Friday, November 9, 2007

Baseball's winter meetings

The baseball winter meetings are taking place in Orlando, Florida. (Why anyone would willingly go to Orlando is beyond me. I lived there for about a year and a half and can recall no redeeming values that would make me want to go back, other than our adopted mother, or the chance to drive to the Space Coast.) So far, the most newsworthy thing to happen, is Major League baseball's decision to require base coaches to wear some kind of head protection(yet to be determined), prompted by the death of Tulsa Drillers first base coach Mike Coolbaugh, who was struck by a line drive in a game last season. Interesting concept for sure. In fact, players at the high school and American Legion level, have been required to wear batting helmets with ear flaps for years while coaching bases. It won't be a difficult adjustment. My question is this: Coolbaugh's death was caused by a burst artery in his neck, something no helmet would have prevented. While the idea of extra protection is a good one, it still strikes me as MLB treating a symptom and not the direct cause(Of an injury/fatality). Despite what MLB wants you to believe, they still do not have any kind of a grip on performance enhancing drugs, unsportsmanlike conduct by players/managers/coaches, so while making what appears to be a "good" decision, MLB is simply going for a "feel good," headline-grabbing "Look what we did" decision.

Sheesh. What next? Hockey-style helmets for fielders and base umpires? Fix the GAME first, starting with why it takes so darn long to play a game, plus doing something, ie: scheduling actual in-season doubleheaders, so we don't ever have to worry about a World Series game being played in November, before telling us how forward-thinking they are, by making base coaches wear helmets. Then maybe people will believe MLB is truly trying to improve itself.


Anonymous said...

John, it would make MORE sense if MLB required base coaches to "wear a glove". The helmet (if they could find one BIG enough) wouldn't have helped Tommy LaSorda...

Like hockey, baseballs "fly" hard and at unexpected angles. Pay attention when the ball is in play!


John Meissner said...

What does Tommy Lasorda(Small s) have to do with this story? And no, it wouldn't make more sense for base coaches to wear gloves. Their job is to tell runners to turn left or stop, plus get out of the way, not catch a ball(in self defense or not) when it comes their way.

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