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Bowa says he will ignore helmet rule for coaches

February 29, 2008|Dylan Hernandez

VERO BEACH, Fla. -- To protest baseball's new rule requiring base coaches to wear helmets, Larry Bowa threatened to march to his work station along the third base line wearing shin guards, a chest protector and a mask.

"I'll really make a joke out of it," Bowa said.

Bowa refused to wear a helmet in the Dodgers' exhibition opener Thursday at Holman Stadium and said he had no intention of doing so in the future. First base coach Mariano Duncan also ignored the rule that stemmed from the death of Mike Coolbaugh, who was struck by a line drive while coaching first base in the minor leagues last season.

"I'm willing to write out a check for whatever the fine is for every game," Bowa said. "Whatever 162 games is, I'll write out a check for it."

Bowa says helmets are uncomfortable and that veteran coaches should be able to decide on their own whether to wear them. He argued that broken bats are more dangerous than batted balls and that if coaches had to wear helmets, umpires should be forced to do so as well.

Bowa, who Thursday wore a cap lined on the inside with thin plastic, says he isn't the only coach who feels this way.

"There are a lot of coaches that I've talked to who aren't saying anything so I feel like I'm talking for those guys," Bowa said. "They don't want to wear them."

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