Anthony Rizzo kept playing for the Cubs despite an ankle that looked like an eggplant
Thanks to social media, we as fans can now know so much more about our favorite players off the field than ever before. Gone are the days of admiring a star just for all the home runs he hits or the diving stops he makes in the infield. You can now fall in love with a player over his love for good food or because his taste in music is the same as yours.
This is overwhelmingly a good thing. Players have lives off the field, and it's wonderful that we have the ability to access it and get joy from it.
But, as they say, there's no such thing as a free lunch, and this more intimate relationship with baseball's stars does come with a cost. This season, we've begun to learn of that cost as athletes have begun to -- for reasons I don't quite yet understand -- post images of their injuries and surgeries right alongside the great salad they made for dinner the night before.
Add Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo to the ranks of players posting horrifying injury updates on social media:
HOLY CRAP Rizzo just shared on IG the state of his ankle injury as of the day he returned to action. This is absurd. pic.twitter.com/1C6ibhVeaX— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) September 26, 2019
This image comes four days after Rizzo sprained his ankle fielding a bunt. Obviously, he wouldn't play on an ankle that looks that gross. There's no way anyone could run around the field, take at-bats and do all the other things required of baseball players on that, right?
Apparently, wrong. Rizzo actually returned to the Cubs lineup that day and -- even crazier -- felt good enough to do it all again the next day and the day after that. He actually hasn't missed a game since capturing this image!
That's certainly impressive, but really -- please, I'm begging now -- we. do. not. need. these. pictures. This is not the part of athletes' off-field lives that anyone has been asking for. It was creepily amusing at first, but it's run its course. Instagram is for lighthearted moments -- fancy dinners, charity galas, crazy workout videos -- not whatever this all is.
Eric Chesterton is a writer for MLB.com. He is an appreciator of the stolen base, the bunt against the shift and nearly every unconventional uniform design. He eagerly awaits Jamie Moyer's inevitable comeback.