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
cardsfanboy
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOTP Politics November 2014: Mets Deny Bias in Ticket Official’s Firing
(4267 - 11:07am, Nov 24)
Last: Bitter Mouse

NewsblogStanton Losing About $141 Million of Record Deal to Taxes - Bloomberg
(3 - 11:04am, Nov 24)
Last: Charles S. will not yield to this monkey court

NewsblogBoston Red Sox in talks to acquire free agent Hanley Ramirez - ESPN Boston
(9 - 11:01am, Nov 24)
Last: Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site

NewsblogCashman in wait-and-see mode on retooling Yanks | yankees.com
(25 - 10:59am, Nov 24)
Last: You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR)

NewsblogOT:  Soccer (the Round, True Football), November 2014
(454 - 10:52am, Nov 24)
Last: Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine

NewsblogRed Sox trying for mega-free agent double play: Panda and Hanley - CBSSports.com
(103 - 10:50am, Nov 24)
Last: Textbook Editor

NewsblogOT: NFL/NHL thread
(8651 - 10:44am, Nov 24)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogESPN Suspends Keith Law From Twitter For Defending Evolution
(107 - 10:36am, Nov 24)
Last: Famous Original Joe C

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - November 2014
(1012 - 10:32am, Nov 24)
Last: Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine

NewsblogOT: Wrestling Thread November 2014
(61 - 9:57am, Nov 24)
Last: Conor

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-24-2014
(1 - 9:45am, Nov 24)
Last: Dan Lee is some pumkins

NewsblogSunday Notes: Arroyo’s Rehab, Clark & the MLBPA, Doc Gooden, AFL Arms, ChiSox, more
(17 - 9:30am, Nov 24)
Last: depletion

NewsblogMatthews: Cashman sleeps on the street, says all is quiet on the free-agent front
(25 - 9:18am, Nov 24)
Last: bunyon

NewsblogHanley Ramirez and the Logjam in Boston | FanGraphs Baseball
(1 - 8:05am, Nov 24)
Last: Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer

NewsblogKemp drawing interest, raising chance he's the Dodgers OF dealt - CBSSports.com
(30 - 1:16am, Nov 24)
Last: akrasian

Page rendered in 1.1486 seconds
47 querie(s) executed