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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

BAND-AID banned from pitching hand? Why not make an exception?

In the first inning of semi final game three in Toronto, Cleveland pitcher Trevor Bauer had blood dripping from the pinky of his right pitching hand. A couple of days before Bauer had foolishly cut his finger playing with his toy drone flying machine. Stitches had closed the wound but it had not heeled and in normal life it would have been protected with a substantial BAND-AID.

But apparently the Major Baseball League (MBL) does not allow that. A BAND-AID is banned on the pitching hand. Who the heck knew that? And why does that rule exist?

It doesn't even seem to make sense on the primary pitching fingers, but the pinky? Is the pinky used on anything except, possibly, an extreme change up?

Whatever it's use, Trevor Bauer apparently used his vulnerable pinky early in the very first inning. With blood obviously dripping from from his pinky for multiple pitches and the umpires doing nothing, finally Toronto manager John Gibbons came out and protested, resulting in the removal of Bauer and causing Cleveland to use its bullpen for all but two outs. Cleveland won 4-2 and leads the series 3-0.

Gibbons could have shown class by going to the umpires before the game and stating that he would not object to allowing a BAND-AID on the cut pinky of Bauer. Maybe the umpires would have insisted on following the rules and rejected such an offer but it would have been more sportsmanlike than objecting to a foreign substance (blood) on the ball.

There are precedents for such gestures. Until 1950, courtesy runners were allowed. And ad hoc incidents. Johnny Callison was allowed to wear a jacket on the bases late in 1964 because he was obviously suffering from a cold. Only pitchers were allowed a jacket. A jacket was brought to Callison at first base and the other team said nothing.

Some reasonable exception could have been made for the foolish Trevor Bauer but none was offered by Toronto or suggested even his own manager, Terry Francona. That's a pity.

Oh, and re-consider that odd rule.

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