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Easy Does It

Jay Jaffe has a good post on Jorge Posada and concussions over at PB:

Sadly, concussions have become a Very Big Deal in professional sports in recent years as their devastating and harrowing long-term effects have come to light. Among football players, they’ve been implicated in the onset of dementia. On the diamond, they’re thought to be the real cause of what’s previously been accepted as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a/k/a Lou Gehrig’s Disease, at least according to one recent scientific paper. Concussions have ended the careers of players such as Brewers’ third baseman Corey Koskie, who collided with a wall while attempting to catch a pop-up in 2006, and Giants’ catcher Mike Matheny, who was forced into retirement in early 2007 as a result of the cumulative effect of all the foul tips he took in the mask — a situation that rings a bell both literally and figuratively as far as Posada is concerned.

Other players such as Jim Edmonds, Ryan Church, Justin Morneau and Jason Bay have been forced to the sidelines for extended and maddeningly indefinite periods of time due to concussions and their aftermath, the poorly understood post-concussion syndrome, which can include headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, loss of memory, insomnia… a potpourri of misery. Cardinals’ manager Tony La Russa basically impugned Edmonds’ manhood while the latter recuperated, and Mets manager Jerry Manuel similarly made a hash of Church’s situation to the extent that his club came under well-deserved fire for their general handling of such cases.

Categories:  Bronx Banter  Yankees

Tags:  jay jaffe  Jorge Posada

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1 Mattpat11   ~  Sep 9, 2010 10:15 am

The Mets also started flying Church all around the country,

2 rbj   ~  Sep 9, 2010 10:17 am

Given all the problems our troops have suffered with concussions and traumatic brain injury in Iraq & Afghanistan, I'm not going to question anyone with a concussion. Didn't the Cowboys force Troy Aikman to retire due to all his concussions?

Better that than winding up like Muhammad Ali.

3 Yankster   ~  Sep 9, 2010 10:29 am

Jeter is listing his NY city apartment for sale. Is this a sign of something?

4 Alex Belth   ~  Sep 9, 2010 10:31 am

3) No.

5 williamnyy23   ~  Sep 9, 2010 10:31 am

On the day the NFL kicks off, talk about concussions seems very appropriate. Below is an excerpt from a recent article in the StarPhoenix.

It's funny...everyone harps on MLB's minor problems (like Verducci does in SI this week), but no one worries about NFL players dropping dead at premature ages.

Dementia-related disorders are 19 times more common among former NFL players than in the general population between the ages of 30-49, and five-times as common in ex-players over the age of 50. Why such a drop after age 50? Perhaps because the average life expectancy of an NFL player is 55, barely ahead of a male in Ethiopia (51.7 years).

Read more: http://www.thestarphoenix.com/news/Doctors+view+informed/3488037/story.html#ixzz0z2iCic6p

6 seamus   ~  Sep 9, 2010 11:18 am

[5] that's interesting. I'm not surprised by those stats at all. Football has become so violent that I don't think any equipment can really do what it needs to to protect players' health. It's downright scary.

7 pugzilla   ~  Sep 9, 2010 12:01 pm

@5: Those stats, while scary, beg for clarification. What time period of the game (early, unprotected, newer eqipment phase, etc.) do they cover? Do they cover violent deaths - either criminal or accidental (after all, the player pool might be drawn primarily from a segment in society in which there is a lowered life expectancy)?

I would think that a prospective study would be in order, along with careful review of deaths in the past. However, I would also think that the basic premise is, unfortunately, correct.

PugZilla, M.D.

8 Shaun P.   ~  Sep 9, 2010 3:35 pm

[7] I can't speak for that article william links, but I know that Alan Schwartz at the Times (among others) has been doing some excellent reporting on this issue for a while - and the results are scary. I want to say someone - maybe it was someone connected to Mike Webster? - did such a study, but I don't recall any details now.

In any case, even if you leave out the life expectancy numbers, the dementia numbers all alone are frightening. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't let my kids play football, no matter how much they asked or what talent they might have.

9 moismycopilot   ~  Sep 9, 2010 8:18 pm

[3] Huh. I always thought he lived somewhere on the UES, considering how many times my friends spotted him in a Starbucks up there. I doubt he's going anywhere.

[5] All that data that's been coming out on concussions has been really alarming. I'll defer to the team's doctors, since they say Jorge doesn't have one, but I almost would have felt safer if they'd have put him on Amtrak to Florida and met up with him there instead of flying him to Texas.

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