After taking a fastball to the face on Monday evening, Kansas City Royals second baseman Omar Infante dropped to the ground and immediately covered the point of impact with his hands. This was yet another scary moment in MLB. In the past few weeks, baseball has been given a bad reputation for lacking player safety, and this didn’t do much to change that.
The veteran infielder is one of the most well-respected guys in the league and a fan favorite wherever he ends up. Seeing a fastball come up and in from Heath Bell and clock him in the jaw had to be heartbreaking to see from fans around the league.
If you haven’t seen the video, here it is:
As you can see, the ball hit Omar right in the jaw and he reached for his face instantly. While Tampa Bay‘s Bell didn’t intentionally hit Infante, this brings up a glaring issue with baseball today: player safety is lacking.
Sure, Infante came away with no concussion and just a few stitches along with a sprained jaw, but this isn’t the first incident.
A few weeks ago, Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman was hit in the head by a line drive in a spring training game, forcing him to leave the game, forcing the game to be cancelled and forcing the closer to get a metal plate inserted in his head — along with staples.
So what is MLB going to do about the constant facial injuries?
That remains to be seen, but something needs to be done as soon as possible. If players are continually getting hit in the head and face with line drives and pitches, it’s time to step up the safety game.
Whether it’s getting players to start wearing specially-made masks — especially pitchers — or molding the helmet to prevent getting hit by a pitch — already seen worn by some batters.
Step up your game, MLB. We don’t want to see your player safety scrutinized like the NFL‘s.
Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.