Mr. Balls Says, ‘Remember Kids, Always Wear A Protective Cup’
Billy Burns is an outfielder with the Oakland A's who has a higher voice today than he did on Thursday. That's because, despite have the word "Athletic" right there in the name of his team, he refuses to wear an athletic cup, and got hit in the nards on Friday in a game against the Giants.
Burns fouled a ball straight down and then up into his groin, hitting the Hans Moleman area. He stayed to finish his at-bat, getting a run-scoring grounder, but soon exited after reporting that he felt nauseous. Burns sat out Saturday's game (a 2-1 Giants win), and returned to the lineup today, going 0-for-4 in a 4-3 Giants win.
So the question remains, should MLB teams require players to wear a cup? A's manager Bob Melvin says its "a personal choice," and yes, you can't get much more personal than that. But Oakland got swept in the series, where Burns could have made a big difference, especially in the final two games. So it kind of affects everyone.
Poor Billy Burns pic.twitter.com/7ifEFw4DYv
— Ricky Sanders (@RSandersDFS) July 25, 2015
CSN Bay Area:
Even after Friday night’s injury, Burns said he wouldn’t start wearing a cup.
“It gets in the way of my running,” said the leadoff man. “I’m not gonna change the way I play.”
The issue previously surfaced in 2009, when a bad-hop grounder struck then-Seattle Mariners third baseman Adrian Beltre in the same area. Beltre, who plays a much higher-risk position for such an injury, declined to wear one after his injury as well.
How Billy Burns is feeling back in the clubhouse... pic.twitter.com/qvoRAID8la
— Evan Giddings (@egiddings10) July 25, 2015
Time for the Little League rule? All players there are required to wear a cup (for a time, even the girls). An adult can make a personal choice, yes. But many contracts have clauses wherein a player can't engage in reckless behavior, even if the off-season. Is refusing to wear a cup any less reckless than riding an ATV, or skydiving? If I were an owner, I wouldn't appreciate paying a guy $20 million and them having him out for a week because he got hit in the nuts.
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