Friday, March 21, 2014

Time to protect the pitcher

From where I sit it looks like more questions will be raised about the safety of pitchers...

And these are legitimate questions. At some point a pitcher will have his (or her) career end on a comebacker, or worse. If a batter can die from a pitched ball, there's no doubt a pitcher can die from a hit. For all hockey goalies get credit for being crazy, they have 25ish pounds of protection. Pitchers have a glove. Sure, the ball isn't always coming straight at them, but the danger is constant. That being said, what can be done to protect them? A pitching screen? That would get in the way, particularly on bunts. A catcher-style mask? With a pitcher's jerky movements it would need to be far too tight to be comfortable. That being said, it's an awful sight watching a pitcher carried off on a stretcher. This isn't just a problem limited to the major leagues either. I've umpired games where kids have been hit with a batted ball. I've even been at a ballpark where the game ended in tears with the pitcher in an ambulance. At some point, something will need to be done. What that is, I really don't know, I just hope it happens before we get a complete tragedy.

At least that's how I see it...and I sit in the cheap seats.

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