Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Some of Adrian Beltre's quirks
By Richard Durrett
Once the Rangers make this deal with free-agent third baseman Adrian Beltre official, the club will not only have a good defensive third baseman coming off a very good offensive season, but they'll have a player who has some quirks. Among those:
* He does not wear a cup, certainly strange for someone playing third base where routine balls coming flying at high speeds. (No word yet on if he'll wear a cup in Texas). But he was hit in the groin area by a ground ball while with the Mariners in 2009 and suffered what reports called a severely contused testicle. Yikes. I really don't want to get any more in that, if you don't mind. But you can cringe as you read about it here.
BTW, when asked about not wearing a cup in spring training with the Red Sox last year, here's what Beltre told The Boston Globe: "They say I'm crazy not to wear the cup, but I say, if the ball’s going to hit me there every 11 1/2 years, I’ll take my chances." Wow. All I can say is wow.
* He does not like to be touched on the head. Ask Victor Martinez. In the midst of a home run celebration last season, Martinez tapped Beltre on the head (you can picture the mob at home plate and how some of the Rangers were certainly banged on the head by teammates after a walkoff homer). The incident caused Beltre to take a swing at Martinez in the dugout, something that was caught by the television cameras. There was this from the Projo Sox blog after that incident:
Martinez and Beltre are friends, but in the home run celebration, Martinez touched the top of Beltre's head -- and the third baseman said that's something his fellow players know he absolutely hates. Beltre reacted immediately, lashing out at Martinez.
The two were smiling throughout, but Beltre definitely put some force behind his good-natured swing at Martinez.
"He knows I don't like that. I don't like anybody to touch my head, and he knows it. He does it on purpose. So I'm not responsible for everything that happens after that happens," Beltre said.
Why, then, does Martinez go after his head? Is it for good luck, hoping that some of Beltre's hitting magic will rub off?
"I don't know!" Beltre said. "He's been hitting the ball pretty good, so if that's the case, I'll let it go."
* Beltre has appealed his own check swing. Yes, his own check swing.
* Apparently he's done some what one writer called "mini-dances in the batter's box" and once hit a pitch "over his head for a home run." He's also had some memorable swings from his knees.
Anyone have any quirks they'd like to share? Have you seen some of this in action from Beltre over the years?