Jennings feels better after meeting with Happ

Rays center fielder speaks to media a day after his liner hit lefty in head

Jennings feels better after meeting with Happ

ST. PETERSBURG -- In the aftermath of hitting a line drive off the left side of Toronto left-hander J.A. Happ's head, a distraught Desmond Jennings chose not to talk to reporters Tuesday night after the game.

The Rays center fielder broke his silence before Wednesday night's game, describing the play in his soft voice.

"I had the angle, when I hit it, I saw the direction it was going and it was something that you just don't want to see or you don't want to happen to anybody," Jennings said. "I didn't know what to think. I mean, I saw it happen and I knew something was wrong. I saw the direction that the ball was going and I didn't know where it hit him at first. I just knew it was somewhere above the shoulder. I mean, it was tough to see. You never want to see anything like that happen to anybody."

Happ appeared to be well on his way to a full recovery and showed up at the ballpark on Wednesday. That allowed Jennings to meet with the Blue Jays left-hander, whom he did not know before their fateful encounter.

"I talked to him today and he told me that everything was OK and that everything was doing better," Jennings said. "He was talking to me like normal. Like he could get out there and go today. That's always good to see."

Happ spoke of their meeting.

"He just wished me the best and hoped for a quick recovery," Happ said. "Obviously something like that, it's never intentional. I let him know that I knew that and I did appreciate him coming over. It's a scary thing on his end, too, I'm sure, so I did appreciate that."

Jennings drive off Happ's head ricocheted into the right-field corner. Two runners scored as a visibly troubled Jennings advanced to third with a triple, while keeping an eye on Happ, who was sprawled on the mound.

An 11-minute delay ensued while Happ was being tended to on the field. The left-hander was strapped to a stretcher and taken to a local hospital for treatment.

"You see it happen, you never know what the outcome could be," Jennings said. "You don't know where the ball hit him. You just see the guy laid out there like that. It's scary no matter who he is, no matter who he plays for."

Jennings felt relieved after being informed Wednesday morning that Happ was doing much better.

"That let me breathe a little bit," Jennings said. "But you still don't know until you see him face to face exactly how he's doing."

Jennings seemed to be at peace with the situation and did not feel as though thoughts of what happened would affect his play.

"You know in baseball, things happen," Jennings said. "I didn't try to hit the ball and hit him with it. I talked to him, he seems to be doing OK. I'll move on from here. [I] wish him a speedy recovery."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.