“Coaches are in vulnerable positions. We should always have helmets on.”



Helmets for base coaches likely will become mandatory in MLB next season after some strong lobbying by a former member of the Blue Jays.


Glenallen Hill, best remembered for needing stitches after jumping through a window while having a nightmare about spiders, began wearing a helmet as the first-base coach for the Colorado Rockies to pay tribute to former major-leaguer Mike Coolbaugh. Coolbaugh recently died after being struck by a foul ball while coaching first base for Double-A Tulsa.


Hill then asked MLB executives to make hard headgear compulsory for all base coaches.

“How many times does something horrible have to happen before we do something?” Hill asked. “Coaches are in vulnerable positions. We should always have helmets on.”

Third-base coach Rene Lachemann of the Oakland A’s agreed and also has worn a helmet in recent games.

And now, MLB execs have decided to include Hill’s proposal on their agenda for the annual general managers’ meetings in November.

• Boston manager Terry Francona, meanwhile, has been refusing to comply with MLB’s dress code and was confronted by baseball’s fashion-police chief the other night. Sources tell us Francona engaged in a screaming match with MLB vice-president Bob Watson, who entered the Red Sox dugout during a game and told the manager he must wear a uniform jersey. Francona prefers a red pullover.

Watson has been obsessed with dress-code violations this season and has fined managers and coaches thousands for not wearing jerseys.

• It’s cutdown day in the NFL today, and sources suggest a couple of recognizable quarterbacks — Brian Griese and Chris Simms — could be released ... There’s also word that Mark Brunell could be traded by the Washington Redskins, possibly to the Atlanta Falcons, who need a QB to replace dog-killer Michael Vick. The Falcons plan to start the season with journeyman Joey Harrington at QB ... And, in Dallas, Cowboys QB Tony Romo has been making vague references to his “wife,” refusing to elaborate. Romo had been dating American Idol Carrie Underwood, but are they married?

• As reported here Tuesday, rookie Timmy Chang has replaced Jason Maas as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ QB and will start against the Argonauts in the Labour Day not-so-Classic on Monday ... Running back Jamel White, cut by Toronto the other day, will sign soon with the Montreal Alouettes ... Oh, and on this CFL carousel that never stops spinning is receiver Marc Boerigter, negotiating with the Edmonton Eskimos. Boerigter was cut by the Calgary Stampeders ... For more CFL stuff, check out my latestCFL Report, only at www.metronews.ca.