Jason Bay could be headed for the disabled list with a mild concussion stemming from a collision the leftfielder had with the Dodger Stadium outfield wall during Friday night's game.
Bay stayed in for the remainder of that game and he played Saturday and Sunday as well, saying Tuesday that he didn't experience a headache until he boarded the team's cross-country flight home.
Even then Bay didn't think his headache was indicative of anything more than perhaps dehydration. But after drinking several bottles of water and not feeling any relief, Bay said he approached Mets trainers while on the flight home and told them of his "dull" headache.
Bay said he was advised to rest on Monday, a day off for the Mets. When his headache did not subside, he visited with a team doctor Tuesday morning and was diagnosed with a mild concussion. Manager Jerry Manuel said Bay will be monitored and then re-evaluated in the "next 48 to 72 hours" before the team decides whether to place Bay on the 15-day disabled list.
Concussions have been a sensitive subject with the Mets after they were roundly criticized for their handling of Ryan Church's two concussions in 2008, most notably for letting Church fly with the team to Colorado the night of his second concussion.
Although Bay made it clear he did not mention his headache until he was on the flight, he wondered whether the cross-country flight aggravated his effects. "No one has really pointed that out," Bay said. "I'm just assuming that has something to do with it. But I have no idea. It's just me speculating."
Bay said he specifically asked the doctor whether it's unusual for symptoms of a concussion to show up two days after a collision. "He said it's not common, but it happens," Bay said.
As he spoke to reporters Tuesday, Bay said his headache was still there, no better or worse. He described it as less painful than a migraine, more along the lines of a tension headache. "Just a dull boring headache," Bay said. His back and neck also were still a little stiff, which he said the doctor thought could also be contributing to his headache.
Bay's concussion is the latest misstep in his disappointing debut season with the Mets. A streaky hitter his whole career, Bay has yet to go on one of his hot stretches. That's a large reason his statistics remain pedestrian (.259, six home runs, 47 RBIs).
While Bay admitted he briefly viewed the news of his concussion in the prism of "what's going to happen next," he stopped himself from entertaining the thought for long. "I was playing the game hard and ran into the fence," he said. "If that's the consequence then so be it."
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