MLB's Proposed 7-Day DL Option Is a Bad Idea

ST. LOUIS - SEPTEMBER 23:  Manager Bob Brenly of the Arizona Diamondbacks and team trainer Paul Lessard check on third baseman Chris Donnels #18 after Donnels suffered a mild concussion while fielding a bunt in the third inning of the MLB game against the St. Louis Cardinals on September 23, 2002 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 13-1. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Jess K. ColemanContributor IOctober 22, 2010

Major League Baseball is considering adding a seven-day disabled list option for players with concussions, a person familiar with the proposal told the Associated Press. The proposal could come into effect as soon as next season.

Recently, concussions have been catapulted onto the national stage, as high school football players, and NFL players alike, have begun to suffer injuries. The state of Washington has already passed legislation intended to protect youth football players from concussions. Other states have laws already in place, and others will likely follow.

The NFL has begun to crack down on illegal hits that could result in head injuries. Just last week, three players were fined at least $50,000, and the league was warned that suspensions would be handed out in the future.

Concussions have recently become a problem in Major League Baseball as well. The Twins lost their star Justin Morneau, and the Mets lost three sluggers in David Wright, Jason Bay, and Ryan Church, all to concussions.

Clearly, concussions are a problem.

Major League Baseball currently has two disabled list options: 15 days and 60 days. The new, seven-day policy would allow players to return faster if they had a concussion. 

Sounds like a good idea, right? Concussions are becoming a problem, so let's solve that problem by encouraging players to have quicker recoveries. No. Bad idea.

Concussions are becoming a problem because new technology has allowed us to detect injuries that were undetectable in the past. If anything, we should be encouraging longer recoveries, not shorter ones.

Now, I am not a doctor, but I can't imagine that eight more days of recovery is a bad idea. What I do know for sure is that Justin Morneau missed almost three months with a concussion. Would a seven-day recovery have worked for him?

On the one hand, a seven-day disabled list option may encourage teams to shut down players instead of letting them play through the injury. But, on the other hand, a seven-day recovery does not seem adequate, and the idea of encouraging teams to have faster recovery processes can only lead to more injuries.

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