Some may call Carlos Beltran eccentric. I say he's normal. For an athlete. The New York Mets outfielder -- and slugger -- has this thing where he talks to bats. No, I'm sorry, scratch that, he listens to them. Talking to bats would be batty.
When he receives a new box of bats, the first thing he does is take them out, then puts them to his ear, gently raps on them, and listens ... he just wants to hear what they have to say, that's all.
Actually, there is a method to his madness. And Edgar Martinez, one of baseball's great hitters, taught him the technique. The two yahoos claim that the higher pitched sound the bat makes, the better, because it means the bat is stronger and more compressed. Whatever you say, guys.
Beltran and Martinez are by no means the only athletes who do weird crap before playing. Let's take a look at some of the strangest -- and most hilarious -- athlete rituals and superstitions.
Mark McGwire, Oakland A's, St. Louis Cardinals. Not sure if this is so much superstition or just plain disgusting. Apparently, the baseball great used the same cup he wore in high school during his time in the major leagues. Wanna hear something even more disgusting? He eventually had to get a new one because somebody stole it from him. Ew!
Jason Terry, Dallas Mavericks. Before a game, Terry would wear his basketball shorts to bed. Not that odd, right? How about the fact that it was a pair of shorts from the other team? Guess he knows people.
Bruce Gardiner, Ottawa Senators. After veteran Tom Chorske told him he needed to show his stick who's boss, Gardiner developed the habit of dunking his stick in the locker room toilet before each game. I don't know, to me, that seems like it would make you have a sh***y game.
John Henderson, Oakland Raiders. John didn't need much. Just a couple slaps in the face before each game.
See, talking to your bats before each game is actually shockingly normal.
What other weird athlete rituals do you know of?
Image via Christopher Pasatieri/Flickr