Brandon McCarthy sounds off on pitcher helmets

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Pitcher safety is being talked about again after J.A. Happ was hit in the head by a line drive yesterday and Brandon McCarthy, who needed brain surgery after being struck by a line drive last season, posted some interesting thoughts on Twitter just now:

He’s right in that “make pitchers wear helmets” doesn’t solve anything because helmets won’t protect every spot on which a pitcher is vulnerable. There have been some recent inventions of modified helmets for pitchers that allege better protection–a padded hat, for instance–but so far at least they haven’t advanced to the point of being viable in the majors.

So yeah, I agree with McCarthy that someone shouting about what should be done right now is probably just shouting to shout, but as far as a general discussion about something it’s still pretty damn important and will hopefully convince some smart people to “get out their tool kits and make a good one

(Incidentally, you should follow McCarthy on Twitter because he’s funny and smart and interesting.)

Nats players are fed up with their bullpen issues

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Tom Boswell of the Washington Post does frequent Q&As with readers and today he had quite the A to one of their Qs.

The question was about the Nats’ bullpen, which is obviously a glaring weakness on an otherwise excellent team. Following a long answer talking about the approach to bullpen construction, he dropped this:

On Friday, yet ANOTHER National simply walked up to me and said, “When the hell are they going to get this done? What are they waiting for? Waiting is just doing more damage.”

He didn’t even have to say what subject he was talking about or whom “they” were but it’s the bullpen and the Lerners.

A team has a problem when all a reporter has to do is say, “How’s it going?” and an established part of the team blasts the owners for not understanding what’s happening in their own dugout/clubhouse.

The Nats have a bit of a history venting to the Post’s reporters in ways a lot of players don’t vent, but that’s usually when things are going bad overall. These days, things are going pretty good for the Nats, the bum bullpen notwithstanding. I guess one weakness on an otherwise good team is annoying as hell.

But I guess now that they’re getting K-Rod, all of that will end.

The Nats are going to sign Francisco Rodriguez for some reason

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The Nationals bullpen is a tire fire. They’re about to add another tire. Per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, Washington is about to sign free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez.

K-Rod was released by the Tigers last week after posting an ERA of 7.82 over 28 appearances this season. He has a 1.658 WHIP, is allowing 11.9 hits per nine innings and is posting his highest walk rate in five years. Also worth noting: the Detroit Friggin’ Tigers decided that he was not good enough to be in their bullpen.

So, yeah, good luck with that Washington.