Beltre pays price for not using protective cup

A couple of years ago during Spring Training, Mariners third baseman Adrian Beltre explained during an interview that he doesn’t wear a cup — a piece of equipment worn to protect one of the most vital areas of your body.

He said he wore one once, but it didn’t feel comfortable so he never wore one again and didn’t think twice about it.

He was asked if he ever worried about getting hit “there” and he said “no” because he trusted his hands, which always had been quick enough to react to the hot shots hit to him while playing the hot corner.

But in the ninth inning of Wednesday night’s 14-inning game against the White Sox, Beltre’s hands were not quick enough. A ball hit by Alexei Ramirez hit Beltre just below the belt buckle. The 3B jumped high (who could blame him?) as the ball rolled away.

Beltre had the presence of mind to go after the ball pick it up with his bare hand and try to get the out at first base. He ended up with a throwing error — and perhaps surgery as he suffered a “contusion of his right testicle.”

He somehow played the remainder of the game without showing any outward signs of the severe pain he must have been experiencing. Anyone who has been hit “there” knows what I’m talking about.

Beltre shrugged it off, singled in the 14th inning, dove back into first base to avoid a pickoff throw, went to second on a walk and scored the game-winning run on Ken Griffey Jr.’s single to right field.

Only then did Beltre mention that he got hit “there”.

He was hurt so bad that on Thursday afternoon he was placed on the 15-day disabled list and might need surgery to repair the damage to his right testicle.

“He’s awfully tough. I couldn’t even imagine,” manager Don Wakamatsu said.

And now for tonight’s starting lineups:


Derek Jeter, SS

Johnny Damon, LF

Mark Teixeira, 1B

Hideki Matsui, DH

Nick Swisher, RF

Robinson Cano, 2B

Melky Cabrera, CF

Jerry Hairston, 3B

Jose Molia, C

CC Sabathia, LHP


Ichiro Suzuki, RF

Franklin Gutierrez, CF

Jose Lopez, 2B

Mike Sweeney, DH

Russell Branyan, 1B

Kenji Johjima, C

Jack Hannahan, 3B

Josh Wilson, SS

Michael Saunders, LF

Ian Snell, RHP

— Jim Street

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