Does Eugenio Velez's Injury Change Anything About On-Field Head Protection?

During today's Diamondbacks-Giants game, Giants infielder Eugenio Velez was hit in the head by a foul ball while he was sitting in the dugout. He was taken from the dugout by stretcher and rushed to a local hospital. There's no video available, but unless Eugenio Velez owes you a substantial sum of money, you do not need to watch him get hit in the head with a baseball.

When the extent of Velez's injury is known, it'll likely spark some debate about whether it's still within baseball players' best interests to not wear more protective headgear in several situations. While it would be silly to require most infielders to wear helmets--to say nothing of outfielders--Rangers pitcher Dustin Nippert demonstrated just last week that some extra protection for pitchers would likely be beneficial. Likewise players in dugouts, who are as far away from home plate as infielders, but can't possibly be expected to protect themselves as much as their on-field counterparts. Attention spans wander. It happens.

And yes, there's something emasculating about wearing baseball helmets in more situations than are typically deemed necessary. Certainly, Bud Selig doesn't want his legacy to be that of the overprotective Little League parent, and the players would be equally unthrilled (new word alert).

Perhaps, then, the answer would be to design some sort of a hybrid cap, one with the general appearance of a traditional ballcap, but with much more padding. That, or guys'll just have to keep their heads up in the dugout more often. Yes, it'll probably be just that. 

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