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Despite incident, Tampa Bay Rays' Carl Crawford won't wear protective cup

BALTIMORE — Yes, if you're wondering, Carl Crawford has watched the replay a bunch of times, too.

But even after seeing how bad it looked, and knowing how incredibly horrible it felt, when he was struck, well, there, by an errant pickoff throw in Tuesday's game against the Orioles, Crawford insisted he has no plans to start wearing a protective cup when he returns to the field, possibly Friday in Cleveland.

"I'm just not going to wear a cup," Crawford said. "I just don't think that's going to happen again. It never happened in eight years, so I'm not going to worry about letting that one little incident make me change the way I do things. … If it happens again, then it just happens again."

Crawford said he tried wearing one early in his career and found it too restrictive. "It pinches me when I run," he said. "I take off on a steal, I make diving catches, something can happen worse from wearing a cup."

There are no rules requiring professional players to wear cups — amateurs, up through the college level, are supposed to — though from some, um, informal research Wednesday morning it seems all Rays catchers and most, though not all, infielders use them; a little more than half the pitchers do; and most outfielders don't.

Reliever Dan Wheeler said he feels much more comfortable taking the mound with one on. Reliever Randy Choate said he has been too uncomfortable when trying one before, his front leg chafing on every pitch.

"I've always been amazed that everybody doesn't," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "When I coached third base, I used to wear a cup. … I don't think it should be required like a helmet, in a sense, but I just think for the potential father in you, you should wear one."

Crawford was still "a little sore" Wednesday after sustaining what was officially diagnosed as a testicular contusion, but otherwise he was in good spirits despite seeing himself in such an exposed position on national TV all day.

"It wasn't any big deal," Crawford said, laughing but understanding the attention, and sympathy, he was getting. "If I'd have seen it and it was somebody else, I would have felt bad for them, too, knowing that's the one area you don't want to get hit in."

Despite incident, Tampa Bay Rays' Carl Crawford won't wear protective cup 07/21/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 9:49pm]
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