CLEVELAND -- Four Cleveland players went fishing on their day off Thursday and nearly became 'just another tragic boating statistic.'
Indians reliever Ernie Camacho said Friday that he and three teammates battled rough Lake Erie waters for nearly an hour in a 24-foot boat whose engine had stalled.
'Water was flying everywhere and the boat was close to sinking,' said Camacho. 'Eventually, the Coast Guard had to tow us in. But until then, I was sure I was going to be just another tragic boating statistic.'
Camacho, pitcher Don Schulze, outfielder Otis Nixon, batting coach Bobby Bonds and four of their friends met at Port Clinton, Ohio, early Thursday morning. The Lake Erie suburb is about 80 miles west of Cleveland.
'We went fishing off Kelley's Island from about 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and we caught lots of fish,' said Camacho. 'But then a storm came up and the motor quit.
'I really got sick to my stomach, and so did Otis. I was so weak, my insides so sore, that I was spitting up blood. I brought up stuff that must have been in my stomach for 10 to 15 years.'
Camacho said that Nixon handed him a soft drink at that point.
'I threw it back at him,' he said. 'They all were making fun of me, but I was really scared.'
Nixon said the incident 'made me lose some sleep but it hasn't turned me off fishing.'
'The next time, though, I just might go to a movie on my day off,' he added.
Bonds said the players were considering swimming to shore.
'We must've been 100 yards from shore,' he said. 'We thought we'd make a go for it, but Ernie looked weak and nobody wanted to risk it. The radio, fortunately, was working and we called the Coast Guard. They were great -- they came right away.'
Indians Manager Pat Corrales just shook his head at the incident.
'I've got nothing against fishing,' he said. 'But maybe some of those guys should consider playing cards next time.'