Danley recovering from broken-bat incident
Veteran umpire suffering from a bad headache
TORONTO -- Things could have been much worse for Kerwin Danley. Right now, a painful migraine is the only lingering reminder of the broken bat that struck the veteran umpire in the head during Tuesday's game between the Blue Jays and Rangers.
During the top of the sixth inning, the barrel of Texas designated hitter Hank Blalock's bat snapped away, slammed into the right side of Danley's mask and sent him tumbling to the ground. After being placed on a stretcher and carted off the field, Danley was taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital for further evaluation.
Danley's stay in the hospital was brief -- crew chief Dana DeMuth estimated that the visit lasted around 20 minutes -- and the ump was sent back to his hotel in Toronto. Danley has been instructed to remain in the city until the sharp pain he is currently feeling subsides. At that point, Danley will travel to Major League Baseball's main medical facility in Arizona.
"Right now he's just got a powerful headache," DeMuth said on Wednesday. "They're not letting him travel until that goes away. Today, it was still hurting him pretty good. He'll stick around today and we'll find out day by day."
DeMuth said Danley indicated that most of the pain he is experiencing is between his eyes. On television instant replays, it appeared as though the bat struck the side of Danley's helmet, but the umpire said it felt like the barrel hit him in the face.
"He said he felt most of the pressure right [between the eyes]," DeMuth said. "The replay he saw, he said it showed it hitting him [in the side of the head], but he goes, 'I could swear it hit me in the front.' The next thing he knew he was down on the ground."
No matter where specifically the bat struck Danley, DeMuth said the style of helmet that the home-plate umpire was wearing probably helped him avoid a serious concussion. It is a full-head covering, similar to masks worn by hockey goalies and many Major League catchers.
Not all umpires wear the type of helmet Danley had on, though.
"I tried the mask out in Spring Training and it just doesn't make me feel right," DeMuth said. "It's something for everybody to think about, but I've been in the Major Leagues for over 26 years and I've taken a lot of shots."
Last season, Major League Baseball adopted a rule that required all first- and third-base coaches to wear helmets. The guideline was put in place after Minor League coach Mike Coolbaugh died after being struck on the side of the head by a line drive while coaching first base for Double-A Tulsa on July 22, 2007.
Over the past few years, there has also been growing concern about the use of maple bats, which have seemed to shatter more often and easier than other types of wood. The bat used by Blalock that broke against the Blue Jays was made of ash, avoiding adding any more fuel to that controversy.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.