Sunday, May 30, 2021

A Theory About All The Injuries Not Just On The Yankees

In the past (before free agency and big bucks contracts) most ball players spent the off season working other jobs. Whether it was selling cars or something more physical, they stopped playing baseball for several months a year.

Spring training was exactly that. A time to get back into baseball shape.   

Now these guys have home gyms, batting cages, and machines that measure spin rates in the "fitness wing" of their homes. Their bodies never get a break. Pitchers throw all year round. That can't be good for their arms.

I'm not advocating a return to low pay. But maybe the off season should be the "Off Season"


Rufus T. Firefly said...

Higoshioka is brigadooned again.

At least they're trying Wade in center.

Anonymous said...

No doubt the all-year training does cause more injuries. How could it not? Just doing weight training can easily cause minor or nagging injuries. It's incredibly easy to injure tendons and ligaments while doing weights. After all, these guys are not pumping 3 lb dumbbells. The trend is for athletes to do heavy weights with barbells. And they do things like "power cleans" (clean and jerk), squats, and bench presses. They're doing all this and then playing their sport as well. They're living on a razor's edge all the time.

The Hammer of God

Kevin said...

I never seem to see the Study that shows pitcher's/hitter's injury rates from decades gone by. NO, it won't be exact according to the standards of the Analytic Crowd, but games played, innings pitched, etc. ought to be more than good enough. Something tells me that weight training DOES NOT help most sports. And I did the stupid deed for forty years. And I might add that I don't seem to have many good days anymore. Truthfully, back then either. For me it became meditative over the last twenty, trying to figure out new ways to wring my body. Something tells me just by watching film clips of various athletes training that they really don't understand how to beat the strain back, and the need to cut back the volume. Most of these trainers are nothing more than degreed (if that) monkeys. One more thing, in my rant. There is nothing dumber and less informed than sports media types who sell the idea of "bigger, faster, stronger". We haven't evolved as a species, so why are we training as though we have? It's that mentality that gets these poor kids into crazy training, and of course 'roids. And HAMMER, you absolutely fucking nailed it all the way down.

Kevin said...

I just saw that Nationals reliever Will Harris will have surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome, something that I'd never heard of until a star Cardinal pitcher (Adam Wainwright?) had the condition 10-15 years ago. I was curious as to how common this injury is (unknowingly I almost had the nerve compression version, or maybe I did...). Anyway, this "trade" website talks about the condition. Notice the discussion of "micro-trauma" and actual trauma. Anyway, I'll leave the commentary where it belongs. Some of you geeks might find this interesting:

Anonymous said...

@Kevin, there's no question that weight training, if done the right way, will improve performance for any sport or physical activity. The key is to do it the right way for the sport in question and for your own body.

As late as maybe 1982 or 1983, nobody in baseball did any weight training. Then in the mid to late '80s, guys started building muscles with weights. And we saw guys like Jose Canseco and Mark McGuire appear. In boxing, nobody did weights until Mike Tyson exploded on the scene in the mid '80s. In the Olympics, the 100m sprinters today look like bodybuilders, because they pump iron.

Doing weights the right way will make you stronger, faster, and you'll even throw harder. They used to say that you can't teach a 100mph fastball or you can't teach a guy to run fast. That's now been proven false. Almost everyone does weights now and the pitchers all throw 100 mph and hitters are all power hitters.

But there's no such thing as a freebie in this world and the cost of weight training is injuries. Joint injuries, repetitive stress injuries, things that might never go away for the rest of your life. An athlete has to know his own body and he has to be as knowledgeable as possible about weight training. The trainers will push you, usually too much, since they can't get inside your body, they don't know how much is too much. They don't know what exercises are bad for your particular body. In my opinion, using trainers for weight training will almost always cause many unnecessary injuries. If you do hire a trainer, you have to let him know right away if something doesn't feel right or if you don't want to do a particular exercise. You always have to think about whether an exercise is good or bad for your particular case. Is it worth the risk? No matter how careful you are, there are going to be some injuries.

We're fortunate these days that there's plenty of free info on the internet about weight training. There are many exercises that are dangerous and no good (upright rows are terrible for the rotator cuff). I mostly do just deadlifts, hack squats, and bench presses. These have definitely improved my performance in boxing and martial arts. I don't do traditional squats anymore because they bother my shoulders. If I did weight training with a trainer, I'm sure that I'd be a physical wreck in a week.

I know there are some older people on this blog. I absolutely recommend weight training for them. But always think, use common sense, always learn as much as you can before trying new stuff, and always proceed with extreme caution. If you've been inactive for a while, get a physical exam by a doctor before starting a weight program. The Arnold Schwarzeneggar books are excellent (The Education of a Bodybuilder; Bodybuilding for Men), but even with those books, you have to adapt them to your particular body. You always have to be thinking about your own situation. Blindly following advice will lead to injuries. My best advice is to always think for yourself, use your brain, before doing any new exercise.

The Hammer of God

Kevin said...

Hammer, totally with you. I lifted for forty years, had rotator cuff surgery, and I'm trying to get myself going again. The stopping part killed my body, and my motivation. There were some guys back in the late seventies, early eighties who lifted, probably with 'roids. Lance Parrish, Brian Downing, and others. Some of these guys back then put some serious beef on during the off-season.

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