It takes a near-tragedy to get sports to move, and we nearly had one Thursday night when Doug Fister got nailed in the skull by a line drive. The 6-8 Fister couldn't get the last part of "chuck-and-duck" down, but must have been part Neanderthal or something, for he stayed in and pitched six innings of one-run ball and checked with his lawyer when he got back to Detroit on whether he should sue the offense for non-support.
Normally, such a hit to the head would create at least a concussion; careers have been ruined by such shot, such has pitcher-turned-broadcaster Herb Score, who's playing career went south after such a shot, then became the Indians' analogue to Ernie Harwell for three decades; he was at it long enough for me to remember him during my Kent State days in the early 90s.
The answer might be a Kevlar cap-
MLB medical director Dr. Gary Green has been talking to companies about protective headgear for pitchers, Halem said. A report is on the agenda at baseball's winter meetings in December.
A cap liner with Kevlar, the high-impact material used by military, law enforcement and NFL players for body armor, is among the ideas under consideration.
Kevlar is used in flak jackets in the NFL, and it's flexible enough that a Kevlar-cored cap might be feasible without being too bulky. They'd likely be pricey, but when you got million-dollar contracts on the line, a few hundred dollars for skull protection might be worth thinking about.
Corner infielders might consider that investment as well; Detroit had a scare in the pre-season when Miguel Cabrera got nailed in the eye by a bad hop bullet. A reinforced cap wouldn't have helped on that one, but it would have helped prevent a concussion had the bad hop hopped a bit higher.