Apr. 17, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Teammates tend to Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Chris Young as he lays on the ground after being injured making a catch in the fourth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Chase Field.Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
Despite playing with key injuries, no team is going to feel sorry or bad for them. They have to step up on their own.
In the movie A League of Their Own, which starred Tom Hanks, Madonna, Geena Davis and Rosie O'Donnell in the early 90's, it told the tale of female professional baseball during World War II. One of the most memorable lines in the movie came from Hanks, who played the women's drunken manager, Jimmy Dugan.
He said, after one of his girls started crying after being scolded for missing the cutoff on a throw fro the outfield:
"Are you crying? Are you crying? ARE YOU CRYING? There's no crying! THERE'S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL!"
That line is the truth. There is no crying in baseball and nobody feels sorry for you.
Both have are missing two important bats in the lineup. Philly is without Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. The D-backs are without Stephen Drew and Chris Young. Arizona's Justin Upton missed some time as well.
As a result, both teams have had their struggles, particularly offensively.
But does anyone in the league care? No.
When asked about the Phillies and their own injury plight this season, Kirk Gibson responded wittily, saying, " I feel about as sorry for them as anybody has felt sorry for us."
Injuries in team sports are a simple thing that every team has to deal with. Arizona played the last months of the season without Drew. The San Francisco Giants played most of the season without Buster Posey. Just a few seasons ago, Arizona lost its staff ace for good in Brandon Webb.
Teams have to deal with that. they have to make adjustments and figure out how to win without the injured players.
Luckily for Arizona, it looked like on Monday, things were beginning to come around offensively, as they banged out 16 hits and nine runs.
Something also very important for major league teams is to have that killer mentality. When a team faces an opponent that is missing key players, the mentality should be to crush the opponent confidently. The Atlanta Braves did that to the D-backs over the weekend. Arizona did that to the Phillies on Monday.
Arizona could sit around and feel sorry for themselves with the expectations that they have. But that wouldn't get them anywhere but moving towards the bottom of the standings.
Kirk Gibson handles this team very well. He talks through mental approaches, he gives guys days off when they press too much. He sometimes lets players fight through things and he exemplifies not getting too high in good times or too down in the face of adversity.
This is why the Diamondbacks are going to bounce back. It is something they are known for. They will hit a rough patch and then come out the other side and be back on top of the world.
So should we as fans use the injury situation as an excuse for for our teams play? We shouldn't. It's part of the game. Everyone loses players at some point. This is why no one feels bad. They have to jump on the opportunity.
Jimmy Dugan had it right. There is no crying in baseball. But that isn't all. There is no pouting in baseball, and most importantly, there is no mercy in baseball.
No one is going to let up because of injuries -- quite the opposite. Someone else is always looking to take your job in sports.
It's a team's job to make sure they don't lose theirs.