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Baseball considering a concussions disabled list

Oct 21, 2010, 3:01 PM EDT

UPDATERob Neyer responds and distills the responses I’ve heard from others on this. The upshot: there may be a lot of low-level concussions that occur that are sort of flying under the radar, and that by having a short DL option, teams may be more willing to call a concussion a concussion and put the player on the shelf for a few days.

I guess I get this. My sense, though, is to still think that if concussions — even minor ones — are as dangerous as we’re starting to believe, that we should be erring on the side of more time off for players who suffer them, not less.

2:35 P.M. The Associated Press has learned that Major League Baseball is considering a 7-day disabled list for players with concussions, and that it could go into effect as early as next year.

There are really no details provided, but I’m not sure I get this.  Are there any players who have been diagnosed with concussions who have not missed at least 15 days on the regular disabled list? Jason Bay and Justin Morneau each missed the remainder of the season after suffering concussions of their own.

What purpose does this serve?  Wouldn’t a 15-day DL better protect players by making them, you know, sit out at least 15 days? At the end of the day, isn’t it the case that someone has to be healthy and cleared by medical staff in order to resume playing? How would a separate disabled list change this approach in any way?

This smells like PR to me. At a time when the NFL is getting killed — perhaps righteously — over concussions, this feels to me like baseball trying to get ahead of media scrutiny as opposed to addressing an actual need.

  1. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Oct 21, 2010 at 2:43 PM

    I agree, shortening a DL stint for something as serious as this just screams all kinds of liabilities and poor management. Let them sit for 15 days, this is ridiculous.

    • Jonny 5 - Oct 21, 2010 at 3:04 PM

      Love the screen name. Anyway, maybe it’s a case of this being a request from the teams? Sometimes a minor concussion or suspected concussion can clear up in a few days. Now they can go on the Dl for a shorter period if it isn’t a serious case. I can’t think of any other good reason for this.

  2. sdelmonte - Oct 21, 2010 at 2:46 PM

    Ryan Church.

  3. skipperxc - Oct 21, 2010 at 3:01 PM

    I’m a little surprised at the length. Concussions seem to require more time, not less. Just ask Morneau or Bay, or Jason LaRue, or Corey Koskie, or Mike Matheny, or…

  4. cervellirules - Oct 21, 2010 at 3:04 PM

    Jorge Posada was diagnosed with a low level concussion towards the end of the season this year after taking a foul tip off the mask. He sat out a game or two but still flew with the team. I think it was in September, so it wouldn’t have mattered anyway, but it certainly would have been useful for the Yankees had it happened any earlier.

  5. ta192 - Oct 21, 2010 at 3:26 PM

    Well, doing this for concussions is a little surprising, but I’ve been expecting a shorter DL for a while now. Seems like this is one way to get around the position player portion of the 25 man roster getting squeezed by ever burgeoning pitching staffs. Maybe they’ll try to kill 2 birds with one stone, call it a concussion list (for the PR) and slip others in with a little white lie…don’t recall for sure, but when I first started following BB in the ’50s, they had a 7 or 10 day, and a 21 day list.

  6. Professor Longnose - Oct 21, 2010 at 3:37 PM

    I think the point is that teams might be willing to call something a concussion and put guys on the shelf for 7 days, whereas now the only choices are putting the guy on the DL for 21 days or else sitting him down and playing with a 24-man roster for a week to give him time to rest.

    It’s all about recognizing concussions as dangerous, and this accomplishes that. If someone gets hit in the head, teams might automatically think “concussion” and throw him on the DL for a week, rather than thinking–ah, MRI is negative, and we’re not putting him on a DL for 21 days, so let’s play him.

    A week later, when the guy is still dizzy, then can transfer him to the 21-day DL.

  7. The Dangerous Mabry - Oct 21, 2010 at 3:38 PM

    I like the Hockey system, with Healthy Scratches and the like. It seems like a better approach for roster expansion in September at any rate. You can have up to 40 players on your active roster, sure. But only 25 for any given game. I guess a Healthy Scratch system would be abused to stash starting pitchers the day after they threw, though, and I’m not sure there’s a fair way around that. Still, it makes sense for roster expansion. Which isn’t the point of this discussion at all.

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