BALTIMORE -- The pain from Carl Crawford's testicular contusion, sustained Tuesday night when he was struck flush in the groin by a Jake Arrieta pickoff throw, hadn't subsided enough to let the Rays' left fielder return to the lineup for Wednesday's finale of a three-game series at Camden Yards.
However, when he does return, and manager Joe Maddon hopes it will be Friday when the Rays open a weekend set at Cleveland, Crawford is adamant he won't be wearing a protective cup. Crawford doesn't see the need, even if it's just to protect the current injury while it heals.
"I'm just not going to wear a cup," he said Wednesday morning. "I don't think that's going to happen again. It had never happened in eight years, you know what I'm saying? I've got nothing to worry about. [I'm not going to] let that one little incident change the way I do things, especially if I'm feeling better. Just be real careful when I'm out there."
Maddon said the decision is Crawford's, though the manager can't understand how any player wouldn't opt for the protection a cup affords in an extremely sensitive area.
"It's up to the individual," Maddon said. "I'm not going to tell them they have to wear a cup, but I can't see how you cannot. ... Most people do not."
Maddon, however, thinks they should.
"I've always been amazed that everybody doesn't," Maddon added. "When I coached third base, I used to wear a cup -- as a third-base coach. ... As a catcher, you always wear a cup."
Crawford said it's been years since he tried the accessory, which he ditched because it restricted his ability to move freely.
"I tried to wear it a long time ago," Crawford said. "I run so it pinches me when I run. ... I make diving catches and something happens worse from wearing a cup. Like I said, that one incident ain't going to make me change the way I do things. If it happens again, it just happens again."
Rusty Garza puts poor start behind him
BALTIMORE -- Matt Garza blamed poor location, not an extended layoff, for his subpar outing Tuesday night, and the right-hander said he would attack his command issues when he throws his next bullpen session Friday in Cleveland.
Garza was tagged for seven runs on 10 hits in 6 1/3 innings in Tuesday's 11-10, 13-inning loss to Baltimore. Garza gave up four solo home runs, including three straight in the second inning.
"It was odd," Garza said, "but oddities happen."
Especially given the length of inactivity since he last started July 10.
"I was rusty -- arm felt fine, body felt fine," Garza said. "Just the first three innings, I didn't know where anything was going. Going in, I knew there was going to be some rust to knock off."
Garza wasn't happy when Rays manager Joe Maddon told him he wouldn't be starting until the fifth game after the All-Star break. And the right-hander prepared to battle himself because of the extended rest.
"I was upset with the outing, but I knew going in -- don't expect to be perfect because you haven't thrown to hitters in  days," Garza said. "Just go with it and take it as it comes. Yeah, it's frustrating and upsetting. But the most difficult thing about it is we lost."
Rays utilizing sports psychologist
BALTIMORE -- Dr. Ken Ravizza has come and gone, leaving the Tampa Bay Rays with something to think about until the next time he pops into their clubhouse for a friendly chat.
"I observe, I interact, I check in with them," said Ravizza, a Fullerton, Calif., based sports psychologist who serves as a performance consultant to the Rays and spent time with the team in New York and Baltimore.
Ravizza's prescription is more than self-help mumbo-jumbo spouted by some television talking head. It's an approach that has endeared him to Rays manager Joe Maddon since the two worked with the Angels while Maddon was a coach. Now, Ravizza checks in with the Rays for a handful of extended visits each season.
"The mental game's taking place between pitches," Ravizza explained. "In music, they talk about it not being in the notes; it's what the musician does between the notes. Same in baseball between the pitches. Visual cues -- what's their breath like, how are they getting into the box, how are they walking to the plate, what's the pitcher doing after he takes a blow, how does he get himself ready for the next pitch?"
Dressed in jeans, a polo shirt and tennis shoes, Ravizza moves from player to player in the clubhouse before and after games. Some Rays aren't sure what to make of him and some let his counsel go in one ear and out the other, says third baseman Evan Longoria, who's been working with Ravizza since he was a sophomore at Long Beach State.
"What he's done for me and for my baseball career, there's no measure," Longoria said. "He's allowed me to have another tool -- and not a physical tool -- that's really allowed me to slow the game down. I can think about certain things I might not be able to think about if I didn't have that skill set from him."
What exactly is Ravizza's contribution?
"Be ready to absorb the [mental] blow and not be surprised by it," Ravizza said. "They have something to go to when the garbage hits the fan, and the garbage will hit the fan. This isn't about the magic of believing. I'm not into the magic of believing. I'm into, 'It's going to be tough, you're going to be prepared and you're going to know what it means to compete.'"
Recognizing what's happening mentally and knowing how to process it helps players maintain and sustain success, Longoria said. It also helps them identify when things are going south and gives them the ability to stop a detrimental cycle before it can translate into an extended slump.
"We've got a strength coach to work to keep us strong physically, we've got trainers to keep us healthy physically, but we don't have anybody to keep us healthy and strong mentally," said right-hander Matt Garza. "That's what he brings -- common sense. You can go talk to him and ... he breaks it down for you in a way you can understand. Guys like us aren't always very open about what we do and how we do it. He's a guy, you can talk to him and it's not even like working."
Longoria said that embracing mental health isn't a sign of weakness, as it's often perceived.
"You have to be open-minded to it," Longoria said. "You have to want for it to [work]. It's not for everybody. But if you do allow yourself the chance to talk with Ken and embrace the things he talks about -- he's not the most ... conventional, but for me, his methods work. It's a tool where, if you're able to embrace what he has to say about the mental side of baseball, it just gives you one more thing to go to."
Pete Kerzel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.