Fat Headed

In case you haven't heard, Rawlings has introduced a new batting helmet, the S100, that can withstand a 100 mph impact from a baseball. It will be available to MLB players shortly (and mandatory for MiLB players next year), and is slightly larger than the current models, with a kind of lacrosse-helmet look to it. There's already been some blowback from players who think it makes them look dorky. (Mark Teixeira passed.) Let me suggest that MLB and the MLBPA should make the new helmets mandatory, and if they don't, each team should do so for all players they have under contract. A player KIA from a beanball—and it's only a matter of time before it happens again—would be both tragic and a disaster for the sport. From a purely mercenary point of view, I'd certainly want my $180 million new first baseman protected to the max. David Wright, of the Mets, is already out for the season after a beaning. As a parent, you want the pros setting the best possible example. Sometimes, in design, function trumps aesthetics. This is one of those times. 

4 comments… add one

  • They are grown men,

    lardin August 31, 2009, 2:02 pm
  • those new helmets weigh allot more than the old ones. I wonder if it’ll slow baserunners down from a weight, balance and aerodymamic standpoint :)

    dw (sf) August 31, 2009, 2:39 pm
  • It’s not about aesthetics, it can affect performance. As a batter, you need to be comfortable and very minor things even a change in socks or batting gloves can throw off your equilibrium at the plate and make you less successful and less confident. I don’t blame anyone for not wanting to wear a new helmet that is significantly heavier then the current one. Until they can design a helmet that provides more protection at the same comfort level, then they shouldn’t enforce it upon anyone.

    Albert August 31, 2009, 4:29 pm
  • I’d have a hard time believing that any adjustment period with wearing a slightly bukier helmet couldn’t be overcome in the two-month spring training period, never mind the three months between October and February.
    As for baserunning, you can always pull the Manny Ramirez flip-and-kick!

    Paul SF August 31, 2009, 5:19 pm

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