatable. The statistics back this up, anyone that has worked in an emergency room can back this up, providers of home insurance policies know this, viewers of the Simpsons know this. They've always been dangerous, and they always will be. Flying in the air far higher than what is normally possible and then having to land, often with other people also participating, is dangerous.

Sure, this place has tried to take some of the danger away. Looks like it's harder to fall off. That doesn't take away all the danger. You still can come down wrong. You can still come down on someone else's foot. You can still run into other people jumping. A lot of the 'safety' relies on people not acting crazy.

But you're going to ignore all that because a place whose existence relies on people paying them money claims it's safe? Are you fucking kidding me? Yes, we are safe, come spend money here! By the way, you have to SIGN THIS 2 PAGE WAIVER FIRST! But ignore that, we're really safe!

We've lost focus here. This isn't about the danger to the kid. I'm okay with kids being kids. I'd probably let my kid do this. I understand that kids can be hurt anywhere. I grew up hanging from monkey bars and playing with lawn darts.

This is a story about a pitcher at a crossroades in his career, where he could fade away or continue on making millions a year for the next decade, coming back from a serious injury, already on the disabled list, participating in an activity where injury is not rare.

I'm happy he's spending time with his kid. That's better than getting a DUI. But there's a hundred other ways safer to spend time with his kid. He's not a computer programmer. He can't go to work on crutches and continue to work. He's putting his whole career at risk.

It's ironic to hear lbb complain that sportsfilter users are judgmental. Sportsfilter is easily one of the least judgmental sports sites on the net. Joba is being crucified everywhere else, but here, the mere mention that jumping on a trampoline might have been a dumb move is lambasted.

I'm sorry, but fuck that. This is a story of a baseball player making a dumb choice, and now he's paying for it. Pointing that out doesn't make anyone a jackass, because it's the truth. And I feel bad for him. It's easy to make a dumb choice. I make them all the time. Luckily for me millions and my career aren't usually resting on those dumb choices.

Hopefully Joba comes back strong, and I'm guessing he'll leave the trampoline for when he's retired.

NYDailyNews: He'd been explicitly told by the Yankee trainers not to engage in any sort of physical activity that would potentially put his arm in harm's way. You would think they wouldn't have had to tell him that, but then there had already been too many things in Chamberlain's past to indicate he wasn't gifted with a whole lot of common sense.

It was as if he had a death wish for his career and now he's succeeded. This is an injury far worse than the blown-out elbow. The broken bone on his push-off ankle was out of the skin, blood was all over the place "he could have died," surgeons reportedly said and very likely it will take more than one surgery to put everything back together... It is highly unlikely Chamberlain will ever be able to pitch again.

-----------------------

So you lock yourself in a padded room and hope that nothing bad happens to you?

Now you've lost it. Time to step away from the computer.

That's why highly paid jockeys are stupid.

Naa, getting off their horse is part of the sport. That would be comparable to Joba getting injured on a liner back to the mound.

Now a Jockey coming back from an injury hurts himself on a trampoline? Now you're on to something.

posted by justgary at 08:30 PM on March 25

That Daily News link is painful. Somewhere in my garage I have 50 Brien Taylor rookie cards.

posted by rcade at 08:52 PM on March 25

The statistics back this up, anyone that has worked in an emergency room can back this up, providers of home insurance policies know this, viewers of the Simpsons know this. They've always been dangerous, and they always will be.

I've never once disputed that. I've never said that what he was doing was a good idea. I have no difficulty understanding the point. I've repeatedly stated so. My exact words earlier? "I'd have to agree that it was foolish." I'd follow it up with a 'nuff said, if you think it would help.

What I take issue with, and have all along is the people treating this story like he was on some rickety, unprotected backyard trampoline. Sure, this place has tried to take some of the danger away. Looks like it's harder to fall off. That doesn't take away all the danger. It's almost like when you wrote that, you understood the point that I was trying to make. In as few words as possible:

Backyard trampoline = dangerous, and yes, stupid for a professional athlete.

Business marketed to families involving trampolines, padding, protection, special shoes, etc = probably less dangerous, therefore probably less stupid. Certainly markets itself as safer, waiver or not. A reasonable person could enter expecting it to be safer, No? Not exactly a wise choice, but not precisely the same as the previous one. Are we clear on my point?

We've lost focus here. This isn't about the danger to the kid.

Never was my point.

So you lock yourself in a padded room and hope that nothing bad happens to you?

Now you've lost it. Time to step away from the computer.

That wasn't a straw man--read the definition you so helpfully linked to again slowly. I'm pretty sure the vast majority of readers here would recognize it as sarcasm/hyperbole/exaggeration to make a point. You seem familiar enough with sarcasm that I'll assume you actually got it, too.

Before acting like my position is so unreasonable, point me to a statistic that shows that the probability of injury at Rebounderz is the same as the overall probability of injury on a trampoline. You certainly have some anecdotal evidence, because that is why we are having this discussion. There's a ton of available evidence on trampolines in general, absolutely recognized. But in that this business exists, markets itself as a safe alternative, has been touted by the local press as a safe alternative, and has insurance, I think it's just gratuitous condescending bullshit to be so harsh on a guy for (mistakenly) relying on that representation. And yes, he fucked up. I have agreed to that repeatedly. He knows he fucked up, I'm sure. But I don't sleep better at night knowing I'm better than him because I can point out his mistake and call him stupid.

posted by tahoemoj at 10:00 PM on March 25

But in that this business exists, markets itself as a safe alternative, has been touted by the local press as a safe alternative, and has insurance, I think it's just gratuitous condescending bullshit to be so harsh on a guy for (mistakenly) relying on that representation.

But then they make you sign a waiver of liability that includes the explicit risks. That is a huge red flag right there. How many activities do you take your young child where you need to sign something like that? You can't really rely on the idea that it must be safe if they have a business, insurance, etc. when they make you sign a lengthy waiver that explicitly mentions risks that a professional athlete recovering from injury ought not to take. And, these waivers aren't something where it is just printed on the outside of the place. Everyone has to sign these waivers. Birthday party invitations have the waiver printed on them. They take this stuff seriously at these places, which should indicate to participants that they ought to take it seriously as well.

posted by bperk at 10:27 PM on March 25

A reasonable person could enter expecting it to be safer, No?

No.

From the waiver:

I acknowledge that my participation in trampoline court activities and other amusement activities entails known and unanticipated risks that could result in physical or emotional injury, paralysis, death, or damage to myself, to property, or to third parties. I understand that such risks simply cannot be eliminated without jeopardizing the essential qualities of the activity. The risks include, among other things: Slipping and falling; collision with fixed objects or people; injuries including, sprains, fractures, scrapes, bruises and cuts, dislocations, pinched fingers and serious injuries to the head, back, or neck the negligence of other participants, ROL, or myself; my own physical condition; physical contact with others.
From page 2 of the waiver, required for all parents of under-age children:
YOU ARE AGREEING TO LET YOUR MINOR CHILD ENGAGE IN A POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS ACTIVITY. YOU ARE AGREEING THAT, EVEN IF ROL USES REASONABLE CARE IN PROVIDING THIS ACTIVITY, THERE IS A CHANCE YOUR CHILD MAY BE SERIOUSLY INJURED OR KILLED BY PARTICIPATING IN THIS ACTIVITY BECAUSE THERE ARE CERTAIN DANGERS INHERENT IN THE ACTIVITY WHICH CANNOT BE AVOIDED OR ELIMINATED.
When I'm asked to sign a waiver that my child or I might be killed, I tend to take that pretty seriously. You?


And yes, he fucked up. I have agreed to that repeatedly. He knows he fucked up, I'm sure. But I don't sleep better at night knowing I'm better than him because I can point out his mistake and call him stupid.

If it's OK for you to say he fucked up, why is it so objectionable that people call him stupid? Your position seems to be that you're looking at his dangerous fuckup (your assessment) rationally and compassionately, but others are smug assholes taking pleasure in his dangerous fuckup. I'm not seeing the distinction. You can think someone stupidly fucked up and still feel sorry for the stupid fucker.

posted by rcade at 11:07 PM on March 25

But then they make you sign a waiver of liability that includes the explicit risks.

The same waiver exists on the back of your baseball tickets. The same waiver exists when you rent a bike. The same waiver exists on the back of your DisneyWorld pass.

Any time any company allows the public into a place where there is any (un)imaginable chance for injury, the lawyers whip up a (usually unenforceable) waiver clause and stick it on the entrance sign/ticket/purchase area.

As for the "under-age children" section, I'm simply surprised that they even allow them in. Every doctor/expert I've seen talk about trampolines (even those that don't hate them) will say that kids under a certain age (7?) shouldn't be anywhere NEAR a trampoline.

posted by grum@work at 01:53 AM on March 26

When I'm asked to sign a waiver that my child or I might be killed, I tend to take that pretty seriously. You?

Do you take your kid to baseball games?

Line drives, wayward throws, uncontrollable bats, steep steps, long drops from upper deck areas...lots of ways to maim/kill a child at a baseball game. It seems like a risky proposition for a child (or anyone!) to go to a game.

And yet, if Joba had been hit by a baseball while sitting in the stands, no one would have called him "stupid".

posted by grum@work at 01:58 AM on March 26

But then they make you sign a waiver of liability that includes the explicit risks. That is a huge red flag right there. How many activities do you take your young child where you need to sign something like that?

If I had a young child, I'd be doing it all the time. It's called "skiing". And when I was a young child, my father introduced me to an activity called "sailing" where there was no such "huge red flag" liability waiver and we just had to figure it out for ourselves.

When I'm asked to sign a waiver that my child or I might be killed, I tend to take that pretty seriously. You?

I guess that depends on what you mean by "take it seriously". What do you mean by it? That if you saw such a thing on a waiver, that (and nothing else) would prevent you from engaging in the activity?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:13 AM on March 26

Any time any company allows the public into a place where there is any (un)imaginable chance for injury, the lawyers whip up a (usually unenforceable) waiver clause and stick it on the entrance sign/ticket/purchase area.

This place is much more dangerous than those places. You can be sure that it is because they don't stick a vague waiver of liability up in the business or on the back of the ticket. They ensure that every person that enters has signed a very explicit waiver of liability, and that the parents have signed one for the children. Surely, that is a very obvious difference here. I don't see the relationship to baseball at all. No one would be calling him stupid if his child was hurt by a ball in the stands because the risk of those injuries is very low. The American Academy of Pediatrics doesn't advise parents to keep their children away from baseball games.

If I had a young child, I'd be doing it all the time. It's called "skiing".

Okay, so don't you think parents should assess the safety of skiing before they start? There are risks in skiing, including death. Shouldn't parents know the risks and know how to minimize the risks? And, if they decide to participate in a way where the risks are high and can't really be minimized therefore possibly ruining their career, why isn't reasonable to call them stupid?

posted by bperk at 07:24 AM on March 26

Okay, so don't you think parents should assess the safety of skiing before they start? There are risks in skiing, including death. Shouldn't parents know the risks and know how to minimize the risks?

And if parents are non-skiers, how are they to "assess the safety of skiing"? Sounds to me like you've created a catch-22.

And, if they decide to participate in a way where the risks are high and can't really be minimized therefore possibly ruining their career, why isn't reasonable to call them stupid?

Would you call Natasha Richardson stupid?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:49 AM on March 26

If it's OK for you to say he fucked up, why is it so objectionable that people call him stupid?

You don't see a slight difference there? Have you ever fucked up? Are you stupid?

posted by tahoemoj at 09:47 AM on March 26

There's clearly a different risk level between activities that put a waiver on a ticket and those that require a waiver to be explicitly read and signed.

I guess that depends on what you mean by "take it seriously". What do you mean by it?

I think you have an obligation to become fully aware of the risks of an activity, particularly one you're required to sign away legal rights to undertake.

My 10-year-old son recently began playing baseball, and I've been catching up on the safety standards. I didn't know them anymore -- they are higher than when I was a kid. There are no on-deck circles. Head-first sliding is prohibited for kids 12 and under.

I bought him a mask for his batting helmet, which is not mandatory, and I'm looking for reduced-injury factor baseballs and Kenko balls for when we practice on our own, to see how close they are to the ones Little League uses. There are other recommendations here I'm digging into as well.

Doing something risky doesn't make you stupid. Doing something risky without fully educating yourself on the risks does. And in Joba's case, doing something risky when you're still recovering from arm surgery and your livelihood depends on it was not a genius move.

Line drives, wayward throws, uncontrollable bats, steep steps, long drops from upper deck areas...lots of ways to maim/kill a child at a baseball game. It seems like a risky proposition for a child (or anyone!) to go to a game.

One of the first times I took my kids to a baseball game, it was in a minor league park where you're extremely close to the action. We sat behind the third base dugout above a walkway. A screaming foul ball hit the concrete in front of my young son. A foot higher and he would've been clobbered. My belief I could've reacted in time to shield the kids was extremely foolish. The ball had caromed back towards the field before I reacted. We moved seats and now stay further back unless we're behind the net.

It would've been a major fuckup on my part if my son got seriously hurt from such a foreseeable and frequent circumstance.

posted by rcade at 10:18 AM on March 26

You don't see a slight difference there? Have you ever fucked up? Are you stupid?

Yes, I've fucked up. And when I did, I was being stupid.

You're objecting to comments by people who had the same take you did: "most people know how dangerous trampolines can be, and most agents would advise their professional athlete clients to stay off of them." Given those two things, Joba was being stupid.

posted by rcade at 10:25 AM on March 26

Line drives, wayward throws, uncontrollable bats, steep steps, long drops from upper deck areas...lots of ways to maim/kill a child at a baseball game. It seems like a risky proposition for a child (or anyone!) to go to a game.

Grum, go to any emergency room in in the US and ask if they see more injuries from people watching ballgames or jumping on trampolines. You already know the answer (if as many people jumped on trampolines as went to ballgames they'd probably end up being banned).

I don't get how 'it is in the realm of possibility you can get injured doing X = you have a much better chance of being injured doing Y". You can also get injured watching a golf tournament. Probably could get killed. Also, much safer than jumping on a trampoline.

And yet, if Joba had been hit by a baseball while sitting in the stands, no one would have called him "stupid".

I've said it was a dumb mistake, and I make dumb mistakes. Everyone does. That's not the same as calling him stupid. If I make a dumb mistake, I might say 'well that was stupid'. I'm not calling myself stupid.

A written warning is probably more serious than one printed on the back of a ticket.

Really hard to be believe these nuances need to be spelled out.

posted by justgary at 11:22 AM on March 26

rcade:

I think you have an obligation to become fully aware of the risks of an activity, particularly one you're required to sign away legal rights to undertake.

Okay. People get killed skiing. You're now fully aware of that risk. Are you going to decide not to go skiing?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:45 AM on March 26

The simple declarative statement "people get killed skiing" is hardly a full assessment of the level of risk involved. My impression as someone who has never skied is that people do occasionally get killed but a fatality on the bunny slopes is exceedingly rare so they'd be fine for kids and noobs like me. If I was planning a ski trip, I'd be looking into it further before going, like any reasonable parent would.

Regarding the Richardson incident, I'd never ski without a helmet nor let my kids go without. I am surprised that only 43 percent of U.S. skiiers and snowboarders wear them.

posted by rcade at 12:01 PM on March 26

Rebounderz mission statement. And a trampoline (Quad Machine). So maybe I'm naive, stupid, etc., but I think a reasonable person might think one recreational activity is safer than the other.

From my third post in this thread: Just because the legal department has you sign a waiver to do something doesn't necessarily make you stupid per se for doing it. I just signed a waiver to play in a men's softball league that acknowledges that playing softball can lead to serious injury, even death (I'll scan it after work, if you'd like). Am I stupid for playing men's league softball? I make my living in a certain way; that living could be jeopardized if my brains get scrambled by a hit ball or collision with an outfield fence.

I'll (probably) bow out by just summing up that I think this comes down to a matter of degree. Sure, a professional athlete should take an extra amount of care to ensure his meal ticket. And I'll have to agree that the waiver should have raised a red flag for Chamerlain. But, c'mon. Go to the company website; it repeatedly stresses that it is a fun, safe, family friendly activity. The company logo mentions safety. So my perception is that, yes, people are being unduly harsh on the guy for his choice.

Others disagree. Fair enough.

posted by tahoemoj at 12:06 PM on March 26

And if parents are non-skiers, how are they to "assess the safety of skiing"? Sounds to me like you've created a catch-22.

You don't have to do something to assess its risks. I can assess from safety trampoline risks without ever getting on one.

posted by bperk at 12:39 PM on March 26

rcade:

Regarding the Richardson incident, I'd never ski without a helmet nor let my kids go without.

It's interesting that in the article you quote, every authority cited (as well as the article's author) resists the conclusion that a helmet would have saved Richardson. I think they're generally a good idea, but they are counterproductive if you think they make you bulletproof, and I think the reports of Richardson's accident don't show any of the classic indicators (high speed, hitting something solid an unresisting like a tree, moderate speed combined with toilet-bowl ice) that point to a helmet making a difference.

bperk:

You don't have to do something to assess its risks.

Really? Well, I guess all I can say is that you seem to have a flexible standard for what qualifies someone to assess risk -- if something went wrong, you were an idiot and failed to assess the risk properly, but if nothing went wrong, obviously you nailed it -- and I don't think there's really any more discussion to be had here.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 04:46 PM on March 26

I don't see how anyone can reach the conclusion a helmet wouldn't have saved Natasha Richardson without knowing exactly how she fell and at what speed. Media accounts say she suffered a minor fall on a bunny slope and hit her head, which caused brain bleeding that progressed undetected until it was too late to save her. Helmets generally lessen the severity of head injuries.

posted by rcade at 05:33 PM on March 26

Oh man, this thread is awesome. We had a trampoline growing up. Loved that thing, spent a lot of time on it. Didn't follow any of the trampoline safety rules and did some pretty wild stuff. Took some bad beats on that thing too. It greatly enriched my life. How do I say, "I'm glad you guys aren't my parents" without impugning your parenting skills?

I'll comment more when I come back down from the mountains where I'm snowboarding in trees, without a helmet(I should probably get a helmet).

posted by tron7 at 12:53 AM on March 27

Dear Joba Chamberlain,

You are a professional athlete. You aren't allowed to have ANY fun. Please go home and wrap your self in bubble wrap until it's time to entertain me.

Yours truly,

posted by apoch at 05:32 AM on March 27

How do I say, "I'm glad you guys aren't my parents" without impugning your parenting skills?

I think you don't, because you realize anecdotal evidence proves nothing, at least as far as parenting skills. The strictest parents I've ever know lost a child to drowning. I don't think that makes them bad parents. I've known parents that just ignored their children and let them do whatever the hell they wanted, and their children survived and did great. I don't think that makes them good parents. I don't think that backs one set of parents being better than the other. It points to luck being involved.

Please go home and wrap your self in bubble wrap until it's time to entertain me.

Entertained? You and... who? Yankee fans don't seem to care. He was a forgotten man. Almost all comments have discussed what he's losing for himself, not what the fans are losing. I'm pretty sure you can count the number of fans crushed they won't get to see Joba pitch mid-season as a 3rd or 4th reliever out of the bullpen on one hand.

I'm amazed at the nonsense here being written just so people don't have to say that a pitcher already injured at the crossroads of his chosen career with possible millions at stake shouldn't have been on a trampoline. Ask Joba how much that decision 'enriched' his life. That's comical.

posted by justgary at 11:31 AM on March 27

Yankee fans don't seem to care. He was a forgotten man. Almost all comments have discussed what he's losing for himself, not what the fans are losing.

That's probably because he was going to be out until June (at least) with his other injuries, and given the nature of those injuries (before the bounce-bounce-snap one), even that might have been optimistic. The fans didn't "lose" anything, and won't notice he's not there until after the all-star break.

I'm amazed at the nonsense here being written just so people don't have to say that a pitcher already injured at the crossroads of his chosen career with possible millions at stake shouldn't have been on a trampoline.

I'm just amazed at how many people are treating jumping up and down on trampolines like it was dirt bike racing, or base jumping, or alligator wrestling.

posted by grum@work at 12:02 PM on March 27

I don't see why you'd be amazed, given the longtime warnings about trampolines causing permanent paralysis. Since the 1970s health officials have been warning about them. The American Academy of Pediatrics even advised in 1981, "The trampoline should never be used in home or recreational settings."

When I was a kid, the first purchases I vowed to make as an adult were a trampoline and the Void Indigo graphic novel my mom wouldn't let me get because she said it was too violent.

posted by rcade at 12:19 PM on March 27

I'm amazed at the nonsense here being written just so people don't have to say that a pitcher already injured at the crossroads of his chosen career with possible millions at stake shouldn't have been on a trampoline.

I know, right? It's almost like not everybody here is framing the issue in the exact same terms that you are. If that isn't the very definition of nonsense, I'll be a monkey's uncle.*

*I won't really have a simean for a nephew. It's just an expression.

posted by tahoemoj at 04:54 PM on March 27

a trampoline and the Void Indigo graphic novel

Please tell me those are involved in your living will/ hospice care instructions.

posted by yerfatma at 05:13 PM on March 27

"I'm just amazed at how many people are treating jumping up and down on trampolines..."

Because most kids don't stop at simply jumping up and and down. I bet most injuries happen when they go for height or try to do stunts.

I actually took a trampoline class in college (different semester than when I took bowling) and even with instruction and people standing at the edge of the trampoline to spot there were a number of injuries in that semester. One neck injury was scary to observe and I am glad it ended up being a sprain and not a break. But I recall at least 2-3 ankle injuries with one person breaking theirs.

Anecdotal, but for such a small sample size damn there were too many injuries.

posted by scully at 10:37 AM on March 28

Ask Joba how much that decision 'enriched' his life. That's comical.

I wasn't even talking about Joba. I added the enriched part because I think trampolines are great and I have a lot of fond memories. I was surprised to find people who were terrified of jumping on them. I found 'trampolines of death' to be pretty comical so I guess we're all having a laugh. If you want to call Joba stupid, be my guest. To me, it depends on what he was doing on the trampoline, so I can't really make a judgement. I will say that the bigger you are the more likelihood of an injury and if he had never been on a trampoline there is a bit of a learning curve.

posted by tron7 at 07:53 PM on March 28

I found 'trampolines of death' to be pretty comical so I guess we're all having a laugh.

Well I was about 11, and it was suppose to be funny, so laugh away.

I wasn't even talking about Joba. I added the enriched part because I think trampolines are great and I have a lot of fond memories.

Well, my apologies. My comment was not in reference to your childhood. I did think you were talking about Joba. I was comparing the 30 or so million Joba could lose if he couldn't pitch again to the enriching of his life through jumping around on the trampoline.

If you want to call Joba stupid, be my guest.

I think that's been covered enough where it's safe to say almost no one is saying that.

To me, it depends on what he was doing on the trampoline, so I can't really make a judgement.

Well, ignoring that he was already injured and unable to play and getting on a trampoline, there's Cashman's take:

Cashman saw a picture of the wound. "There was exposed bone and stuff like that from his heel because the skin got compromised...You'd be shocked if you saw what I saw," he said. "You'd be shocked."

Of course I could be wrong, but logically, I don't see that happening if he's just jumping up and down 2 feet. And I'm guessing that Joba could have easily said he was taking it easy on the trampoline if he wanted to, but he didn't.

That's probably because he was going to be out until June (at least) with his other injuries, and given the nature of those injuries (before the bounce-bounce-snap one), even that might have been optimistic. The fans didn't "lose" anything, and won't notice he's not there until after the all-star break.

Yeah, I'm not sure what you're getting at grum. I'm well aware of Joba's situation. My point was that to frame it as fans upset they might never see Joba pitch again wasn't reality.

posted by justgary at 08:41 PM on March 28

I'm just amazed at how many people are treating jumping up and down on trampolines like it was dirt bike racing, or base jumping, or alligator wrestling. posted by grum@work

I almost don't want to comment on this because it sure seems like you're trolling. You're the guy that whenever someone brings up a baseless assertion in a sport you bring up the statistic to show their wrong. Rightly so, and you're good at it.

Yet, no matter how many statistics are given, how many warnings are given by legitimate organizations, how many opinions are given by those familiar with trampolines, insurance companies refusing coverage, personal accounts, you ignore it all and conclude that it's just 'jumping up and down'.

But the American Academy of Pediatrics disagrees:

"Trampoline accidents have resulted in a significant number of cases of quadriplegia. In many cases, these accidents have occurred while the victims were participating in supervised physical education activities. Next to football, trampolines were found to be the highest cause of permanent paralysis in this survey."

"Therefore, the Committee on Accident and Poison Prevention of the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that trampolines be banned from use as part of the physical education programs in grammar schools, high schools and colleges, and also be abolished as a competitive sport."

It also states that "Highly trained personnel who have been instructed in all aspects of trampoline safety must be present when the apparatus is used." It goes on to say that 'netting' does not make trampolines safe.

But the more I think of it, that's probably the problem. You've said the same waiver exists on the back of your baseball ticket, when you rent a bike, on the back of your Disney World pass. And you don't understand why it's being compared to dirt bike racing, or base jumping, or alligator wrestling.

And it seems this is in the middle. If Joba hurts himself at Walt Disney World, very few people would claim he's being irresponsible. If he was injured dirt bike racing, few would think he wasn't irresponsible. But there's a middle ground here. You can easily get hurt on a trampoline, seriously hurt. But most people just think of it as 'Jumping up and down'. I doubt they see any danger. And that's probably what Joba thought also. I think it was a clear mistake considering his situation, but an easily made one. That I wouldn't argue.

posted by justgary at 09:05 PM on March 28

Cashman saw a picture of the wound. "There was exposed bone and stuff like that from his heel because the skin got compromised...You'd be shocked if you saw what I saw," he said. "You'd be shocked."

I saw that too and I have no idea what could have caused that to happen. If there is such a thing as a normal trampoline injury, this ain't it. It's such a weird injury I don't think it's safe to assume anything.

posted by tron7 at 09:35 PM on March 28

It's such a weird injury I don't think it's safe to assume anything.

I agree it's strange. It's so bizarre that I wish Joba had mentioned what actually happened. Twisting an ankle doesn't do that. Not sure if we'll ever know.

posted by justgary at 09:40 PM on March 28

Chamberlain wasn't hurt at Rebounderz, but instead at a knockoff called Airheads USA that looks the same.

posted by rcade at 11:19 PM on March 28

We apologize to Mr. Palladino and to Rebounderz, and join them in wishing Joba Chamberlain a full and fast recovery. And we urge Chamberlain, once his ankle is healed, to consider Rebounderz for his next birthday party, bar mitzvah, or regular old afternoon out with the family. Rebounderz is fun for kids of all ages, and is in no way a death trap for chubby middle relievers.

Ha.

posted by justgary at 11:34 PM on March 28

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