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MLB looking at head safety for pitchers

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MLB looking at head safety for pitchers

With several high profile cases of pitchers being struck in the head by batted balls, Major League baseball is moving quickly towards improving safety on the mound. According to the Associated Press, MLB is looking at liners for pitchers’ hats and other options to prevent head injuries.

Oakland Athletics pitcher Brandon McCarthy suffered a fractured skull and a brain contusion in September after taking a ball off the head. The league tells AP the event increased the urgency to improve safety.

"After that, it kind of pushed up our timetable," MLB senior vice president Dan Halem said. "We decided to fast track it."

In Game 2 of the World Series on Thursday night Detroit Tigers pitcher Doug Fister was hit in the head by a line drive, but continued pitching after examination by the training staff. After broadcaster Tim McCarver opined on television that pitchers should wear helmets several players took to Twitter in disagreement. 

One of those players happened to be Nationals shorstop Ian Desmond who was quoted in the article by the Associated Press.

"Helmets for pitchers??? Really," he said.

The same article pointed out how Desmond himself had been involved in scary incident last season when a liner hit by the shortstop struck Rockies pitcher Juan Nicasio in the head. Nicasio broke his neck when he fell on the mound.

Desmond is a position player, but the potential mandate is just as unpopular with pitchers. Both Vance Worley and Barry Zito expressed displeasure in the piece about possibly wearing head gear on the mound.

The league says they will try to do something that won’t impair a pitcher’s ability and weight will likely be an issue. This would likely rule out any sort of helmet, at least in the traditional sense. One proposal involves lining hats with the material Kevlar which is used for bullet proof jackets.

It doesn’t sound like anything will be imposed for the 2013 major league season, but something could be tried for the minors. Either way, it sounds like an inevitable measure for Major League Baseball as they try to prevent a serious head injury happening to one of their players. McCarthy’s case was a bad one and they don’t want to see something worse.

What do you think, should pitchers be required to wear protective head gear when on the mound?

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2017 ballpark foods that are way better than peanuts and Cracker Jack

2017 ballpark foods that are way better than peanuts and Cracker Jack

Back in the olden days, cotton candy or a plate of nachos were considered bold ballpark snacks. Thankfully, the olden days are over, and a new era of ballpark food has begun.

And in this era, a menu item isn't considered complete until it's fried, sandwiched between something else and then finally drizzled with some sort of sauce. 

So, what's on the menu for 2017? Well, peanuts, hot dogs and apple pie nachos, of course.

CLICK HERE TO FEAST YOUR EYES ON THE CRAZIEST BALLPARK FOODS YOU'LL FIND AROUND MLB THIS YEAR

With a new season about to begin, CSNmidatlantic.com has identified 10 of the most eye-popping and artery-clogging foods available around Major League Baseball in 2017. To see them, simply click on the link above or below to open our gallery (no fork and knife necessary).

After all, while peanuts and Cracker Jack are cute, they simply can't match up with a hot dog topped with bacon and a fried egg. 

CLICK HERE TO FEAST YOUR EYES ON THE CRAZIEST BALLPARK FOODS YOU'LL FIND AROUND MLB THIS YEAR

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Nationals Ace Max Scherzer will not be team's opening day starter

Nationals Ace Max Scherzer will not be team's opening day starter

Nationals manager Dusty Baker said that Max Scherzer is not on track to be the team's opening day starter, and will most likely open the season as the third pitcher in the rotation. 

Scherzer has been the team's starter on opening day for the past two seasons, but a stress fracture in the knuckle of his right ring finger caused him to miss the start of spring training, and the World Baseball Classic. 

Scherzer did, however, make his first MLB spring training start of 2017 on Wednesday. The 2016 NL Cy Young award winner allowed two earned runs on five hits over 4.2 innings. He added four strikeouts and one walk, and reportedly looked just like you would expect from Max Scherzer. 

"To be out there competing, throwing all my pitches, throwing them for strikes, that's a great first outing," Scherzer told Eddie Matz of ESPN after the game. "Finger's good. Finger feels like a finger. I'm getting through that injury. It's behind me now."

With Scherzer set to open the season as the third starter in the rotation, that likely means that Stephen Strasburg will start on opening day against the Miami Marlins, and Tanner Roark will slot in behind him. 

While it's nice to have your ace pitcher starting on opening day, it's not a huge deal to have Scherzer start the season third in the rotation, especially because the Nationals starting rotation is the strength of the team

RELATED: Nationals' Tanner Roark pitches four scoreless innings to help Team USA beat Japan in WBC