ST. LOUIS -- It started before Matt Holliday even took the first question Tuesday. As he walked across the clubhouse at Busch Stadium, a reporter asked whether Holliday wanted to address whether anything was bugging him.
And so began one of the stranger news conferences of the year, as Holliday deadpanned his way through a conversation about his close encounter of the insect kind one night before. Holliday had to leave Monday night's game against the Dodgers when a moth became lodged in his right ear.
"It wasn't really all that painful," Holliday said. "It was more annoying. Like when you have water in your ear and you can't get it out. Except it was a bug."
The slugger joked that he had "bonded" with the now-deceased insect. Holliday, who still had the moth in a plastic bag in his locker, showed it off to reporters after he chatted. The bug was alive when it was removed from Holliday's ear -- a procedure done with tweezers.
"I figure we're friends," Holliday quipped. "We've bonded. He's not alive anymore, but I am."
It was just the latest episode in a strange season for Holliday, who has also missed time due to an appendectomy and a lower-back injury that he sustained while preparing to lift weights. He's hoping that it was the last such incident.
"I'm not sure if [the year] could get any weirder," he said. "Hopefully not."