The pitch that sent Ramon Ortiz to the ground whimpering on Sunday night may also be the one that ends his career, so his pain went beyond anything he felt in his right arm.
Not all athletes have the luxury of choosing their final game or a farewell tour where they can relish the culmination of a successful career.
Some receive their fatal strike in an unexpected and tragic split second. The 40-year-old pitcher for the Blue Jays who was injured on Sunday may very well be in that situation.
Ramon Ortiz’s career
Ramon Ortiz, a pitcher with the Toronto Blue Jays who is 40 years old, has played in the major leagues for a very long period. He has played for ten different clubs, including the Giants twice.
He has indeed had a long and fruitful career, but that doesn’t make it any less heartbreaking to watch him cry on Sunday against the Padres as he realizes that he has likely suffered a career-ending injury.
When he throws the pitch, it initially appears as though he could have hurt his leg, but it soon becomes apparent that the problem is with his elbow.
How did he get injured?
In the top of the third, Ortiz threw a fastball to Chase Headley of the Padres before hurling his glove on the ground in annoyance.
The starting pitcher went two and a half innings, allowing four earned runs and five hits overall. His most recent performance didn’t cause the angst; rather, it was an arm that might have made its final pitch in the majors.
Manager John Gibbons had the following to say following the game, even though the injury’s seriousness wasn’t known at the time.
Ramon Ortiz injury
Ramon Ortiz injured his right arm while pitching for Chase Headley of the Padres. It was questioned whether Ortiz’s injury would finish his career and how serious it was.
On June 4, Ortiz was given a 15-day suspension for a strained right elbow while the team awaited the findings of an MRI.
The MRI of Ortiz’s ulnar collateral ligament showed no signs of damage. On June 25, Ortiz was moved to the 60-day disabled list.
Fans are hopeful that Ortiz may overcome this trauma which might possibly be a career- ending injury.
The right-hander has already proven to be a resilient pitcher, playing all last season in the minors and then winning a spot on the Blue Jays rotation this season.
If this is the end, Ortiz can hold his head high, knowing that he gave the sport absolutely everything his body could handle.
His injury is severe and he will likely undergo surgery. Given his age , its unlikely that he would recover fully to return to the game.
It is an emotional moment for him and his fans and it’s a no doubt that this is the most cruel way to have one’s career come to an end. Here’s hoping he can somehow return and bow out the right way.