Jason LaRue Is Retiring But He Can't Remember From What

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Think football players and boxers are the only athletes that need their brains posthumously scooped out and studied at Boston University? Think again (and feel lucky that you can). Cardinals catcher Jason LaRue is retiring from baseball after the latest of "the 'close to 20' concussions in his athletic career dating to high school football." Jeebus. If you dropped this guy's brain it would probably bounce 20 feet in the air like a Superball.

"If I was in a different situation, it wouldn't be anything like this," LaRue said. "But as a catcher you're so vulnerable to getting another (concussion). All it takes a foul ball to the head. Even as a backup that happened 3-5 times last year. It's not a question of if it would happen again, it's when. Nobody can guarantee anything. It'll probably be worse.

"When I heard all that, I told them, 'You've answered all the questions I need answered.'"

In an interesting twist, LaRue's latest bell ringing game via Johnny Cueto's cleats during the August brawl between the Reds and Cards. LaRue describes the concussion symptoms after being kicked "five or six times" as the worst of his life, but I'm not smart enough to know whether or not the effects of nearly two dozen head injuries is cumulative. In any case, none of this makes Cueto sound very good. Emphasis mine.

Cueto's spikes raked Chris Carpenter's back and found LaRue's face, leaving the Cardinals' backup catcher with a severe concussion that only recently began to abate.

Resulting trauma to the brain left LaRue unable to drive or even to cook for himself. Minimal activity created sensations that he likened to seasickness, as LaRue would develop excruciating headaches and nausea.

"I was going to retire on my own terms," LaRue says. "It's unfortunate that the blow that decided it came from someone kicking me in the head with spikes. I wouldn't say I would change things if you could rewrite history. They say things happen for certain reasons. In this case, I couldn't tell you why. Does it suck that my career is over because Johnny Cueto started kicking me in the head? Yes, it sucks.

Well what ever is going on inside LaRue's melon it certainly has improved his verbal clarity. That's a pretty succinct point he makes. And had he been a more prominent player forced into retirement by the injuries sustained, it's possible Cueto could have gone down in infamy with the likes of Bat Swingin' Juan Marichal and Kermit Washington. As it is now, LaRue will stagger off into the sunset to be greeted by the waiting arms of his three wives and 6 children*, all because Brandon Philips called the Cardinals little bitches. Ah, sports.

*numbers multiplied for seeing triple


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5 Comments

Shoulda been you, Pierzynski.

Pshaw. If Cueto had hustled he could have kicked him at least a dozen times.

LaRue saw his Fu Manchu in the mirror and asked "How long was I out?"

In other news, Evander Holyfield just made a dandy fingerpainting with his tomato soup.

LaRue had a career OPS of .712, and thrice led the league in passed balls.

You could argue his career never started.

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