Beltre Unsure He'll Wear Cup After DL Stint Despite Injuring Right Testicle
On Thursday, Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu, shaking his head in bewilderment, announced Beltre would be placed on the disabled list with a torn right testicle and was even more stunned when told that Beltre does not wear an athletic supporter, better known as a cup that protects the groin area.
This begs for an explanation.
In the ninth inning Wednesday night at Safeco Field, Beltre took the brunt of a hard grounder by the White Sox' Alexei Ramirez to the groin area. Beltre recovered the baseball but threw wildly to first base for an error. He remained in the game, but labored for three more at-bats. Amazingly, he collected a single in the 14th inning and scored the winning run on Ken Griffey Jr.'s single.
Beltre has never worn a cup, telling reporters in past years that it was uncomfortable. And for the past 11 seasons, he has gotten away with it because of those quick hands.
On Wednesday, fate kicked him where it hurts. Beltre said he is likely to have surgery and will miss at least three weeks.
As to whether he'll wear a cup when he returns, the third baseman was non-commital
"That's a good question, I don't know," he told FanHouse. "If it happens every 10 years and you get hit there, it's not bad. I have never been hit right on the spot. It's been close, which hurt but not right on one of the testicles. So this was my first."
He said the pain was excruciating, but he played on.
"It was pretty painful but I was hoping it wasn't what I have now," he said before the Mariners played the Yankees. "It's the first time I have been hit so bad there in that area and I was just hoping it was one of those things that you get hit and nothing happens and after that you be OK. But it was painful. But I knew that Jack [Wilson] was already out (with a torn hamstring). And we didn't have any options to come out of the game so I just finished hoping everything was going to be OK after that."
When asked how Beltre withstood the pain to remain in the game for five more innings, Wakamatsu said: "He's awfully tough, I can't even imagine. He has a slight tear in there and there's some bleeding."
Wakamatsu said Beltre could require surgery in 72 hours depending on the severity of the tear, but he will miss at least two weeks. The manager said Beltre has been told to rest and ice the injury until he is examined by a specialist.
"They said if it's major surgery, it could be at least a month," Wakamatsu said. "Right now there is some [movement] of it right now, and there's some healing already. It's a matter of whether they are going to have to go in and fix it surgically."
Next came questions about whether Wakamatsu lectured Beltre on the importance of an athletic supporter, even if a hard lesson had already been learned.
"This guy is not a guy that hadn't played a long time in the major leagues," Wakamatsu said. "But sometimes you think your hands are so quick, it will never happen to you. The word is, no matter how good you are, that one chance is not worth taking.
"Wear a cup."
Beltre said he has never worn a cup, not even in the minor leagues.
"I tried it when I first signed, I tried it a couple of times," he said. "It was uncomfortable and I didn't like it at all. And I never wore it. I wore it once to try it and I didn't like it. It was so uncomfortable. I made a play and dove and it hurt more when you had the cup on than without it. I never liked it. It felt uncomfortable and I never used it."
Beltre just returned from a 30-game absence because of right shoulder surgery. In the final year of a five-year, $65 million deal, he may have played his final game for the Mariners.