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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

MLB: Affeldt, Romo not proponents of newly approved caps

Well, you can tell everybody
Down in ol’ Frisco
Tell ‘em
Bob Montgomery says hello.

The new caps will be optional for the 2014 season. For the Giants, it’s just as well. They expressed skepticism, at best—and negativity, at worst—regarding the caps, which are a half-inch thicker in front and an inch thicker near the temples than what they’ve been wearing. Also, the padding adds seven ounces to the heft of the traditional caps, which weigh three to four ounces.

For most of the Giants contacted, old habits die hard.

“I won’t wear it. No chance,” left-hander Jeremy Affeldt said. “The thing is huge and bothersome. I don’t want to try and figure out how to keep it on my head and throw a pitch with conviction at the same time.”

Right-hander Sergio Romo was slightly more diplomatic.

“I’m not going to wear one unless they make me,” Romo said with a laugh. “But I’m all for it. I’m big on substance versus style. I think it’s a great idea from a safety standpoint. Obviously, it doesn’t really say a whole lot, fashionably. But it’s all about protection. We’re trying to put on a show for the fans, and the last thing we want is for anyone to get hurt in any way.”

...Yet Righetti believes that overcoming fear of being hit by the ball is part of the challenge that separates Major Leaguers from other athletes.

“Being old school, I think that the big leagues should be tougher and, in a sense, a little bit dangerous,” said Righetti, who pitched for 15 years in the Majors. “That’s what separates you. It’s a cat-and-mouse game as it is. If you make somebody blink. ... I know, firsthand, hundreds of guys who were scared to death to throw pitches out over the plate to certain guys because they didn’t want the ball coming back at them and getting themselves killed. I’m sure it’s the same thing for hitters. They won’t admit it, but there are some guys that don’t like the ball coming up near their head and freak out when it does.”

Repoz Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:55 PM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: giants

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   1. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 11:04 PM (#4647774)
another post, Repoz
with a different link--no pitchers seem to like them
   2. Jose Molina wants a nickname like "A-Rod" Posted: January 29, 2014 at 12:07 AM (#4647800)
"But I’m all for it" means not a proponent?
   3. God Posted: January 29, 2014 at 12:09 AM (#4647801)
I think the implied part of that quote was "I'm all for [people being allowed to do] it."
   4. SoSH U at work Posted: January 29, 2014 at 12:14 AM (#4647805)
Being old school, I think that the big leagues should be tougher and, in a sense, a little bit dangerous,” said Righetti, who pitched for 15 years in the Majors. “That’s what separates you.


Sounds like Rags has already taken a few too many off the ol' noggin.

   5. Walt Davis Posted: January 29, 2014 at 02:02 AM (#4647826)
Also, the padding adds seven ounces to the heft of the traditional caps, which weigh three to four ounces.

This would seem the key point, tripling the weight of it. That would take some getting used to.
   6. madvillain Posted: January 29, 2014 at 03:38 AM (#4647840)
I will go ahead and be a troll and say righetti has a point, that fear of getting hit with a baseball at high velocity is an integral part of high level baseball and that legislating it out will slowly change the game.

Not saying it has to be one way, just that it will change the game. #### I ain't no fool the damn batter armor has already changed the game, for the worse IMO.
   7. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: January 29, 2014 at 04:11 AM (#4647842)
I will go ahead and be a troll and say righetti has a point, that fear of getting hit with a baseball at high velocity is an integral part of high level baseball and that legislating it out will slowly change the game.


You're absolutely right. Pretty soon we'll start seeing pitchers diving in front of line drives to block them with the top of their heads and the beautiful game of our youth will be defiled right in front of our eyes.
   8. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: January 29, 2014 at 09:31 AM (#4647848)
What about bubble wrap?
   9. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: January 29, 2014 at 09:33 AM (#4647849)
the damn batter armor has already changed the game, for the worse IMO.


Agreed. There is some physical risk for playing a physical sport, take away that risk and the game changes, maybe for the better, maybe not.

With that said I think some protection for pitchers makes sense and I'm glad to see it being considered and I'm glad that pitchers seem willing to accept it IF it's the right protection. As noted by Walt making it meaningfully heavier is a problem. Also whether we like it or not it DOES need to be at least a bit stylish or players aren't going to wear it.
   10. BDC Posted: January 29, 2014 at 10:25 AM (#4647868)
it DOES need to be at least a bit stylish or players aren't going to wear it

Aren't these the same pitchers who wear rope necklaces and grow soul patches? :)

An interesting discussion, though at first I wondered why the heck Tony Romo was being asked to comment.
   11. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 29, 2014 at 10:31 AM (#4647873)
I can't imagine this will change anyone's behavior; there's still a tremendous risk from a line drive to the face. This is just going to provide a little bit of extra protection, and it isn't comparable to elbow armor IMO.
   12. bunyon Posted: January 29, 2014 at 10:32 AM (#4647874)
I think there should be some risk. Or, rather, all risk should not be eliminated. I would ban armor on the arms of batters because it changes the pitcher/batter dynamic balance only to reduce the risk of a broken arm. Broken arms suck, especially if you're paying the guy millions of dollars to hit, but they heal.

Batting helmets also change the balance between pitcher and batter but I would keep them because the risk they minimize is of someone dying.

I'd do the same with the pitchers. It looks like this first effort won't work - too heavy - but they need some protection. Of course, I'd like to see some sort of eye protection as well but I have no idea how to engineer that in a way a pitcher doesn't notice.

The point is, yes, risk of injury should not be completely eliminated if it will alter the game. Risk of permanent injury and death should be. (I'd also be in favor a rule that minimizes broken bats - thicker handles, etc.).
   13. SoSH U at work Posted: January 29, 2014 at 11:42 AM (#4647936)
I will go ahead and be a troll and say righetti has a point, that fear of getting hit with a baseball at high velocity is an integral part of high level baseball and that legislating it out will slowly change the game.


You can't legislate it out of the game. Balls will continue to come off the bat (or out of the pitcher's hands) at high rates of speed, with the potential for doing serious damage. Nothing is going to change that.

You can take reasonable steps to limit the damage they do if they happen to connect with skull. This is just such a reasonable step.

Putting up a screen in front of the pitcher would alter the game. That's now what's happening here. And since it's unlikely pitchers will now be emboldened to intentionally knock down liners with the crown of their head due to this new development, it's probably a safe bet this will not change the game, slowly or otherwise, in any way other than making permanent brain damage a slightly less likely outcome.
   14. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 29, 2014 at 12:14 PM (#4647950)
It sounds like Kershaw's in favor of it.
   15. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: January 29, 2014 at 12:20 PM (#4647954)
(I'd also be in favor a rule that minimizes broken bats - thicker handles, etc.).


Didn't someone develop some kind of "bat sleeve" a few years ago that would fit over the bat and allow the bat to break but contain the pieces? That always seemed like a really good concept if it would keep the bat working within the same parameters.
   16. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: January 29, 2014 at 12:24 PM (#4647958)
Catcher's are pussies. They should man up already and play without pads. And don't get me started on facemasks. What the hell is this, little league?
   17. valuearbitrageur Posted: January 29, 2014 at 02:32 PM (#4648055)
They should focus on the bats, this cap is stupid. I can't imagine that pitchers are going to wear it because once every million pitches someone gets seriously hurt and someone gets killed once every 50M pitches or so.
   18. madvillain Posted: January 29, 2014 at 02:50 PM (#4648073)
You can't legislate it out of the game. Balls will continue to come off the bat (or out of the pitcher's hands) at high rates of speed, with the potential for doing serious damage. Nothing is going to change that.

You can take reasonable steps to limit the damage they do if they happen to connect with skull. This is just such a reasonable step.


I agree with that 100%. I also find it ludicrous that on plays where a pitcher gets hit in the head the umps don't immediately stop play, award a ground rule double, and get the damn doctors on the field ASAP.
   19. AT-AT at bat@AT&T Posted: January 30, 2014 at 06:37 PM (#4648980)
and get the damn doctors on the field ASAP.


Or maybe just one, arriving in a blue police box with the fitting music.

Top 3 NOT-to-see moments of 2014 :

1. death of pitcher via comebacker to head/heart
2. death of catcher/umpire due to broken bat piece stuck in eye socket
3. death of 3Bman due to Prince Fielder tripping and falling on the poor fella
honorable mention: death of Brian McCann, OD of batter-blockers !

All the guards for batters and that awful awful sliding glove should be banned !
Batting gloves too !
And beards !
And every single Red Sox fan !
+the KISS cam !
   20. Swedish Chef Posted: January 30, 2014 at 07:08 PM (#4649005)
It would be fun if they went for active defense instead of passive and implemented a system that would destroy the ball in a suitably spectacular way if a computer decides that its trajectory intersects the pitcher's head.
   21. AT-AT at bat@AT&T Posted: January 30, 2014 at 08:34 PM (#4649053)
Yeah, like an after-pitch invisible mini-sphere-forcefield... and then the ball deflects off of it into the air at random !

With lots of spin, in Derek Jeter's direction !

Or somewhere in the vicinity of Hunter Pence !
   22. Srul Itza Posted: January 30, 2014 at 08:52 PM (#4649056)
I can't imagine that pitchers are going to wear it because once every million pitches someone gets seriously hurt and someone gets killed once every 50M pitches or so.


The way you do this is to change the rules in the youth leagues and the minor leagues. Players will grow up with it, and it won't feel unusual.

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