There’s a new batting helmet design (pic in article) that is supposed to provide substantially greater protection from beanballs, but no one — apart from David Wright and Edgar Gonzalez, who is still suffering the effects from one to the head — seems to like it all that much:
“No, I am absolutely not wearing that,” Mets right fielder Jeff Francoeur said with a laugh after seeing a prototype, as if he were being asked to put a pumpkin on his head. “I could care less what they say, I’m not wearing it. There’s got to be a way to have a more protective helmet without all that padding. It’s brutal. We’re going to look like a bunch of clowns out there.”
No matter. Something tells me that Frenchy has less to worry about from a fastball to the head than anyone else anyway. Others:
“I want a helmet that’s comfortable,” Athletics infielder Nomar Garciaparra said, “and that doesn’t look bad.” Yankee first baseman Mark Teixeira said the new helmet would make him feel as if he were wearing a football helmet in the batter’s box. “The one I’ve used for my entire career is fine,” he said.
This is not terribly surprising. There is always a lot of resistance to this kind of thing. People didn’t even start wearing seat belts that often until the 80s for cryin’ out loud. Only David Wright seems to be making a lot of sense here:
“If it provides more protection, then I’m all for it,” said Mets third baseman David Wright, who last week dodged a Brad Thompson fastball traveling on a frightening vector for his head. “I’m not worried about style or looking good out there. I’m worried about keeping my melon protected.”
I’d draw the line at anything that compromised my visibility or the ability to turn my head the way I needed to in order to hit a pitch. Short of that, however, you could put just about anything you wanted up there as long as it kept me protected.
(thanks to Robert M. for the link)