Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Hiroki Kuroda suffered a concussion when he was hit in the head by a line drive. The 34-year-old Kuroda was not wearing a helmet. The ball blasted off Kuroda's head into the seats behind first base.
San Francisco pitcher Matt Cain hit New York Met third baseman David Wright in the head with a 94 mph fastball. The ball struck Wright in the batting helmet. Cain crouched between home and the mound while trainers worked on Wright. CT scan was negative. Wright had a concussion.
Boston pitcher Fernando Cabrera hit Texas Ranger second baseman Ian Kinsler in the head with a fastball, which bounced off Kinsler's shoulder and struck Kinsler in the batting helmet. Kinsler got up off the ground quickly and exchanged words with Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek before taking first base.
Note that two out of three wore a helmet.
I have addressed this in previous posts.
How to stop head hunting by pitchers. May 7, 2009
Everyone should wear catcher's gear. July 5, 2008
This morning on ESPN radio I actually hear Mike Greenberg say something semi-intelligent about the pitcher getting hit in the head: MAYBE the pitcher should wear a helmet. Wow! MAYBE! He even referred to kids pitching in youth leagues. It never occurred to him that players should wear catcher's gear, especially kids but this shows a smidgen of progress, which is very unusual for baseball management, fans and media.
I am ready to extend my punishment for hitting batters other than in the head. If a batter is hit flush below the head the pitcher is ejected and suspended.
First offense, one week.
Second offense, one month.
Third offense, three months.
Fourth offense, one calendar year.
See, that wasn't so difficult. Punishment is the key. Currently, the punishment 99% of the time is that the batter gets first base. Big deal.
Here is some of the traditional crap that I do not want to hear:
- it's part of the game
- pitchers need to pitch inside
- pitchers do not throw at the batter's head
- it's up to the batter to get out of the way.
What is this ancient Rome? Enough already. And, no, the balance will not tip to the batter, not until batting averages top .500.
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