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

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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.

Cubs won’t make Kyle Schwarber available in trade talks

Kyle Schwarber
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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Cubs won’t deal Kyle Schwarber this winter, despite multiple inquires from teams around the league. Schwarber is approaching his first year of arbitration and will remain under team control for another three seasons before reaching free agency in 2022.

The decision comes on the heels of one of the strongest seasons of the 25-year-old outfielder’s short career. Over 137 games and 510 PA for the Cubs, he proved a passable defender in left field and batted .238/.356/.467 with 26 home runs, an .823 OPS, and 3.2 fWAR in 2018. He also led the National League in intentional walks, with 20, and bumped up his total walks from 59 in 2017 to 78.

Despite his marked improvements from previous years, Schwarber’s performance still left something to be desired — specifically against left-handed pitchers, who held the slugger to a paltry .224/.352/.303 with four extra-base hits across 91 PA. Still, it’s evident the Cubs feel Schwarber is capable of strengthening his splits in the years to come, and they might stand to get more value from him on the field than they would in a trade this offseason.

Of course, that’s not to say the Cubs intend to pass the Winter Meetings in total silence, especially as they’ll be seeking bullpen and catching depth in advance of their 2019 run at the division title. As club president Theo Epstein remarked last week, “We’re certainly open and active in trade talks with a lot of deals that usually don’t come to fruition. So, we may make some trades. We could make big ones that transform the roster. We may make smaller complementary ones. But there’s certain things we’d like to accomplish.”