Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


Contributors

Jim Furtado
Founder & Publisher
Repoz
Editor - Baseball Primer

Syndicate

Screwball Newsbeat

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Mystery of the Vanishing Screwball

“The word on the street is that the screwball is hard on the arm,” says Don Cooper, Chicago’s pitching coach. “But listen, there’s no documentation on that. Maybe that’s why a lot of people don’t throw it, but I believe no pitch is any more dangerous than any other if you have a good delivery. If you have a bad delivery, every pitch is freakin’ dangerous.”

Among baseball lifers, though, Cooper’s is decidedly a minority opinion. Lurid stories about the pitch are commonplace. “We’d be on the bus and see a guy out the window whose arm was turned out,” McCarver said, “and we’d say: ‘Yup. Old screwballer.’ ”

Jerry Dipoto, the Angels’ general manager, told me that Carl Hubbell used to visit the Giants’ training camp after his retirement. “Legend has it he’d walk in and his arm was backward,” he said. “He couldn’t get it to come back around to the appropriate position because of all the years of pronating from throwing the pitch.”

Just how a screwball causes injury was open to debate. “Too hard on the shoulder,” insisted Arizona’s manager, Kirk Gibson. “The elbow,” said the former Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda. Even Santiago acknowledged the possibility: “They told me it’s bad for my wrist.” He keeps throwing the pitch, he said, “because you don’t hear much about pitchers hurting their wrists.”

Never mind all those pitchers who kept using it into their late 30s and 40s, or that Valenzuela, at 53, maintains he can throw it today. When I spoke to players and coaches about the screwball, the expectation of certain injury was never far from the conversation.

Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: July 10, 2014 at 03:35 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching, screwball

 

 

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
James Kannengieser
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogRed Sox trade rumors: 'Very good chance' John Lackey and Jon Lester are traded - Over the Monster
(39 - 5:29pm, Jul 30)
Last: Nasty Nate

NewsblogThe Untold and Insanely Weird Story of A-Rod’s Doping Habits (and why MLB quietly banned EPO, cycling’s drug of choice)
(10 - 5:27pm, Jul 30)
Last: Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige

NewsblogPosnanski: Four theories about Hall of Fame voting changes
(21 - 5:25pm, Jul 30)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogCubs Acquire Felix Doubront
(27 - 5:24pm, Jul 30)
Last: I am Ted F'ing Williams

NewsblogEric Chavez Retires
(15 - 5:23pm, Jul 30)
Last: Batman

NewsblogOTP - July 2014: Republicans Lose To Democrats For Sixth Straight Year In Congressional Baseball Game
(3760 - 5:23pm, Jul 30)
Last: snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster)

NewsblogSOE: Minor League Manhood - A first-hand account of masculine sports culture run amok.
(109 - 5:22pm, Jul 30)
Last: Ray (RDP)

NewsblogCardinals To Acquire Justin Masterson
(11 - 5:16pm, Jul 30)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread July, 2014
(519 - 5:02pm, Jul 30)
Last: Swedish Chef

NewsblogPosnanski: Hey, Rube: Phillies pay dearly for Amaro’s misguided loyalty
(6 - 4:59pm, Jul 30)
Last: Textbook Editor

NewsblogMASN TV Contract Pits Selig vs Nationals vs Orioles
(39 - 4:44pm, Jul 30)
Last: Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio

NewsblogESPN: Twins Sign "Out Of Nowhere" Prospect
(75 - 4:44pm, Jul 30)
Last: Jeltzandini

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread- July 2014
(1019 - 4:43pm, Jul 30)
Last: MikeOberly

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-30-2014
(20 - 4:35pm, Jul 30)
Last: Perry

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 7-30-2014
(11 - 4:07pm, Jul 30)
Last: The Chronicles of Reddick

Page rendered in 0.8545 seconds
47 querie(s) executed