The Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Frank Fitzpatrick asks:

Now that coaches must wear helmets, how many will the Dodgers’ Larry Bowa shatter this season?

The early line is none…. From a story that was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs:

Bowa did not wear a helmet during the Dodgers’ Grapefruit League opener Thursday against the Braves, the first time he was required by rule to do so.

“That’s not for me,” said Bowa, a former player and manager in the Major Leagues in his first year with the Dodgers. “My question is, how can I be in the league 40 years and the league says who wears a helmet and who doesn’t? One guy got killed and I’m sorry it happened. But bats break and they can be a deadly weapon. Do something about bats.

“Umpires get hit with line drives. I’ve probably seen 50 of them get hit. If coaches have to wear helmets, umpires should. I’ll sign a waiver. And there should be a grandfather clause. These are very cumbersome. They talk about delay of game, and when the helmet falls off, you’ll have to stop the game. It should be an option. I know I’m talking for a lot of guys who won’t say anything. I’ll write a check for 162 games if I have to to not wear it.”

Philosophically, it’s hard to say he’s wrong, especially since the ball that killed Mike Coolbaugh didn’t hit him in the head. And who’s to say a line drive couldn’t do to someone what a puck did to Chris Pronger? Can you imagine Bowa in a chest protector?