St. PETERSBURG -- All things considered, Carlos Beltran sees himself as one lucky guy after losing a collision with a right-field side wall in the third inning of Thursday's 10-2 Yankees win over the Rays.
After watching the video of himself running full speed into the wall and then tumbling -- and quite acrobatically, I might add -- head over heels into the narrow alley between the wall and the seats, Beltran said "I was pretty over the top. I laughed after but I was like man, you know what, this could have been pretty bad. Thank god, I was able to walk and play the game. Honestly, I was lucky."
Beltran was chasing down a foul fly by Desmond Jennings and, because of the poor visibility against the white backdrop of the Tropicana Field roof, resisted the urge to take his eye off the baseball as he ran. As a result, he had no idea of what was about to happen -- a full-speed collision with the three-foot wall that caused a succession of events that left him battered and bruised. As Beltran recalls it, his left knee hit first, followed by -- after his head-first tumble into the pit -- his right hand, bracing to take the impact, and finally his left shoulder.
"All of a sudden, I was all over the place," he said.
Although he stayed in the game, it was increasing soreness in his wrist and shoulder that prompted the Yankees to send Beltran for an MRI today, which came back negative. still, the 36-year-old outfielder was too banged up to play tonight. And according to Joe Girardi, is not available in any capacity. The hope is Beltran will be available to play tomorrow night.
"If I had the chance to do it again, I wish I would have looked," said Beltran, last week's AL Player of the Week who is batting .298 and is tied for the team lead in home runs (4) with Alfonso Soriano and in RBI (9) with rookie Yangervis Solarte. "But when that ball was hit, I thought I had a chance to make a catch. I didn’t want to take my eyes off the baseball, because of the roof."
"The wall got to him quicker than he thought," Girardi said. "Considering how bad it could've been, the news we got today, we're pretty lucky. In fact, we're thrilled."