MLB, union announce new concussion protocols
By Sports Network
NEW YORK -- Major League Baseball and the players union have revealed new protocols for players who suffer concussions.
A committee of experts has formulated a policy that will govern the manner in which concussions are initially diagnosed and the determination of when a player, or umpire, may return to the field.
Components of the policy include baseline neurological testing requirements for players and umpires during spring training, an established process for evaluating players and umpires for a possible concussion, a new seven-day disabled list for players who suffer concussions and a protocol for clearing those concussed to return to activity.
"I believe that Major League Baseball is taking a major step forward on a vital shared goal with the MLB Players Association," said commissioner Bud Selig in a statement. "This policy, which reflects the collective expertise of many of the foremost authorities in the field, will benefit players, umpires and clubs alike, and I am proud of the spirit of cooperation that has led us to this result."
The most notable player to suffer a concussion last year was Minnesota's Justin Morneau. The former AL MVP was hurt last July 7 when he took a knee to the head while sliding into second base trying to break up a double play and missed the remainder of the season.
"Player safety is a major concern of the collective bargaining parties," said MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner in the joint statement. "These new protocols and procedures should enhance our ongoing efforts to protect the health of players and umpires."
The policy will be effective at the major league and minor league levels, starting on Opening Day.