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Monday, August 24, 2009

The Columnists: Allen: Whatever happened to playing through the pain?

Watch in horror as the obviously still-concussed Maury Allen hands out THE WIMPINESS AWARD (also known as The J. R. Richard Award)

This is not to say the Mets are the wimpiest of teams. That’s just the way baseball and all sports seem to go these days. Get injured and take time off. Rehab in Florida. Play against minor league teams.

It just seems to be showing up more around the Mets than around any other team because of the blown pennants in recent years with nobody to blame. This year they can blame the injuries to their stars and soak the fans for those expensive seats again at Citi Field next year.

In another time players played through injuries because they had one year contracts, the competition for jobs was brutal and macho mania was part of the scene.

The Yankees of 1949 won the American league pennant under rookie manager Casey Stengel despite something like 79 major injuries during the year, especially the heel injury to Joe DiMaggio. He sat out the season until a June series against the Red Sox, destroyed them in four games and led the Yankees to a title. Of course, he had to play the last two games of the year with walking pneumonia.

The Mets last won a World Series 23 years ago. It is hard to imagine them winning another with their new history of chokiness and wimpiness.

Repoz Posted: August 24, 2009 at 04:01 PM | 27 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, media, mets

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: August 24, 2009 at 04:20 PM (#3303363)
What happened to it? Teams finally started realizing that all it tended to do was make a player produce less both now and in the future. No reason to ruin a player for a small short term gain, especially if you plan on keeping that player around a while.
   2. aleskel Posted: August 24, 2009 at 04:23 PM (#3303369)
What happened to it? Teams finally started realizing that all it tended to do was make a player produce less both now and in the future

No, what happened to it is that players got together and decided that they didn't want to be treated like indentured servants anymore. Players only "played hurt" because their paycheck depended on it. Now that players are rightfully compensated for their services, there's less of an incentive to kill yourself just to stay in the lineup.
   3. SoSH U at work Posted: August 24, 2009 at 04:26 PM (#3303372)
especially the heel injury to Joe DiMaggio. He sat out the season until a June series against the Red Sox
,

A half season for a ####### heel injury? What a #####.
   4. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: August 24, 2009 at 04:27 PM (#3303374)
I don't follow the Mets, but players play hurt all the time. In fact, I'd say that a majority of ballplayers are playing through some minor injury right now.
   5. RJ in TO Posted: August 24, 2009 at 04:29 PM (#3303381)
What happened to it? Teams finally started realizing that all it tended to do was make a player produce less both now and in the future

No, what happened to it is that players got together and decided that they didn't want to be treated like indentured servants anymore. Players only "played hurt" because their paycheck depended on it. Now that players are rightfully compensated for their services, there's less of an incentive to kill yourself just to stay in the lineup.


Stop! You're both right!

Players started getting bigger and longer term contracts, making them less likely to play through a short term injury (and risk turning it into a long terms), since they weren't just playing for today anymore. Teams were less likely to push players to play through an injury (except for the Pirates), since they knew that turning a short term injury into a long term injury would hurt their team in the future, since that player was under contract for big dollars for the next four years (and that a bad reputation on that would also hurt their ability to attract free agent and draft talent at market rates).

Basically, both parties got smarter about the costs and benefits of playing hurt.
   6. rfloh Posted: August 24, 2009 at 04:34 PM (#3303391)

No, what happened to it is that players got together and decided that they didn't want to be treated like indentured servants anymore. Players only "played hurt" because their paycheck depended on it. Now that players are rightfully compensated for their services, there's less of an incentive to kill yourself just to stay in the lineup.


Apparently the idiot John Maine wasn't informed.

Would Allen prefer that instead of being "wimpy", all the other Mets players behaved like Maine?
   7. aleskel Posted: August 24, 2009 at 04:39 PM (#3303398)
Basically, both parties got smarter about the costs and benefits of playing hurt

Absolutely. But let's face it, the owners would have loved to stick with the play-hurt status quo if the player's hadn't gotten their due.
   8. aleskel Posted: August 24, 2009 at 04:46 PM (#3303402)
Besides, the record for players playing through moderate injuries has been quite good the last few years - off the top of my head, I can think of Pujols and BJ Upton last year, Sizemore and ARod this year.
   9. Random Transaction Generator Posted: August 24, 2009 at 04:46 PM (#3303403)
He's actually writing this article after Beltre got hit so hard in the nuts that it caused internal bleeding, yet he still stayed on the field until the game was over?
   10. RJ in TO Posted: August 24, 2009 at 04:49 PM (#3303406)
Wait! Someone mentioned a nut shot?

Time to link this thread again.
   11. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: August 24, 2009 at 04:54 PM (#3303414)
Nolan Reimold is playing through a partial ACL tear for some reason.
   12. Hack Wilson Posted: August 24, 2009 at 05:01 PM (#3303420)
Yeah and Gehrig should have played through those "flu-like symptoms."
   13. Rally Posted: August 24, 2009 at 05:05 PM (#3303426)
Players of today sure are wimps. Way too much time on the DL. Back in my day, way back in '08, Albert Pujols played the entire year needing elbow surgery, and won an MVP award anyway.
   14. Obama Bomaye Posted: August 24, 2009 at 05:08 PM (#3303434)
DiMaggio didn't play in '49 until he woke up one day and the pain in his heel was magically gone. So he sure didn't play though the pain.
   15. BDC Posted: August 24, 2009 at 05:17 PM (#3303449)
Michael Young broke his finger last year and missed about six innings. A real man would have played those six innings, of course.
   16. Tricky Dick Posted: August 24, 2009 at 05:27 PM (#3303462)
Many players want to play through injuries, for commendable reasons, such as not wanting to let their teammate down; and some for more selfish reasons, like not wanting to be wally pipp-ed. It seems to me that this is a bigger risk to the team than wimpiness. Many players may not be helping the team if they are playing at 80%. And it may cause the injury to linger and become a long term problem. I don't follow the injuries on every team, but it seems to me that players hiding injuries or wanting to return from an injury faster than they should is more common than malingering.
   17. wjones Posted: August 24, 2009 at 05:28 PM (#3303466)
DiMaggio didn't play in '49 until he woke up one day and the pain in his heel was magically gone. So he sure didn't play though the pain.

Yeah, I thought that was an odd example to choose of players playing through pain, to show the year that DiMaggio missed half the season with an injury.
   18. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: August 24, 2009 at 05:33 PM (#3303475)
Many players may not be helping the team if they are playing at 80%.

I believe that Paul Konerko was playing through a broken thumb through most of the 2008 season. It definitely hurt the team, as Konerko played like crap most of the year.
   19. Bob Tufts Posted: August 24, 2009 at 06:19 PM (#3303566)
We all played through the pain by actually reading the linked article
   20. SoSH U at work Posted: August 24, 2009 at 06:24 PM (#3303574)
We all played through the pain by actually reading the linked article


Not me. If it's one of The Columnists, I know I'm gonna Dimaggio it.
   21. AJMcCringleberry Posted: August 24, 2009 at 06:32 PM (#3303587)
The Mets having their guys play through pain is one of their problems.
   22. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: August 24, 2009 at 06:32 PM (#3303589)
Where have you gone, Chipmunk Allen
   23. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: August 24, 2009 at 06:32 PM (#3303590)
I'd say that a majority of ballplayers are playing through some minor injury right now.


Second that. I play a lot of baseball and softball, and though I've been fortunate enough to do it for 20 years without major injury, there's always some damn thing hurt -- hand, foot, knee, SOMEthing.
In the same way that most people don't appreciate just how good the worst major-leaguer is, I think most people don't appreciate how much playing every day beats up your body: catchers especially, but really all of them.
   24. TVerik, who wonders what the hell is "Ansky" Posted: August 24, 2009 at 06:35 PM (#3303596)
Didn't Brett Gardner break a finger and then hit a home run?

Did Carl Pavano malinger in the Yankee years? Boy, I'm not qualified to say, and I'm uncomfortable even guessing.
   25. TVerik, who wonders what the hell is "Ansky" Posted: August 24, 2009 at 06:37 PM (#3303598)
The problem is that watching the Mets causes pain, and all of the Mets have been worn down by it.

No snark - there has to be something - a certain harm - to your professional pride if you consider yourself an excellent baseballer yet your team has done what the Mets have done the last few years.
   26. Hubie Brooks (Not Really) Posted: August 24, 2009 at 08:04 PM (#3303717)
Times like these when everybody is piling on make the good times so much better. I walk around like a dope with my Mets gear getting ####-on from all angles.
   27. Repoz Posted: August 24, 2009 at 08:10 PM (#3303728)
Where have you gone, Chipmunk Allen

Hey, give Maury some major pain-cred!

Even after Ross Bagdasarian was cremated to the max...Maury kept right on working!

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