It is clear now that the Dodgers cannot lose. Scoring two in the ninth and one in the 12th, Los Angeles took its eighth straight. But I'm not here to talk about that. With the help of my friend LaTroy Hawkins, I'd like to tell all the kids out there just how important it is to wear your cup.
Hawkins had been perfect as the Mets closer since taking over for an injured Bobby Parnell, but he allowed a leadoff single to Mark Ellis. Then Jerry Hairston hit a comebacker up the middle that caught Hawkins in a very tender area (the testicles). Hawkins actually completed the put-out, but was in obvious pain.
He told manager Terry Collins he "thought he could get through it," but the very next batter was Andre Ethier, who sent a game-tying home run to left. Hawkins' face was as stunned as his gonads.
It's easy to laugh, because our reproductive organs haven't just been crushed to a tissuey pulp. In the locker room after the game, it took Hawkins a half-hour just to muster enough courage to stand up from his chair. When he did speak to reporters, he offered one of the all-time great baseball quotes.
"It was a direct hit—no cup. When I lifted my leg, I could feel my balls in my throat."
A direct hit?
"Direct hit. Direct hit. Di-rect hit." — LaTroy Hawkins— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) August 15, 2013
You'd think protective cups would be mandatory on the Mets after the Jordany Valdespin incident, but many pitchers eschew them. When you're lifting your leg and driving forward on every pitch, they're supremely uncomfortable, and pitch after pitch of discomfort may not warrant protection against that rare instance where ball finds balls.
Hawkins, who said he felt like he had been "kicked by a mule," offered that he might reconsider his stance on cups.
He was then loaded onto a cart and taken out to the team bus. Even a walk of a few dozen feet was beyond his abilities. But that bus isn't heading back to the hotel for an ice bath. The Mets play in San Diego tonight, and there's no point in flying. So it was two-hour bus ride for Hawkins and his groin, and it might have been bumpy.
Top gif by Chad Moriyama.