Not Mike Pelfrey.  He’s angrier than a yak in heat, to borrow a phrase, which just makes me angry.  Effectively two days without baseball, and as of the first inning I’m already shouting profanities at my television, and–I thought–irritating my new upstairs neighbors.  Turns out they were out for the evening.

Kudos on not tromping about like madmen or hazing me with a baby who can’t seem to stop crying, even after eighteen months of life on Earth, New Upstairs Neighbors.  You’re princes and princesses compared to those nuts who left.  But, and I say this with respect: shut the front door already.  You’re letting in flies and ants and potential burglars. Were you raised in a barn?

But Pelfrey swore hard when he walked in that run, and I swore at him.  There’s no margin for error for getting to .500, and he’s now on the bill for one of those nine precious losses the Mets need to keep for a day when it not just rains–it’s been raining pretty hard–but it pours.  Pours like mad.  Last night was not supposed to be one of those days.

Do better, Mike.  That you’re aping Sean Green by walking in runners does not impress.  Rather, quite simply, it depresses.

(Mr. Green, please do me a favor and find an ingrown hair or a severe case of the bends to catch, and take yourself out for the year.  You are NOT helping.)

No, David Wright’s the guy who’s crazy like a fox, for wearing the new Rawlings S100 batting helmet.  It was the goofiest thing about last night, and as I enjoy the goofy and vaguely newsworthy, I’ll spend a few minutes on it.

First, in the event you haven’t seen it on someone’s head:


There you are, courtesy of David Zalubowski and the Associated Press through The New York Times.

Those watching the game would have seen Wright constantly reaffirming the helmet’s balance on the crown of his head during at bats, and in the third, seen him walked, then slide into second on what began as a stolen base attempt and ended up a retreat to first as Chowdah struck out.

Unremarkable that Chowdah struck out, even on that non-foul-tip interference business.  Remarkable that the aerial shot showed Wright sliding head first into second, and the new helmet catching in the dirt and bopping away from the bag at Ludicrous Speed. 

The suggestion in-house (mine, not SNY’s, the Mets’, or MLB’s) was that the hat’s bill is far too long for the overall shape of the melon-saver.  But I’m no aesthete when it comes to sports equipment.  I’m sure form followed function there. 

As far as it being funny, let’s consider the well-worn history of headgear in another sport–football–and in three minutes or less, with pictures.  Everyone likes pictures.

I present Red Grange, halfback for the Chicago Bears and all-around speedster, courtesy of Ultimate Bears Fan.

  http://ultimatebearsfan.com/media/playerpics/red_grange1.jpg

That helmet’s made of padded leather.
Now, Albert Haynesworth, who to me is still most famous for stomping on Andre Gurode of the Dallas Cowboys back in 2006:

http://www.espn980.com/upload/albert_haynesworth.jpg

Haynesworth is the one standing.  (Thanks to ESPN 980 for the photo.)
Physical players in a physical game.  But when a man like Albert Haynesworth could potentially SIT ON YOUR HEAD, a helmet like Red Grange’s isn’t exactly going to cut the mustard.

I’m sure Paul Brown’s initial concept for the modern-day football helmet had its detractors.  But over the course of football’s history, players have gotten bigger, stronger, and, not coincidentally, more aggressive.

All sports undergo a gradual transformation in that same respect.  Today’s fastball pitchers are running the game equivalent of driving Ferraris at one hundred fifty miles per hour down a mountain switchback.  Any small tic behind the wheel is widely reflected over the path’s course.  So a twitch in location can send a ball eight different kinds of elsewhere.

Keep on keepin’ on, David.  That helmet will feel comfortable eventually, and if there’s even a one percent chance of it saving your brain matter, it’s worth it.  If Chowdah decides he doesn’t care to wear it, that’s his choice. 

And if he gets beaned and screws his career up royal, I’m sure the Mets can find another outfielder who can go 0 for 3 with a sac fly and two strikeouts.

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