Sport MLB Must Act Before Beanballs Hurt Players and the Game
Four reasons why Dodgers have been one of MLB's worst teams for the last three weeks
The Dodgers have lost 13 of their last 17 games -- their worst stretch since 2017"Obviously, we haven't won a whole lot of baseball games in the last couple of weeks," manager Dave Roberts told reporters, including MLB.com's Juan Toribio, following Wednesday's game. "We've got to play clean baseball, clean defense, and continue to grind at-bats. So I think that, obviously, we're better than what we've shown, and we got to get back to doing the little things and playing good baseball.
Kevin Pillar's hit-by-pitch in the face is the latest warning sign that MLB must address its growing HBP epidemic.
Anotherstole the show on Monday Night Baseball.
With the bases loaded in the seventh inning of a 1–0 game between the Mets and Braves, Kevin Pillar was hit in the face with a 94 mph fastball thrown by Braves reliever Jacob Webb. Blood immediately started gushing from Pillar’s nose as he helplessly crawled around the batter’s box and waited for medical help. The ensuing gore had to be powdered over and mixed into the dirt by the grounds crew before play could resume. The delay also felt necessary from an emotional standpoint. Every player appeared to be shaken up to some degree, and it sucked the life out of the broadcast.
NHL's COVID protocol-related absences for May 8, 2021
Players in the protocol are: Colorado's Devan Dubnyk and Washington's Evgeny Kuznetsov.Calgary – TBA
A bloodied Pillar—who underwent a CT scan at a hospital Monday night—was able to walk off the field fairly quickly despite the bleakness of the situation. He also later tweeted an encouraging update, saying he was “doing fine” and proudly noting he was credited with the game-winning RBI in New York’s 3–1 win, strengthening his tough guy credentials. The Metsthat Pillar "suffered multiple nasal fractures. He will be meeting with a facial specialist in Atlanta to determine next steps."
Obviously, these things happen in baseball, but players have been getting beaned far too often—at a historic pace, in fact. This season has averaged nearly one hit batsmen per game,, as the four seasons with the most hit-by-pitches since 1901 are this year (0.92 batters per game), last year (0.92), the year before that (0.84) and the year before that (0.80).
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This isn’t even the first time Pillar has been struck in the face with a pitch in his career. He was alsoby San Diego’s Dinelson Lamet in 2019, though he was able to play on because it struck his shoulder first to take the brunt of the force away.
Back then, Pillar said, “For me, the biggest challenge was being able to step back in the box against the same guy. I was able to do that and stay in there and I didn’t feel like it affected me at all. As scary as it is, it’s something that happens very infrequently in the game.”
Late last month,with a 96.9 mph sinker thrown by Cardinals reliever Génesis Cabrera. It was scary for all. Cabrera was rattled, and he proceeded to plunk Didi Gregorius with his next pitch. Like Pillar, Harper was fine. The Phillies right fielder did miss time with a wrist injury, which was hit after the pitch ricocheted off his face, but he avoided serious problems.
NHL's COVID protocol-related absences for May 21, 2021
Players in the protocol today are: St. Louis' David Perron and Nathan Walker.Pittsburgh – TBA
Giancarlo Stanton, then with the Marlins, missed the final weeks of the 2014 season whenwith an 88-mph Mike Fiers fastball in a game against the Brewers in Milwaukee. The grounds crew needed to clear up all the blood in the batter's box after Stanton was placed on a stretcher and taken off the field in an ambulance. Stanton suffered a facial laceration, dental damage and multiple facial fractures, including to his orbital bone. As serious as his injuries were, things could've been a lot worse.
"I was really fortunate,". "I could have my mouth wired shut now. I could have a plate in my face. I could have a lot of things. I'll take a few missing teeth over all of that.
"You hear about people losing their eye, or you lose vision," he said. "My jaw can be broken. I can lose as many teeth. As long as I'm able to see, that's the big career thing."
Stanton also wasn't sure how he'd react when he returned after such a traumatic experience. As he recovered that offseason, Stantonto get comfortable again staying in the box. Since then, he wears a face guard attached to his helmet, and he's said having the extra protection is reassuring.
Kevin Kiermaier forced to leave game due to eyelash issue
Kiermaier said things were slightly better Sunday, but he still felt discomfort. He did not play due to a scheduled day off, but he was available off the bench.Normally when an athlete suffers an eye injury, it’s the product of getting poked or hit there, not this. It certainly qualifies for addition on the long list of weird sports injuries.Subscribe to Yardbarker's Morning Bark, the most comprehensive newsletter in sports. Customize your email to get the latest news on your favorite sports, teams and schools. Emailed daily.
Hopefully Pillar is again able to overcome the mental obstacles he’ll face to step back into the batter’s box. I was brushed on the back by a couple pitches in elementary school, and it derailed my confidence for almost an entire season. Obviously, I’m no major-league player, and that was many degrees away from what Pillar and others have had to endure. But it can be scary to step back into the path of heaters that have the potential to knock you out. Heck, it.
And while hit-by-pitches may happen somewhat infrequently in the grand scheme of the game, they’ve increased to unprecedented levels, and pitchers are throwing harder than ever. Superstars such as Harper, Mike Trout, Corey Seager, Ronald Acuña Jr., Mookie Betts and Shohei Ohtani have already been forced to miss time this season after getting plunked. This is becoming a player safety issue that could decrease the value of MLB’s product. The NFL has tried to discourage hits to the head, and MLB commissioner Rob Manfred should do the same.
ESPN’s announcers said Pillar’s absence cast a pall over the ballpark Monday, even though the Mets were playing on the road in Atlanta. Does MLB, which is already, want to see this trend continue and allow more agony to seep into the sport? Will they wait for another player to follow in the footsteps of Ray Chapman, whose 1920 death after being hit in the head prompted a crackdown on doctored balls?
NHL announces blank COVID protocol-related absences list
The long-awaited day has finally arrived. When the NHL released it’s COVID Protocol Related Absences list on Monday evening, it contained no names. It is the first time since the list originally debuted at the start of the regular season that the contents has been empty. Granted, the list now only includes the 14 active playoff teams as opposed to all 31 clubs, but it still marks a major achievement in the league’s battle against the Coronavirus. © Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports Of course, the final step toward a league-wide clean bill of health actually came with the elimination of the St. Louis Blues on Sunday.
Perhaps the answer is to mandate some sort of extended face mask for hitters, similar to the one Stanton uses. Perhaps it’s moving back the mound a few feet to give players more reaction time (which would also help alleviate the sport's suffocating amount of strikeouts). Whatever it is, it’s time to stop waving this away as part of the game and look for a solution before someone else gets seriously hurt.
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