In the P-I this morning, Gregg Bell spends a few thousand words talking about the business of baseball. No, he's not talking about arbitration, collective bargaining agreements, or deferred signing bonuses, I mean the business of baseball. As in, "Adrian Beltre doesn't care if he gets hit in the business". Yep, the entire article is devoted to our third baseman's refusal to wear a cup.
Given how superstitious baseball players are, does anyone not find this the least bit odd? Talk about the mother of all jinxes. Adrian is probably quiet as a church mouse in the 7th inning of a no-hitter, yet he drops quotes left and right about a subject that impacts his progeny.
"I probably would have paid my whole paycheck to not wear it," he said, adding - not with a knock but a pound on wood - that he has yet to have a ball strike him where it would hurt most.
After a few fines, the Dodgers quit fining Beltre because they saw no matter the cost he wasn't going to wear a cup.
"It's the discomfort of using it. I can't play wearing it," he said.
Famous last words...As you can expect, there is the obligatory reference to the legend of Josias Manzanillo (Princess Bride sequel?). It is a tale that is undoubtedly told and re-told across every Little League team in the greater Seattle area. Baby boomers will never forget where they were when Kennedy was shot or when we landed on the moon. All of us male millenials who grew up as Mariners fans will never forget where we were when "ruptured testicle" became part of our nomenclature. A line drive from Manny Ramirez found Manzanilllo, a long reliever with the Mariners at the time, right in the crow's nest. I happened to be at the game itself and so was M's skipper John McClaren.
"He was a gamer," said McLaren, Seattle's bench coach at the time. "He jogged off, then collapsed as soon as he got in the dugout. He got nailed."
Ladies and gentlemen, John McClaren. That right there is a true baseball man. In case Adrian is reading this article and needs to know what a cup looks like and where to purchase one, I found the image below on baseballjunk.com.