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Protection. We all need it. Some of us are here, because of a lack of it. When it comes to proffesional sports, experts work day and night to develop new and effective ways to protect athletes. From bike helmets to foot protection, todays competetors are safer then ever. However they could always be safer, which is why Major League Baseball has approved for the first time, head protection for it's pitchers.
Tuesday league executives released word they will be making the new padded pitchers cap available to players starting next month for spring training. The league is not making the hat mandatory to pitchers this season, but many suggestion, down the line they will.
MLB was forced to address the safety of their pitchers, due to the recent elevated level of frequency in which a hurler has been hit with a line drive. While the best hitters in the world continue to increase their strength, speed and baseball IQ, so to does the chance for a pitcher to be struck with a ball elevate. Certainly we remeber those scary moments, when a pitchers skull is fractured by a line drive, however what you may be forgetting, is how often MLB's prized arms are hit off the leg or thigh. Naturally a man is far more likely to walk away from such a line drive. Still it's how often pitchers are hit, that is the concern.
What's The Problem?
The new hats are "plastic injection molded polymers combined with a foam substrate" says isoBlox the creater of the new protective gear. Covering a large area of the skull, the new caps are an inch thicker, and seven ounces heavier then a normal MLB standard fit. This makes an uncomfortable fit for pitchers.
ESPN's Jayson Stark is reporting pitcher Brandon McCarthy who recently was struck with a line drive I simply don't think anybody is going to wear it." He went on to explain, he feels it's only a step in the right direction, not the answer
The real issue with the new padded cap is not it's style, it's the apparent fact the new hat will not be very effective, when it's put up to the test. According to it's manufacturers, the padded cap is designed to protect the skull from line drives coming at absolute top speed of 90mph. Sound great in theory, however in reality most line drives travel back to the pitcher at speeds of 100mph or greater. Meaning this new hat will offer little to no actual safety or protection.
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