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Tweet of the Day: Got a brain injury? #playyousissies

Sep 30, 2013, 1:20 PM EDT

joe mauer twins getty Getty Images

Given how many careers have been derailed by concussions and all we’ve begun to find out about the ugly long-term impact of brain injuries on former athletes it seems unfathomable to me that a prominent veteran mainstream media member would still be ripping players for not playing through a concussion.

And yet here’s this from longtime Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist and 1500-ESPN radio host Patrick Reusse regarding Twins catcher Joe Mauer:

Mauer suffered a concussion on August 19 and missed the remainder of the season because a month later he continued to experience symptoms such as dizziness and sensitivity to light every time he tried to increase his workouts. He has a brain injury.

That was the fourth in a series of tweets from Reusse about how Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder has been more durable than Mauer despite not looking like much of an athlete. How body type and athleticism relates to brain trauma is unclear.

UPDATE: I thought perhaps Reusse would come back on Twitter to say he misspoke or otherwise offer an explanation, but instead this was his follow-up tweet several hours later:

“For whatever reason” in this case is a brain injury. And then a few minutes later the backtracking began:

He of course specifically mentioned Mauer, not Arcia or anyone else, in four consecutive tweets and called Mauer a “poster boy.”

Battle cries and sissies and boo-boos. Cool stuff, all around.

  1. lightcleric - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    What ethic? The one of not playing through brain injuries?

    I wish it would apply to Tweeting too.

    • coloradogolfcoupons - Sep 30, 2013 at 5:00 PM

      How this guy …being the world’s first living BRAIN DONER….even Tweets is beyond me. Bet he missed a month of school when he got his first splinter. As if sportswriters could possibly put another foot in their mouth…

  2. zzalapski - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    Prince also plays a position where he is much less likely to get whanged upsides the head with a foul tip.

    Reusse should volunteer to go through the same trauma and see how he feels afterward. The quality of his output may not be appreciably affected, though.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:15 PM

      Also prince is about 5′ tall and weighs 300+. Let’s see how “durable” he is during the back half of that contract he signed.

  3. NatsLady - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:29 PM


  4. Francisco (FC) - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    How body type and athleticism relates to brain trauma is unclear.

    But what is clear is that Patrick Reusse himself is laboring under some kind of brain trauma. There is no other explanation.

    • moogro - Sep 30, 2013 at 9:49 PM

      He really pickled his brain through the 70’s with alcohol before he got clean. This may end up being kinda sad.

  5. NatsLady - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    But, on a nicer, and more optimistic note, this.

    Astros fans–been there. It gets better.

  6. chacochicken - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    The line to give this guy a concussion starts behind me.

  7. joshfrancis50 - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    Reusse is the one whose brain…has the…shell… on it.

  8. gdog97 - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    Ok, ok, ok. C’mon, Aaron. You know Reusse as well as I do as we’re both lifelong MN residents and know that he can be a blowhard moron. But you can’t honestly think he’s advocating that Mauer play through a brain injury. Reusse is an idiot, but he’s not stupid.

    You also know as well as I do that Mauer isn’t exactly the most durable player, for many reasons, and has been criticized several times for not being the guy that will try and play through something. Even Terry Ryan said as much when he took the job back over and he wanted to see first hand why Mauer wasn’t on the field.

    I believe that was the point Reusse was trying to make. Now, if he was making a point about his concussion then I’m wrong and Reusse is an even bigger idiot than I thought and is now also just flat out stupid to boot.

    • daveitsgood - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:12 PM

      and yet his hashtag was ‘playyousissies’, so reasonably one would assume he is advocating that Mauer play through a brain injury and is a sissy because he’s not gritting it out and playing through it.

  9. sknut - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    Reusse usually is more smart than this, especially before the concussion he has been healthy last year and this year up to that point. And in 2007 Reusse wrote a column about Corey Koskie whose career ended because of concussions. Not sure what he was trying to say but he failed badly.

    *One last thing while everyone thinks its time for Mauer to move to 1B, Mauer has been steadfast against wanting to catch, he may change his tune come spring training but that doesn’t sound like a sissy to me.

  10. packhawk04 - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    I think the “ethic in the clubhouse” that hes talking about is mauer and morneau being treated differently than others. That was a big gripe of torii hunters before he left. When he came up through the twins system, they were hard on players when it came to injuries. It changed somewhere along the way, and mauer and morneau have been babied quite a bit.

    I dont think he was advocating that mauer play with concussions, i think he was trying to make that point.

    • rpearlston - Sep 30, 2013 at 3:19 PM

      The English languages allows for anyone to say that, at any time, including Reusse. But he didn’t. He spoke only about the concussions, including something on which he probably does not agree – post concussion syndrome. His words indicated not even a basic understanding that a concussion is a traumatic brain injury, and that there is no such thing as a “minor” traumatic brain injury.

      Now, please think about no longer apologizing for him.

  11. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    Hey Patrick. Let me hit you over the face with a baseball bat and let’s see if you are still writing your bullshit columns and tweets.

  12. percychuggs - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    Reusse also said this month that NFL delays because of lightning aren’t done for player/fan safety, but so the networks can air more commercials. He’s a curmudgeonly idiot.

    • yahmule - Sep 30, 2013 at 3:50 PM

      The fans pretty much sit there like fish in a barrel.

  13. cohnjusack - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    Wow! What a great understanding of concussions he has!

    My wife is a software developer, not an athlete. Last year, she smacked her head on a low hanging pipe in parking garage and got a concussion. 2 weeks in, she’s at her computer at work (she had to miss several days in between then and was working reduced hours thanks to her head injury already and subsequent nausea and headaches), she suddenly rushed to the bathroom to begin vomiting and had to go to the ER. At which point her Dr. told her she had to stop working until her symptoms eased. She was out of work for 2 more weeks.

    I share this story to point out how fucking stupid Reusse’s comments are. My wife works at a deskjob that requires no physical activity other than thinking really hard, and concentrating on a computer screen caused her to be a trip to the ER. Her injury was smacking her head on a pipe, and those were the consequences.

    Now, knowing that this can be the case, how is it reasonable to tell a friggin’ athlete to go exert himself physically on the field with 100 mph baseball rushing around everywhere?

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 30, 2013 at 4:14 PM

      From now on…any time someone mentions something about playing with concussions I want you to cut and paste your post. Because if that isn’t the most compelling argument AGAINST playing with concussions I don’t know what is. Sorry to hear about your Wife. Hope she made a full recovery.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 30, 2013 at 8:39 PM

        Don’t forget Brandon McCarthy. After getting struck in the head he walked off under his own power, and outside a headache didn’t feel anything wrong. Then what, that night(?), he ended up in the ER undergoing lifesaving brain surgery.

        Head injuries are super serious, and should be taken as such.

  14. yahmule - Sep 30, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    Liam Neeson’s wife, Natasha Richardson wiped out on a bunny hill and refused medical treatment several times. She had a bad headache later that night and finally went to the hospital but it was too late to save her life.

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 30, 2013 at 4:12 PM

      I forgot about that Mule. Excellent point.

      • lawson1974 - Sep 30, 2013 at 4:37 PM

        Completely different situation

      • stlouis1baseball - Sep 30, 2013 at 5:18 PM

        How so? Richardson, Mauer and Cusack’s Wife all suffered from concussions. Wait…I do see where the situations are different. Mauer’s job is far more dangerous. As a result, his risk is far greater. Is that your point?

  15. lawson1974 - Sep 30, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    This is baseball. 6 weeks later, Mauer could be playing.
    It was a choice based on record.

    • cohnjusack - Sep 30, 2013 at 5:11 PM

      Boy, you know nothing about concussions, do you?

      #1: Their is not set timetable to recover from a concussion. Even mild concussions can take 2-3 months to completely recover from.

      #2. Athletic activities can vastly increase the amount of time and severity of concussion symptoms.

      #3. The absolute worst thing you can do when suffering from a concussion and put yourself in a position to get another one. According to the American Associates of Neurological Surgeons “A second concussion soon after the first one does not have to be very strong for its effects to be deadly or permanently disabling.”

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 30, 2013 at 8:42 PM

        Here’s what concussions can do to you:

        One evening in August, Kyle Turley was at a bar in Nashville with his wife and some friends. It was one of the countless little places in the city that play live music. He’d ordered a beer, but was just sipping it, because he was driving home. He had eaten an hour and a half earlier. Suddenly, he felt a sensation of heat. He was light-headed, and began to sweat. He had been having episodes like that with increasing frequency during the past year—headaches, nausea. One month, he had vertigo every day, bouts in which he felt as if he were stuck to a wall. But this was worse. He asked his wife if he could sit on her stool for a moment. The warmup band was still playing, and he remembers saying, “I’m just going to take a nap right here until the next band comes on.” Then he was lying on the floor, and someone was standing over him. “The guy was freaking out,” Turley recalled. “He was saying, ‘Damn, man, I couldn’t find a pulse,’ and my wife said, ‘No, no. You were breathing.’ I’m, like, ‘What? What?’ ”

        They picked him up. “We went out in the parking lot, and I just lost it,” Turley went on. “I started puking everywhere. I couldn’t stop. I got in the car, still puking. My wife, she was really scared, because I had never passed out like that before, and I started becoming really paranoid. I went into a panic. We get to the emergency room. I started to lose control. My limbs were shaking, and I couldn’t speak. I was conscious, but I couldn’t speak the words I wanted to say.”

  16. schrutebeetfarms - Sep 30, 2013 at 11:15 PM

    I don’t think this has anything to do with concussions rather the multiple reports of players choosing when they play throughout the past couple years. Anyone following the Twins knows what Ruesse is talking about. I expect a bit more from Gleeman.

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