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  1. #1 Baseball. 
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    Hope this is the correct sub forum!
    I live in the UK and have always been interested in sport. Recently, I watched a few highlights, on CNN, from a baseball match in the USA.
    I don't know much about baseball, so can anyone tell me if the pitchers tend to have relatively short careers compared to other baseball players?
    The action used by pitchers must put a real strain on their elbows, shoulders, and upper arms generally.
    In some respects, the action is not unlike that of a javelin thrower in the sense that the same muscle groups come into play and must take the strain.
    In sports such as cricket the ball is bowled, not thrown. The arm must be kept straight, and never bent at the elbow. However considerable speeds (90 to 100 mph) can still be achieved by the fastest bowlers!
    I'm sure there must be a number of Americans, posting here, who have a sound knowledge of baseball and can answer the question on the "shelf life" of pitchers!


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    Quote Originally Posted by Halliday View Post
    Hope this is the correct sub forum!
    I live in the UK and have always been interested in sport. Recently, I watched a few highlights, on CNN, from a baseball match in the USA.
    I don't know much about baseball, so can anyone tell me if the pitchers tend to have relatively short careers compared to other baseball players?
    The action used by pitchers must put a real strain on their elbows, shoulders, and upper arms generally.
    In some respects, the action is not unlike that of a javelin thrower in the sense that the same muscle groups come into play and must take the strain.
    In sports such as cricket the ball is bowled, not thrown. The arm must be kept straight, and never bent at the elbow. However considerable speeds (90 to 100 mph) can still be achieved by the fastest bowlers!
    I'm sure there must be a number of Americans, posting here, who have a sound knowledge of baseball and can answer the question on the "shelf life" of pitchers!
    Not American but Canadian, close enough? The average baseball career is roughly 6 years. Of course some have played into their 40's and some don't make it past one game. However many players have extensive careers combining what is known as minor league experience with major league play, both professional endeavors.

    As for pitchers, on average in the Major League, they only pitch 1 in every 5 games if they are what's known as a starting pitcher. These guys for the most part are expected to either pitch most of or all of a game's innings(9). If for some reason they can't, injury or poor performance dictates, then a relief pitcher is summoned as a substitute. A relief pitcher can also be substituted for by another reliever. Relief pitchers for the most part pitch 2 or fewer innings but there are times when they may pitch more but rarely are they substituted in for more than two consecutive games.

    Why the resting between appearances? The risk of injury increases as arms get tired and strained. One of the more famous injuries is corrected by what is known as Tommy John Surgery . Tommy John was an ex major league pitcher, not a doctor. There are several pitchers playing today that have had this surgery. As well, the usual muscle ailments are also common but generally there is a routine pitchers go through during these breaks between appearances to ensure their arms are at peak efficiency when they are next called to participate in a game.

    Blisters on fingers of pitching hand are very common. The baseball is not perfectly round and pitchers use pressure put on raised thread seams to cause the ball to spin and react to air resistance making the baseball dip and slide as to confuse the batter. These threads rub against the skin to form the blister.

    In summary, there is a lot of strain put on the pitching arm enabling a pitcher to throw the ball at high speeds. I have heard it is a totally unnatural movement for the arm and as such is subject to frequent injury if not maintained properly.


    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    Can't use the quote function, at present, almost certainly due to a very slow broadband speed!
    I agree throwing regularly puts much strain on the arm, but I used to think, obviously wrongly, that throwing, in baseball, javelin competition, even hurling a pebble, was, in fact, a natural movement.
    In cricket all fielders, some more than others, have to throw from the field to the centre, but because there are 10 fielders, at any one time, they do not throw all that often altho' I suppose that depends on career length.
    Here, the expression used is the fielders "arm has gone".
    In this situation the individual has to "throw" underarm and the injury is normally permanent!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halliday View Post
    Can't use the quote function, at present, almost certainly due to a very slow broadband speed!
    I agree throwing regularly puts much strain on the arm, but I used to think, obviously wrongly, that throwing, in baseball, javelin competition, even hurling a pebble, was, in fact, a natural movement.
    In cricket all fielders, some more than others, have to throw from the field to the centre, but because there are 10 fielders, at any one time, they do not throw all that often altho' I suppose that depends on career length.
    Here, the expression used is the fielders "arm has gone".
    In this situation the individual has to "throw" underarm and the injury is normally permanent!
    I think the overhand motion is the most unnatural. There are major league pitchers who throw sidearm and even a few who throw close to what's considered an underhand motion. SOme folks are just better at throwing than others. I have four brothers and including myself all played sports, baseball one of them. I don't have a great throwing arm and neither do my brothers, except for my youngest who can throw a baseball farther with greater velocity and accuracy than any of us. WHy I don't know. Does that make throwing natural for some? Anyway I've heard baseball described as a game with a round bat and a round ball that you have to hit squarely.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    Thanks for the reply!
    I do believe throwing is a natural body movement, as is bowling in cricket.
    Despite this, throwing creates much strain on certain body parts, and, at times, I just find it odd that what for me is a natural movement should lead, relatively quickly, to problems.
    I don't think being able to "throw a baseball with greater velocity and accuracy" means it is more "natural" for the better pitcher.
    The individual concerned is simply able to generate more power, from the arm, but this not stop the risk of future injury.
    Anyway, it is clear, to me, pitchers do suffer problems because of the action they employ during a match.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halliday View Post
    Thanks for the reply!
    I do believe throwing is a natural body movement, as is bowling in cricket.
    Despite this, throwing creates much strain on certain body parts, and, at times, I just find it odd that what for me is a natural movement should lead, relatively quickly, to problems.
    I don't think being able to "throw a baseball with greater velocity and accuracy" means it is more "natural" for the better pitcher.
    The individual concerned is simply able to generate more power, from the arm, but this not stop the risk of future injury.
    Anyway, it is clear, to me, pitchers do suffer problems because of the action they employ during a match.
    While we're on sports....I don't understand cricket but when watching I do see fielders without gloves making spectacular catches and throws. I can also see that baseball's roots are definitely cricket. Just as NA football and rugby are related. Rugby rules I can't figure. I once went over to a local rugby clubhouse and talked to players who were practicing. I asked them what in hell is offside in rugby? The most common answer was, ' I don't really know, we just let the referees call it and assume they know what they're doing'. My son in law is actually a rugby sports writer here in NA and I can't get a good explanation, or one I can understand, from him either.

    Watched those rugby players take some different shots and get up without too much complaint. Whereas pro soccer players tend to go to ground even if the wind from a flying elbow is felt on their brow. One thing I do like about rugby is that the game goes on while the injured player is being attended to on the field. I especially like the Sevens tournaments, men and women, games are short and the play is fast.

    Speaking of feigning soccer players, I've heard it said that an athlete in their prime, who is in great physical shape should not get injured as often as others. Yet in soccer one is supposedly injured every time there's contact. Should athlete's in prime physical condition be able to rebound quickly from or shrug off contact more than those who are not in shape?
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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