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Attention general managers: No one cares about your injuries

Mar 16, 2010, 5:10 PM EDT

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.

  1. Joey B - Mar 16, 2010 at 5:32 PM

    If GMs are trying to explain a lost season, and have had the same amount of injuries as everyone else in some given range, it sounds weak. But sometimes, like the 2009 NYM and 2006 RS, your season is just shot and no amount of depth could’ve saved you.
    But sometimes, it’s just the opposite. A GM with resources will go into a season without a 6/7/8 SP, knowing full well that he has 2-3 question marks, and then complains that 2 of the 3 question marks got hurt, that I don’t understand.

  2. frug - Mar 16, 2010 at 7:14 PM

    If Shapiro really wanted to follow the Parcell’s model the only time he would ever talk about injuries is when he was deliberately misleading everyone about the health of his players. The Tuna was notorious for playing games with the injury report so I always find it funny when he gives advice for dealing with injuries.

  3. willmose - Mar 16, 2010 at 10:42 PM

    Sorry but the injury excuse never flies. In 2006 the Cardinals had many more injuries that the Red Sox and yet they won the championship and Red Sox GM whined. GMs pick the players. When you are the Mets you pick and overpay a bunch of injury-prone players and expect them to stay healthy. Please. When injuries happen good teams have the depth to compete. Poorly run teams, not so much.

  4. Boris - Mar 16, 2010 at 11:12 PM

    Ditto

  5. Joey B - Mar 17, 2010 at 9:22 AM

    “Sorry but the injury excuse never flies. In 2006 the Cardinals had many more injuries that the Red Sox and yet they won the championship and Red Sox GM whined.”
    Not so close. The RS lost 51 more games from their regulars, and 31 more games from their starting rotation
    “When you are the Mets you pick and overpay a bunch of injury-prone players and expect them to stay healthy. Please. When injuries happen good teams have the depth to compete. Poorly run teams, not so much.”
    I agree to some extent, but when you lose Reyes, Beltran, Delgado, you’re done. Just for funnsies, see what happens if you lose Pujols and Holliday for 80 games each. Obviously, Minaya’s lack of attention to detail made things far worse, but the Mets had no shot.

  6. Larry Brown - Mar 18, 2010 at 12:54 AM

    How about Parcells runs the Jaguars without a salary cap and see how he does against bigger-market, free-spending teams like. Oh yeah, let’s toss in injuries to David Garrard, Maurice Jones-Drew, John Henderson, and Rashean Mathis and see how much he likes it. Being a GM in the NFL and being a GM in MLB are completely different things. At least it’s a level playing field in football.

  7. AJ Gallo - Mar 18, 2010 at 9:10 AM

    Absolutely correct. And I’d like to add that Parcells is a horses ass. He just loves projecting that tough personna, he feeds off it. I personally witnessed his arrogant and pompous act many times several years ago when living on the Jersey shore.

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