While worried fans inside Tropicana Field looked on silently Wednesday night, the training staff of the Tampa Bay Rays moved feverishly into action near first base. Infielder Will Rhymes had just collapsed after being hit hard in the arm by a fastball from Boston Red Sox reliever Franklin Morales and it looked scary.
Rays assistant trainer Paul Harker tried to get Rhymes talking, asking him questions “to make sure he was there,” recalled Rays manager Joe Maddon.
“Hark had him cradled behind the neck,” Maddon later told the media, “and he just said, ‘Talk to me, talk to me.’ ”
“I told them I was Batman just to mess with them,” he joked later with reporters at his locker, following Tampa Bay’s 2-1 victory over the Red Sox.
His kidding aside, the situation was certainly no laughing matter when Rhymes collapsed moments after taking first base following the brutal impact on his right forearm. But after briefly losing consciousness – trainers attributed his passing out to a sudden rush of adrenaline – he came to and was carted off the field to loud applause from the crowd of 20,000-plus.
It appeared that the Rays were about to lose yet another player to the disabled list, where nine of their players – including key starters such as Evan Longoria, Desmond Jennings, Kyle Farnsworth and Jeff Niemann – currently are shelved with injuries.
But good news followed after the game when X-Rays revealed that Rhymes did not suffer a bone break, simply a bad contusion that likely will only keep him out of action for several games.
Holy blackout, Batman!
That’s news Rhymes and the Rays can live with.