One of my odder Little League experiences was the cup check, in which all-star game officials checked to see if players were wearing their mandatory athletic cups by lining everyone up, and lightly tapping their areas with a baseball bat. Uncomfortably Freudian? Sure. But no one ended up like Adrian Beltre.
As we mentioned in Speed Read, Beltre took one for the team in an unfortunate place on Aug. 14 against the White Sox, deftly fielding a ground ball with his crotch, which was not adorned with a cup. The result was a severely contused testicle, or a torn testicle, depending on which report one reads. And it may have been even worse than it sounds, because when asked on Monday how it felt when it happend, Beltre said this:
“I thought, ‘it exploded,’”
That’s it for me folks! See you tomorrow!
OK I’m back … just had to go put on a cup. Beltre, it seems, is well on the road to recovery; he was fielding grounders in practice on Monday, and the Mariners hope to have him back in the lineup by Friday. But here’s the weird thing: He says he still won’t wear a cup. Probably.
At least Beltre has a good sense of humor about the situation.
He just laughed and said “Thanks Grif” when Ken Griffey Jr. hollered, “Hey it’s the nutcracker, it’s good to see you.”
Sitting in Beltre’s locker was a brand new cup still in the wrapper. Beltre admitted he didn’t know who put it in there, but that he was probably going to have to use it.
“For now, probably, I will. Against my will, maybe,” he said. “The swelling is still there, so maybe for now, I have to. I think I need custom-sized one. I’ll see what I can do.”
Realistically, the doctors said he has to wear the cup if he wants to play because the swelling is still evident. But when the swelling goes down, will cup be removed?
“I don’t know,” he said. “That’s a good question.”
It shows how much he loathes wearing a cup if he’s considering going back out there after suffering the injury he had.
“I might be lying if I said that,” he said. “I’ve tried before. It’s uncomfortable. I hated it. If it’s going to happen every 11 years of my career, I’ll take my chances.”
Whoa! OK then. But remember that it’s an 11-year average — it could happen again next week. And then you’d have a situation like the ball-to-the-groin scene in “The Longest Yard,” with Beltre playing the part of the guy being hauled off the field on a stretcher.
Beltre described what happened:
“I thought, ‘it exploded,’” he said when asked of when it first happened. “It was weird, because it hit right on it, right on top of it. I felt like going down, but I saw the ball right next to me, and I wanted to finish the play. Then I made a wild throw. It was on target, but low.”
After that, Beltre didn’t lay down, he kind of walked around to shake it off. A lesser man would have curled up in the fetal position in pain.
“There was camera’s around,” he said. “You can’t lay down on the ground.”
We need you now more than ever, Mark Littell, inventor of the Nutty Buddy!
(It’s the Chicago White Sox! Run, Testy! Run for your life!)