Matheny advocates for concussion awareness

Matheny advocates for concussion awareness

SAN FRANCISCO -- Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, whose own catching career was cut short because of complications with post-concussion syndrome, is encouraged by rule changes at the amateur level of baseball.

"I have been catching since I was 10 and I have been getting cleaned out at the plate since I was 10," Matheny said. "Through high school and the Minors, I remember vicious hits. You don't see a lot of that at the younger level. In general, I don't think it's a great play."

Matheny was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome after taking several foul balls off his mask, causing a severe concussion, while catching for the Giants in May 2006.

"Foul balls certainly do something to the brain, but there was a lot of damage done before the foul balls," he said. "When I talk to parents and Little League coaches, I ask them to step back and use their heads. Even if it's a championship game, it's still just an amateur game and to err on the side of caution."

Matheny also doesn't like the term "concussion," saying it's used like the injury is no big deal.

"We need to change the term to 'mild brain injury,'" he said. "If parents start realizing that it affects their child's brain, there might be more attention paid."