PROTECTING PITCHERS MUST BE A PRIORITY.
After Alex Cobb becomes latest victim, it’s time for MLB to act before it’s too late.
I would love to sit here and pontificate about how Major League Baseball needs to do something drastic — and soon — to ensure that pitchers are finally safe from ill-fated line drives through the box. It would be wonderful to never again endure the anxious, gut-churning moments that accompany a fallen pitcher being carried from the field, and waiting for him to flash a “thumbs up” sign to let the crowd know that he’s conscious and in good spirits. That’s from ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick.
Well in that case, let me spring into action.
How can we protect the pitcher?
– Use the batting practice pitching net
– Pitchers deliver then curl into a ball
– If you hit a pitcher with a line drive you automatically get three outs even if it carries into the next inning AND the batter is ejected
– The pitcher wear a lacross, hockey or Darth Vader type helmet
– Move the mound back to 70 feet 7 inches
– No more pitchers, batters hit off a tee or throw it up to themselves fungo stye
– Pitchers get to use an oversized, clown glove
– Immediately after the ball is released the pitcher is transported to a safe area in the field
– As soon as the ball is released an invisibly force field rises from the front of the mound.
Back to reality now?
There’s no convenient, or maybe even ANY way of protecting pitchers without making them feel grossly uncomfortable and inhibiting their efforts.
From Brandon McCarthy, who took a liner drive to the head late last year and as recently as last week suffered a seizure that was caused by that 9 month old blow.
“It’s not very good at all,” McCarthy said in March. “Until the products are better, it’s going to be slow-moving. I guess there are some entrepreneurs — guys in the basement who are really putting them together — and that’s kind of where my hope lies. I’m hoping it’s someone who’s hungry and wants to fill this gap. I don’t even care if it’s MLB-approved. I just want it to be functionally approved by me.”
I was never a good, or willing, math student beyond algebra and most of what I learned, I’ve long forgotten, but I’ll give this a try.
I averaged out the amount of pitches of eight (of 15, I thought that was enough of a sample size) games on Saturday, the day Cobb was lasered. There were 2,404 pitches thrown which comes out to about 300.5 per game. Are you willing take that as the rough median for a game?
Now we can compute this one of a few ways, all of which will make a mockery of my math skills.
Cobb got hit by one of those 300 pitches. His chances of that occurring were…?
As far as I, and Google, know only Cobb was hit in the ear (that’s key if you’re going to invent a type of protection, it’ll have to go around the head) this past Saturday.
300 pitches times 15 is 4500. That many pitches were thrown and ONE pitcher took one to the head.
JA Happ, amazingly also at Tropicana Field (See! The Rays need a new stadium or PITCHERS WILL DIE), took a liner as Cobb did way back on May 7th. Should I multiple 300 times the amount of games played over the last six weeks?
Didn’t think so.
In the immediate, panic driven moment of ‘WE MUST PROTECT THE PITCHER’ one, there’s no definitive way to do that and two, perhaps this just the cost of doing business in Major League Baseball.