‘Vulgar’ Mississippi State Warmup Shirts

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Starkville, Mississippi.  Few teams across the country – if any – are more connected with adidas than Mississippi State baseball, states the Clarion-Ledger newspaper.

The team uses adidas not just for apparel, but for gloves and bats too.

However, no one was more surprised by the warmup shirts that featured the phrase “F–K The School Up North” than Mississippi State baseball coach John Cohen.

“Somebody ran up and told me,” Cohen said. “It’s unfortunate, but I really don’t have anything (to say) in that area.”

Mississippi State will not wear the shirts again, the Clarion-Ledger reports.

Is The U.S. All Bad?

Of course not.

The U.S. has some positives and is still safer than many countries, with a better economy.

Chicago Cubs catcher Miguel Montero, who has made his home in the Phoenix area since 2007, returned this past off-season to Venezuela, where most of his relatives still live, states USA Today.

He stayed there five days.

USA Today states that Venezuela has rampant crime and had the second-highest homicide rate in the world last year, and Montero renewed his passport in his native city of Caracas and hurried back to the USA, feeling terrible for the family members and others he left behind.

“I would go from the place where I was trying to get my passport to the house and back. That’s it,” Montero said. “You want to go to your country to relax and have a good time, not to be shut inside your house because you’re afraid to go out. … There are safety concerns anywhere in the world, but you watch the news about Venezuela and more people have been killed there than in Afghanistan.”

Montero has two kids and will request U.S. citizenship this year.

He was at the forefront of what has become a wave of Venezuelan major-league baseball players moving their families to the states, largely over safety issues.

Felix Hernandez, Miguel Cabrera, Carlos Gonzalez and Victor Martinez are some of the prominent Venezuelans who have established permanent roots in the U.S., but it’s not just the star players who are coming.

San Francisco Giants teammates Gregor Blanco and Guillermo Quiroz have moved to Miami, a favorite destination among expatriates.

More Of Bill O’Reilly’s Untruths And Exaggerations Revealed


Keith Olbermann

A segment by ESPN host Keith Olbermann last year sheds some more light on Bill O’Reilly’s questionable claims about himself (starting at about the 2:35 mark in the video).

On November 19th, 2014, Olbermann named the Fox News host Bill O’Reilly as his daily “Worst Person In The World.”   It wasn’t actually because of their political differences.  Instead, it was about O’Reilly’s past claims about his athletic skills that were presented as fact.

On November 17th, O’Reilly had given a radio interview talking about his days as a varsity football player at Marist College.

“We were undefeated our senior year,” O’Reilly told ESPN radio host Dan Le Batard. “That was a pretty good deal.”

But Olbermann had de-bunked that claim as far back as 2005, and showed that Marist did not have a varsity team until 1978 – seven years after O’Reilly graduated.

Le Batard pointed out Olbermann’s claims. “It was varsity football in the sense of that we played Georgetown, Catholic U., Fordham, Manhattan, Iona,” O’Reilly said in his defense.  “So, you know, look. You know what it is, guys, you know what it is.”

O’Reilly made some claims about baseball that Olbermann also corrected.

Concussions In Major League Baseball

Concussions.

Freel, who joined pro baseball in 2001 and retired in 2009, sustained at least 10 concussions on the field. He also sustained concussions at ages 2 and 4. He suffered from depression and substance abuse and committed suicide in 2012.

After the case of Ryan Freel, baseball arrived at an interesting crossroads when it comes to athletes and concussions.  

The Cincinnati Reds infielder committed suicide in 2012 and later was found to be the first Major League Baseball player diagnosed with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or CTE.

CTE is a progressive disease in individuals with a history of multiple concussions and other forms of head injury.  It can only be definitively diagnosed after death. 

Before his death, Freel had exhibited many of the same signs found in former NFL players who have committed suicide and were later found to be suffering from CTE.

He suffered from depression and anxiety and, according to the Times-Union, “family said that they saw a pronounced mental decline in Freel over the final years of his life.”

His most notable injury came on May 28, 2007, when he was playing for the Cincinnati Reds and collided with fellow outfielder Norris Hopper.

“I know it was a concussion,” Freel said at the time. “I’ve had them before and know what it is. I was knocked out. Every other time I’ve had concussions, I’ve been knocked out. None of them have been like this. I never had the lingering affects. This is totally different than what I had before.”

Freel estimated that he had suffered nine or 10 concussions in his life, many of them on the baseball field.

Like the NFL before them, there’s a possibility that Major League Baseball will be enforcing rule changes in the coming years to reduce the likelihood of head injuries during play.

For example, home plate collisions between catchers have baserunners were partially banned, and stiffer penalties for pitchers suspected of throwing at batters could be implemented. 

Youth leagues can get out in front of the problem by mandating certain changes—for example, head/face protection for pitchers and infielders.

“Equipment does not prevent concussions,” clarifies Dr. Todd Lewis, Ph.D, neuropsychologist and brain injury clinical specialist and co-director of the Concussion Clinic at Magee Rehabilitation Center. “but it may reduce the severity of the injury.”

If you went to current Major League pitchers and told them to wear a helmet the next time they took the mound, you’d likely meet considerable resistance. But if that pitcher has been wearing a helmet since age 9, that just becomes part of the uniform.

To their credit, Major League Baseball has gotten out in front of the concussion problem in some areas, including and most notably the creation of a 7-day disabled list specifically for players who exhibit concussion-like symptoms.

Major League Baseball’s policy was first started in 2007, and injured players are examined by a team athletic trainer on the field. 

On March 29, 2011, MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association announced that they have created various protocols for the league’s concussion policy. The new policy includes four primary components:

  • All teams are to run baseline neurocognitive testing for all players and umpires using the ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) system during spring training or after a player signing.
  • The SCAT2 (Sport Concussion Assessment Tool, version 2) has been adopted as the official sideline concussion assessment tool of the league.
  • The establishment of the 7-day disabled list for players with concussions. Players who have been on the list for 14 days are to be transferred to the 15-day list.
  • Any player who has been diagnosed with a concussion, regardless of being placed on the disabled list, must have his team submit a return-to-play form to the league’s medical director.

In February of 2014, a partial ban on home plate crashes with the catcher took effect. 

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Recently, there have been traumatic injuries suffered by pitchers Brandon McCarthy, Juan Nicasio, Alex Cobb, Aroldis Chapman, and who were all struck in the head or face by line drive come backers.  In August, Baltimore Orioles second baseman Alexi Casilla, returned to a game despite suffering an obvious concussion on the field.

This has led MLB to focus some efforts to better protect pitchers.  

One invention that received MLB’s approval were the bulky “padded caps” made by isoBlox that are designed with extra padding to help absorb the impact. Padres reliever Alex Torres became the first pitcher to wear it in an MLB game. 

In 2013, Freel’s family and Major League Baseball learned that he had CTE the same day MLB’s rules committee announced that it had decided to ban collisions at home plate between base runners and catchers. That decision was praised by many but also drew heavy criticism from some corners, including from some managers and former players.

Freel’s diagnosis, though, should be seen as another justification for removing those collisions from the game, given that baseball trainers were told that 22 percent of concussions suffered on MLB fields happen on such plays.

New rules could help MLB save money.  In the NFL, more than 4,500 former athletes – some suffering from dementia, depression or Alzheimer’s that they blamed on blows to the head – sued the NFL over CFE since the first case was filed in Philadelphia in 2011.   The settlement totaled $765 million, the vast majority of which would go to compensate athletes with certain neurological ailments.

Below is a video from 2011 of Juan Nicasio getting hit and suffering a concussion. 

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/sportsdoc/Ryan-Freel-and-CTE-what-does-it-mean-for-baseballs-future.html#HLqAv7vUUISR5ttm.99