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SEATTLE - Ian Snell doesn't want to be added to baseball's list of freak injuries. He says he didn't burn finger on his pitching hand while cooking chicken - he did it while cleaning the stove.

"I was done cooking. I was cleaning the edge of the burner," Snell, a husband and father of one said Tuesday.

The injury caused Snell to miss his scheduled start against the Seattle Mariners. Tom Gorzelanny started on normal rest instead, after Snell burned his right index finger after preparing a grilled chicken salad last week. The resulting blister on the inside of the finger had a bandage covering it after Snell completed a long bullpen session Tuesday.

Snell will start Saturday at the Los Angeles Angels instead.

Pirates manager Jim Tracy said Snell's finger "blistered pretty good." The team feared having him make the start Tuesday night could have caused the blister to tear, because the seams of the ball rub off it on nearly every pitch.

"We're erring on the side of caution. If he tears skin off, we risk losing him for a long period of time. And I don't think that's in our best interest," Tracy said of Snell (6-4), who has allowed only three earned runs in three starts in June to lower his ERA to 2.63.

Snell was bothered that many in Pittsburgh have taken such an interest in his kitchen mishap.

"You know how you are cleaning the stove and your finger touches a burner? I got a little bit of a blister and everyone is making a big deal out of it," Snell said.

"People have done worse than I did."

Such as John Smoltz. The Atlanta Braves pitcher once infamously burned his chest after ironing his shirt while he was still wearing it. Sammy Sosa, the Texas Rangers slugger, once missed a game when he was with the Cubs after injuring his back while sneezing. Clint Barmes, now with Colorado's Triple-A team, broke his collarbone carrying deer meat. Rickey Henderson missed several games after he got frostbite - in August - from sleeping on an ice pack.

And former Mariners closer Kazuhiro Sasaki went on the disabled list in 2003 with badly bruised ribs - after he tripped while carrying luggage up stairs.

Those are just a few of the baseball's peculiar mishaps.

"People have actually cut their fingers open," Snell said, downplaying his burn.

People such as the starting third baseman for the first team that Tracy managed in the minor leagues, at Peoria, Ill., of the Midwest League in 1987.

"The night of the opening day game, he went out to dinner with his family," Tracy recalled. "He sliced the tendon in his little finger while cutting a steak. They had to surgically repair it. He was out for the whole year."


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