The Craig Fahle Show

Should There Be More Rigorous Safety Standards for Pitchers?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Photo courtesy: Garrett Schilling

A high school baseball player from Bishop Foley recently took a line-drive to the face, requiring extensive reconstructive surgery. He says risk of injury is the nature of the game, and he can't imagine wearing protective headgear in the future.

Should baseball evolve to include more safety equipment – specifically for pitchers who are in the line of fire? Will baseball go the way of hockey and institute a helmet rule for players on the field?

"At younger levels of baseball you may see [a helmet rule] mandated,"

says Detroit Free Press columnist Drew Sharp. But, he says, pitchers require a lot of focus to deliver a single successful pitch, and a helmet or other protective gear may distract from that process.

The risks of injury athletes face are no secret. Last year a group of former players took a settlement with the National Football League over a lawsuit regarding brain injury from repeated concussions among many players. The NFL came under scrutiny for how much it was -- or wasn't -- doing to protect players and improve safety standards.

But Sharp says Major League Baseball doesn't appear to be guilty of negligence in safety.

"In baseball, to their credit, they are looking into this," says Sharp. "I have a hard time thinking MLB faces the same issues from a legal standpoint [that the NFL faced.]"

Lead-in photo courtesy: Peter Williams, Flickr