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The rise of the C-Flap

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One of the most notable things of the 2018 season has been the C-flaps on the batting helmets. Those little extensions from the ear flap that cover a hitter’s jaw. Players have worn them for some time, but it seems like this year ten times more guys have them. It’s getting to the point where I guys not using them sticks out more than guys using them.

Danny Knobler of Bleacher Report has a story on those today. It’s about both their creation and ubiquity and on the fact that pitchers are probably in more danger of injury-causing baseball impacts but have no such equipment yet. There are obvious reasons for this — pitchers are in motion and it’s far easier for equipment to disrupt their vision or balance than more stationary hitters — but it’s still a problem baseball needs to solve.

As the story suggests, I bet the C-flap becomes required equipment relatively soon. Likewise, if I had to guess, pitchers will eventually be wearing modified, lightweight molded helmets one day that are more akin to something a jockey or a goalie might wear, with a solid face-mask structure, but what do I know?

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”