At that time, the Mets were criticized for relying on Church to decide whether he could play after the second concussion. Jerry Manuel said yesterday that the team would no longer allow the patient to dictate treatment. "I'm just going to take it out of his hands," Manuel said.It's no secret that this blog is highly critical of the National Football League. I hate most everything about it, from its salary structure to its pension system, from its labor rules to its selectively paternalistic approach to the players, from its hyper-seriousness to the culture of gambling it cultivates and tacitly encourages. But one thing I can't fault the NFL for is its in-season medical care to active players. When a quarterback gets a concussion, you read about the battery of medical tests he undergoes and the disappointment he feels when the medical staff tells him that he can't play. Careers have been ended by concussions in the NFL, obviously, but when they do, it's more often than not because doctor has told the player that he simply can't go anymore.
Then there's the Mets. Do they not have access to a neurologist who could have decided whether Ryan Church was able to play in late May and again this past week? After all of the drama in late May, they were still letting him decide whether to play or not? Ryan Church is a professional athlete. He's been trained since he was but a lad to say "put me in coach, I'm ready to play," no matter how ready he actually is. The fact that the Mets were, as Manuel says, leaving the decision in his hands despite the seriousness of post-concussion syndrome speaks to either incompetence or negligence or both.
Are the Mets so desperate to win that they'd willingly risk a player's health over it, or do they simply not know any better?