Adrian Beltre was back in the Mariners clubhouse and seemed in good spirits.
As I’m typing this, he’s taking out at third base taking ground balls. He took batting practice earlier.
Manager Don Wakamatsu said that because Beltre was able to do some light activities that he may indeed be ready to play when he is scheduled to come off the disabled list on August 28th.
“This might be a good sign,” Wakamatsu said. “We talked in Cleveland that he might not be able to make it back for the 28th. To me this is more promising and we’ll see how he reacts today.”
For those of you who don’t know what happened to Beltre, well he took a ground ball in the groin area against the Chicago White Sox and since he doesn’t wear a cup, the ground ball, hit him in a bad, bad way and he suffered “a severely contused testicle.”
I know, it gives me a stomach ache typing it. Anyway, there was and still is significant swelling.
“It’s better than it was before, but there’s still pain,” he said. “I haven’t moved to see how it’s going to be. Maybe today or tomorrow is going to be a good test to see how it’s going to be in the next couple of days.”
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.”
The last time Beltre wore a cup was in the minor leagues for the Los Angeles Dodger in their camp in the Dominican Republic.
“I tried to wear it because it was mandatory,” he said. “But every time you move, it’s uncomfortable. To go to side, you dive, you dive on top of it. I don’t know exactly how I’m going to do it.”
So if we see you walking funny?
“Then I probably have it on,” he said.
Since Beltre hadn’t talked with the media since that fateful night, he kind of relived it.
“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.”
Not only didn’t he lay down on the ground, he also kept playing for the next five innings.
“I didn’t have any option,” he said. “I couldn’t because Jack (Hannahan) was hurt. He hurt hamstring, so we didn’t have an extra infielder. Two or three innings after that, I dove in first, and it really hurt. That’s when I started thinking … but even if I wanted to, we didn’t have an extra infielder. Jack was out in the fifth inning.
And the Griffey game winning hit?
“At times it hurt a lot, but other times, it didn’t hurt that much because of the adrenalin of the game,” he said. “It was a close game, nothing-nothing, and we’re just trying to get the game over. When I was running, it didn’t really feel that bad.”