UPDATE: Rob 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.
Fox Sports Detroit has named Matt Shepard their new full-time play-by-play guy for Tigers games. Shepard will work with analysts Jack Morris and Kirk Gibson, who will split time.
This is the move in response to former longtime announcers Mario Impemba and Rod Allen getting suspended and later fired following an in-booth altercation in Chicago last September. The two of them, who weren’t exactly friends, reportedly fought over a chair, with conflicting reports of how serious the fight was. An anonymous witness said Allen put Impemba in a choke hold. Allen recently gave an interview in which he denied that and said it was only some pushing and shoving. Either way, it ended their 16-year team-up for Tigers games.
Shepard has worked for Fox Sports Detroit for nearly 20 years, doing fill-in play-by-play for the Tigers — he replaced Impemba for the last few weeks of last season — and for Detroit Pistons games. Gibson has been a part time analyst for the network for the past couple of seasons, splitting time with Allen. Morris has done Tigers, Blue Jays and Twins games over the years, sometimes even splitting time between the Twins and Tigers, which is rather unusual.
Shepard is pretty good at his job. While Tigers fans liked and were familiar with Impemba, there won’t be a falloff in quality. Gibson makes some good analytical points and has a surprisingly sharp and biting sense of humor about him, but his gruff and monotone delivery is not everyone’s cup of tea. You get used to it. Morris is not my cup of tea — he tends to do a lot of the “back in my day” stuff former players often do — but I’m pretty sure he could recite the dictionary on TV in Detroit and a lot of Tigers fans would tune in. Such is life.