Ryan Freel had CTE when he committed suicide

12/15/13 in MLB   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Blog Photo - Ryan Freel had CTE when he committed suicideIt's been about a year since former Major League Baseball player Ryan Freel committed suicide. He was reported to have suffered "nine or ten" concussions in his career. After he died, his family donated his brain to the Boston University Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy and Sports Legacy Institute, the same group that is conducted studies of the brains of deceased football players.

This past week the results of the study came back, and the diagnosis? Stage II CTE.

If anything, this shows that even in sports not known for contact, head injuries can still be an issue. It makes MLB's decision to ban home plate collisions make even more sense. If a league can reduce the risk of concussions in any way without changing the basic way the sport is played, than it's an obvious move. That's the inherent problem football has. The basic way the sport is played invites brain trauma no matter what new rules are implemented.

The Freel news comes on the same day that Pete Rose expressed his disapproval at the new rule (the two stories are separated by just one post on HardballTalk). Frankly, that's antiquated old cranky ballplayer talk, and his name a catcher who's gotten a concussion in the last 10 years question is beyond ignorant.

We're slowing learning that while baseball doesn't have nearly the problem that football does, preventing concussions does need to be more on their radar. The tragic story of Ryan Freel shows why.
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