Adrian Beltre was a fan favorite during his one year in Boston, so Red Sox fans and Rangers fans alike were likely holding their collective breaths as the Rangers third baseman took a fastball to the head on Tuesday night.
Luckily for everyone, especially Beltre, he’s expected to be OK.
Initial tests came back fine, and Beltre was able to speak to reporters after the Red Sox’ 2-1 win in Texas.
“It sounded bad when it hit me,” Beltre said of being hit in the head with a 92 mph fastball from Vicente Padilla, according to ESPN.com. “But it should be OK.”
Beltre also let Padilla — someone with a long history of throwing at batters — off of the hook, saying that he didn’t think the Boston right-hander was intentionally throwing at him.
“I don’t think he was trying to hit me,” Beltre said. “I don’t think in that situation, 1-1, eighth inning, man on third he was trying to hit me. I looked at the video and the catcher was setting up away, so he maybe he was trying to throw it a little harder than he normally throws it and it got away from him.”
With just about any other pitcher, there would likely be no doubt that there was no intent. Of course, things are different with Padilla, especially in Texas.
Padilla’s time with the Rangers came to an abrupt end in 2009 after the hurler was designated for assignment after hitting his 49th batter during his three-plus seasons in Texas. The organization got tired of having to answer for Padilla’s antics and they cut him loose.
“We’re putting together an organization that pulls together, that stands for something,” Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said at the time. “We intend to have a team in every sense of the word. When one guy doesn’t take that to hear, it’s apparent. It’s not about throwing at batters in specifics. It was about being a good teammate.”
The beaning of Beltre was just the second batter Padilla has hit this year.
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