Brandon McCarthy sounds off on pitcher headgear after Happ injury

Wednesday May 8th, 2013

Brandon McCarthy, A's Brandon McCarthy, then with the A's, was struck in the head by a line drive last September. (AP)

In the aftermath of J.A. Happ's injury, Cliff Corcoran weighed in with a look at the current state of protective wear. He noted that while Major League Baseball examined a variety of safety devices this past winter, the league wasn't satisfied with the level of protection afforded by four devices they tested.

On Wednesday afternoon, Brandon McCarthy — who due to a September skull fracture is all too familiar with this issue — weighed in on the matter via his Twitter account (@BMcCarthy32), which incidentally is one of the best of any athlete's:

Those words echo what McCarthy said on ESPN's Outside the Lines back in March:

"The stuff that's out there already is no good at all," McCarthy said. "It seems like it's still a long way away. I don't even care if it's MLB-approved. I just want something that's functionally approved by me."

…"I purchased a couple of cricket helmets on my own to see if I could make something out of it, if it was something that worked," he said. "I actually feel like even with the face mask and all, I could get used to that quicker than I could with a half-shell [hard] helmet [like first- and third-base coaches and some catchers wear]."

MLB has now reportedly tested nine devices and spoken to more than a dozen companies, but MLB vice president Dan Halem said earlier today that "nothing is imminent" with regards to the league approving new protective devices. Here's hoping that an equipment manufacturer can come up with something that not only fits McCarthy's needs but can work for other pitchers, from major leaguers on down to Little League, where the stakes may be lower but the risk of injury hardly nonexistent.

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