|MLB Umpire Chad Fairchild|
When umpires Alfonso Marquez and crew chief Tom Hallion rushed in to check on Fairchild, they were met by the Phillies' training personnel, who determined Fairchild was fit to continue and conclude the contest, which had stopped for the injury delay with a 2-2 count and two outs in the bottom of the 7th inning.
After ensuring Fairchild was alright, Hallion addressed Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario, appearing to instruct the Colorado sophomore, "You've got to catch that ball," as manager Jim Tracy came out of the dugout to investigate the odd conference between third base umpire and catcher at home plate.
Rosario and Guthrie were seen discussing their signs after the play, suggesting that Rosario likely was fooled on the wayward 2-1 pitch, admitting that he expected a slider away instead of a sinker in.
On Thursday, Fairchild was absent from Hallion's crew as a precaution concerning the potentially severe implications of returning to work too soon after enduring a concussion. AAA call-up umpire David Rackley filled in for Fairchild at third base during the Rockies' 4-1 victory over Philadelphia.
In 2011, MLB and the players' and umpires' unions adopted a universal concussion policy, which established a procedure for any player or umpire who suffers a head injury during a baseball event. According to the policy, ball clubs must submit a "Return to Play" form to MLB's medical director, Dr. Gary Green, on behalf of each and every player who suffers or is suspected to have suffered a concussion during play.
As for umpires, their process is fairly similar. Director of Umpire Medical Services Mark Letendre served as an MLB trainer with the Giants and Yankees for 18 years before joining the MLB Executive Office as the resident umpire trainer. In that role, Letendre is responsible for drafting the umpires' "Return to Play" forms. Medical consultant to Major League umpires Steven Erickson, MD, has also been involved with umpire head injuries. Erickson, a Fellow in the American College of Physicians (FACP), is the head team physician at Arizona State University and has specialized experience concerning sports medicine and the Return to Play/Work issue involving mild traumatic brain injury.
No one plays until Green & MLB approve the "Return to Play" form, clearing the player or umpire for activity.
Video: Fairchild Takes 95 mph Hit Directly to Face Mask, Remains in Game
Wrap: Colorado at Philadelphia, 6/20/12 (Fairchild's plate game)
Wrap: Colorado at Philadelphia, 6/21/12 (Rackley at third base in place of Fairchild)