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Friday, March 23, 2012

ESPN: Force of Habit

In which ESPN ruins it’s relationship with Stephen Strasburg (see insert).

Squash Posted: March 23, 2012 at 08:03 PM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: general

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   1. The District Attorney Posted: March 23, 2012 at 08:53 PM (#4087941)
I don't need biomechanics. I have experience. I have my eyes. I just watch and look." -- White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper
I wonder if this represents the "I'm not an egghead" routine that baseball guys have to do, along the lines of Davey Johnson claiming he doesn't care about OBP at the top of the order. I suspect it is, because looking at results, Cooper is a really good pitching coach, whereas the man described in this article as a "biomechanics guru", Rick Peterson, is not. (I guess to be fair, I don't remember an unusual number of guys getting hurt when Peterson was with the Mets, but no one felt any need to throw strikes either.)
   2. Squash Posted: March 23, 2012 at 08:54 PM (#4087942)
Whoops I forgot to put an excerpt. Someone with power is welcome to do so.
   3. Gamingboy Posted: March 23, 2012 at 10:27 PM (#4087980)
   4. zachtoma Posted: March 24, 2012 at 02:00 AM (#4088078)
So if his pitching motion is so disastrously inefficient according to ESPN's experts, how come he easily throws 10 mph faster than Maddux ever did? When it comes to pitching mechanics and injuries, I'm still not convinced that anybody knows much of anything. Weren't we talking about Strasburg's "perfect" mechanics two years ago, and Mark Prior's before that... the drawings are pretty neat though.
   5. Boxkutter Posted: March 24, 2012 at 02:22 AM (#4088083)
Weren't we talking about Strasburg's "perfect" mechanics two years ago, and Mark Prior's before that... the drawings are pretty neat though.


When Prior was coming out, yes, people said he had perfect mechanics. But then the correlation between The Inverted W and injuries came out. I have been reading since Strasburg's last year in college that his mechanics are horrible though. Don't think I've ever read anywhere that he had good mechanics.
   6. Ron J Posted: March 24, 2012 at 05:15 AM (#4088105)
#5 Worth noting that Mike Marshall predicted that Prior would get hurt right after he was drafted. Also worth noting he predicted a different injury than the one Prior actually suffered.
   7. Randy Jones Posted: March 24, 2012 at 10:17 AM (#4088150)
#5 Worth noting that Mike Marshall predicted that Prior would get hurt right after he was drafted. Also worth noting he predicted a different injury than the one Prior actually suffered.


Also worth noting that if you just predict every major pitching prospect will get hurt, you will probably be right ~75% of the time.
   8. Squash Posted: March 24, 2012 at 10:47 AM (#4088179)
I like insert that compares Maddux's near-perfect mechanics with Strasburg's near-disaster mechanics.

I was amazed at how well they were able to draw Maddux's mechanics. It looks exactly like him.
   9. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: March 24, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4088195)
#5 Worth noting that Mike Marshall predicted that Prior would get hurt right after he was drafted. Also worth noting he predicted a different injury than the one Prior actually suffered.

Also worth noting that if you just predict every major pitching prospect will get hurt, you will probably be right ~75% of the time.


TINSTAAGWWQTINSTAAPPC: There is no such thing as a guy who won't quote TINSTAAP constantly.
   10. Boxkutter Posted: March 24, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4088222)

TINSTAAGWWQTINSTAAPPC: There is no such thing as a guy who won't quote TINSTAAP constantly.


You forgot a 'p' on 'TINSTAAPP'.
   11. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: March 24, 2012 at 12:23 PM (#4088234)
It's actually an interesting article--worth reading
According to Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, the president of the Rangers, MLB pitching coaches can find the new scientific knowledge threatening. "Maybe they don't know how to approach it," he says. "So they just don't." When Ryan began pitching for the Rangers at age 42, House was his pitching coach; the aging ace quickly became a biomechanics believer and worked with the coach, whom he later thanked in his Cooperstown induction speech, to constantly refine his mechanics. "I had to because of age and because of new info," Ryan says. "If I thought it would help, I'd put it in my routine."

It's practically an unwritten law in baseball that the majors are not the place to make big mechanical changes. The rare times coaches push for them, it's in the minors. "When you're interviewing pitching coaches," says former Reds and Nationals general manager Jim Bowden, who's now with ESPN, "if they're mechanically oriented, you hire them for rookie ball or Low-A ball, where they can make tweaks before pitchers succeed."
   12. lonestarball Posted: March 24, 2012 at 09:20 PM (#4088559)
I'm pretty sure Rick Peterson is considered a very good pitching coach.
   13. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 24, 2012 at 09:37 PM (#4088567)
Given the availability of photos and video of Strasburg and Maddux I don't understand why they used drawings. Maybe it looked better on the page but it left me wondering how precise the drawings were.

I'm all for building a better mousetrap but the article was a little too certain for my taste. I think when it comes to arm injuries anyone who says they have anything certain on the matter is probably wrong.
   14. The District Attorney Posted: March 24, 2012 at 09:49 PM (#4088573)
I'm pretty sure Rick Peterson is considered a very good pitching coach.
Well, not by me based on what I saw with the Mets.
   15. Mattbert Posted: March 29, 2012 at 09:18 AM (#4092113)
This is a really good article. I'm glad this subject is getting more attention from big media outlets.

The author doesn't touch on what I see as at least a big a flaw in Strasburg's delivery as the inverted W (which he doesn't do as badly as some of the other case studies actually), and that is his follow through. Strasburg abruptly decelerates his arm after releasing the ball, before his arm has a chance to come through and slow down naturally as it wraps around the trunk.

This puts a lot of stress on the muscles in the back of the shoulder. Based on this, I would predict a shoulder problem, likely the labrum, before a recurrence of his elbow problem.
   16. The Essex Snead Posted: March 29, 2012 at 09:25 AM (#4092119)
[14] You want to base Willie Mays' greatness on what he did w/ the Mets as well? Believe it or not, Peterson had a career prior to coming to New York; it might be worth at least acknowledging that. Even if this is an internet discussion board.

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