Sportsman's Daily


Minor League Pitcher Mistakenly Has Elton John Surgery

Elton John

Flame Thrower. Minor League pitcher Francis Grogan, here looking remarkably like pop diva Elton John, expects to get his fastball back up into the mid-90's in time for the 2010 Winter League. If that fails, he can always get work as a sexually-ambiguous mascot.

BURLINGTON, IA. (Sportsman’s Daily Wire Service) — Faced with a career threatening elbow injury, Burlington Bees pitcher Francis Grogan elected to have Tommy John surgery prior to the start of the 2008 season to alleviate the problem. While the Kansas City Royals Single A affiliate’s coaching staff was encouraged by Grogan’s swift recovery, the outcome was not what they expected.

It is not everyday that a pitcher undergoes Tommy John surgery and emerges with the attitude and outlandish fashion sense of an internationally acclaimed pop diva.

Ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, better known as Tommy John surgery, has become relatively routine since the former LA Dodgers pitcher was operated on by Dr. Frank Jobe in 1974. Just one week following the operation, Grogan’s wife, Heather, realized something had gone horribly wrong.

“At first I attributed the over-the-top tantrums to the stress that accompanies any major operation. But I noticed, with each passing day, more and more changes…one day I come in and he’s changed the drapes in his hospital room. The next day he’s looking at wallpaper swatches. Suddenly I notice he’s wearing over-sized glasses and a boa around his Dolce and Gabanna gown – not standard hospital issue. Obviously something’s going on.”

It was confirmed by the surgical staff late yesterday that Elton John surgery was performed on the minor league hurler by mistake.

Three weeks since the operation – and Grogan’s transformation seems all but complete. The rapid wardrobe changes, the repertoire of increasingly outlandish eyewear, the unprovoked hissy fits and his firm grasp of the Elton John songbook all point to a major operating room “fuck-up,” admitted S. James Hersch, General Hospital’s general counsel.

“We deeply regret the mistake and the pain we’ve put Mr. Grogan, his family and the Bees organization through,” said Hersch. “We’ve successfully performed a number of Tommy John-type operations in the past. While the Elton John procedure is relatively new and untried, this is no excuse for a mistake of this magnitude. That said, we are happy to see Mr. Grogan fully embracing the new lifestyle… we can only hope that his family and teammates, come to understand and accept the new Francis Grogan.”

At first stunned by the news, the Bees organization is taking a look-see approach.

“Hey, you’re talking about a guy who once threw 97mph fastballs,” said Bees general manager Bud White. “Tommy John surgery, even if done flawlessly, can change a pitcher’s repertoire. But I’m looking at the positives. First, we’re talking Elton John circa 1975. You know, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy…when he was at the top of his game and he was just another glam rocker of sexually questionable orientation. We could have been looking at today’s Elton, whose sexual orientation is pretty much an open book. It’s one thing for guys you’re showering with to have doubts; it’s another to know for sure where your teammate stands, or, as the case may be, where he lays face-down awaiting a post-game rubdown with a come-hither look.”

As for Grogan himself, he’s not talking, though sources say he’s been on a two-week spending binge, another known symptom of the Elton John procedure. According to his agent he’s been rehearsing with a backup band and will be touring next month.

While former Royal great and Hall of Famer George Brett called the situation a “mockery of the game of baseball,” he did take a somewhat philosophical approach.

“Believe it or not it could have been worse,” said Brett. “I understand they also perform Olivia Newton-John surgery – which would have been a complete sham. Though come to think of it, if I’m a teammate I’d prefer to see Olivia Newton John in the whirlpool than some homosexual wearing glasses with Christmas lights asking to use my towel.”

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