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Jim Leyland argues against pitchers' headgear

Tigers Manager Jim Leyland, whose pitcher Doug Fister was hit in head by a line drive in Game 2, says calls for pitchers to wear protective headgear are 'crazy.'

October 27, 2012|By Bill Shaikin
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DETROIT — In the wake of one of his pitchers' getting hit in the head by a line drive, Detroit Tigers Manager Jim Leyland had a blunt rebuke to critics calling for mandatory headgear for pitchers.

"That's crazy. Turn the page," Leyland said Saturday.

Detroit pitcher Doug Fister, hit in the second inning Thursday, remained in the game into the seventh inning. The Tigers checked him every inning for dizziness, confusion, headache or other signs of a concussion, athletic trainer Kevin Rand said.

"If there was any question in my mind, he would have been taken out of the game," Rand said.

Fister was subsequently examined by Dr. Michael Workings, the team physician. The Tigers did not send Fister for an MRI examination or a CT scan because he showed no symptoms that would warrant the tests, Rand said.

Those tests would have revealed any cerebral hemorrhage. Rand said Fister did not have a hematoma, just an abrasion.

Fister was "tremendously lucky," Rand said.

Although the line drive caromed off Fister's head and into center field, Rand said that was a good sign, since the flight of the ball barely changed. If the ball had bounced straight down or to the side, Rand said, that would have been an indication of a potentially serious injury.

Major League Baseball is exploring whether caps with specially developed linings could protect pitchers who are hit in the head, spokesman Pat Courtney said Saturday. Leyland said the incident should not result in pitchers' wearing mandatory headgear and said the Tigers treated Fister with the finest of care.

"Ninety questions. He got 89 right," Leyland said. "They asked him, 'Do you like your manager?' He said yes. That was the only one he got wrong.

"Come on. They want to keep coming up with stuff."

Aaron: Cabrera is MVP

Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers and Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants were honored Saturday with the Hank Aaron Award, representing the best offensive player in each league as selected by a fan vote and a panel of Hall of Famers. Cabrera also received a golden crown from Commissioner Bud Selig, in recognition of baseball's first triple crown in 45 years.

"I'm humbled that Hank Aaron knows who I am," Posey said.

Aaron, speaking after the award presentation, said the superior defense and baserunning of the Angels' Mike Trout did not outweigh the overall contributions of Cabrera.

"He did everything you could possibly do," Aaron said. "If anybody is the MVP of this league, he certainly is. . . . I'm not taking anything away from that kid in Los Angeles, but to do all the things [Cabrera] has done, that is saying something."

The American League MVP award will be announced Nov. 15.

Viva Venezuela

The starting lineups Saturday included seven Venezuela-born players, including Cabrera, NLCS MVP Marco Scutaro, Tigers starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez, and Pablo Sandoval, who hit a record-tying three home runs in Game 1.

Venezuela President Hugo Chavez, who tweeted congratulations to Sandoval, jokingly challenged President Obama to move the World Series.

"I think the next World Series, Obama, you're going to have to play it here in Venezuela, because it's Venezuelans all over the place," Chavez said, according to an Associated Press report.

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