Jason Bay had another bit of bad luck; as he was attempting to catch a fly ball he slid and hit his head on the left field wall. It was utterly obvious to the trained observer that Bay was again not right; it took some extra help and “ginger” walking to get him off the field. Unfortunately this wasn’t his first; nor did the last one recover quickly… Fortunately, he and the Mets are very aware of concussions and the issues surrounding them;
On Friday night, hours after Jason Bay’s head torpedoed into the left field wall at Citi Field – his brain rattling in his skull as he endured his second concussion in less than two calendar years – Terry Collins shared a conversation with his wife on their car ride out of Flushing. They talked about Bay and decisions he may need to make that were no longer just about baseball, but about quality of life. It evinced the sports’ progressive perspective on concussions.
“We sat there and we talked about what would we do in a situation like that if I was a father, a husband and looked down the road 15, 20 years,” Collins recalled. “And I don’t know, I can’t answer those things.”
It is now a discourse worth having for Bay and one that Collins found himself in Sunday. Bay’s first concussion in 2010 forced him to miss the final two months of the 2010 season. This one has raised questions of whether coming back is signing into a possibly Faustian bargain – trading extra years on a career for a diminished lifestyle after them.
That nuanced discussion is even being held is a sign of how much understanding of the concussion issue has moved away from its black and white past.
I happen to think that as little as 4 years ago Jason Bay would have been back in the lineup today after a weekends rest, so this is progress. It is going to be a tough road going forward, but just like Sidney Crosby its a road that does have full recovery on the other side.