Opening day is right in front of us. Well, it’s ahead of us, and it already happened too. Arizona managed to dump two games in Australia already.
This is the time of year where everyone’s supposed to be tied for first. Arizona isn’t, but I still think bringing the sport to new markets is a good thing. If they’re going to quit televising the games, and make us all pay through the nose for a package on cable, they need a broader footprint to stay viable. Welcome to any new Australian fans out there.
Teams will trickle away between now and June, and this is normal. Only a few get to slug it out in August and September, the rest are just along for the ride, playing spoiler at best.
I thought the Diamonbacks made some cool trades during the off season, and it sounded like they might be pretty good. Injury reared its head already, and we have four wounded pitchers. Fans are usually optimistic, but this can’t be good.
There seems to be a rash of young players needing Tommy John surgery right now. I wish MLB would look into this instead of slowing the game down with instant replay. There has to be a reason for this wave of joint injuries, and it deserves a study.
Once upon a time, pitchers threw nine innings and they did it every day. I’m sure there were a ton of injuries, and medicine wasn’t modern enough to diagnose everything. There was an era of three man rotations, and a bullpen only had someone come in late to finish the game. Today we may get three or more relievers in one game.
It would appear that pitchers are throwing less, not more. This isn’t the case though. Young kids play baseball year round in some places. By the time they reach college, some of them have thrown more innings than the old timers did at the end of their career. Maybe elbows and shoulders all have a finite number of pitches in them. Maybe Tommy John surgery is like a ring job on your car.
I heard that Willie Mayes weighed in on why pitchers shouldn’t weight train. He said they need muscle in the lower body, but their greates asset is a flexible arm. A muscle bound strong arm may add velocity, but it’s easier to damage. Weight training is something all the pitchers do these days.
I get that baseball is big business. It’s probably better for the owners to have a great pitcher for two years than a decent pitcher for ten years. I’m afraid I’m talking about the same young man under different circumstances.
I think it’s time for MLB to look into this. They should sponsor some research that begins in Little League and assesses pitchers at every level up to MLB retirement.
It may sound like I’m bitching because my favorite team doesn’t have a top pitching staff this year. That isn’t my intent. They have a good pitching staff, but they’ll watch the games from the bullpen this year.
I’m still happy to watch some baseball this year. Television will have a few games on, but they’re almost always limited to the Yankees or Red Sox. I’d like to see my team play, and win. I just want the best team on the field for both sides. If they get beat, they get beat. I don’t like fielding a team based upon who isn’t injured today.