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Catcher’s Corner: Five Offseason Questions

It was an interesting year with lots of changes and oddities. The front brim skull cap made plenty of appearances and catchers really started to switch masks because of concussions. Like in football, things are starting to change. People are becoming more aware of the back swings to the head and foul tips. Teams and catchers will try any little thing to help, but there are always going to be concussions no matter what type of mask you use. Two balls back to the mask in a row will get you no matter what mask you have. Change just helps the teams feel a little better—and give US more to talk about! So come next Spring, catchers, feel free to make whatever changes you need to make. The five burning questions I want answers to come next Spring:

Source: Yeah I’m officially tired of this.

What will John Buck’s new Pittsburgh-themed hockey helmet look like? I am really excited for this one, even more than the last few years. Buck and Voodoo Air really stepped it up with this year’s design and I wonder if they can do better. Will it be two colors that fade into one another in the center?  What Pittsburgh landmarks will be on it? Oh, I can’t wait. It’s like Christmas for me. Go over the top guys! Have some fun with it!

John Buck’s new helmet is automatically number one every year.

Source: R.I.P. Lady Liberty Mask, April 2013-August 2013

 

Source: I could live with this.

Will Travis d’Arnaud continue to make concussions a priority? As you may know d’Arnaud switched because of a concussion earlier this year and I wonder if the change is permanent. Also, what will happen with his Under Armour contract? This is only speculation, but when his Under Armour contract expires why doesn’t d’Arnaud switch to some System 7?

D’Arnaud can frame with the best of ’em.  Have you seen the diagram below?

Source: Baseball Analytics Blog

Source: Baseball Analytics Blog

What will Jose Molina wear next year? This is another automatic spot on the list as long as Jose Molina continues to play baseball. He’s always the first one I get excited about come Spring. The powder blue, which I just think is awesome, the different colored knee plates, the navy, the off colored helmet, the extra long chest protector that covers his huge belly, (the protector was created by Bengie Molina and All Star to do exactly that, cover up their huge bellies (normal compared to extra long). I love Jose Molina’s style and I’m looking forward to seeing what improvements he’s made.

Source: See now, this is just a waste. You go and get a concussion and now there’s no orange! What happened!

What will Carlos Corporan’s secondary color be next year? I can’t help but get excited for Carlos Corporan and the Astros’ colors. Imagine maybe a darker shade of orange for a whole season compared to that light wimpy orange, or maybe some all orange gear! Come on people think about it! It’s happened before! Orange System 7! I’m rushing to the All Star Custom Design Lab right now. Oh, All Star doesn’t offer orange as a primary. Hmm…

Carlos, pull some strings! Make this happen!

Will Welington Castillo make the upgrade from Under Armour? I’ve been wondering about this for four years and I don’t know whether this bothers me or if I appreciate this. For reference, this is Matt Wieters in 2008.

This is Welington Castillo, using the same gear this past season:

Source

Pick it up, Welly.

Thanks for a good season, backstops.

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