“Get some glasses!” has long been the best, innocent taunt coming out of the mouths of 7-year-old baseball fans and it works on a variety of levels. The ump calls a ball when it appears to be a strike – he needs glasses. The batter swings and misses – he needs glasses. The pitcher throws a wild pitch – he needs glasses.
This summer, kids with some inside baseball info will get to add, “You need a hearing aid” to their arsenal.
New Mets outfielder Michael Cuddyer told reporters this week that he can’t hear out of his left ear. This wouldn’t be an issue if he was a designated hitter in the AL or playing right, but Cuddyer is expected to be manning left field this season for the Metropolitans. It means center fielder Juan Lagares is going to have to do some major shouting when there’s gappers, or (gulp) a deep fly ball to left-center.
Cuddyer said he’s not worried “in the slightest.”
“I was 11. I had a viral infection,” Cuddyer told ESPN. “I had a series of headaches for about a week. I went to be one day and could her on my right side, couldn’t hear on my left, and it’s been like that ever since.
“The first three or four years, it took a little bit of getting used to, my equilibrium and things like that. But when I got to be about 13, 14 years old, it never was a problem ever again. ... Even going through the draft and stuff, it would be like: 'Do you have hearing problems?' I’d always check no, because it was never a problem."