Blog Entry

MLB to implement new protocols for concussions

Posted on: March 29, 2011 2:34 pm
By Matt Snyder

In light of several recent players' bouts with concussions -- such as Jason Bay and Justin Morneau -- and increasing national awareness about the dangers of the head injury, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have come together to announce several new protocols for dealing with concussions for the 2011 season.

In terms of day-to-day operation, the biggest change will be the establishment of a seven-day disabled list. Previously, the minimum a player could be placed on the disabled list was 15 days. This new DL option will "aim to allow concussions to clear, prevent players from returning prematurely and give clubs a full complement of players in one's absence." (via MLB press release)

When a player wishes to return after a concussion, his club must submit a "return to play" form to the MLB's medical director. This is required even if the player was not placed on the disabled list.

“I believe that Major League Baseball is taking a major step forward on a vital shared goal with the MLB Players Association,” said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. “This policy, which reflects the collective expertise of many of the foremost authorities in the field, will benefit players, umpires and clubs alike, and I am proud of the spirit of cooperation that has led us to this result.”

Another prong of the new policy is that during play, any incident which typically leads to a higher risk of head injury -- such as being hit with a pitch in the head -- there are additional protocols in place to immediately evaluate the possibly-injured players or umpires. Also, a "mandatory baseline neuropsychological testing" requirement is in place for every player and umpire during spring training or when a player joins a team during the season.

“The MLBPA is pleased to have worked with the Commissioner’s Office, members of Club training and medical staffs and some of today’s leading experts in neurology to develop new protocols for the diagnosis and treatment of concussions,” said MLBPA Executive Director Michael Weiner. “Player safety is a major concern of the collective bargaining parties, and these new protocols and procedures should enhance our ongoing efforts to protect the health of players and umpires.”

The commissioner's office has also formed a committee to conduct an orientation for the medical staffs of each club. It is chaired by Alex Valadka, MD, FACS, who is Chief of Adult Neurosciences and Neurosurgery at the Seton Brain and Spine Institute in Austin, Texas.

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Category: MLB

Since: Jan 23, 2009
Posted on: March 30, 2011 5:32 pm

MLB to implement new protocols for concussions

Congrats to MLB for recognizing the importance of treating this kind of injury.  Injuries to the head can be potentially fatal.  Anyone remember Natasha Richardson?  Blows to the head are serious, and any neurologist and neurosurgeon will tell you so.

Unfortunately, Fothead is lumping all injuries into his rant.  I agree that players today can be pretty soft.  Not all will dive into stands to catch balls like Jeter did years ago. Not all protect the plate like Johnny Bench.  Yet, pitching arm injuries and concussions are real, and they needed to be treated as such.  Teams invest a lot on players, and I for one would rather manage an injury that takes a player out for a few weeks than lose a player for life.  Hey, knock the wimps all you want, but don't lump everyone into that group.

Since: Aug 14, 2010
Posted on: March 30, 2011 4:30 pm

MLB to implement new protocols for concussions

Now, I disagree with Fothead about the concussion part of his argument. Head injuries, no matter how slight, can be dangerous. I do however, agree with the rest of his statement. These baseball players have turned into a bunch of pu****. They get a pimple on their arses and they go on the DL. Several years ago Freddy Sanchez who was with the Pirates at the time, couldn't play in a game one night, because he got some dust in his eye earlier that day. Jack Wilson, a couple of years ago also with the Pirates, missed like 3 weeks because he had a sprained finger in his left hand, which is his glove hand. Not throwing hand. His Glove Hand! How many balls are hit to him the course of a game 8, 10 maybe 12 times? You can't take a bit of pain? He's a right handed batter, so that hand just helps guide the bat, his right hand take the brunt of the punishment when striking the ball. I have severe arthritis in both my hands and I can still go out and catch line drives or groundballs and swing a bat. Sure it's going to hurt, but these guys are making way too much money to sit for things like that! Maybe the reason the two I mentioned did it, is because they were playing for the Pirates, but I see it with players on other teams as well. Mickey Mantle has to be spinning in his grave! His generation and the ones before, got paid crap, but they would have to almost be dead before they let the team keep them from playing. They did it for love of the game.

Since: Jun 11, 2008
Posted on: March 30, 2011 11:40 am

MLB to implement new protocols for concussions

perhaps this schmuck is a big fan of shows like between the lines and likes hearing the ramblings of 45 yr old former athletes that have to wear velcro shoes and get help eating their jello because their brains are mush.

Since: Jun 11, 2008
Posted on: March 30, 2011 11:34 am

MLB to implement new protocols for concussions

How in the world could anyone that isnt a complete moron find an issue with this.

Since: Nov 30, 2007
Posted on: March 29, 2011 10:13 pm

MLB to implement new protocols for concussions

Fothead is a brainless person who couldnt possibly be injured if he were hit in the head

Since: Nov 14, 2009
Posted on: March 29, 2011 4:47 pm

MLB to implement new protocols for concussions

Perhaps FOTHEAD was a catcher and took too many balls off the dome and didn't bother to wear a mask to have a "thought" like that.

Since: Feb 1, 2009
Posted on: March 29, 2011 4:21 pm

MLB to implement new protocols for concussions

Too bad Fathead wasn't around when they matched the Lions and the Christians.  He would have fit right in.

Since: Apr 5, 2007
Posted on: March 29, 2011 4:02 pm

MLB to implement new protocols for concussions

So sick of hearing about concussions.  These are grown men.  They get paid enough in a very short career to live off of by anyones standards.  If they choose to play, let them play.  One of the reasons they get paid so highly is the inherent risk of playing contact sports (or in baseball's case semi-contact). 
Just another example of how we all need "experts" to protect us and everyone.  Protect, protect, protect.  We're making this country a bunch of p-----. 

Since: May 23, 2007
Posted on: March 29, 2011 3:55 pm

MLB to implement new protocols for concussions

Congrats MLB, great move...

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