Something must be done before a pitcher gets killed. Think of those words that I just typed. Death, baseball, and the World Series don’t go hand in hand.
It happened in Game Two of the World Series. Doug Fister was pitching to the San Francisco Giants, Gregor Blanco. Blanco hit a line drive up the middle. The ball came off the bat so fast that Fister had no chance to put his glove up.
At first Fox’s Tim McCarver thought that ball hit Fister’s glove. Even Joe Buck thought so since it happened so fast. After the replay it clearly showed that the ball hit Fister in the side of the head. All McCarver could say was “Oh boy. Oh man.”
Luckily, Fister escaped serious injury. He said that he didn’t see stars, didn’t have a headache or anything. However, other pitchers aren’t that lucky. Case-in-point: Brandon McCarthy, who fractured his skull when a ball hit him in the head.
I guess that Fister getting hit in the head happened at the World Series made it something that more fans witnessed. Since McCarthy plays for the Oakland Athletics most fans that don’t live and breathe baseball might not have known what happened to him.
Getting hit in the head like that in the World Series means that fans can demand that MLB does something to protect them. If fans don’t want to or don’t care, then the players union should, and pitchers should be demanding it.
MLB has to do something next year to ensure pitcher safety and for the enjoyment of fans. I think the last thing that fans want to see is a pitcher die on the mound.
For those that forget, first and third base coaches used to just wear hats. Then, in 2007, minor league first base coach Mike Coolbaugh was struck in the head and died. It was only after, that MLB required all base coaches to wear batting helmets. MLB can’t wait for a death for a change in this case.
I’m not suggesting that pitchers go out to the mound wearing a batters helmet. I think most pitchers wouldn’t want that. What about giving them some padding in their hats or using a modified helmet?
Another issue I want MLB to address is the concussion testing. After Fister got hurt the Detroit Tigers trainer ran out there to check on him. Fox had home plate umpire Dan Iassogna with a microphone. Fans got to hear the great concussion testing that the Tigers trainer did. “Where are you? What inning is it? Are you hurt? What are you doing? Ok good to go.”
What type of testing is that? With all the studies of damage that concussions do to the brain I was shocked and angry that MLB let that type of “testing” take place. In the offseason, MLB has to do what the NFL and NHL has done: establish concrete concussion testing instead of just simple questions.
I don’t want to see a player get hurt and die in my favorite game. For fans and players, MLB must do something fast. It would be a tragedy if a played died or was seriously hurt, especially when it is something that could have been avoided.
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