NEW YORK -- Tough. Frightening. Scary. And, at the end of the day, thankful that it wasn't worse.
That about sums up the emotions in the Yankees' clubhouse on Saturday when talking about the Alex Rodriguez line drive that struck Indians' starter David Huff above the left ear in the third inning of Cleveland's 13-11 victory.
Huff immediately collapsed to the dirt and remained motionless on the ground for several minutes. The ball, meanwhile, ricocheted all the way into right field, ending up as an RBI double for Rodriguez.
"Your heart stops. You want so badly to take it back," Rodriguez said in a statement after the game. "You're scared. You think of him, you think of his family. You think of the million other places that the ball could have gone other than where it did.
"We're playing a game -- a game. I know it's a business, too, but for all of us playing, it should always be a game first. When something like that happens before your eyes, it makes you think long and hard about things much bigger than throwing or hitting a baseball or running around the bases for a few hours a day."
Rodriguez left Yankee Stadium shortly after the game en route to NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center to visit Huff. The pitcher, however, had already returned back to the Stadium in time for the ninth inning. A CT scan was negative on Huff, and Cleveland manager Manny Acta said the 25-year-old "doesn't have concussive symptoms right now."
"You don't see it a lot, but you see it enough that it scares you to death," Yankees' manager Joe Girardi said of the incident. "Our prayers are with that young man."
CC Sabathia sympathized with Huff as a fellow pitcher.
"That's always your fear as a pitcher," Sabathia said. "You've got to keep going out and pounding the zone and try to make pitches."
Upon hearing that Huff had rejoined his team, Rodriguez obtained his phone number and planned to call him.
"I'm so thankful he's going to be OK," A-Rod said in his statement.
Tim Britton is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.