Protection may be coming for pitchers

Protection may be coming for pitchers
December 20, 2013, 9:30 am
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Since baseball time eternal, the pitcher’s only protection against a line drive rocketed at his head has been like those drills some of us did back in elementary school — duck and cover. But that may be changing.

Brandon McCarthy — who suffered a cracked skull and other injuries when felled by a drive in 2012 while pitching for the A’s — told Fox Sports that major-league pitchers could start wearing protective caps in the 2014 season.

Major League Baseball confirmed that the product was in the works and that MLB was having talks with the players association about “a potential voluntary program.” McCarthy said anyone who wore the cap would have to be willing to look “ridiculous.”

"It's going to look silly," said McCarthy, now with the Diamondbacks. "But it should be strong enough and capable enough that literally, if I got hit by the same exact ball, I would have been able to keep pitching in that game."

Orioles fans may recall the scary moment in 1998 when Mike Mussina was nailed by a ball hit by the Indians’ Sandy Alomar. A protective cap wouldn’t have helped him. Alomar’s hit caught him in the face, breaking his nose and cutting him above one eye