Ryan Freel Had CTE and Other Bullets

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Ryan Freel Had CTE and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

mlb logoA buddy of mine is interviewing at a residency program in Chicago tomorrow, and since I’m Mr. Chicago among my Ohio-based friends, we decided to turn it into a road trip. I’ll be driving for a good chunk of today, which means you won’t see me as much in the comments/Twitter/Facebook/etc. You shouldn’t notice a difference in posting, however, because there’s plenty to discuss, and I’ll make sure it’s covered. If anything breaks mid-day, please forgive a delay in posting.

  • You may remember Ryan Freel as the kind of gritty, all-out, run-into-the-wall type of player that fans naturally gravitate to. You might remember him as a pretty darn valuable utility player for the Cincinnati Reds for a number of years. You might even remember that he played in 14 games as a Cub in 2009. But you probably remember that Freel committed suicide last year, and there were fears and suspicions that a number of concussions throughout his career could have played a role. His family has revealed that, after Freel’s brain was studied posthumously, doctors concluded that Freel did, in fact, suffer from CTE – the degenerative brain diseased associated with repeated trauma to the head, and characterized by memory loss, mood disorders, and sometimes linked to suicide. MLB has already taken steps to improve its treatment of players suffering from concussions, including the creation of a seven-day disabled list for concussions. While baseball is unlikely to face the same kind of public health battle currently plaguing football, it’s still something worth discussing. In light of the Freel revelation, it probably will be discussed.
  • The kiddos had me up early this morning, so I started writing at 5 am. That means you may have missed the late-night/over-night Indians move to sign John Axford.
  • Looks like Anthony Rizzo’s second annual Walk Off for Cancer was a success.
  • Of potential interest to Cubs fans, given the Yankees’ interest in Jeff Samardzija and reported interest in Darwin Barney, it’s the Baseball Prospectus top ten prospect list for the Yankees. It’s pretty much catching prospect Gary Sanchez, and then a whole bunch of high risk/meh types. I’m not sure anyone on the Yankees’ top ten outside of Sanchez would make the Cubs’ top 10.
  • The Bears won an exciting (and frequently frustrating) one over the Browns yesterday, which keeps them firmly in the playoff hunt. Tonight’s Lions game is all the more important – if the Lions lose, the Bears will control their own playoff destiny over the final two weeks of the season. I think. I’m working on my Bears fandom. To assist me, I make sure to read Jay’s recap/thoughts/bits from yesterday’s win, as well as his morning Bullets and upcoming (I assume) preview for tonight’s huge Lions game.
  • If you didn’t check in this weekend, there’s a change coming to the comments here at the site, so you’ll want to drink in the details here before that change comes on January 1 (ultra short version: you’ll be required to register/log-in to comment).

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.