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Giles understands decision
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07/13/2003  8:13 PM ET 
Giles understands decision
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CHICAGO -- Marcus Giles was certainly upset when Braves team physician Dr. Joe Chandler said the 25-year-old second baseman couldn't play in Tuesday's All-Star Game. But he also understood the decision.

    Marcus Giles   /   2B
Height: 5'8"
Weight: 180
Bats/Throws: R/R

More info:
Player page
Hit chart
Braves site

Chandler arrived in Chicago on Sunday to examine Giles, who suffered a concussion during a collision with Mark Prior on Friday afternoon. When he learned the second baseman still had headaches late Saturday night, he knew that Giles' best interests would be served with a few more days of rest.

"I expected flying up here that this would be a very difficult decision," Chandler said. "It really wasn't. This is the type of thing that you don't mess around with."

Chandler wants to ensure all the swelling around Giles' brain is gone before clearing him to play again. There is the fear that he could get hit in the head again, which would cause an extended absence from the field, or that his reactions are not to the point to which he could react to certain situations in a game.

"This is not like an ankle or something like that," Chandler said. "You can't protect the brain."

Giles was originally diagnosed as having a mild concussion. But Chandler has concluded through his evaluations that the injury might be better termed as being slightly more serious.

2003 All-Star Game

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"I think when the symptoms still exist this long it would be more like a moderate concussion," Chandler said.

Giles, who had been elected to be the National League's starting second baseman, still plans on remaining in Chicago and will be in uniform on Tuesday night. His parents and brother, Pirates outfielder Brian Giles, will arrive in town on Sunday night to enjoy the week with the Braves' second baseman.

"We'll make the most out of it," said Giles, who will also be joined this week with his wife and their newborn, Arringtun Mae Giles, who was born on May 5.

Chandler feels confident that Giles will be ready to play when the regular season resumes on Thursday. Further tests will be conducted to ensure that the swelling has subsided and that he is ready to play.

"My health is the most important thing," Giles said. "Being ready for the rest of the regular season is more important than the All-Star Game."

Giles said he was feeling much better when he awoke from an 11-hour sleep on Sunday morning.

"Yesterday I didn't feel good at all," Giles said. "I'm just going to take my time with this."

Major League Baseball has replaced Giles with Marlins second baseman Luis Castillo, who entered Sunday hitting .314 with 14 stolen bases and 26 RBIs. Expos second baseman Jose Vidro, who has a .331 batting average with 11 homers and 47 RBIs, will likely replace Giles in the starting lineup.

"I thought he was most deserving," Baker said of Castillo. "I thought of Mark Grudzielanek and there are probably a couple other guys there. I didn't choose Castillo in that five to be voted by the fans [etopps Final Vote] for nothing."

"I considered [San Francisco's Ray] Durham, too, big time," Baker said. "His numbers are pretty close to Castillo's, too. It's just that he had missed quite a few games. Had he not missed those games, I would've strongly considered him. Plus it's a White Sox park, too, and he'd be going home. I strongly considered him, too. But I picked Castillo over Durham because he played more games."

Braves manager Bobby Cox and many of his players said on Saturday that it would be a shame if Giles' injury prevented him from playing in his first All-Star Game. The gritty second baseman has shown dramatic improvement both defensively and at the plate this season.

After going through a three-week slump, Giles has rebounded recently and got his batting average back to .291. He has eight homers, 29 doubles and a .466 slugging percentage.

"The All-Star Game is big and would have been great for him," Cox said. "He just can't play."

Javy Lopez and Gary Sheffield will now be the Braves representatives in Tuesday's starting lineup. Other Braves on the National League team include Rafael Furcal, Andruw Jones, Russ Ortiz and John Smoltz.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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