Good Hands Jorge

I neglected to mention this in yesterday’s wrap, but kudos to Jorge Posada for catching home plate umpire Jerry Layne, who caught a foul ball flush off the right side of his chin under the mask. The blow clearly dazed and wobbled him and, were it not for Jorge springing up and eventually grabbing his hands as Layne staggered back, the umpire would have fallen to the ground. At the time, it seemed like simply a nice thing to do, which it was. Yet Layne has suffered a mild concussion, which could have been made worse with a fall and possibly another blow to the head. Layne left the game and was taken to the hospital, where he stayed overnight.

Broadcasters such as Kay frequently and rightly mention the “special bond” that umpires and catchers have as they crouch together behind home plate. They typically take their time after one receives a blow from a ball or bat to bring the ball to the pitcher, dust off home, call for extra balls, confer with teammates, and the like to allow the other to recover. You almost always see them chatting after such plays to check on one another. Jorge’s quick reaction yesterday was all the more crucial, for recent studies have shown that accumulated blows from balls and bats to catchers (and presumably umpires as well) can cause concussions–while wearing a helmet.  That’s nothing to mess around with.

There is the masculine code in male athlete sports of “sucking it up” regarding injuries.  Yet certain ones, especially head injuries, can be permanently debilitating. Concussions can result in the slowing and deadening of activity in certain areas of the brain, bruises, swelling, decreased motor function, and more. Too little is currently known about the brain and concussions, though sports medicine has vastly improved in this and other areas in recent years. Certainly, enough is commonly known that getting cracked in the jaw by a ball hurts and is not a good thing.

What Jorge did for Layne was very kind. It might have also saved further damage, since a dazed Layne could have hit his head again on the ground as he fell, worsening the mild concussion he already had. Yet another reason why it’s good to have Jorge back.

Published in: on June 8, 2008 at 8:40 am  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I thought Jorge was going down with the ump for a minute there. Scary moment.

    I watched the recap of that really weird game. Who’d have thought KC could score that many runs in a week, much less one game?

    Would have made for a heck of an HDLR. Speaking of which, after the All-Star game they usually offer the Extra Innings package at a huge discount, so I’ll be able to tune in to more HDLRs as the Yanks make their inevitable 2nd-half surge…

  2. also for next year steve, if you order the extra innings package the first week of the season you get it at a discount.

    good stuff jason- per usual of course…

  3. I did too, Steve. It reminded of those moments when Shaq hits the floor and some well-intentioned teammate comes over to assist, then realizes he should have brought more help–like a forklift. To me, it’s an unfortunate reminder that catchers and umpires should go to the new hockey-style masks that provide more neck and jaw protection. They also offer more head padding. Whenever I have an HDLR–and I’ll list some upcoming HDLR’s by tonight–feel free to come by anytime. I too feel a surge coming.

    Good advice, Mike, and thanks for the kind words–and the Price article.

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