Bugged Out


Well here’s one for the “something you don’t see everyday” category. In one of the strangest, most bizarre occurrences you’ll ever see in sports, Cardinals left-fielder Matt Holliday had to be removed from last night’s game with two outs in the eighth inning after a moth flew into his right ear. Just when you thought you’d seen it all, something like this happens.

Following a single by Dodgers’ first baseman James Loney, Holliday called time from the outfield and began walking toward the dugout while holding his ear. While it was unclear at the time what exactly was going on, there was no doubt that Matt was in considerable discomfort as the team’s training staff walked him off the field and into the clubhouse. Holliday was replaced by the newly acquired Corey Patterson, who grounded out in the bottom of the ninth inning. It should be noted Holliday, St. Louis’ leading hitter with a .306 batting average, would have come to the plate with a chance to tie what was a 2-1 game at that point with one swing of the bat. I’m not suggesting that he would have done so, but I’d much rather see him up there in that position than Patterson, who is hitting just .167 this season.

After the game, a team spokesman indicated that the first move was to put Holliday in a dark room and shine a light near his ear, hoping that the insect would be attracted to the bright light. However, because the moth had flown headfirst deep inside Holliday’s ear, it was unable to turn around. The bug was eventually removed with tweezers, and was still alive after the procedure. It sounds absurd, but you just can’t make this stuff up.

Here’s what Matt had to say about the unusual experience when asked about it at a press conference today:

"It wasn’t really all that painful. It was more annoying. Like when you have water in your ear and you can’t get it out. Except it was a bug. I figure we’re friends. We’ve bonded. He’s not alive anymore, but I am. I’m not sure if the year could get any weirder. Hopefully not."

Rumor has it that the Cardinals all-star actually kept the moth, but I’m not sure how much truth there is to that. Holliday, who has battled injuries all season long and has made two trips to the disabled list because of an appendectomy and a quadriceps strain, is in the lineup for tonight’s game.

I’d be lying if I told you that I have ever imagined anything like this happening during a baseball game, and I probably wouldn’t have believed it had I not have seen it. Sure, I’ve seen bee infestations on the field during a game, but a moth getting stuck in a player’s ear is a once-in-a-lifetime happening. I can’t even stand the thought of a live bug moving around inside my ear, so I will just leave it at that.

The Cards just can’t seem to catch a break lately, and this is indicative of how things have gone for the team as a whole over the past month or so.