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MLB studying protective headgear for pitchers

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08:13 AM ET 09.18 | Alarmed by pitchers suffering serious head trauma, Major League Baseball is attempting to address the issue. Specifically, baseball is looking into protective headgear that would help pitchers avoid catastrophic injuries, according to major league sources. While some youth leagues and high schools require pitchers to wear helmets, MLB does not intend to take such an extreme step, sources say. Instead, the sport will investigate existing products, many of which are worn under a pitcher's cap and would not dramatically change the cap's appearance. Furthermore, Baseball's Medical Advisory Committee plans to tackle the issue when it gathers at the winter meetings in December.

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Bud Selig, Getty Images Bud Selig, Getty Images
Comment #1 has been removed
September 18, 2012  09:19 AM ET

They are talking about bringing back skull helmets that were worn years ago when helmets were first being brought out.

Comment #3 has been removed
September 18, 2012  09:28 AM ET

God forbid a pitcher learns the right way to pitch and is in position to field his position after he throws the ball.....

September 18, 2012  09:30 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

God forbid a pitcher learns the right way to pitch and is in position to field his position after he throws the ball.....

That's not always enough. Some hits come back too fast for a pitcher to react. Frankly, I'm surprised they don't get hit more often.

September 18, 2012  09:41 AM ET

Here we go......Hockey helmits for pitchers,with a radio built in to communicate with the dugout......heck just put the batting practice fence out there.

Comment #7 has been removed
September 18, 2012  10:46 AM ET

Bud Light Bop Hat!!!

September 18, 2012  11:35 AM ET

If I were a parent with a youngster in LL Baseball right now, I'd not let him/her pitch without head gear.
I haven't understood why it isn't required in MLB ever since Herb Score's career was ruined, and he almost got killed, by a batted ball almost fifty years ago.

September 18, 2012  12:20 PM ET
QUOTE(#4):

God forbid a pitcher learns the right way to pitch and is in position to field his position after he throws the ball.....

That's true. Used to be pitchers actually were part of the defense and fielded their positions. Today everybody (or nearly everybody) falls off the side if the mound with the side or back of their heads facing the batter. You not only have to be ready for the ball but what about when bats crack in half and the pieces, some of which could be pretty sharp, come flying at you?

September 18, 2012  12:55 PM ET

I saw the replay of the ball hitting McCarthy--there wasn't time to get his glove up, or even duck. He's lucky to be alive.

Ron Santo used to say that to be a 3rd baseman you needed a strong chest. I guess in the minor leagues Frank Howard hit a one-hopper to third base that was so hard it hit Santo in the chest and knocked him down. 3rd basemen are farther from home plate than pitchers.

September 18, 2012  01:01 PM ET

....me have no problem with prrotective headgear....

September 18, 2012  01:22 PM ET
QUOTE(#7):

Lets just make it coaches' pitch and be done with it

Or just change the name from MLB to MLTB (Major Leage T-Ball).

Let's also also require all race drivers to wear padded "sumo" suits to protect them from potential accidents, and use nerf golf balls to avoid the danger of errant golf shots.

Welcome to the Nanny States of America.

September 18, 2012  02:57 PM ET
QUOTE(#11):

I saw the replay of the ball hitting McCarthy--there wasn't time to get his glove up, or even duck. He's lucky to be alive.

I agree that some of the come backers are smoked...

But if you watch the McCarthy video... he is way out of position after the pitch - he's off balance, arm to the side - in no position to react.

You don't hear about the guys who make that play - but they do - and it has a lot to do with how they finish the pitch...

Have to agree with Yogi here...

September 18, 2012  03:13 PM ET
QUOTE(#4):

God forbid a pitcher learns the right way to pitch and is in position to field his position after he throws the ball.....

either protect the pitchers or let them go in fumes,,,,

September 18, 2012  03:14 PM ET
QUOTE(#12):

....me have no problem with prrotective headgear....

either help the pitchers avoid career ending/ or life ending in a tragic way, what is going to be??

September 18, 2012  07:27 PM ET

Wouldn't be easier to reduce the whip allowed in a bat? Increasing the bat weight and the handle width, would decrease the speed of the bat swing, thus reducing the ball when it is hit. Or even go so far as to return to the Jackie Robinson/Nellie Fox bat design. I'm not saying bring back the bottle bat. Solution simple. This would also increase batting averages, decrease strikeouts, and require pitchers to locate rather than just rear back and fire, cutting down on wildness and reducing brokem hands/arms by batters. This solution would also increase strategy and reduce the sit back and wait for the 3 run homer offense.

 
September 19, 2012  08:57 AM ET

You have to look at the way pitchers are "designed" now. Everyone is taught from a young age that if you want to make it in baseball you have to be able to throw 90+. So these guys get into the habit early of striding as far as possible, putting them closer to the plate, and torquing thier body like crazy, putting thier back to the plate.

I can't remember a pitcher who fielded his position better that Greg Maddux. Think agout the type of pitcher he was. He never threw 90, instead he killed batters by working offspeed in and out and stretching the strike zone. But if you look at his delivery you will see why he fielded his position, he finished square to the plate in a fielding position similar to a SS.

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