[caption id="attachment_189" align="alignright" width="200" caption="Adrian Beltre"] [/caption]Occasionally, after a teammate or manager is quoted saying how tough Adrian Beltre is, the question arises - how tough is Beltre?
Read this and make up your own mind.
About a month ago, the Seattle Mariners third baseman took a bad-hop ground ball off his right testicle and not only stayed in the game but scored the winning run from second base.
What was the worst part of being hit in the cajone - while not wearing a protective cup - in front of 20,000 fans and a television audience?
"The baseball was lying right beside me, so I had to finish the play," he said. "I picked it up and threw it away. I stood there with my head down and people thought it was because of the error. It was because of the pain.
"We didn't have an extra infielder that night - Jack (Wilson) had just pulled him hamstring. So I had to finish the game."I came in the dugout and they asked how I was. I said 'fine' and went behind the dugout and check. There was ... a lot of swelling."
Beltre couldn't bend down for a week, didn't play for more than three. Now that he's back, he's wearing a cup.
"If it was up to me, I wouldn't wear a cup," he said. "I'm uncomfortable with it, and when I have to move, it hurts - there's still swelling. I'd rather take the chance of not wearing a cup. I didn't get hit there for nine years."
Beltre said the injury no longer hurts - unless he moves.
"You have to have a mindset to play through it, you need the adrenaline of a game and you have to say to yourself, 'I will play.'
"If I move quickly, it hurts. If I run, it hurts when I stop running."
And what if, he is asked, he were to get hit again, even wearing the protective cup?
"After I was hit the first time, I couldn't do a thing for seven days, that's how bad it hurt. If I got hit again?" Beltre ponders it a moment. "I can't even imagine what that would be like, but I'd try to play."