Yankees' Rotation Not Ready To Embrace "Bulky" Protective Pitching Cap
Yankees P Hiroki Kuroda and other members of the team's rotation said that MLB's new protective cap "isn't yet something they're interested in trying," according to Erik Boland of NEWSDAY. Their reasons "are both aesthetic and practical," as the cap "is cumbersome." Kuroda said, "I personally feel that if they come up with a better hat, not as heavy ... like make it light and make it similar to a regular hat, that would be the ideal situation." The cap was shown around the clubhouse during Spring Training, and P Adam Warren said, "The conclusion we came to was it was just really bulky. I feel like there's enough obstacles out there pitching." Meanwhile, P David Phelps "applauds the initial effort," but said that the prototype "needs work." Phelps: "Something that size can throw [pitchers] off the slightest bit ... it's not for me yet" (NEWSDAY, 6/25). Padres P Alex Torres, who was the first player to don the cap in a game, said he knew he would receive some "gentle joshing" about the size and look of it. But Torres noted he was a teammate last year of Rays P Alex Cobb, who was hit in the head with a line drive, and said he is "going to be playing this game" for many years. ABC's John Donovan said, "Does it look odd? Sure, but they said the same thing when batting helmets became mandatory in 1956" ("World News," ABC, 6/23). SPORTS ON EARTH's Jonathan Bernhardt wrote there is a "legitimate question ... of whether baseball caps can ever be truly safe regardless of how many plates of armor are stuck inside of them." As "welcome as safer caps are, no mere up-armoring is ever going to make them adequate protective gear for defending from comebackers to the head." Only a "full-head helmet can offer that sort of protection" (SPORTSONEARTH.com, 6/23).