Unilateral Disarmorment

This week, Major League Baseball announced that hitters can no longer appear at the plate wearing heavy plastic elbow pads to protect them from inside pitches. The league will make exceptions only for players with serious injuries that can be confirmed by a doctor. Last August, Bryan Curtis argued that elbow pads, shin guards, and other kinds of body armor have drained the game of its most important element: terror. “The parade of overclothed batsmen has changed baseball from a sport where an inside pitch would spook a hitter off his feet to one in which batters are sessile, fearless, and almost unstoppable.”