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MLB pitcher’s head injury raises debate

A scary moment on the baseball diamond has heightened the awareness of head injuries and how to prevent them.
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - A scary moment on the baseball diamond has heightened the awareness of head injuries and how to prevent them.

Tampa Bay Ray's pitcher Alex Cobb was hit in the head by a ball traveling at more than 100 miles an hour on Saturday.

The baseball reached the mound in about a third of a second and Cobb had no time to protect himself.

The line drive knocked him to the ground and that is when the debate of protecting athletes from head injuries resurfaced.

Brian Rieger, PhD Director of Upstate Concussion Center says it often takes a dramatic event like the Cobb incident until people say something needs to be done.

People are now speaking up on how to prevent such an incident from happening again.

Some experts are saying that pitchers should wear helmets.

But the Upstate Concussion Center says it can’t protect athletes from all head injuries.

“Even if you do everything right, you can get a concussion playing any sport and it's equally important to focus on, ‘Okay, what do we do when a concussion occurs,” Rieger said.

Rieger says that it’s critical to know the signs and symptoms of a concussion.

“It may not be what you think. In fact, only about 10 percent of athletes are knocked out during a concussion,” said Rieger.

Rieger says that a player should be immediately removed from the game if it is suspected that they suffered a concussion and they should be monitored for at least 24 to 48 hours.

Symptoms to look for include headaches, blurred vision, loss of balance or memory and slurred speech.

It could have been worse for Cobb, who says he woke up with a minor headache.

His injury may serve as a wake up call to the baseball world - that more may need to be done to protect its players.

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