Baseball, cars, and food: Controlling the risks

"If it provides more safety, then I’m all for it," says the New York Mets’ All-Star third baseman, David Wright, of his new Rawlings S100 batting helmet. Wright was clocked with a pitch two weeks ago (see video here) that left him on the disabled list with post-concussion symptoms until tomorrow’s opener in Denver, where he hopes to try out the new helmet.

It has a thick Polypropelene liner and an additional composite insert. "We’re confident that it will withstand a pitch up to 100 mph," said Mike Thompson, Rawlings senior vice president for sports marketing and business development.

The AP reports that all Minor League Baseball players will be required to use these helmets next season, as beanballs and subsequent concussions are inherent risks to America’s pastime.

"It’s one of those things that happens," said Scott Rolen of the Cincinnati Reds, who recently landed on the Major League’s DL with a concussion. "Nobody’s out there trying to throw at guys’ heads – that’s the idea. We’ll go out there and compete. I mean, we drive home every day, too, and that’s not real safe."

It’s true: people accept risks everyday. But they do so trusting that everyone involved is controlling the risks to the best of their ability – from pitchers to helmet manufacturers, from fellow drivers to auto makers, and from cooks (at home or elsewhere) to food producers.

When eating, it’s the culture of food safety of everyone from farm to fork that will determine the level of risk an individual is accepting. They should all adopt the attitude: "If it provides more safety, then I’m all for it."