Good Morning, McCoven!
Mac Williamson’s attempt to return to the player he was early in 2018 did not go as well as most of us would have hoped. Despite his best efforts, he wasn’t able to get his swing going again after a lengthy and likely ongoing battle with concussion symptoms, as detailed here by Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle and even more personally by his girlfriend, Kaitlyn, on her blog the previous Fall. This section was really hard, for me:
The disconnect I felt from him at times was physically and emotionally draining for me, because there were times when I felt like I didn’t know the person sitting next to me. It wasn’t Mac. I would be talking to him and he would be trying really hard to listen, and I would say something later about that conversation we would have and he would not remember it at all.
I used to date someone who had suffered similarly from playing football in high school. We actually went to high school together but we didn’t know each other at the time, meeting later in life. After a few weeks of us talking, he awkwardly asked me if we had been friends in high school. Taken aback, I reminded him (or so I thought) that we hadn’t known each other. Little did I know that his memories of high school had become almost entirely unreliable/non-existent due to his injuries.
I bring all of this up to discuss the long-term impact of Williamson’s brief return to the club this year, in which he pushed publicly for the mounds to be moved after this season, citing both his own injury and the injury to Steven Duggar. Wondering just how bad it needed to get before action was taken. The organization seemed to be leaning in that direction, and it was confirmed this week that they will in fact be moving the bullpen mounds.
I know that a lot of people are unhappy about this, and I get the sentimental reasons for this. Wanting to be able to watch pitchers and catchers warm up, see relievers in the dugout with the rest of the team, and just plain aversion to change.
But I would ask people to view it in the context with which it is being done and consider that removing an unnecessary obstacle from the field could save future players months and possibly years of misery. In that context, I’d like to think we could all agree that it’s worth it.