Attention general managers: No one cares about your injuries

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Bill Parcells.jpgI’m usually not a big fan of the football mindset infiltrating baseball, probably because I’m not a football guy by nature.  But Peter Gammons has an anecdote involving Bill Parcells in his latest column that hit the spot:

When Parcells’ daughter married now-Kansas City Chiefs general
manager Scott Pioli, the best man was Indians GM Mark Shapiro, then the
club’s farm director. At the rehearsal dinner, Parcells asked Shapiro
about the Indians, and Shapiro began his response with an explanation
of a rash of injuries that had hit the team.

“Son,” Parcells interrupted, “Let me tell you something. Nobody [cares]. Just win.”

In the receiving line, when Parcells reached Shapiro, he said, “Remember what I told you. Nobody [cares]. Just win.”
And when they found themselves in adjoining stalls in the men’s room at the reception, Parcells repeated, “Son …

Injuries matter if you’re trying to assess performance, value players and do projections and stuff, but I am totally turned off, as a fan, when I hear the GM or the manager overdo it with the injury talk. We all know about the injuries. They’re heavily reported. Most of us aren’t going to demand your job if your team is beset by injuries.  But when talking about how the team is doing, don’t go there. At least not too often. There is no column for “injury losses” in the standings and they just sound like excuses.

Of course I seem to remember Shapiro going on about injuries a lot in recent years, so I guess that means he doesn’t follow the advice given to him by his best friend’s father in law while sitting next to him in the john.  But kudos to Parcells for trying anyway.

Bruce Maxwell first MLB player to kneel during National Anthem

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Athletics’ rookie catcher Bruce Maxwell did not stand for the National Anthem on Saturday night. He’s the first MLB player to do so and, like other professional athletes before him, used the moment to send a message — not just to shed light on the lack of racial equality in the United States, but to specifically protest President Donald Trump’s suggestion that NFL owners fire any of their players who elect to protest the anthem by sitting or kneeling.

“Bruce’s father is a proud military lifer. Anyone who knows Bruce or his parents is well aware that the Maxwells’ love and appreciation for our country is indisputable,” Maxwell’s agent, Matt Sosnick, relayed to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser on Friday. He continued:

Bruce has made it clear that he is taking a stand about what he perceives as racial injustices in this country, and his personal disappointment with President Trump’s response to a number of professional athletes’ totally peaceful, non-violent protests.

Bruce has shared with both me and his teammates that his feelings have nothing to do with a lack of patriotism or a hatred of any man, but rather everything to do with equality for men, women and children regardless of race or religion.

While Maxwell didn’t make his own statement to the media, he took to Instagram earlier in the day to express his frustration against the recent opposition to the protests, criticizing the President for endorsing “division of man and rights.”

Despite Trump’s profanity-laced directive to NFL owners on Friday, however, it’s clear the Athletics don’t share his sentiments. “The Oakland A’s pride ourselves on being inclusive,” the team said in a statement released after Maxwell’s demonstration. “We respect and support all of our players’ constitutional rights and freedom of expression.”

Whatever the fallout, kudos to Maxwell for taking a stand. He may be the first to do so in this particular arena, but he likely won’t be the last.

Alex Wilson broke his leg on a 103-MPH comebacker

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This one is brutal. Tigers’ right-handed reliever Alex Wilson was diagnosed with a broken leg after taking a blistering 103.8-MPH line drive off of his right leg during Saturday’s game against the Twins. According to the Detroit News’ Chris McCosky, it’s a non-displaced fibular fracture, but will still warrant an extended recovery period and signal the end of Wilson’s season.

Wilson replaced Drew VerHagen to start the eighth inning and worked a full count against Joe Mauer. Mauer roped an 93.3-MPH fastball back up the middle, where it struck the pitcher on his right calf. While Mauer took first base, Wilson got to his feet and tried to toss a warm-up pitch, but was in too much pain to continue and had to be helped off the field.

Even in a season that isn’t going anywhere in particular, this isn’t how you want it to end. The Tigers have yet to announce a recovery timetable for the 30-year-old reliever, but he won’t return to the mound until 2018. He exited Saturday’s outing with a 4.35 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 6.3 SO/9 over 60 innings.

The Tigers currently trail the Twins 10-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning.