SAN DIEGO - Former Rays and Pirates t-ball star Jalen Cameron was diagnosed with a mild concussion yesterday evening after an accident at his Rancho Bernardo townhouse.
Jalen, 5, was playing a rousing game of "throw the soccer ball at each other" in the living room with his father, Aaron. With his father clearly winning on points, Jalen resorted to hiding behind his mother to avoid getting nailed. At approximately 7:45 PM, Jalen – giggling uncontrollably and not watching where he was running – took two or three running steps towards his mother in the dining room. He then turned his head, which connected squarely with the corner of the open front door.
"J was about 30 feet from me when it happened", said his distraught father. "In the two or three seconds it took me to walk over, he already had a welt on his forehead the size of Hasim Rahman's after he fought Evander Holyfield."
The impact with the door opened up a 1-1 ½ inch vertical gash on Jalen's forehead, as well. While reports vary throughout the state, Jalen's scream was rumored to be heard clear up the coast of California, all the way to Eureka.
Jalen's mother – Mrs. Bootleg – was unavailable for comment as she's still not talking to this reporter, however she's believed to have acted as calmly and rationally as any mother would when her child's forehead becomes a lumpy, bloody mess.
"I've never seen anything like it", her husband replied. "Her right eye was fixed on Jalen, while her left eye was staring a hole through me the entire time. You know that 'look' wives will shoot their husbands when we do something SO egregiously stupid? Well, she had an injured child to tend to, so I only got the 'stink-eye' with one eye. Crazy."
An ice pack was immediately applied to Jalen's forehead, but his stream of tears could not be contained. Mrs. Bootleg reportedly switched into "family emergency mode" at this point and – with the events of 5/11 still fresh in her mind – began a rapid-fire process whereby Jalen would be in the car and off to the ER in about six seconds.
"So, Jalen's crying uncontrollably, he's got a foot growing out of his forehead, he's bleeding…and then, in an instant, he's all better", his father recalled.
Last evening's game between the Baltimore Orioles and Los Angeles Angels was playing in the background on the family's living room TV. Angels OF Bobby Abreu had just hit his 5th home run of the year, shifting Jalen's attention away from his own head trauma.
"What's the score? What number is he? What's his name? Are they going to do fireworks?", Jalen
With his spigot of tears turned off – and at his father's suggestion, Jalen calmly walked into the downstairs bathroom to assess his injury. "In the pantheon of bad ideas", said his father, "I'd put that right up there with playing 'throw the soccer ball at each other' in the living room." Jalen's tears and screams returned with a vengeance simply at the sight of his own swollen mug.
Jalen was transported to Urgent Care, with Mrs. Bootleg driving, as Aaron's thoughts were elsewhere. "I'd been out drinking with a friend from about 4:30 to 7:30 PM. I have no doubt that the smell of cheap beer was all over me. I completely expected the medical staff to see my son, get a whiff of my .08 musk and call C.P.S."
After falling asleep in the car, Jalen was carted up to the second floor of the medical facility by his asthmatic, exhausted, possibly inebriated father.
"J's wearing a pair of way-too-small Major League Baseball pajamas. Everything is so short and tight, he looks like a little boy Bratz doll", said his father. "And, the first thing they want us to do is wake him up…so they can weigh him?!"
Sources say attempts to weigh the half-asleep, half-dazed Jalen were hee-larious. "His dad put him down on the scale", said a nurse who asked not to be identified. "The little boy's legs came out from under him and his arms shot up into the air. The whole thing looked like bad yoga."
Jalen was believed to still be asleep when the doctor was finally able to examine him. "The doctor asked if Jalen's always so difficult to wake up", explained Jalen's father. "Normally, that boy could sleep through a sonic boom. And, now with the added bonus of a blow to the head? Awesome."
Said a source at the medical facility who requested anonymity, "The doctor had to wake Jalen up by rubbing a cold, wet washcloth across his chest. He was…less than pleased."
After angrily completing a handful medical assessments, including squeezing the doctor's fingers, remembering his age, his middle name and his parents' names, Jalen was further examined before the doctor came back with her diagnosis of a mild concussion.
Jalen was placed on the 24-hour disabled list earlier today. However, if his early morning activity and energy level is any indication, he'll be placed back on the active roster by lunch time.