Ladies and gentlemen, we present: the most New York Yankees story of 2023, and one that should end with Anthony Rizzo taking the team to court.
It's pretty difficult to have faith in this team's medical staff when "a fan watching one video" could uncover something it took the Yankees two months to attempt to diagnose. When Rizzo was hip-checked startlingly hard by Fernando Tatis Jr. in a May 28 game against the Padres, then left the contest, it seemed likely he had a neck issue, concussion, or both.
Rizzo missed a few games, but returned after missing a single series on June 2 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He recorded one hit in that series, and from that point forward was one of the worst regular hitters in MLB, famously recording a worse stretch than anything Joey Gallo had been responsible for in a Yankees uniform.
What could have caused his fall from grace? He looked like an All-Star in May and an also ran in June. Surely, it was natural regression and not, say, the man who almost knocked his head off his body.
Who knows what the Yankees knew and when they knew it? All we know is Rizzo was placed on the IL on Thursday after tests revealed "cognitive impairment". The first baseman reportedly passed concussion protocol at the time of the incident, but has complained of "fogginess" in recent days. All in all, this is unbelievable.
Yankees played Anthony Rizzo through concussion for two months and batted him third
No, Wednesday against Shane McClanahan was not a "normal" day of rest for the struggling first baseman, thanks for asking. Not only did Rizzo play through this, but he typically batted second. What a startling indictment on the Yankees -- as well as a startling indictment on the Royals, who allowed Rizzo to go 4-for-4.
Remember when the Mets were demonized for flying a concussed Ryan Church cross-country? Rizzo has flown on plenty of planes since then!
Concussions are deadly serious, and can cost players their careers, even in non-contact sports like baseball (and kudos to Tatis Jr. for managing to make this tranquil pastime a contact sport). Church soon saw his career fizzle out after the Mets did him wrong. Justin Morneau of the Twins' star dimmed after a fatal concussion at second base. Who knows what Rizzo has in his history? All we know now is that one or both parties were stunningly irresponsible here.