June 3, 2010
In the past week, there have been a couple injuries that will have major impacts on the seasons of two players and their teams. RHP David Huff was hit in the head by a line drive and 1B Kendry Morales broke his ankle when he stomped on the plate after hitting a walk-off grand slam. Were they fluke injuries or avoidable mistakes? David Huff and Kendry Morales? unfortunate injuries have sparked debate over rule changes and other means to prevent such occurrences.
Some people believe that pitchers should wear helmets on the mound. I don?t think there should be a rule that forces pitchers to wear protective headwear, but I bet many pitchers would buy into the idea if a lightweight head protector was designed for pitchers. Base coaches, ball boys/girls, and even some position players wear helmets when they take the field. Sometime in the next few years, I definitely think that we?ll see a few pitchers wear helmets or other form of head protection on the field. Retired first baseman John Olerud comes to mind when I think of position players who have worn a helmet in the field.
Matt Hiserman of the University of San Francisco wears a protective shield under his cap when he takes the mound. I would too if I were him, because Matt has been hit in the head by a line drive twice!
Kendry Morales? broken ankle is an injury that can be avoided, but probably won?t be. Athletic competition is very emotional and winning must be celebrated. Game winning home runs are the epitome of a clutch performance and celebrating at home plate is a tradition that can?t be replaced. Unfortunately, injuries aren?t extremely uncommon during celebrations because players are excited and put stress on their body as they release their emotions. The day
The day after Kendry Morales? injury, Howie Kendrick hit a walk off home run. Of course, his Angel teammates gave him a little room as he crossed the plate. However, it won?t be long before the Angels celebrate like normal again because they probably realize that Kendry Morales? broken ankle was a fluke injury. Eliminating celebrations at home plate would be the equivalent of making the bases completely flat to avoid ankle injuries. Many more injuries occur because of players landing awkwardly on the bases than players landing on teammates? feet during a walk off celebration.
Neither of these injuries warrants a rule change, but they are legitimate reasons for concern. Any type of head injury is scary, especially when it is caused by a baseball traveling at over 100 miles per hour. Hopefully a sports doctor will design a head protector that pitchers will use on the field to decrease the chance of a line drive causing major damage. Kendry Morales? broken ankle might cost the Los Angeles Angels a postseason spot, but it was still a fluke injury. Special thanks to fellow Seattle ballhawk schulstad20 for giving me the idea of writing about these two recent injuries in baseball.
Max Van Hollebeke is a contributing columnist to myGameBalls.com.