Brian Bruney And Playing Through Pain

As we reported yesterday, Brian Bruney is headed back to the DL, as his pain never subsided from his original injury and he neglected to inform the club. As this quote from the Post shows, the manager was not pleased:

“The biggest thing is that you have to let us know how you feel,” Girardi said of his eighth-inning reliever who was placed on the 15-day disabled list yesterday after a morning session of catch resulted in elbow pain. “You have to be smart about it. You have to be more forthright. We need him healthy and back here.”

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Quite frankly, I do not blame Bruney here. There is a culture in sports that requires players to try and play through pain. Injuries are not rested, they are treated with cortisone and ice. While it would often help the team more if the player sat himself down, players are reluctant to do so, afraid that they will be dubbed malingerers or Carl Pavano. The Yankees, in particular, are led by a player who stoically plays through pain all the time. Derek Jeter played a month last season with a hand that should have been getting some rest. He was extremely ineffective, but he refused to admit that he was hurting. I am not blaming Jeter for Bruney’s actions, but I do think that Bruney’s actions are far from being an anomaly in the current sporting culture. Until a team puts their foot down and punishes a player for failing to report injuries, they have to expect that things like this will happen.

0 thoughts on “Brian Bruney And Playing Through Pain

  1. If Bruney not telling the truth cost the Yankees a player being Dfa’d as Steven Jackson was they have right to be disappointed in him. If this is the case his Yankee career could be in serious jeopardy going forward.

  2. Disagree with you on this, Mo. There’s a difference between playing when your not 100% and playing injured. If you’re just banged up, then you should just suck it up and do your job. But if your injured, you’ll be unable to perform AND you’ll hurt yourself worse and wind up missing a long stretch of time. That’s what happened here, a minor injury became more serious from Bruney’s inability to be honest.

    • How do you draw the line? How can you make that distinction as a player, to judge whether playing will lead to reinjury? I think it is a hindsight thing- you hurt the team or get further hurt, it was stupid. Otherwise, it was brave and awesome.