After gruesome head injuries to pitchers marred the final months of the 2012 MLB season, the league has taken a significant step forward in protecting its hurlers.

William Weinbaum of ESPN is reporting that a prototype of a padded cap is ready to be sent out to about one dozen pitchers for their inspection.

Unequal Technologies Co. has worked with MLB to develop a new type of concussion reduction technology (CRT) padding for a pitcher's cap. According to Rob Vito, the company's president, the padding "weighs 4.3 ounces, is one-eighth of an inch thick and is made of a three-layer synthetic composite that includes military-grade DuPont Kevlar and a polymer with the properties of rubber."

The padding, which is sewn into the pitcher's hat, is used for helmets in baseball, football, hockey and lacrosse and could be mass-produced for about $60 apiece.

The issue of head injuries to pitchers has come to the forefront after Brandon McCarthy of the A's and Doug Fister of the Tigers were both struck in the head by batted balls in the final two months of the season. While Fister was not seriously hurt, McCarthy's injury resulted in a skull fracture, brain contusion and epidural hemorrhage.

But some think that the padding might not be enough, as it doesn't protect the entire head. For example, McCarthy was struck below the cap line, so it is unclear how much the protection would have helped.

Former manager Tony La Russa told ESPN.com that the padding seems like a step in the right direction, but ultimately there may not be a singular solution.

"You can't take all the risk out of the game," La Russa said. "It's just not going to happen unless you do some very revolutionary things, like put a screen in front of a pitcher, for example."

MLB senior vice president Dan Halem said the league is working with Unequal and five other companies on protective headgear for pitchers. Each project is in a different stage of development.

Although the timetable for the new protection remains unclear, Halem told ESPN that the league hopes to have approved multiple models by spring training in 2013.

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We've all been there before.

It's the eighth inning of a game between two teams that are battling for nothing more than a good pick in next year's draft. You're sitting in the upper deck, and you look below to see that no one took those prime seats a few rows up from third base.

Normally, you might just sneak down to the seats and hope the usher isn't looking. But now thanks to a new app, there is a much more legitimate way to swap seats.

A tech startup called Pogoseat has created an app which allows fans at sporting events to scan the arena for empty seats and purchase a better ticket. The fan only pays the difference between his or her current ticket and the upgraded seat.

"Pogoseat creates a win-win scenario for fans and the venue," Evan Owens, Pogoseat's co-founder, told ESPN.com. "Fans get a better view of the action, and the venue increases its earnings by filling once-empty seats."

After carrying out test runs at Stanford basketball games, the company has been working with the Golden State Warriors over the past month. The program integrates information from the Warriors ticket office, updating constantly during games.

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While the app is still in its infancy, if used correctly it could be a significant boon for fans and teams.

"It's convenient, and it's mutually beneficial," Brandon Schneider, the Warriors Vice President of Ticket Sales, told Forbes. "How often do you go to your seat and find that it’s not as good as you thought?"

There are still various kinks with Pogoseat's system. Namely, some people might not want to upgrade their seat at the game if they weren't willing to buy a pricier seat in the first place.

"If the pricing differential is based on the difference in the face value of the seats, that’s awfully stiff," Marty Lariviere wrote in Business Insider. "If $99 each was too rich when the $34 tickets were bought, why should a $65 add on be tolerable?"

Still, most fans would agree that the concept itself is intriguing and could be useful. And perhaps just as important, Pogoseat has the thumbs up from the Warriors organization.

“I think in the future," Schneider told Forbes,"every sports team will be doing this."

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