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Protective Cap

isoBLOXIn baseball the catcher is padded up, and the batter wears a helmet. However, the pitcher has generally been left with little protection. For the upcoming Major League Baseball season pitchers can wear a padded cap, which should provide increased protection from batted balls.

This cap will be optional however, so not every pitcher to take the mount will be wearing one.

The newly approved caps, manufactured by 4Licensing Corporation subsidiary isoBlox, have been made available to pitchers for the ongoing spring training. We’ll have to see if pitchers will sport them for next month’s opening day.

[Via MLB.com: MLB approves padded cap for pitchers]

Mako or Breako at Bat

MakoEaston knows a thing or two about baseball bats, and it recently looks to make a bit of a change with the Mako, a bat that features Thermo Composite Technology (TCT). This reduces vibration in the handle while distributing power into the ball upon impact.

While not legal for use in Major League Baseball, or for that matter Minor League Baseball, it does sound like this bat could have you feeling you’re in the majors when you take a swing with thee Mako! Video after the jump

Baseball’s New Helmet

With opening day for Major League Baseball just weeks away fans might not notice a big difference that might help keep players safe. This year will see the widespread introduction of a new batting helmet. Rawlings, the official provider of helmets to the MLB, is providing teams with the S100 Pro Comp.

This is the latest helmet designed for batters, and it is just a fraction of an inch larger and about an ounce heavier than traditional helmets, but its carbon fiber shell promises to be about 300 percent stiffer and 130 times stronger than helmets made of plastic. It is designed to provide protection against balls thrown at speeds up to 100 miles per hour – compared to the 68mph of the older helmets. Read the rest of this entry »

Weekend Reading List (3.17.12): Pro Cycling Challenge Goes Gran, CDC Butts Out, Fat Cells Burn, MLB Social Swing

USA Pro Cycling Does Texas Gran

From BikeRadar: USA Pro Cycling Challenge partner with Gran Fondo: Texas TMCO

The USA Pro Cycling Challenge, one of the largest professional cycling races in the US, have teamed up with the second-annual Gran Fondo: Texas TMCO to create the KOM (King of the Mountain) Challenge. Read the rest of this entry »

No Axe to Grind From Baden

Sporting goods maker Baden Sports is looking to shake things up this spring with the new line of Axe baseball and softball bats. The big change is in the new patented handle design that helps guide a player’s hand into the proper hitting position at contact.This reportedly means more power and more solid contact. While this year will see new changes for bats, the Axe line has been certified and approved for use at all levels of play in 2012 – from Little League to high school, the NCAA and even the pros.

Eleven (11) models will hit the diamond this season for both baseball and softball, and for professional players, the Pro Ash and Pro Maple Series Axe bats are manufactured in Wisconsin, using the hardest ash and maple grown in North America. All strictly adhere to professional league specifications, and are also oriented so that the wood grain is aligned perfectly with the hitting surface for maximum performance and less breakage. Read the rest of this entry »

Wood Makes a Return to Youth Baseball

We reported earlier this year that the NCCA had introduced new rules regarding what constitutes a “legal” bat, as some alloy metals were banned, because they gave an unfair advantage to players. But now Rhode Island has stepped up to the plate to ban all metal bats in its American Legion Baseball league for youth players.

This is just one of three states where the American Legion has reportedly mandated this switch from metal to wooden bats, citing safety as the main reason. While tradition has been cited, and thus the use of wooden bats is in line with those Major League Baseball, it has been argued that wood bats are in fact safer. Research has shown that balls tend to leave wooden bats less quickly, and this gives players on the field more time to react to line drives.

As we noted last year, the National Federation of State High School Associations adopted new guidelines that will come into effect in 2012 on the performance of non-wooden bats as well.

[Via Rockdale Citizen: Youth leagues mull different bat standards]

AT&T U-Verse Offers Multiview of Cubs Games

 

If you can’t get out to the ballgame, but still want to root, root, root for the home team you can do so from home of course, but it isn’t quite the same. You’re always stuck watching what the TV director wants you to see. That is until now. This year AT&T and WGN-TV are offering a new TV app that lets users view up to four different camera angles of the Chicago Cubs home games at one time. Users can choose from the main WGN-TV Chicago game broadcast as well as six alternate camera angles. This gives viewers the ability to feel like they’re in the stands at Wrigley Field. Read the rest of this entry »



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