Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Baseball helmets

Last week saw some brutal bean balls in Major League Baseball. Texas Rangers' Ian Kinsler and New York Mets' David Wright took 90+ fastballs right to their noggins. While Kinsler was OK and homered in the next game, Wright was put on the disabled list and might miss the rest of the season with a concussion.

The bean balls have brought up the debate on whether baseball should make the new Rawlings S100 batting helmet mandatory. They should.

Rawlings boasts that the S100 could withstand fastballs at 100 mph. The helmets most players are using now are only dent resistant to 70 mph. So why aren't players lining up to use the S100? It's bulky and doesn't look cool.

Mets' outfielder Jeff Francoeur went so far as to tell the New York Times that " I am absolutely not wearing that. I could care less what they say, I'm not wearing it. There's got to be a way to have a more protective helmet without all that padding. It's brutal. We're going to look like a bunch of clowns out there."

This is coming from a man who is batting .263 this year and has a .298 on-base percentage. I think that had to be put out there.

Francoeur sounds like an idiot in this article. Baseball players already look like clowns. These are athletes in a sport where belts are part of their uniforms. The players stand around for 90 percent of the game. You have guys going on the disabled list with blisters. Don't get me wrong, I love baseball, but bulky helmets would not be the most clownish thing they have going on.

MLB should make the helmets mandatory. The National Football League reviews rules every year and their are always new ones to protect their players. While some seem unnecessary, if they keep stud players in the lineup, more people are going to watch and it's better for the sport. Players need to forget how they look and just put the damn things on.

I didn't hear any of these players complaining about steroids making their heads bigger.

I couldn't help myself.

Long May You Run - Neil Young (The man has an annoying voice, but is a great songwriter)


  1. Good stuff Jeff.

    Does anybody other than Tim Wakefield or any other knuckleballer throw a pitch slower that 70 MPH? Why then wouldn't they use the safer helmets?

    How would it sound if a hockey goalie wanted to wear a cooler looking facemask that only stopped 70 MPH shots or a football helmet that only cut concussions down 20% than the 70% or so it does now?

    Rickel > Francoeur

  2. Jaime Moyer is probably the only non knuckle baller that throws slower than 70 at times.

    Yes, but Francoeur is better than Ryan Church or at least Omar Minaya believes that (speaking of someone more inept than JP Riccardi).