BOSTON Ryan Sweeney is the first Red Sox player to go on baseballs seven-day concussion disabled list. The concussion-specific DL was implemented before the start of the 2011 season as part of baseballs policy to manage and oversee the injury, including when a player can get back on the field.
Sweeney, who expects to be activated Monday, said he had never had a concussion or head injury before. Like all players, Sweeney was given a baseline test in spring training. He has had to pass several tests before he can be activated.
Its a necessary step in the battle against brain injuries.
Manager Bobby Valentine said he likely had several concussions in his life.
Of course, he said.
In high school football I went into the wrong huddle and stuff like that. I was concussed. I kind of liked it. I didnt know you werent supposed to like those things. It was kind of like ooooh, ya know, type of thing. But Im sure I had them in baseball.
Well, Ill donate my brain when I have my heart attack tomorrow, they can have my brain. But for sure I had them, and Im not making light of it. I am making light of it because I got over them. But it was a different world.
In a playful mood, Valentine could make light of it. But, he understands the severity of the injury.
Obviously it depends on the individual, but its got to be difficult, he said. All of sudden, youre told and you feel that theres something wrong inside, your brains not functioning like it should. You have to take pause.
The baseball culture shake it off, get back in there is changing. As it should.
I think that all the world of sport has understood that you dont shake it off and get back in there, Valentine said. And they also understand that some people have dodged bullets by shaking it off getting back in there. But its a serious situation that needs to be addressed properly. I think that baseball and all sports are trying to set the right example for kids and others.