Attention general managers: No one cares about your injuries

Leave a comment

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.

Reds acquire Darnell Sweeney from the Dodgers

Rob Tringali/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Reds acquired utilityman Darnell Sweeney from the Dodgers in exchange for cash considerations, J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group reports.

This is the second time that the Dodgers have traded Sweeney. The club sent him to the Phillies along with John Richy in August 2015 for Chase Utley. The Phillies sent him back to the Dodgers this past offseason with Darin Ruf in exchange for Howie Kendrick.

Sweeney, 26, made his major league debut in 2015 with the Phillies, hitting a meager .176/.286/.353 in 98 plate appearances. With Triple-A Oklahoma City this season, he hit .227/.290/.412 in 131 PA. While Sweeney’s bat hasn’t proven to be anything special, he has played second base, third base, shortstop, and all three outfield positions, so his flexibility will make him useful at some point.

Bryce Harper to Little League players: “No participation trophies, first place only”

Getty Images
9 Comments

Nationals’ star outfielder Bryce Harper had some words of advice for a local Little League team on Saturday, telling a crowd of young players and their parents that winning matters far more than any participation trophies they might receive for their efforts on the field.

“As much as they might tell you, ‘Oh, it’s okay, you guys lost…’ No, Johnny, no,” Harper explained. “No participation trophies, okay? First place only. Come on.”

The panic over participation trophy culture has swelled over the last few years as studies continue to suggest that children are happier when they’re praised for their accomplishments, rather than rewarded for simply trying their best. The general idea is that kids aren’t motivated to succeed when they know they’ll receive a ribbon or medal celebrating their efforts at the end of the day — regardless of whether they win or lose. (Granted, it stands to reason that every kid can feel the difference between winning a championship trophy and receiving a participation ribbon.) Some have taken the idea to an extreme, claiming that when a child receives too many accolades for mediocre or poor performances, it can warp the way they view the world by generating a sense of undeserved entitlement.

Harper kept his tone light during the Q&A session, however, drawing cheers and applause from the majority of parents and a few of the kids. The 2015 NL MVP has routinely taken his own advice over the years, earning Rookie of the Year honors, four All-Star nominations and a Silver Slugger award since he broke into the major leagues in 2012. Next on his list? A World Series championship.