Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre is known for two things: hitting baseballs very hard and not being a fan of having his head touched. Those two things intersected on Tuesday night.
Beltre smoked an offering from Detroit Tigers pitcher Drew Smyly right up the middle in the second inning, a screaming shot back through the box that eventually skidded into the outfield for a base hit (his first of four on the night). The hit was a milestone knock for Beltre, as it was No. 2,500 in his impressive big league career.
Beltre got to first base, and that’s where the home crowd showed their congratulations with a standing ovation. Beltre also got props from Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera. After a couple of seconds of applause, Beltre went to tip his helmet in appreciation to the crowd.
That’s when Cabrera saw his chance. The reigning two-time American League MVP made a bid to touch Beltre’s head. Naturally, Beltre went right into a defensive mode, the latest reminder that he really doesn’t like his head touched.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Cabrera has gotten to Beltre. When the two teams met in May in Detroit, Cabrera’s hands found Beltre’s head, too.
Messing with Beltre’s head is nothing new. Former Red Sox teammate and current Tigers slugger Victor Martinez started the trend when the two were in Boston. It continued when Beltre signed with Texas where Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus has taken the head-touching torch in an ongoing friendly game between he and Beltre.