A baseball cap padded with Kevlar — padded with anything — would not have prevented left-hander Aroldis Chapman from sustaining fractures to his face after he was struck with a line drive Wednesday night.
Pena: Chapman wants to make sure everyone knows he's appreciates the prayers. #reds— John Fay (@johnfayman) March 20, 2014
The ball off Salvador Perez's bat, traveling an estimated 110 mph, struck Chapman below the bill, flush in the face. If Chapman had pitched wearing a helmet with a mask — like kids do in Little League — his injuries would have been much less severe. So ask yourself: Should major leaguers pitch with helmets and masks? How about a motorcycle helmet, something with a nice big visor? Made to look like the "Predator" guy. Stylish and baaaadddd.
Even if the answer were, "Yes, they should," now you need to ask: Would they?
They would not. Pitchers won't even wear the padded caps, which are available now. Brandon McCarthy, struck very much like Chapman in 2012, won't. That might change in the future but, again, a padded cap would not have helped either of them.
Though he is low on suggestions, reporter Jon Morosi of Fox Sports is among the camp that MLB "must do something" to make things safer. Jon is a good and decent man. So let's brainstorm here. What can we do?
• Move the mound back 10 feet. You want to move the mound back 10 feet? Didn't think so.
• Deaden the ball. The home run leader will be more like Frank Baker than Babe Ruth.
• Ask pitchers to throw no harder than 80 mph so the return speed can't get to a ridiculously dangerous 110 mph. They surely would oblige.
• Allow no one to hit back through the middle anymore. Make it a 50-game suspension for the first offense, 100 for the second, lifetime ban for the third.
• Put a net in front of the mound, like they do during batting practice. But no bunting, OK?
• Have someone invent an invisible force field that covers the head right after the pitch. Sounds like fantasy today, but mad scientists are always inventing stuff like this. Nanobots. Nanobots will save us.
• On this note, what about a hologram ball that isn't real, but a projection that can't hurt anyone — like on Star Trek?
These are our choices. And the motorcycle helmet. We have the technology. For that.
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:
- - - - - - -