Matt Holliday: “I started to think good grief there is a bug going nuts in my ear. It was a pretty big moth.”

August 25, 2011 – 9:00 am by Steven Cuce

This may be one of the most bizarre posts I have ever written here on SRI, when an odd incident occurred in Monday night’s game between the St.Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers. Of all the possible accidents or injuries that could sideline a baseball player while in action this one might make some people cringe after what happened to Matt Holliday. The top of the 8th inning looked to be coming to a close with two outs and Chris Carpenter was throwing an absolute gem. Matt Holliday was minding his own business out in left field of Busch Stadium when a moth flew into his right ear and wouldn’t come out.

With the moth lodged into Holliday’s right ear he began to panic wondering if the insect was making its way to his brain and he looked to call time out while still trying to pay attention to what was going on in the game. He was immediately lifted from the game upon calling time out and taken under the care of the trainer who needed tweezers to pull the moth’s body out from his right ear. Holliday gives his full account of the story in the following interview with ESPN Radio.

Matt Holliday joined ESPN Radio with Doug Gottlieb to discuss the play-by-play of how a moth flew into his ear in Monday night’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chris Carpenter being ticked off on the mound that he called timeout not knowing there was a moth in Holliday’s ear, trying to pay attention to what was going on in the game while there was a moth in his ear, how big his ear must be for a moth to fly in it, a flashlight being put in his ear to get the moth out and if he knew the outcome of Monday nights game after he was pulled out due to the moth being in his ear.

Take me through the blow-by-blow of what happened with the moth going in your ear in last night’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 8th inning?

“I was standing in left field and just standing there in between pitches and all of a sudden there’s a moth in my ear that is so deep that I can’t even find it with my finger. All I can feel is the fluttering of the moth inside what feels like my brain and I’m thinking what just happened? I’m trying to get it out with my finger, but I can’t even touch it. I can’t even feel it. All I feel is the fluttering of its wings in my right ear and I put my glove down to try to figure out what to do and I started shaking my head. Meanwhile I think Chris Carpenter was pitching and I put my glove on the ground and I’m trying to figure out how do you get this moth out of my ear? I figured I better call time and try to figure out how to get this out of my ear. I just called time and started walking in and I told them I had a huge moth in my ear.”

Did Chris Carpenter get ticked off that you called time out because of the moth in the middle of him pitching?

“I hope not. He and I are pretty good friends. I would think that he would be a little bit understanding of a fluttering moth in my ear. I mean typically I wouldn’t interrupt what he is doing especially when it was so good last night, but I figured at that point I didn’t know if a moth could continue to fly up into my brain, so I thought I should call time out and try to get that thing out.”

So you did not pull a Starlin Castro and not not pay attention in the field? You were paying attention to what was going on in the game, but you had the moth distracting you in your ear?

“Yeah I was still paying attention just in case I had to run and get a ball with a glove or no glove. It was kind of one of those deals where you don’t want to freak out because I don’t like moths in my ears. I started to think good grief there is a bug going nuts in my ear. I went inside and initially they couldn’t even see it, so they had to get…the doctor had to get the light out and the little thing they check your ears to try to see it. He was trying to pull it out with tweezers and kept just kind of pulling the wing off and as you know with moths the wings just flake away, so he kept pulling out little bits and pieces. Meanwhile the moth is going nuts in my ear. They were going to try to rinse it out with saline water and then finally he got a hold of the body of it and pulled it out and it was still alive and fluttering. It was a pretty big moth. I actually don’t see many moths that big, so that’s how it went down.”

How big is your ear for a moth to fly into it?

“I guess I have a really large ear. I knew I had big ears because I had a big head, but I didn’t realize it was necessarily big enough for large insects to just fly into.”

I thought when I saw the guy putting the flashlight in your ear it was to get the moth to the light? Moths are attracted to light? No?

“I think that was the idea, but it wedged itself so far in there face first that it couldn’t go in reverse. It couldn’t back out, so it was…I think it was stuck.”

Did you know how the rest of the game turned out after you left?

“Yeah. It probably took ten minutes to get out and after that I was fine, so I had to rinse the rest of the bug out with saline water, but there was all kinds of stuff left in there too. I thought they pulled it out, but they said lets clean it to make sure we get all the stuff. You should have seen how murky the water was.”

Listen to Matt Holliday on ESPN Radio here

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