A bottom of the 9th RBI single from Daniel Murphy scoring Jeff Francoeur gave the Mets a 3-2 win over the Giants earlier today, a victory achieved without the assistance of 3B David Wright (above), who was placed on the 15 game disabled list before the game. Wright, beaned by Matt Cain during Saturday’s matinee loss, is still experiencing Ryan Church-like concussion symptoms and might miss the remainder of the Mets’ disasterous 2009 campaign. Weirdly enough, the subject of cranial safety (and Wright’s opinions on such) were raised just 4 days ago by the New York Times’ David Waldstein in a discussion concerning the Rawlings S100 batting helmet, so dubbed as it can allegedly withstand the impact of a ball fired at 100 m.p.h. Any chance Waldstein might want to write an article about advancements in hamstring recovery? (Times link courtesy Gaslamp Ball)
As helpful as the new helmet may be, there is resistance to it from some major league players who are not prepared to sacrifice comfort and style for added protection. Gonzalez is not among them. œAfter this happened to me, I would wear anything, he said. œI don™t care how goofy it is, as long as it could help protect me.
Gonzalez and others who choose to wear the new model could become pioneers like Ron Santo, one of the first to wear a batting helmet with an earflap, or Jacques Plante, the first hockey goalie to wear a face mask on a regular basis.
Major league players are a fearless and traditional bunch, and for many any kind of change, even for the sake of safety, is anathema.
œNo, I am absolutely not wearing that, Mets right fielder Jeff Francoeur said with a laugh after seeing a prototype, as if he were being asked to put a pumpkin on his head. œI could care less what they say, I™m not wearing it. There™s got to be a way to have a more protective helmet without all that padding. It™s brutal. We™re going to look like a bunch of clowns out there.
œIf it provides more protection, then I™m all for it, said Mets third baseman David Wright, who last week dodged a Brad Thompson fastball traveling on a frightening vector toward his head. œI™m not worried about style or looking good out there. I™m worried about keeping my melon protected.
With that melon’s safety in mind, Metsradamus — aside from wondering why Johan Santana chose to throw at Pablo Sandoval rather than hat-tipper Cain yesterday — is quick to remind that “pitchers have been throwing inside on Wright all season long…it’s good strategy.” Particularly if the Mets pitching staff is loathe to do the same.
I’m not talking about beaning, I’m just talking about commanding the inside part of the plate, which teams have done on Wright. He’s the one hitter worth the effort to make uncomfortable, so why shouldn’t they do it? Especially when the one time Wright is thrown at and not merely brushed back (Brad Thompson), he doesn’t do anything. I don’t believe that Cain tried to hit Wright in the head. But he did have intent to come inside and the pitch got away. I have to wonder if the Mets were a team that at least tried to command the inside of the plate more in the past weeks months years, would Matt Cain have been so quick to come inside? Would the other pitchers in the league come in on Wright as much as they have? Maybe the answer is still yes, since Wright has absolutely no protection in the lineup, but I’m not 100% sure about that.
I’ll go as far as to say this: If Wright had charged Thompson two weeks ago for throwing at his head, does Saturday’s incident happen?