As the guys at Eye on Baseball and Larry Brown Sports have chronicled this season, Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus seems to really enjoy playing the role of pest to teammate and third baseman Adrian Beltre. So much so, in fact, that on more than one occasion Andrus has gone out of his way to invade Beltre's space and act as though he's going to cut in front of him as he's camped out underneath a popup.
Seriously. This has happened during at least two different regular season games. Could you imagine if Andrus' distraction had caused Beltre to drop one of those chances?
It should go without saying that Beltre was none too pleased with Andrus's actions, and at one point let him know by whipping his glove at his head during a pitching change. A connection there would have been one way to get even. Another would be to give Andrus a dose of his own medicine, and that's precisely what Beltre attempted to do during their game at St. Louis on Saturday night.
When Yadier Molina skied a high popup in Andrus' territory at short, Beltre kept inching over and inching over into Andrus' space. Andrus could clearly hear Beltre's footsteps, too, but wasn't entirely fazed by his actions. The two then shared a laugh about it after Andrus made the play, but at the very least Beltre has planted a seed of warning in Andrus' mind. Two can play at this game, and if Andrus doesn't knock it off, Beltre may be ready to unleash the fury.
Well, that, or either Andrus or Beltre will end botching a routine popup and both will end up on the bench next to Ron Washington.
Honestly, I'm not sure which fate would be worse for their professional careers, but I do know which would be more embarrassing.