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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Padres Reliever Alex Torres Is First To Wear Padded Cap On MLB Mound

Always figured the Slip Mahoney look would make a comeback.

Padres reliever Alex Torres became the first MLB pitcher to wear a protective cap during last night’s game against the Dodgers. The hat was very noticeable.

The padded caps have been available to pitchers all season, but no one had actually worn one until Torres. Yes, it’s a big, unaesthetic hat, but its purpose is to reduce the harm of line drives to the head, not make pitchers look cool.

 

 

Repoz Posted: June 22, 2014 at 05:14 PM | 48 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: padres

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   1. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 22, 2014 at 05:39 PM (#4732859)
They couldn't come up with something that looks a little less stupid than that? Really?
   2. Transmission Posted: June 22, 2014 at 06:05 PM (#4732885)
Remember what the first catchers' masks looked like. Design and functionality will both improve with time and demand. Good for Torres.
   3. crict Posted: June 22, 2014 at 06:51 PM (#4732952)
They made fun of Jacques Plante too. Good for Torres.
   4. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 22, 2014 at 07:20 PM (#4732990)
Don't get me wrong - I'm glad that he's doing it. I just wish MLB were making it a little easier for him to not be mocked. Even a straight-up goalie's mask would be better than something that looks like it came out of Gallagher's prop closet.
   5. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 22, 2014 at 08:10 PM (#4733129)
I was watching but didn't have sound and trying to figure out what that was. As others have said good for him. No it's not perfect and won't stop everything but it's a positive step that should have no impact on how the game is played.
   6. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 22, 2014 at 08:14 PM (#4733133)
There's already an improved design.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: June 22, 2014 at 09:18 PM (#4733176)
Dork
   8. McCoy Posted: June 22, 2014 at 09:31 PM (#4733185)
I thought the headline read "padded cup"
   9. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: June 22, 2014 at 09:58 PM (#4733196)
In addition to the design noted in #6, there is also this design already in existence, which is also better.
   10. bobm Posted: June 22, 2014 at 10:13 PM (#4733203)
This is the cap's inventor.
   11. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: June 22, 2014 at 10:46 PM (#4733219)
I'm pretty sure I'd rather just wear a batting helmet.
   12. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: June 22, 2014 at 11:31 PM (#4733241)
eh, it's like the first time you sleep with someone you didn't really think is all that good looking.
The next day you realise she's better looking then you remembered the night before AND there are added benefits.

yeah, yeah, I know it's crass, it's all I've got after staying up all night watching the world cup....
   13. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: June 23, 2014 at 12:01 AM (#4733259)
I'm wth McCoy. Thought it said padded cup. The hat looks weird, but it won't in 5 years.
   14. CrosbyBird Posted: June 23, 2014 at 12:23 AM (#4733267)
I'm pretty sure I'd rather just wear a batting helmet.

Didn't Rickey used to play with a guy that wore a batting helmet on the bases?
   15. PreservedFish Posted: June 23, 2014 at 12:45 AM (#4733269)
Newer model which offers superior coverage.
   16. snowles Posted: June 23, 2014 at 01:42 AM (#4733277)
If you just looked at the photo of the video screenshot, it looks like a really bad Photoshop. But there it is, like someone stuffed half a bulletproof vest into a hat made to fit Andre the Giant. Good for him for being progressive enough to try it out.

I used to have an old 486 laptop whose battery would probably break your lap if you tried to rest it there and chugged along Windows 3.1; now I have a phone with a quad core processor in it. In time an improved helmet won't even be noticeable.
   17. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 23, 2014 at 02:00 AM (#4733279)
#16 shows us the proper way to start protecting players.
   18. Shibal Posted: June 23, 2014 at 02:54 AM (#4733286)
I wonder if he wears a helmet while driving as well.
   19. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: June 23, 2014 at 07:23 AM (#4733299)
As #16 notes, technology eventually addresses most concerns along these lines - but the answer is sometimes already in existence, and simply needs to be retrofitted for updated purposes. Like this, for example.
   20. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: June 23, 2014 at 08:35 AM (#4733324)
The hat is what it is I guess, but how many injuries will it actually prevent? It seems like when pitchers get hit with batted balls the ball hits them in the eye or temple area, not any place covered by a hat.
   21. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 23, 2014 at 08:45 AM (#4733334)
eh, it's like the first time you sleep with someone you didn't really think is all that good looking.
The next day you realise she's better looking then you remembered the night before AND there are added benefits.

yeah, yeah, I know it's crass, it's all I've got after staying up all night watching the world cup....


Ummmm, that's the reverse of the way it usually is said to happen.
   22. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 23, 2014 at 08:55 AM (#4733343)
We had a guy take a line drive off his eye socket in softball this year. Bled out for 15 minutes while EMT made their way to the field. We called the game because there was no way I was pitching after they moved him and failed to mop up the blood. That night I ordered a couple of those face shield masks you see the girls wear in college softball. Took some ribbing from a few of the regular guys about it, but by the end of the year a couple of the other teams' pitchers were asking where I got them. You feel bulletproof until you see what a 100+ MPH projectile does to a face up close and personal. My only problem with this hat, aside from the early adopter fashion statement, is that it doesn't have the rather simple face protection included. A wireframe around the face wouldn't change a thing about delivering a baseball to the plate.
   23. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 23, 2014 at 09:03 AM (#4733347)
A wireframe around the face wouldn't change a thing about delivering a baseball to the plate.

I would think the weight starts to be an issue for an MLB windup. It probably affects your balance for a long time, until you get used to it. But, MLB pitchers can't afford to suck for a season getting used to it.
   24. Random Transaction Generator Posted: June 23, 2014 at 09:05 AM (#4733350)
I wonder if he wears a helmet while driving as well.


No, but he probably wears a seatbelt.
   25. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: June 23, 2014 at 09:14 AM (#4733357)
We had a guy take a line drive off his eye socket in softball this year. Bled out for 15 minutes while EMT made their way to the field. We called the game because there was no way I was pitching after they moved him and failed to mop up the blood. That night I ordered a couple of those face shield masks you see the girls wear in college softball. Took some ribbing from a few of the regular guys about it, but by the end of the year a couple of the other teams' pitchers were asking where I got them. You feel bulletproof until you see what a 100+ MPH projectile does to a face up close and personal. My only problem with this hat, aside from the early adopter fashion statement, is that it doesn't have the rather simple face protection included. A wireframe around the face wouldn't change a thing about delivering a baseball to the plate.


Played softball against a pitcher that wore one of the wire frame face masks. Pretty transient league, so someone new would always ask about the mask or snicker or something when they first saw him. Everyone who had played a season or two never questioned the mask, and there were more than a few guys who would flatly refuse to pitch for fear of getting hit.
   26. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 23, 2014 at 09:16 AM (#4733358)
I would think the weight starts to be an issue for an MLB windup. It probably affects your balance for a long time, until you get used to it. But, MLB pitchers can't afford to suck for a season getting used to it.


Maybe. Lots more moving parts in MLB windups, certainly. But the entire mask I have weighs all of 9 oz, and it's hardly the most advanced polymer construction. I'm sure MLB could lighten that up a little. It doesn't cover the head, just the face. In softball that's okay, because your follow-through doesn't generally leave you sideways to the batted ball's path. Baseball deliveries often do, so you need some head protection as well.
   27. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 23, 2014 at 09:18 AM (#4733360)
We had a guy take a line drive off his eye socket in softball this year. Bled out for 15 minutes while EMT made their way to the field. We called the game because there was no way I was pitching after they moved him and failed to mop up the blood.


I had a teammate who got hit in the mouth by a pitch. The coaches made us keep playing, after a fifteen-minute break to look for his teeth and scatter some dirt on top of the blood pool.

I can't say that my head was really in the game for the rest of the day.
   28. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 23, 2014 at 09:20 AM (#4733362)
Played softball against a pitcher that wore one of the wire frame face masks. Pretty transient league, so someone new would always ask about the mask or snicker or something when they first saw him. Everyone who had played a season or two never questioned the mask, and there were more than a few guys who would flatly refuse to pitch for fear of getting hit.


Yeah. We have a lot of regulars in our league, and most of them come out early before their games in case they can pick up and sub for other teams if needed. Everyone who was there for the game where our guy got hit either 1) wants a mask or 2) refuses to pitch going forward. It took some internal monologue for me to get back out there, personally.
   29. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 23, 2014 at 09:26 AM (#4733366)
We had a guy take a line drive off his eye socket in softball this year. Bled out for 15 minutes while EMT made their way to the field.

What type of ball were you using that could cause that much damage?
   30. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: June 23, 2014 at 09:30 AM (#4733369)
I'm amazed that more slow pitch softball pitchers haven't been killed. They're only 50 feet away from batters who can hit screaming line drives with ease. I once took a line drive to the stomach that was only 3-4 inches from doing serious, serious damage. I could see an imprint of the stitching on my skin for several days.
   31. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 23, 2014 at 09:37 AM (#4733372)
I'm amazed that more slow pitch softball pitchers haven't been killed.

I would think that the ball has a lot to do with it. It probably lacks the density to cause a fatal blow, unless you're really unlucky. Face injuries are gruesome, but unlikely to be fatal.

How many baseball pitchers have died from line drives? Not that many, I think. And a baseball at 60 ft has to be more lethal than a softball at 45.
   32. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: June 23, 2014 at 09:46 AM (#4733377)
True, but it's SO easy to hit the ball extremely hard in softball.
   33. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 23, 2014 at 09:50 AM (#4733382)
True, but it's SO easy to hit the ball extremely hard in softball.

Does it really come off the bat faster than in baseball? I'd doubt it, since the hitter has to supply all his own velocity.
   34. Random Transaction Generator Posted: June 23, 2014 at 10:17 AM (#4733407)
I got hit in the throat while pitching softball. Thankfully, it wasn't one of the stronger hitters, and only left a perfect red circle on my throat. I couldn't swallow for a few seconds, but my breathing was unaffected. I know I got lucky.
   35. Random Transaction Generator Posted: June 23, 2014 at 10:21 AM (#4733410)
I wouldn't be terribly surprised if in the next 10 years pitchers end up having a batting-helmet-type headgear, with a detachable face guard (clear? grill?) for those that want it.
I also wouldn't be surprised if batters end up having the same sort of gear (but that covers the jaw/side of the head and leaves a space for the eyes).

With the money being invested in the players, and insurance companies being proactive about insuring the players, there is going to be some pressure on MLB to upgrade the safety.
   36. Shibal Posted: June 23, 2014 at 10:32 AM (#4733415)
When I pitched softball, it was very bad form to hit it back up the middle. There were a couple of guys who we tossed off the team because the other team's pitcher would have to routinely dance out of the way of line drives up the middle.

Those guys were always the first ones to hollar "middle's open" after a hitter rolled a four-hopper back to me after getting jammed by a 20 mph pitch.
   37. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 23, 2014 at 11:14 AM (#4733458)
Wow. My first thought upon seeing the still from the video was "ha ha, that's a funny photoshop job." But no, the hat really looks like that. My second thought, after watching the video, was "what kind of message does it send to a deity if, after crossing yourself about a dozen times before taking the mound, you still put on the huge puffy hat?"
   38. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 23, 2014 at 11:23 AM (#4733462)
When I pitched softball, it was very bad form to hit it back up the middle.

That's a good point. Anyone in softball can pull the ball. And most of the really hard hitters are pulling/upper-cutting for HRs on every swing.
   39. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 23, 2014 at 11:28 AM (#4733468)
What type of ball were you using that could cause that much damage?


Core .44 men's league standard. It's a coed league, but the ladies in the league are mostly former fastpitch players so we play with tightly wound men's league balls. ASA stamped.
   40. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 23, 2014 at 11:33 AM (#4733472)
When I pitched softball, it was very bad form to hit it back up the middle. There were a couple of guys who we tossed off the team because the other team's pitcher would have to routinely dance out of the way of line drives up the middle.


After the incident this year we've started enforcing that rule a lot more strictly. If the ball comes back up the middle the umpire has the discretion to call him or her out if he feels it's too close to the pitcher. If the pitcher can get glove on a liner, the batter is generally out. If it's a grounder, you have to make a play. And a lot of our league pitchers have started changing their deliveries to utilize the walkup space behind the rubber more.

The guy that hit the ball that did the damage was a former college baseball player. The ball was a backspin liner that would have one-hopped or cleared the fence had the pitcher's face not been there. I got a terribly good view of it from 2B.
   41. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 23, 2014 at 11:35 AM (#4733474)
Core .44 men's league standard. It's a coed league, but the ladies in the league are mostly former fastpitch players so we play with tightly wound men's league balls. ASA stamped.

Fast pitch or slow? I played in a modified fast-pitch league (no wind-mill wind-up) in my 20's, that had a lot of former college pitchers. That was a lot more fun than slow pitch.
   42. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 23, 2014 at 11:41 AM (#4733482)
Slow pitch. We're all too old for fast pitch anything these days. Though it would be fun to try!
   43. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: June 23, 2014 at 11:57 AM (#4733496)
I pitched slow pitch softball with a group of 20-something's for a few years, and I would say that the biggest difference in safety between baseball and softball (as a pitcher) is that a good slow-pitch softball pitcher:

1) can control the spin and location of a pitch enough to make it tough for a good hitter to get a good shot at hitting it up the middle, and
2) you pitch in a way that allows you to act as an extra infielder upon releasing the pitch.

Our teams had me pitch because I was a lefty who throw pitches with no spin (forcing the hitters to supply all the power, which increased the number of harmless fly balls to left field). In softball, the goal on defense is to minimize hard ground balls, home runs, and well-struck line drives. High fly balls that are pulled to medium-depth left field are optimal, as long as you put your best athlete in LF.

You put your second-best athlete at pitcher, and have him throw high-arching spinless pitches, then upon release, shuffle back to the center of the diamond, and get in the position of an infielder. On plays to the plate, you have the pitcher cover home, and act as the catcher, because you put a lesser athlete as the catcher.

In thousands of pitches, I only got hit once, a hot one/hopper that took a bad bounce, and hit me in the wrist above the glove - thought I broke my wrist. Too many teams put their lesser athletes at pitcher, and when I have seen that done, THOSE are the pitchers that get nailed by line drives. It is scary when it happens..
   44. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: June 23, 2014 at 12:02 PM (#4733502)
We had a guy take a line drive off his eye socket in softball this year. Bled out for 15 minutes while EMT made their way to the field.

What type of ball were you using that could cause that much damage?


Minié.
   45. depletion Posted: June 23, 2014 at 01:41 PM (#4733618)
This is a good discussion of softball safety. Rickey!, hope your friend is recovering well. My daughter plays in a fast pitch league and she just started pitching. No 220 lb former college players in her league, but she wears a mask nonetheless.
   46. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 23, 2014 at 01:52 PM (#4733634)
No 220 lb former college players in her league, but she wears a mask nonetheless.


I have a couple of friends who have daughters who play competitively on travelling clubs, who hope to get playing time at SEC softball powerhouses in the not too distant future. Those leagues require the pitchers to wear masks, and most of the 3B and SS wear them too.
   47. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: June 23, 2014 at 03:38 PM (#4733763)
#16 shows us the proper way to start protecting players.


Or what's going to happen when Moneyball takes over.
   48. Swoboda is freedom Posted: June 23, 2014 at 04:56 PM (#4733898)
They made fun of Jacques Plante too. Good for Torres.

They all laughed at Christopher Columbus
When he said, "The world was round"
They all laughed when Edison recorded sound
They all laughed at Wilbur and his brother
When they said that man could fly

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