SAN FRANCISCO -- Freddy Garcia insists he would have caught the fly ball, had it not been for the maintenance cart that stopped on the warning track and left him with a bruised left shin. What? "Who expects to get hit by a cart during batting practice?" Garcia asked, rhetorically.
If the next question is, "Who expects to get hit by a cart, period?" here's what happened prior to Sunday's 8-5 win over the Giants. Garcia was in center field shagging flies, which pitchers do during batting practice. He raced to his left pursuing a fly hit by Ryan Howard. A grounds-crew worker was on the warning track, en route from the Phillies' bullpen down the right-field line toward the Giants' bullpen. Seeing the ball's flight, the driver stopped the cart. Fans gasped upon seeing the collision, and Garcia fell. He was helped into the guilty cart and rushed to the Phillies' dugout. Unable to put much weight on the leg, he limped down the stairs into the Phillies' clubhouse. "The guy stopped the cart right in front of him," manager Charlie Manuel said. "Use that head for something besides a hat rack." Though the freak injury wasn't enough to land him on the disabled list, his scheduled start Monday in Arizona is in question. Manuel said he'll wait and see how Garcia feels. So will Garcia. "I'll see how I feel [Monday], but right now, I feel better," Garcia said after Sunday's game. "We're suing," Brett Myers said, jokingly. Phillies general manager Pat Gillick was relieved that Garcia came out of the altercation relatively unscathed, but expressed concern as to why the cart was on the field. The bullpens are located in foul territory. "I'm curious why it was out there in the period when we had the field," Gillick said. "[It's] standard operating procedure," said Jorge Costa, the Giants' senior vice president of ballpark operations. "We've done it for eight seasons and never had a problem. Obviously, this is an unfortunate accident and we're sorry it happened." Garcia was able to laugh about the collision, though he said he was scared at first. If this causes him to miss a start, the injury would rank somewhere on the list with Sammy Sosa or Rich Gossage hurting themselves because of violent sneezes, Wade Boggs spraining his back muscles putting on cowboy boots and Phillies pitcher Adam Eaton missing a start after stabbing himself in the abdomen trying to cut the shrink wrap off a DVD. Garcia doesn't want to make that list. "If he says he's OK, he'll probably start," Manuel said.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.