Act now to get your David Wright helmet protector

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wright_huge_helmet_090901.jpgAs if the Mets’ season hasn’t been bad enough, now even David Wright has become a laughingstock — through no fault of his own.

On Tuesday night, Wright made his return from the disabled list, where he had landed after taking a Matt Cain fastball to the noggin.

The incident was frightening, so precautions were taken to protect the cranium of New York’s star third baseman in the form of a giant batting helmet.

Remember the old commercial from Saturday Night Live featuring the “Gary Busey helmet protector,” which was a large foam covering made to be placed over the top of a motorcycle helmet? That’s sort of what Wright looked like.

Another comparison – courtesy of Newday’s David Lennon? The Great Gazoo.

According to Lennon, Mets, Rockies and Rockies fans all took pleasure in poking fun at Wright, looking as sharp as he was in his little league helmet. (By the way, it will be mandatory in the minor leagues next season)

Wright admitted that the helmet did need some adjustments. It had a tendency to slide down over his eyes while he was running. Wright also nearly killed Troy Tulowitzki when the giant helmet rocketed off his head at second base.

“There were times I couldn’t get it to fit,” Wright said. “I don’t know – maybe I got an odd-shaped head.”

Still, Wright plans to stick with the helmet, and there is no truth to the rumor that he will try a chinstrap when he returns to the lineup on Thursday.

For video goodness, click here.

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If you Twitter, and only wear safe headgear while operating your computer, follow me at @Bharks.

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

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Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.

Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).

Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.

David Price’s season debut could be pushed back to May

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David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.

Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:

[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.

The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.