Ryan Church, please stay home.
Major League Baseball, please make this man stay home.
On May 21, Ryan Church slid into second base attempting to break up a double play. The result was disastrous.
Yuniel Escobar's knee struck Church in the head, and Church went down face first in the dirt, where he slid a few feet before finally coming to a stop with his face covered in blood.
A concussion is one of sports' most dangerous and least protected injuries. One of baseball's least protected ones. This wasn't even Church's first concussion THIS season. Why has he pinch-hit four times since this occurrence? Ryan Church...please stay home.
In the NFL, there are clearly stated rules about players with concussions. The following is taken verbatim from the NFL's press release on concussions and what should be done to protect a player.
1. The player should be completely asymptomatic and have normal neurological test results, including mental status testing at rest and after physical exertion, before returning to play.
2. Symptoms to be taken into account include confusion, problems with immediate recall, disorientation to time, place and person, anterograde and retrograde amnesia, fatigue, and blurred vision.
3. If an NFL player sustains a loss of consciousness, as determined by the team medical staff, he should not return to the same game or practice.
4. NFL team physicians and athletic trainers will continue to exercise their medical judgment and expertise in treating concussions, including considering any history of concussions in a player.
Impressive? Yes. There is another sport that puts even that to shame. UFC fighter Chuck Liddell was knocked out during a fight...and promptly got suspended 45 days. FOR HIS SAFETY.
Was he pleased? No. Was he thankful that people were looking out for his well-being? I'm guessing yes.
Major League Baseball has been discussing implementing instant replay next season to appease fans and to get home run calls right. The time has come for Bud Selig and the owners to focus on something a bit more important: Concussion awareness.
There should be a set of rules and/or guidelines to follow after a player has sustained a concussion. For baseball not to have anything like this yet is just a shame.
I'm sure a player would much rather have his health than one more home run on the back of his baseball card.