The Great Gazoo and Happy Hour

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OK, so there it is. That’s what the new super-sized batting helmet debuted tonight in Denver by David Wright evokes: Fred Flintstone’s little green prehistoric Shark-Jumping visitor from outer space.

That, or the old cliche about the life-of-the-party guy, who winds up wearing a lampshade.
Wright, who looks pretty young as it is (he’s not yet 27), probably looks five years younger with the oversized, 100-MPH resistant plastic chapeau. Hard to say if this is going to make it more appealing to players or less so, but early on there does seem to be one practical issue. Wright tried to steal second in the third inning tonight and went-in headfirst; the new helmet seemed to exhibit a different center-of-gravity and flew off Wright’s head and scuttled in front of him. It is conceivable that a player sliding in that way might actually collide with his own helmet – and I can’t remember ever seeing that happen with the standard helmet.
Then again, why is a guy just back from a beaning and a concussion sliding headfirst?

Jeff Francoeur has vowed never to wear the new helmet, for aesthetic reasons, and of course he will not be made to, as the revised version will only be mandatory in the minors. It is interesting to note that in the gradual advance of helmet use, only one attempt was ever beaten back. The Pirates tried to entirely replace caps with helmets – at bat, in the field, on the bench – in the ’50s. By 1957 they were back to a mix of plastic and fabric.
All this again begs the question: batters must wear them, now coaches must wear them – why not umpires, and given that line drives to their heads travel a shorter distance at a higher speed even than batters, why not pitchers?
WHITE SOX FIRE SALE FOLLOW-UP:

I am reliably informed that the message Chicago GM Kenny Williams sent to the other 29 general managers Sunday night and Monday morning not only invited them to bid on any of five to ten veterans (two of whom Williams actually moved), but urged them to contact him quickly because, and this is a loose quotation, “I intend to be the first guy at Happy Hour this evening.”

5 Comments

To the schizophrenic troll: The O’Loofah Factor’s ratings are lower than those of “Wizards Of Waverly Place: The Movie” (4.5 million). Hey, Faux News, how’s it feel to be beaten by a 16-year-old reading from a bad script?

ON TOPIC: Loved the addition of the images in this blog post! Joking aside, I think it’s insane that anyone who’s recently had a concussion should be back in the game this soon. And what’s the point of a helmet that falls off so easily? If it’s that heavy, it should have a chin strap like a football helmet….

If that helmet keeps players from getting bad concussions, then it’s worth the price of looking a little silly.

I’m sure when the NHL Goalies started wearing their new futuristic looking face masks some laughed at them too, but they do a great job of protecting their faces.

I need to correct my facts…”Wizards Of Waverly Place: The Movie” actually had 11.4 million viewers. Wow, Faux News REALLY got pounded by that 16-year-old with the bad script!

slfriend79: I think you might have missed the punch line of the jokes about the helmet. It’s the fact that, as big and clunky as the helmet is, the thing FELL OFF at a critical moment, exposing a player to further potential injury. At least the goalies’ masks stay in place and do their job. :-)

And, come to think of it, why IS a guy sliding in headfirst, when he’s just had a concussion…?

We have an old guy on our softball team, a pitcher named Rich, who is 71 but still plays. He got hit in the head a couple of years ago so he started wearing a green oversize batting helmet when he hits…we’ve called him Gazoo ever since.

Hard to say if this is going to make it more appealing to players or less so, but early on there does seem to be one practical issue. Wright tried to steal second in the third inning tonight and went-in headfirst; the new helmet seemed to exhibit a different center-of-gravity and flew off Wright’s head and scuttled in front of him. It is conceivable that a player sliding in that way might actually collide with his own helmet – and I can’t remember ever seeing that happen with the standard helmet. Wheat Flour Mill

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