SBD/April 3, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

MLB League Notes: Game Structure Presents Unique Challenges To Evaluating Head Injuries

Harper returned to Monday's game following his possible concussion
In N.Y., Alan Schwarz wrote the "questionable events" surrounding Nationals LF Bryce Harper sustaining a possible concussion Monday against the Mets "underscored two things: football isn’t the only sport with pressure to return players to the field, and in some ways, baseball has it worse." Baseball players once removed "cannot return to the game."  After Harper was injured while sliding into second base, medical personnel had "two outs left -- and two minutes for commercials -- to get him to the clubhouse, perform the test and hustle back." Univ. of North Carolina Senior Associate Dean for Natural Sciences Kevin Guskiewicz, who is part of the team that developed the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool, said that it "could not be administered properly in less than 10 minutes, and often takes up to twice that." Schwarz: "Baseball's challenge is unique [in that] its players can be in the game but not on the field, undergoing medical evaluations that must end along with the commercials. For a sport without time, it sure can run out, quickly" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/2).

DRAFT DAY: MLB.com's Jim Callis reported values for picks in the first 10 rounds of '14 MLB's First-Year Player Draft and for each team's four int'l Draft slots will "be increased by 1.7 percent over last year's assigned figures." Draft bonus pools for all 30 clubs will now total $205.79M and the int'l bonus pools will equal $79.19M. The industry spent $219.3M on Draft bonuses in '13, and "had paid out" $88.7M on int'l bonuses through Feb. 9. The Marlins, who "have more selections (13) in the first 10 rounds than any club, have the highest Draft pool" at $14.2M, but only in '05 have they "spent as much" as $8M. The lowest pool "belongs to the Orioles," who have an allotment of $2.2M (MLB.com, 4/2).

ALL IT'S CRACKED UP TO BE? ESPN.com's David Schoenfield wrote MLB with its new replay system is "getting more calls correct -- and that’s admirable and necessary -- but we’re still seeing controversy and confusion." MLB "should have known from watching the NFL that instant replay wasn’t going to be a panacea." Replay "is not going to be a perfect system," and the delays, while "usually short, do seem to provide an unnatural pause to a game." In addition, managers "yelling at the men in blue" will soon "seem like a relic of baseball’s past, like ivy-free walls at Wrigley" (ESPN.com, 4/2).
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