Most of us have been there at some point in our lives.
You meet someone you really like and invite her out for an amazing meal at a classy restaurant. The conversation is stimulating. She laughs at all your jokes. You are on your game. Clearly she’s impressed. You start to think you might have found “the one”.
The waiter brings the check in that little leather bound folder. You quickly glance at the bottom line and reach into your wallet to pull out your credit card. You know you’ve recently run up some some charges, but you feel pretty confident that you have some room left on your credit limit.
You slide the card in and nervously wait for the server to return, worrying about the possibilities while trying to carry the conversation forward.
Then it happens.
The guy in the starched white shirt and black tie comes and whispers in your ear. “I’m sorry sir, but your credit card has been declined.”
You are mortified.
You were on the cusp of a great relationship and now it’s ruined!
During the past week, elbow injuries to 4 young major league starting pitchers has the baseball world abuzz and searching to find answers to what has become a 5 billion dollar problem for MLB.
Jared Parker, Brandon Beachy, Patrick Corbin, and Kris Medlin will all likely undergo Tommy John surgery in the next few weeks, and the Monday morning quarterbacking by all the so called “experts” has already begun.
For the record, I have no idea why any of these guys were injured. I have never met them. I have never examined them for physical constraints. I have never seen video any of them that I can recall.
I do know this.
Our current approach of strictly held pitch counts, and coddled pitchers with tightly monitored work loads and off season rest is not working.
Whenever I see or hear of a pitcher who has injured his arm, my heart breaks for him. These guys are human beings–often exceptional human beings– who are chasing a dream.
They are someone’s son.
Someone’s husband or soul mate.
Someone’s pride and joy.
And now their hopes and dreams–the dreams they share with the people they love–are now on hold. Everyone close to them–their fathers, their mothers, their brothers, sisters, friends, wives, or girlfriends–have hearts that are broken right now.
They were on the cusp of the greatest date of their lives and their credit card has come back declined.
We have got to do something to change this problem!
No one seems to have real answers, but injury risk reduction in pitchers is something have been studying for several years. I don’t claim to have all the answers either, but along with a few highly respected friends and colleagues, we are certainly asking questions and looking for solutions.
Here is what I know and believe.
No one can completely eliminate the risk of pitching injuries. The only “safe” pitch count is zero. But if you are going to progress in safely building a pitcher’s ability, you must be able to preemptively identify all the possible contributors to injury (both physical and mechanical). Then you must do your best to eliminate them or at least suppress them as much as possible.
I recently produced 2 videos in which I present all the known mechanical and physical factors that can contribute to arm pain and injury to the anterior shoulder, posterior shoulder, medial elbow and posterior/lateral elbow. Each has their own set of possible contributors, and we assess every athlete in our program for all of them prior to allowing participation. We also reassess every guy every 60 days.
Do me a favor and forward this to anyone you know who might be interested in this subject. Baseball is in desperate need of a paradigm shift. We need to spread the word.
Until next time,
Let’s keep ’em healthy.