Friday, December 20, 2013

Pitchers' helmets might be optional in MLB by 2014

Could we see pitchers wear protective head gear in Major League Baseball as early as next summer?

Speaking to Fox Sports Wednesday, Arizona Diamondbacks hurler Brandon McCarthy said the league is moving towards legislation that would allow non-mandatory head gear.

"They're coming," McCarthy said. "From everything I know (the head gear will) be available this year. I don't believe they're going to be mandatory. Actually, I'm almost certain they won't be mandatory."

A spokesperson for Major League Baseball told the TV station that "one product that has passed the testing standards should be available to players for next season."

The league is in talks with the players' association about the optional piece of equipment, while continuing to evaluate several products, the spokesperson added.

McCarthy is particularly interested in the matter because he took a line drive to the head in 2012 when he was pitching for the Oakland Athletics. He suffered a skull fracture.

As for the potential look of the head gear, McCarthy didn't exactly give a rave review. "It looks ridiculous and we get so used to the way things look," he said.

It may look ridiculous but maybe it can reduce the danger of having an incident like Toronto Blue jays pitcher J.A. Happ had last season when he was hit in the head by a line drive.

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