Temper tantrums often lead to ejections, suspensions, and fines. But these 12 athletes went the extra mile and actually physically hurt themselves, too.
1. Amar'e Stoudemire
When New York Knicks' big man Amar'e Stoudemire punched a glass case housing a fire extinguisher after a Game 2 playoff loss against the Miami Heat, he needed 15 stitches to close the gash.
"Bloody Idiot" declared the next day's New York Post.
The immediacy of social media at least allowed Stoudemire to beat the Post headline to the punch. That same night he Tweeted his regrets:
"I am so mad at myself right now. I want to apologize to the fans and my team. I'm not proud of my actions."
2. Pat Zachry
The Mets' righthander was having an All-Star season in 1978 until his third start after the All-Star break. After allowing a hit to Pete Rose and getting lifted four batters later, Zachry angrily tried to kick a helmet in the dugout, missed and kicked a concrete step instead. He broke his foot.
3. John Tudor
The St. Louis Cardinals' lefthander was an angry man in 1985. Feeling his oats after a 3-0 shutout of Kansas City in Game 4 of the World Series, he lashed out at the media.
Seeing a bunch of reporters in the clubhouse, Tudor said, "What's it take to get a media pass, a license?"
Back on the mound in Game 7, Tudor got lit up. Yanked early from a 11-0 loss, Tudor punched an electric fan in the dugout and cut his hand.
4. Milton Bradley
With the San Diego Padres involved in the pennant race in 2007, Bradley went so bananas arguing with an umpire that manager Bud Black had to restrain him. Manager and player got their legs tangled and Bradley tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee, missing the last week of the season.
The Padres lost a one-game playoff to Colorado for a wild-card berth.
5. Kevin Brown
Pitching for the Yankees in 2004, Brown punched a clubhouse wall in frustration and broke his hand.
"Stupidity," he called it. He at least had the presence to punch the wall with his non-throwing hand, but that didn't stop the Yankees from threatening to check into the language of his contract to see if they could dock his salary.
6. Mikhail Youzhny
In a 2008 match at the Sony Ericsson Open against Spain's Nicolas Almagro, the 25-year-old Russian whacked himself in the face with his racket three times after hitting a backhand into the net. Blood oozed from his hairline to his mouth. But unlike Stoudemire and the Knicks, at least he won (although he didn't get out of the next round.)
8. Doyle Alexander
The Yankee righthander punched a wall in 1982 and broke his little finger. Even more misfortune befell Alexander when he offered to forfeit part of his salary. Yankees' owner George Steinbrenner accepted.
9. Henrik Stenson
The Swedish golfer seemed destined to be remembered for undressing to his underwear to hit a shot out of muddy terrain near a water hazard at Doral in 2009. But fighting for notoriety is an incident from the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional when he snapped the shaft of a 7-iron after a wayward shot on No. 15 and suffered a deep gash to his right index finger.
OK, so he's still known more for stripping.
10. A.J. Burnett
After an ugly second inning against Tampa in 2010, the Yankee righthander slammed his open hands into a swinging clubhouse door containing plastic holders for lineup cards. He cut his hands on the plastic edges. He told trainers he slipped and scraped his hands trying to break his fall, but quickly confessed after the game.
11. Bryce Harper
The Washington Nationals 19-year-old made an out in the seventh inning against the Reds earlier this season. Apparently that's not supposed to happen. So he smashed his bat against the dugout wall.
The bat splintered and cut his face, requiring 10 stitches.
12. Troy Tulowitzki
As a second-year player, the Colorado Rockies shortstop missed 45 games with a thigh injury. Finally off the disabled list he shattered his bat slamming it into the ground. He required 16 stitches and returned to the disabled list for 15 days.
Bud Shaw is a columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer who has also written for the Philadelphia Daily News, San Diego Union-Tribune, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The National. You can read his Plain Dealer columns at Cleveland.com, and read all his mental_floss articles here.