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Frater Perdurabo
06-29-2007, 08:30 PM
Daver,

In the past you've written that a four-man rotation can work well if it's established in spring training and the starters' side day throwing programs were modified from what they are in a five-man rotation.

With that in mind, are Mark Buehrle and Jon Garland the types of pitchers who could succeed with one day less rest than what they get now? What about Danks? Vazquez? If Buehrle re-signs and Garland isn't dealt (but Contreras is), would it make sense for the Sox to consider a four-man rotation in 2008? (Not that they actually would do it.)

If it's possible, my hypothesis is that with a four-man rotation, with one less expensive starter to pay, there would be more money to put into the bullpen and upgrading other positions through free agency. Moreover, Buehrle and Garland each would get 7-8 more starts and thus 7-8 more chances each to earn wins.

As always, thanks for the insight you always provide.

Daver
06-29-2007, 08:55 PM
A four man rotation can work, and Mark and Jon are exactly the type of pitchers you need for that scenario, and Danks might be, but it would not work with Javier, his mechanics and the fact that he throws a lot of pitches would not allow him time to stretch his arm back out before his next start.

I doubt the Sox would ever consider a four man rotation, because to do it properly you have to do it at the minor league level too, if not all it takes is a line drive off a starters throwing arm to throw the rotation into a complete mess unless you are going to call up two starters to replace one, as you can't change a pitchers routine at the drop of a hat.

As far as saving money, not really, you would have to carry an extra bullpen pitcher capable of long relief, because every pitcher is going to have a stinker outing or two over a season, so you would have to have two guys capable of long relief, instead of one.

Frater Perdurabo
06-29-2007, 09:13 PM
Thanks, Daver. I thought that that was the case with Vazquez. Two solid long relievers would cost less than, say, a starter making the money that Contreras makes, though. I guess it's a moot point.

MRM
06-29-2007, 09:27 PM
A four man rotation can work, and Mark and Jon are exactly the type of pitchers you need for that scenario, and Danks might be, but it would not work with Javier, his mechanics and the fact that he throws a lot of pitches would not allow him time to stretch his arm back out before his next start.

I doubt the Sox would ever consider a four man rotation, because to do it properly you have to do it at the minor league level too, if not all it takes is a line drive off a starters throwing arm to throw the rotation into a complete mess unless you are going to call up two starters to replace one, as you can't change a pitchers routine at the drop of a hat.

As far as saving money, not really, you would have to carry an extra bullpen pitcher capable of long relief, because every pitcher is going to have a stinker outing or two over a season, so you would have to have two guys capable of long relief, instead of one. More than anything the medical folks would never allow the 4-man rotation long term. We know far more about the effect such has on an arm/shoulder/legs than we did back in the days when 4 man rotations were common. It's like working out. Every time you do it, your body takes a beating and you have to give it ample time to recover or you are more likely to suffer a long-term injury. This is EXACTLY why steroids became so popular. They don't "make" you hit a ball farther or throw a pitch faster, they allow you to work out longer and harder, yet recover quicker. Unless you want to legalize steroids in baseball, forget about a 4 man rotation in the long term. Agents would never allow it either, but for entirely different reasons, of course.

Daver
06-29-2007, 09:54 PM
More than anything the medical folks would never allow the 4-man rotation long term. We know far more about the effect such has on an arm/shoulder/legs than we did back in the days when 4 man rotations were common. It's like working out. Every time you do it, your body takes a beating and you have to give it ample time to recover or you are more likely to suffer a long-term injury. This is EXACTLY why steroids became so popular. They don't "make" you hit a ball farther or throw a pitch faster, they allow you to work out longer and harder, yet recover quicker. Unless you want to legalize steroids in baseball, forget about a 4 man rotation in the long term. Agents would never allow it either, but for entirely different reasons, of course.

Pitchers get hurt because they don't throw enough, not because they pitch to much.

Lip Man 1
06-29-2007, 11:02 PM
I agree with Daver and many of the 'old timers' that I've spoken with who are pitchers say exactly the same thing.

Pitchers don't throw enough to build up the arm and pitch counts (according to them) are not good either.

Lip

MRM
06-29-2007, 11:13 PM
Pitchers get hurt because they don't throw enough, not because they pitch to much.

Oh, I know a few orthopedic docs who would argue with you on that one .

I know a couple of starters on the other side of town who might, too.

Throwing a baseball is an unnatural motion for the human shoulder, especially. Also for the back and legs. The pitchers who have lasted the longest in the game did it by strengthening their shoulders, back, and legs. Not by throwing more often. Roger Clemens doesn't include throwing a baseball in his workout routine. Nor did Nolan Ryan.

How exactly did you come to your hypothosis?

FarWestChicago
06-29-2007, 11:17 PM
In most every other sport, human strength and endurance have increased over time. Roger Bannister broke four minutes for the mile back in the 4 man rotation era. The four minute mile has been mundane for decades. Can somebody name another aspect of sport where athletes have gotten phenomenally wussier over the years other than pitching in MLB? I know you can make a case for the rule changes in football, basketball and hockey leading to more pansies in the leagues. It's a good point. But really. How did MLB pitchers become so fragile? Yeah, it's an unnatural motion, blah, blah, blah. Dudes used to do it a LOT. What's with the porcelain status of pitchers of the modern era?

MRM
06-29-2007, 11:20 PM
I agree with Daver and many of the 'old timers' that I've spoken with who are pitchers say exactly the same thing.

Pitchers don't throw enough to build up the arm and pitch counts (according to them) are not good either.

Lip

The Arm has nothing to do with it. It's the shoulder that matters.

Let's put it this way...every team has at least a couple of orthopedic docs on the payroll. Some of the most reknowned orth docs on earth work with MLB. Not a one of them reccomends that teams have their pitchers throw more often. To a man they suggest pitch counts and 5 days rest, minimum. They determine workout regimines and side days.

Sorry, but I don't take the "old timers" (and my grandfather was one of them) word over the best ortho docs in the world.

FarWestChicago
06-29-2007, 11:21 PM
How exactly did you come to your hypothosis?Because people pitched much more for many decades. I grew up before 5 man rotations. I saw it for a long time. I wasn't imaging things. It happened. I'm sorry, the onus is on you to explain how modern athletes got weaker.

JB98
06-29-2007, 11:24 PM
In most every other sport, human strength and endurance have increased over time. Roger Bannister broke four minutes for the mile back in the 4 man rotation era. The four minute mile has been mundane for decades. Can somebody name another aspect of sport where athletes have gotten phenomenally wussier over the years other than pitching in MLB? I know you can make a case for the rule changes in football, basketball and hockey leading to more pansies in the leagues. It's a good point. But really. How did MLB pitchers become so fragile? Yeah, it's an unnatural motion, blah, blah, blah. Dudes used to do it a LOT. What's with the porcelain status of pitchers of the modern era?

Follow the money. As soon as some of these guys get drafted, they get ridiculous signing bonuses. The clubs want a return on their investment. In olden times, pitchers worked for peanuts and had offseason jobs. If they hurt their arms, the clubs just threw them away and put somebody else out there. These days, if a pitcher throws out his arm, the club is on the hook for a lot of money. Thus, pitchers are treated as delicate creatures.

The Kane County Cougars are just up the road from here, and the FOBB put a 100-pitch limit on all the precious prospects who pitch for that club.

FarWestChicago
06-29-2007, 11:30 PM
Follow the money. As soon as some of these guys get drafted, they get ridiculous signing bonuses. The clubs want a return on their investment. In olden times, pitchers worked for peanuts and had offseason jobs. If they hurt their arms, the clubs just threw them away and put somebody else out there. These days, if a pitcher throws out his arm, the club is on the hook for a lot of money. Thus, pitchers are treated as delicate creatures.

The Kane County Cougars are just up the road from here, and the FOBB put a 100-pitch limit on all the precious prospects who pitch for that club.Do you think that alone accounts for such an absurd anomaly compared to basically all other areas of sports? It's as good as any hypothesis I've heard. But, look at the sprints in the US. Michael Johnson is retired and Gatlin in suspended. We've got a young 100 meter guy (and a college kid behind him ready to make him obsolete) who is ready to blow the world record away and smoke Asafa Powell. He and a couple kids are right off MJ's impossible 200 meter mark. And MLB pitchers get more fragile. I don't know. It's just athletically weird.

MRM
06-29-2007, 11:36 PM
How did MLB pitchers become so fragile? Yeah, it's an unnatural motion, blah, blah, blah. Dudes used to do it a LOT. What's with the porcelain status of pitchers of the modern era?

They didn't become fragile. How many guys were throwing 95MPH fastballs in 1960? With a killer Slider AND a nose to toes curve? Back then it was mostly fastballs and changeups, which put the least amount of stress on your shoulder/elbow.

If Babe Ruth in his prime faced Johan Santana 10 times now what would the result be? The Bambino would strike out 10 times, but Johan would still only last 7 innings. Mickey Mantle might go 1-10 with only 8 strikeouts.

JB98
06-29-2007, 11:44 PM
Do you think that alone accounts for such an absurd anomaly compared to basically all other areas of sports? It's as good as any hypothesis I've heard. But, look at the sprints in the US. Michael Johnson is retired and Gatlin in suspended. We've got a young 100 meter guy (and a college kid behind him ready to make him obsolete) who is ready to blow the world record away and smoke Asafa Powell. He and a couple kids are right off MJ's impossible 200 meter mark. And MLB pitchers get more fragile. I don't know. It's just athletically weird.

I guess I'd have to do some research to see what caused all the MLB clubs to go to five-man rotations in the first place. I guess the late 60s Mets were the first to do it, but that was because they had five good starters. Surely, not all teams in MLB during that era had five good starters. Most teams today do not have five good starters.

I was born in 1976, so in my life I don't really recall the time where most teams went with four-man rotations. The money is a big reason why the five-man rotation is here to stay. The individual clubs have neither the inclination nor the courage to buck the trend.

MRM
06-29-2007, 11:45 PM
Because people pitched much more for many decades. I grew up before 5 man rotations. I saw it for a long time. I wasn't imaging things. It happened. I'm sorry, the onus is on you to explain how modern athletes got weaker.

They pitched many more innings, yes. They did NOT throw the same kind of pitches, however.

My grandfather was a pitcher in the Cubs organization until WWII called. Til the day he died he argued the same as you. "Back in my day we would pitch both ends of a double header..." and other such nonsense that probably really happened. I'm pretty sure gramps didn't possess a killer slider, though. If he had a curve ball, I'll bet it wasn't anything close to the extreme curves we see today.

Todays pitchers put WAY more stress on their shoulders and elbows than those who came before them.

MRM
06-29-2007, 11:54 PM
I guess I'd have to do some research to see what caused all the MLB clubs to go to five-man rotations in the first place. I guess the late 60s Mets were the first to do it, but that was because they had five good starters. Surely, not all teams in MLB during that era had five good starters. Most teams today do not have five good starters.

I was born in 1976, so in my life I don't really recall the time where most teams went with four-man rotations. The money is a big reason why the five-man rotation is here to stay. The individual clubs have neither the inclination nor the courage to buck the trend.

That's a very cynical and completely wrong view, IMO. Big money would be the BEST reason to keep 4-man rotations if it were physically sound to do so.

Todays teams have the very best medical personnel. Back in the days of 4 man rotations "medical personnel" consisted of the manager going to the mound and saying "you're fine for another inning" when a pitcher complained he was hurting...

Iwritecode
06-29-2007, 11:56 PM
Another big thing is that pitchers careers didn't last nearly as long either. These days it's not unusual for a pitcher in his late 30's or early 40's to still be pitching. Back then they were usually done by their mid 30's or sooner.

Noneck
06-29-2007, 11:58 PM
In the old days of the Nfl, players used to play offense and defense, I remember stars in Nfl playing on specialty teams. I remember star hockey players killing penalties. Wilt Chamberlain averaged over 48 minutes a game, the year he averaged over 50 points a game.

Owners in the past squeezed every ounce out of their players. Did it work? Sometimes it did, sometimes it didn't. Many player had premature careers because of the work load they had and for some players it didn't matter.

I'm sure good pitchers were lost early in their career because of the work load, Wasn't Fidrych one of them? (I'm sure there were alot more)

I believe it comes down to probabilities. The less chances you take the better chance they won't get hurt and the better chance you will get a return on your investment. If the owners thought the 4 man rotation was the way to go, why wouldn't they do it?

MRM
06-30-2007, 12:13 AM
In the old days of the Nfl, players used to play offense and defense, I remember stars in Nfl playing on specialty teams. I remember star hockey players killing penalties. Wilt Chamberlain averaged over 48 minutes a game, the year he averaged over 50 points a game.

Owners in the past squeezed every ounce out of their players. Did it work? Sometimes it did, sometimes it didn't. Many player had premature careers because of the work load they had and for some players it didn't matter.

I'm sure good pitchers were lost early in their career because of the work load, Wasn't Fidrych one of them? (I'm sure there were alot more)

I believe it comes down to probabilities. The less chances you take the better chance they won't get hurt and the better chance you will get a return on your investment. If the owners thought the 4 man rotation was the way to go, why wouldn't they do it?

What it comes down to is the games are COMPLETELY different today. Chamberlin wouldn't average 30 today, let alone 50. Pitchers who put up sub 3 ERAs back then would be lucky to be under 5 today. Babe Ruth would face Johan Santana and say "what planet are you from" after striking out ten straight times.

With pitchers it's easy to figure out. They simply throw harder and throw many more pitches that are hard on the shoulder/elbow. I really don't understand why this is so hard to comprehend. It's indisputable fact.

Noneck
06-30-2007, 12:19 AM
What it comes down to is the games are COMPLETELY different today. Chamberlin wouldn't average 30 today, let alone 50. Pitchers who put up sub 3 ERAs back then would be lucky to be under 5 today. Babe Ruth would face Johan Santana and say "what planet are you from" after striking out ten straight times.

With pitchers it's easy to figure out. They simply throw harder and throw many more pitches that are hard on the shoulder/elbow. I really don't understand why this is so hard to comprehend. It's indisputable fact.


Thats my point! Times have changed and if the 4 man rotation is the way to go, The owners would be doing it now.

Nellie_Fox
06-30-2007, 12:22 AM
They didn't become fragile. How many guys were throwing 95MPH fastballs in 1960? With a killer Slider AND a nose to toes curve? Back then it was mostly fastballs and changeups, which put the least amount of stress on your shoulder/elbow.Plenty. You don't think Drysdale, Gibson, Wynn, Ford, etc., had the pitch selection of modern pitchers?

If Babe Ruth in his prime faced Johan Santana 10 times now what would the result be? The Bambino would strike out 10 times, but Johan would still only last 7 innings. Mickey Mantle might go 1-10 with only 8 strikeouts.You can't be serious. You just can't.

IOwners in the past squeezed every ounce out of their players. Did it work? Sometimes it did, sometimes it didn't. Many player had premature careers because of the work load they had and for some players it didn't matter.

I'm sure good pitchers were lost early in their career because of the work load, Just like today. Some pitchers got hurt in the four-man, some got hurt in the five-man.

I believe it comes down to probabilities. The less chances you take the better chance they won't get hurt and the better chance you will get a return on your investment. If the owners thought the 4 man rotation was the way to go, why wouldn't they do it?Because baseball (like all sports actually) is tremendously reactive. If one team is successful with something, they all do it until there is a maverick willing to try something new again. As I remember it, the Dodgers started the five-man simply because they had enough talent to field five starters. Other teams said "oh, look at how successful the Dodgers are with a five-man, we'd better do it too."

And, it's not something a team can change, like Daver said, unless they do it throughout their entire system to get the pitchers used to it.

Besides, it wasn't a "pure" four-man rotation. Every team had a "spot starter" to be the fifth man whenever the schedule got jammed up due to double-headers, etc.

MRM
06-30-2007, 12:34 AM
You can't be serious. You just can't.

And, it's not something a team can change, like Daver said, unless they do it throughout their entire system to get the pitchers used to it.

I'm quite serious. Babe Ruth never saw anything CLOSE to what Santana throws. He mostly hit against guys who had baseball as their SECOND job.

And YOU can't be serious to say that teams only use a 5 man because it's the trendy thing to do. Todays WORST pitchers are in better physical shape than Kofax or Drysdale ever dreamed of. Drysdale himself has said as much.

It has since been discovered that putting that kind of stress on your shoulder/elbow so often is a BAD idea. We've found out that smoking is bad for you too, since then. You don't "get used to" abusing your body, no matter what form such abuse takes.

MRM
06-30-2007, 12:51 AM
Thats my point! Times have changed and if the 4 man rotation is the way to go, The owners would be doing it now.

Of course, but others are arguing that pitchers have somehow become prima-donnas who simply don't want to pitch as often.

A Mark Buehrle probably COULD pitch every 4 days because he throws junk, mostly. A Javy Vazquez or Johan Santana would be on the DL before the all star break, though. And they'd have very short careers.

Again I'll say, EVERY team has the best in orthopedic medical docs available in the world. If ANY Ortho doc said "hey, you could pitch these guys every 4 days" every team in the majors would be doing it.

Let me know when Doctor James Andrews says "todays pitchers are wimps. They should be taking the mound every 4 days and throwing complete games". After all the "Jommy John" surgeries he's performed, I don't anticipate him making such a statement any time soon.

Nellie_Fox
06-30-2007, 12:53 AM
And YOU can't be serious to say that teams only use a 5 man because it's the trendy thing to do. Todays WORST pitchers are in better physical shape than Kofax or Drysdale ever dreamed of. Drysdale himself has said as much.Yes, I absolutely can be serious. People in sports are terrified of going against the conventional wisdom, because they get fired at the drop of a hat. If you do something unconventional, and it doesn't work right away, you're gone. There is virtually no tolerance for experimentation in sports.

They may be in better shape, but that doesn't make them better pitchers. Back then, the best athletes, almost without exception, played baseball. It was the king of sports. Basketball and football were backwater sports. And there were far fewer teams. I don't buy that the worst pitchers of today are better than Koufax, Drysdale, Gibson, et al. Not even remotely. Better shape? Probably. Better pitchers? NO.

Noneck
06-30-2007, 12:55 AM
Chamberlin wouldn't average 30 today, let alone 50.


I don't want to muddy this great discussion but if Shaq can average close to 30ppg in 3 seasons, so could The Dipper.

Nellie_Fox
06-30-2007, 01:03 AM
OAgain I'll say, EVERY team has the best in orthopedic medical docs available in the world. If ANY Ortho doc said "hey, you could pitch these guys every 4 days" every team in the majors would be doing it.

Let me know when Doctor James Andrews says "todays pitchers are wimps. They should be taking the mound every 4 days and throwing complete games". After all the "Tommy John" surgeries he's performed, I don't anticipate him making such a statement any time soon.Physicians don't conduct research, and are not trained in the cause of sports injuries. They know how to diagnose and fix the problems, but are not experts on what causes them. Those are very different fields. Someone with a Ph.D. in Kinesiology knows far more about what you are talking about than an M.D. does.

Noneck
06-30-2007, 01:10 AM
Of course, but others are arguing that pitchers have somehow become prima-donnas who simply don't want to pitch as often.

A Mark Buehrle probably COULD pitch every 4 days because he throws junk, mostly. A Javy Vazquez or Johan Santana would be on the DL before the all star break, though. And they'd have very short careers.



I don't think that is always the case. Many pitchers in the past didn't throw junk and lasted a long time. Gibson and Marishal come to mind. Maybe Santana or Vasquez wouldn't get hurt but I agree it's not worth the chance.
We have to go by what the experts tell us and the medical field is so much more advanced than it was in the past.

MRM
06-30-2007, 01:25 AM
Yes, I absolutely can be serious. People in sports are terrified of going against the conventional wisdom, because they get fired at the drop of a hat. If you do something unconventional, and it doesn't work right away, you're gone. There is virtually no tolerance for experimentation in sports.

They may be in better shape, but that doesn't make them better pitchers. Back then, the best athletes, almost without exception, played baseball. It was the king of sports. Basketball and football were backwater sports. And there were far fewer teams. I don't buy that the worst pitchers of today are better than Koufax, Drysdale, Gibson, et al. Not even remotely. Better shape? Probably. Better pitchers? NO.

No tolerance for experimentation in sports? What did Kenny Williams do in building the '05 Sox? He sure didn't stick with the status quo. For that matter Ozzie Guillen wasn't an experiment? ROFL. You can't GET any more experimental than the White Sox. Jewish owner, African American General Manager, Venezualen field Manager. How DO you break from the mold anymore than that?

In that era, without question, the "best athletes" went to work in a factory out of high school. If they graduated H.S. at all. You are correct in that those who actually could indulge in "pro" sports gravitated to baseball more than any other sport, but "pro" sports were NOT the direction most went in. It was most certainly an indulgence that most simply could not afford.

Being a pro athlete simply wasn't an aspiration until, at least, the 60's. And even then only for low income folk. It didn't become a boon until the 70's, and especially the 80's.

Sure, kids in 1927 wanted to "be" Babe Ruth, but it wasn't feasible no matter how good you were. Ditto Kids in '61 wanting to "be" Mickey Mantle (I don't think ANYONE wanted to be Roger Maris that year).

Teams were made up of those who had the time to play as much as they were those with the ability to play.

Today, you better have a ton of talent just to get a minor league contract.

Was Drysdale a great pitcher? Absolutely. Would he be a great pitcher today without changing a thing? Nope. You can't compare generations in any way, shape, or form.

Noneck
06-30-2007, 01:25 AM
Physicians don't conduct research, and are not trained in the cause of sports injuries. They know how to diagnose and fix the problems, but are not experts on what causes them. Those are very different fields. Someone with a Ph.D. in Kinesiology knows far more about what you are talking about than an M.D. does.

But a physician would see the results of an injury and couldn't he make a determination of how the injury occurred? If he sees a bunch of pitchers that throw screwballs with the same injury, couldn't he assume it was caused by throwing that pitch? Also in the computer age we live, this information could be put in a data base that all physician could access.

TDog
06-30-2007, 01:40 AM
...

Besides, it wasn't a "pure" four-man rotation. Every team had a "spot starter" to be the fifth man whenever the schedule got jammed up due to double-headers, etc.

You probably remember the 1973 White Sox, which essentially ran with a three-man rotation. But for injuries to Dick Allen, Carlos May and other position players, that should have been the Sox year. I wonder if the Sox would have continued to go with so few starters if the season had been competitive. Wilbur Wood started 48 games (granted, one was the second game of a doubleheader in New York after he barely broke a sweat getting knocked out in the first inning of the first game), and Stan Bahnsen started 42. The characters changed after that. Steve Stone started 22. Eddie Fishery had the next highest number of starts with 16. Steve Stone hated going on two days rest. He talks about starting on July 2 in Texas and coming back against the Rangers in Arlington on July 5. He was knocked out in the forth inning on July 5, and he blames Chuck Tanner.

When you look at that pitching staff, the starters were also pitching in relief, except for Bahnsen and late-season acquisition Jim Kaat.

When Paul Richards came to the team in 1976, he insisted on a five-man rotation. He insisted that the rest would make everyone better. When Wilbur Wood went down, taking a line drive off of his knee, he had one less pitcher and still insisted on a five-man rotation. I don't know when the Sox last worked with a four-man rotation.

I used to hear coaches say pitchers were more likely to rust than wear out. But I don't see teams returning to four-man rotations anytime soon. I don't think it's cynical to believe money has something to do with it. A pitcher isn't going to be happy about pitching in a four-man rotation if he can make the same money in a five-man rotation because there is a belief that six to eight extra starts a year will shorten a pitcher's career.

MRM
06-30-2007, 01:44 AM
Physicians don't conduct research, and are not trained in the cause of sports injuries. They know how to diagnose and fix the problems, but are not experts on what causes them. Those are very different fields. Someone with a Ph.D. in Kinesiology knows far more about what you are talking about than an M.D. does.

OK, I'll indulge you, name the "Kinesiologist" who advocates pitchers should throw every 4 days?

"Physicians are not trained in the cause of sports injuries"? TEAM DOCTORS aren't trained in that, eh? Uh, ok. I simply have no answer to such a completely ignorant claim. I'm dumfounded any rational thinking person would make it. The team TRAINER has full training in the field you claim the teams doctors don't. Are you arguing just to argue?

Oh, and I wasn't talking about your typical family M.D., either. I specifically stated I was talking about orthopedic doctors, some of the absolute best orthopedic doctors in the world. In fact, Orthopedic Docs who SPECIALIZE in sports injury. To say that Doctor James Andrews is NOT an expert on what causes orthopedic injuries is to not know who he is or what you are talking about. I'd suggest a google search, though I suspect you know who he is and are just trying to be difficult.

MRM
06-30-2007, 01:56 AM
I don't want to muddy this great discussion but if Shaq can average close to 30ppg in 3 seasons, so could The Dipper.

Russell would have been a better scorer than Chamberlin in todays NBA. My opinion. Neither would have averaged 30.

Nellie_Fox
06-30-2007, 02:01 AM
I stand by what I said. Medical schools train people to diagnose and treat injuries, not in what causes them. And any trained researcher knows that you would need to do a longitudinal study with random assignment to control groups to make any defensible determination of the relative effect of pitching in a four-man or five-man rotation. And, to my knowledge, none has been done.

Medical Doctors have a habit of giving opinions on things way outside of their area of expertise, and people are so enamored of M.D. degrees that they accept it. I constantly hear physicians opining "if they had not been wearing a seat belt, they'd have been dead" despite having nothing to back it up. The other night I saw a physician on TV talking about antibiotic resistant bacteria saying that bedding should be washed "in warm water, not cold." Well, warm water kills no more bacteria than cold. It requires very hot, not warm, water to kill bacteria, but that didn't stop they physician from opining on an area outside of her apparent expertise (although I would think she would understand sterilization better.)

As for kinesiologists, I haven't seen one giving an opinion one way or the other. You were using the presumed opinions of M.D.'s to back up your argument. I simply said that their area of expertise would make them far better able to comment on this than any M.D.

Nellie_Fox
06-30-2007, 02:16 AM
Russell would have been a better scorer than Chamberlin in todays NBA. My opinion. Neither would have averaged 30.Is there any sport you are not an expert on? I don't know enough about basketball to argue with you, but Russell was a defensive specialist, while Chamberlin was incredibly strong and very hard to stop once he got a step toward the basket.

MISoxfan
06-30-2007, 02:31 AM
If Babe Ruth in his prime faced Johan Santana 10 times now what would the result be? The Bambino would strike out 10 times

Do you really expect to be taken seriously after saying something like this?

MRM
06-30-2007, 03:12 AM
I stand by what I said. Medical schools train people to diagnose and treat injuries, not in what causes them. And any trained researcher knows that you would need to do a longitudinal study with random assignment to control groups to make any defensible determination of the relative effect of pitching in a four-man or five-man rotation. And, to my knowledge, none has been done.

Medical Doctors have a habit of giving opinions on things way outside of their area of expertise, and people are so enamored of M.D. degrees that they accept it. I constantly hear physicians opining "if they had not been wearing a seat belt, they'd have been dead" despite having nothing to back it up. The other night I saw a physician on TV talking about antibiotic resistant bacteria saying that bedding should be washed "in warm water, not cold." Well, warm water kills no more bacteria than cold. It requires very hot, not warm, water to kill bacteria, but that didn't stop they physician from opining on an area outside of her apparent expertise (although I would think she would understand sterilization better.)

As for kinesiologists, I haven't seen one giving an opinion one way or the other. You were using the presumed opinions of M.D.'s to back up your argument. I simply said that their area of expertise would make them far better able to comment on this than any M.D.

Let's start with the simple. M.D. refers to Medical Doctor. EVERY person with a degree in ANY field of medicine holds one. I think we can all agree than not all MDs are created equal.

A "kinesiologist" doesn't even have to obtain an M.D. In point of fact, he doesn't have to do anything other than to call himself such.

Any "trained researcher" also knows what they are or are not qualified to comment on. As you can't quote a single kinesiologist on the subject, I guess there isn't one qualified to make such a comment.

I'm happy to hear what you think MD's have a habit of doing...though if you think the research DOESN'T show that wearing a seat belt saves lives, well, I feel for ya. I'm also happy to hear your advice on what does or doesn't kill bacteria, but...warm water along with a good soap most certainly WILL kill bacteria, while soap and cold water...not so much. If you don't HAVE soap, then you are correct...you'd need very hot water.

And since Kinesiology is nothing more than the study of human movement, how would you possibly determine such a "scientist" (with no medical training) would be more suited to make such a determination over an Orthopedic doc that specializes in sports medicine?

Your choice of expert is interesting.

You or I could be a kinesiologist with little trouble. I doubt either of us has anywhere near the training to become the simple M.D. you seem to abhor.

MRM
06-30-2007, 03:24 AM
Is there any sport you are not an expert on?

Yes. I don't know much about soccer or rugby. As for BBall, Russell would be awesome in todays low post game while Chamberlin would be just another tall guy. Chamberlin was the Shaq of his time, but he wasn't big enough to be the Shaq of our time. He'd get manhandled today.

Wanna hear why the Bears will be lucky to finish 2nd in their own division this year? :D:

MRM
06-30-2007, 03:36 AM
Do you really expect to be taken seriously after saying something like this?

I really don't care if you take me seriously or not. I'm a student of the game and GUARANTEE I've read more about the Babes era than you have if you disagree with me, let alone if you think my claim is a joke.

In Babe Ruths era MOST players worked other jobs as their FIRST job, income wise. Baseball was a sideline that might, if you were good, provide a few extra thousand a year to the family bank account. Barry Bonds personal trainer makes more than the 1919 white sox did.

It's not even close. Put an in his prime Frank Thomas into a time machine to 1927. He'd hit .500 with 120 HRs. Minimum.

Take Babe Ruth circa 1927 and put him in the 2007 game and he'd be cut.

Sorry, fat and out of shape might have worked in '27, it don't work in '07.

chaerulez
06-30-2007, 03:50 AM
Sorry, fat and out of shape might have worked in '27, it don't work in '07.

It worked quite well for David Wells, Bobby Jenks, Tony Gwynn, Kirby Puckett, John Kruk and Cecil Fielder.

Even in the NBA when players like Shawn Kemp, Vin Baker, Oliver Miller, Robert Traylor and now Michael Sweetney, it's kind of amazing long how they were able to stick around (or in Sweetney's case, still around) despite being fat and out of shape. But it's a different sport, in baseball you can still be pretty successful while being fat and out of shape.

MRM
06-30-2007, 04:08 AM
It worked quite well for David Wells, Bobby Jenks, Tony Gwynn, Kirby Puckett, John Kruk and Cecil Fielder.

Wow. Just wow. You think any of those guys was out of shape? Overweight, perhaps, but out of shape? You could add Frank to this nonsense list. He was reportedly 300lbs one year.

MRM
06-30-2007, 04:28 AM
It worked quite well for David Wells, Bobby Jenks, Tony Gwynn, Kirby Puckett, John Kruk and Cecil Fielder.

Even in the NBA when players like Shawn Kemp, Vin Baker, Oliver Miller, Robert Traylor and now Michael Sweetney, it's kind of amazing long how they were able to stick around (or in Sweetney's case, still around) despite being fat and out of shape. But it's a different sport, in baseball you can still be pretty successful while being fat and out of shape.

Let me re-phrase. It's entirely possible to be 20lbs or 50lbs overweight and still be in great shape. A Tony Gwynn, Kirby Puckett, and Frank Thomas knew exactly what they needed to work in the weight room in order to be successful as they got older. Babe didn't have a weight room and if he did, he'd have laughed at the idea of entering it unless it had an open bar...

FarWestChicago
06-30-2007, 06:34 AM
I'm a student of the game and GUARANTEE I've read more about the Babes era than you have if you disagree with me, let alone if you think my claim is a joke.When you are not acting like a rabid egomaniac you are an interesting poster. You have been doing that for a brief while. Now the above is your old "I'm a genius and **** all the rest of you" crap. That's not going to work. You have made outrageous claims in this thread. You can't back them up with "I'm smarter than you" and be done with it. Bring rational supportive evidence or it just becomes trolling.

Frater Perdurabo
06-30-2007, 06:56 AM
I didn't want this to devolve into another war between the young wippersnappers and the old geezers.
:rolleyes:

Comparing eras is tough. Higher mounds and larger outfields helped pitchers in earlier eras. Since in the last 20 years offense has become more dominant, and because with all the new stadia it's not likely that outfields will get bigger, I'd like to see the mounds raised 1 or 2 inches and umpires forced to call the rulebook strike. I think this would re-balance the game nicely. On a side note, it might make it more possibe for starters to throw more innings (more strikes lead to more outs and thus fewer pitches per inning) and/or a willingness for a team try a four-man rotation.

wassagstdu
06-30-2007, 07:09 AM
I remember years ago when Billy Pierce appeared on I think the Ed Sullivan Show and was asked once and for all to settle the debate about whether a curve ball actually breaks or not! Can you imagine anyone doubting that after watching one inning of modern baseball? It is a different game and the pitchers and hitters are both performing to a higher standard, which means the pitchers are putting a lot more stress on their arms.

Railsplitter
06-30-2007, 07:36 AM
Besides, it wasn't a "pure" four-man rotation. Every team had a "spot starter" to be the fifth man whenever the schedule got jammed up due to double-headers, etc.

You know your stuff.

Maybe teans should let thier best guys go every five DAYS rather than every five games.

Also, toward the end of his career, Ted Lyons was a Sunday only pitcher.

southside rocks
06-30-2007, 08:03 AM
The 4-man vs. 5-man rotation question is one that I have been debating with a co-worker for years. In spite of my conviction that a 5-man rotation exists for good reasons, I can't find those reasons in any of my reading. I may have to concede this one to my co-worker.

Some pretty good reads on this:

KansasCity.com: Let's Try a Four-Man Rotation.
http://www.kansascity.com/sports/royals/story/157556.html
(The author of this is the KC sportswriter who authored the book "The Soul of Baseball" about Buck O'Neil. I think he's pretty knowledgeable about the game.)

BP: The Five-Man Rotation Is a Failure.
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1596

At Home Plate: Whither Hast Thou Gone, 4-Man Rotation?
http://athomeplate.com/regular_articles/whither_hast_thou_gone_four_man_rotation_part_i.ht ml
(This is Part 1 and I don't think that Part 2 has been written yet, so maybe this writer has more to say.)

Noneck
06-30-2007, 08:51 AM
Yes. I don't know much about soccer or rugby. As for BBall, Russell would be awesome in todays low post game while Chamberlin would be just another tall guy. Chamberlin was the Shaq of his time, but he wasn't big enough to be the Shaq of our time. He'd get manhandled today.

Wanna hear why the Bears will be lucky to finish 2nd in their own division this year? :D:

I loved Russell but Russell was not a scorer. Wilt was alot more athletic than people remember. If you can, Watch some highlights of him when he was in Kansas or the Globetrotters. He had so much more athleticism than Shaq.

voodoochile
06-30-2007, 09:03 AM
I loved Russell but Russell was not a scorer. Wilt was alot more athletic than people remember. If you can, Watch some highlights of him when he was in Kansas or the Globetrotters. He had so much more athleticism than Shaq.

Yeah, how many players in sports history can say the rules of the game and dimensions of the court were changed because of them?

Tragg
06-30-2007, 09:10 AM
Follow the money. As soon as some of these guys get drafted, they get ridiculous signing bonuses. The clubs want a return on their investment..
They're non human and subject to a lot of inbreeding, but the same is true with racehorses. Far, far, far less endurance than they had 30 years ago and for sure 60 years ago. Inbreeding is one reason, but protecting that investment is the major reason.

I would think that if we returned to 4 man rotations that, in this era, the real wage for pitchers who throw on on 3 days rest would increase.

Tragg
06-30-2007, 09:28 AM
It's not even close. Put an in his prime Frank Thomas into a time machine to 1927. He'd hit .500 with 120 HRs. Minimum.

Take Babe Ruth circa 1927 and put him in the 2007 game and he'd be cut.

Sorry, fat and out of shape might have worked in '27, it don't work in '07.
I agree with that - but I think the same applies to in-shape (i would guess) lou gerhig or anyhone else. Ben Hogan couldn't make the PGA tour today.

But that's not pejorative or anything. It's like saying a 2007 astro-physicist could design a better plane than Orville and Wilbur. Or if you put Orville and Wilbur under a 747, they couldn't do much of anything, while a basic mechanic could.

We learned from and advanced because of Babe Ruth, et al.

Daver
06-30-2007, 09:55 AM
Oh, I know a few orthopedic docs who would argue with you on that one .

I know a couple of starters on the other side of town who might, too.

Throwing a baseball is an unnatural motion for the human shoulder, especially. Also for the back and legs. The pitchers who have lasted the longest in the game did it by strengthening their shoulders, back, and legs. Not by throwing more often. Roger Clemens doesn't include throwing a baseball in his workout routine. Nor did Nolan Ryan.

How exactly did you come to your hypothosis?

From a guy you probably never heard of, Tommy John, he had surgery on his elbow and used this system to return to the MLB level as a pitcher. The starters on the other side of town would benefit from throwing more and pitching less, regimented throwing is the best way to build arm strength, without adding muscle mass.

hose
06-30-2007, 10:04 AM
Give the Babe Bond's body armor and being able to take away the inside pitch and Ruth would be just as feared today as he was with Murderers Row.

It all comes down to eye- hand coordination to hit a baseball, either you have it or you don't.

Throw in a personal trainer and Ruth would put up even better numbers then he did back in the day.

As far as the slider goes it is indeed a great pitch and is much easier for a pitcher to master then the curve ball. Otoh you don't see the great curve ball pitchers as much now so it's a wash for the hitters. Fastball-slider-change up has replaced fastball-curve- change up.

The hard throwing pitchers pretty much have reached their peak 100-103 mph. Interesting article :http://www.slate.com/id/2116402

jabrch
06-30-2007, 10:48 AM
They didn't become fragile. How many guys were throwing 95MPH fastballs in 1960? With a killer Slider AND a nose to toes curve? Back then it was mostly fastballs and changeups, which put the least amount of stress on your shoulder/elbow.

If Babe Ruth in his prime faced Johan Santana 10 times now what would the result be? The Bambino would strike out 10 times, but Johan would still only last 7 innings. Mickey Mantle might go 1-10 with only 8 strikeouts.

I agree with this point. The arm action of today's nasty pitchers and the sheer force they throw with is very different than MANY of the guys from the 4 man rotations.

jabrch
06-30-2007, 10:57 AM
Ben Hogan couldn't make the PGA tour today.

I disagree. If you hand Hogan a ProV1x, an R7 SuperQuad Tour Issue, and a set of high end blades, he'd be very good. He had as pure of a golf swing as there ever was and was known to be one of the best ball strikers out there. Why is it that you think he wouldn't be able to compete? He was small - and not a long hitter, but today's equipment would have had a significant impact on that.

Would he be leading the tour in driving distance? nope

But he'd be amongst the top in fairways, be on the list of greens hit, amongst the bottom in bogeys +, and he'd regularly be playing deep into weekends. Hogan might need to go Driver 5 iron where some of today's players could go driver 9 iron, but give me Hogan with a 5 iron or many guys playing today with a 9.

southside rocks
06-30-2007, 11:06 AM
I agree with this point. The arm action of today's nasty pitchers and the sheer force they throw with is very different than MANY of the guys from the 4 man rotations.

And many of them have already been doing it for years by the time they take the mound in their MLB debut.

One school of thought also says that today's pitchers have been throwing much harder, and throwing more difficult pitches, for longer than pitchers 50 years ago. Many of the guys who become MLB pitchers have been 'specialized' and trained for that since middle school or their teenage years. They throw hard and throw a lot in college, which many pitchers in the good old days didn't do. Those years of pre-MLB pitching can represent a lot of strain and wear on the arm, shoulder, elbow, etc.

Grzegorz
06-30-2007, 11:42 AM
The starters on the other side of town would benefit from throwing more and pitching less, regimented throwing is the best way to build arm strength, without adding muscle mass.

Yes!!! Johnny Sain lives on!

TDog
06-30-2007, 01:19 PM
Yes!!! Johnny Sain lives on!

It wasn't just knuckleballer Wilbur Wood regularly pitching on two days rest. It was Stan Bahnsen and an aging Jim Kaat. To a lesser extent, others, including Steve Stone, was doing the two-day rest thing.

Chuck Tanner brought Johnny Sain to the Sox when he was hired to manage a dreadful team at the end of the 1970 season. In 1976, when Tanner was hired to manage the A's after their dynastic run was over, the A's forbid him from bringing along Sain. Wes Stock stayed even when Alvin Dark moved on.

Much of what coaches and managers believe is based on their own experience. If you look at the 1950 Boston Braves, they didn't use the two-man rotation that "Spahn and Sain and two days of rain" implies. In the age of frequent scheduled doubleheaders, the Braves had three pitchers with at least 37 starts. The next highest total was 12. None of the other spot starters were in double digits. Gene Mauch was a shortstop on that team. Some people believe the collapse of his 1964 Phillies was due to shortening his rotation. He only trusted Jim Bunning and Chris Short. While the Phillies were blowing their 6-up-with-12-to-go lead, Bunning lost starts on Sept. 24, 27 and 30.

A big reason pitchers don't work more today is that management and the media focus on occasions when more work doesn't work. If Jim Kaat were a pithing coach for a big league team today, I think he would working with a four-man rotation. But if he wanted a job as a pitching coach, I also believe he wouldn't be able to get one because he believes in working pitchers harder.

Corlose 15
06-30-2007, 02:57 PM
Let's start with the simple. M.D. refers to Medical Doctor. EVERY person with a degree in ANY field of medicine holds one. I think we can all agree than not all MDs are created equal.

A "kinesiologist" doesn't even have to obtain an M.D. In point of fact, he doesn't have to do anything other than to call himself such.

Any "trained researcher" also knows what they are or are not qualified to comment on. As you can't quote a single kinesiologist on the subject, I guess there isn't one qualified to make such a comment.

I'm happy to hear what you think MD's have a habit of doing...though if you think the research DOESN'T show that wearing a seat belt saves lives, well, I feel for ya. I'm also happy to hear your advice on what does or doesn't kill bacteria, but...warm water along with a good soap most certainly WILL kill bacteria, while soap and cold water...not so much. If you don't HAVE soap, then you are correct...you'd need very hot water.

And since Kinesiology is nothing more than the study of human movement, how would you possibly determine such a "scientist" (with no medical training) would be more suited to make such a determination over an Orthopedic doc that specializes in sports medicine?

Your choice of expert is interesting.

You or I could be a kinesiologist with little trouble. I doubt either of us has anywhere near the training to become the simple M.D. you seem to abhor.


Did you get picked on in college by a bunch of Kinesiology majors or something? You call out Nellie and yet you seem to abhor "Kinesiologists" as you put it.

I was unaware studying the movement of the human body was so simple, if studying that is so simple that simply studying the bones and muscles of the body, as an orthopedic M.D. would, must also be quite simple.

I was also unaware that a person needed medical training in order to be considered a scientist (someone better tell those bastards at NASA).

The type of kinesiologist that Nellie was refering to was one with a Ph.D. and we all know how easy those are to get.

Really though, I'm glad you've shed light on how easy it is in the field of Kinesiology, in fact I'm going to write an essay and hand it into the admissions office on Monday, maybe they'll just let me skip my last semester here since the last four years have been a total waste of my time anyways. :rolleyes:

Daver
06-30-2007, 03:15 PM
A big reason pitchers don't work more today is that management and the media focus on occasions when more work doesn't work. If Jim Kaat were a pithing coach for a big league team today, I think he would working with a four-man rotation. But if he wanted a job as a pitching coach, I also believe he wouldn't be able to get one because he believes in working pitchers harder.


You're not working the pitchers harder, you're working them smarter.

hose
06-30-2007, 03:23 PM
It would take more then a pitching coach to go to a 4 man rotation, the organization as a whole would need to adopt the same philosophy all the way down to their minor league affiliates.

One thing a team could do with out shaking up the whole organization is do away with the "closer" role. I would like to see teams use their best reliever like Goose Goosage was used back in the day. If you needed to shut a rally down in the 7th or 8th then bring in your stud.

russ99
06-30-2007, 03:38 PM
Take Babe Ruth circa 1927 and put him in the 2007 game and he'd be cut.

Sorry, fat and out of shape might have worked in '27, it don't work in '07.

Obviously you never saw John Kruk play.. :tongue: Matt Stairs is doing a pretty good impression too. As long as they can slug, fat guys are still welcome in the majors.

As for the 4-man rotation, the early-mid 70s Baltimore Orioles strictly had a 4-man rotation, but that might have been more to the fact that they had workhorses Jim Palmer, Dave McNally, Mike Cuellar and Doyle Alexander than any brilliant prediction of the future by Earl Weaver, who's still the best manager ever in my book.

hose
06-30-2007, 03:42 PM
Prince Fielder .

UserNameBlank
06-30-2007, 06:25 PM
Really though, I'm glad you've shed light on how easy it is in the field of Kinesiology, in fact I'm going to write an essay and hand it into the admissions office on Monday, maybe they'll just let me skip my last semester here since the last four years have been a total waste of my time anyways. :rolleyes:
lol

bobwsx
06-30-2007, 10:23 PM
Question for Daver.What are your thoughts on global warming?

EndemicSox
06-30-2007, 10:50 PM
I'd like to see studies regarding the effect of pitching on the shoulder/arm/etc. Without seeing these, I'm inclined to believe that a pitcher only has so many bullets, so to speak. I allow the 10-12 year olds I coach 40 pitches per week, and the two kids with the best arms will not pitch till they reach high-school. Old timers commence scoffing...

TDog
06-30-2007, 11:00 PM
I'd like to see studies regarding the effect of pitching on the shoulder/arm/etc. Without seeing these, I'm inclined to believe that a pitcher only has so many bullets, so to speak. I allow the 10-12 year olds I coach 40 pitches per week, and the two kids with the best arms will not pitch till they reach high-school. Old timers commence scoffing...but I think science is on my side.

Bob Feller says most pitchers were stronger in his day because they grew up on farms doing real work. In his day, they weren't pampered.

Daver
06-30-2007, 11:12 PM
I'd like to see studies regarding the effect of pitching on the shoulder/arm/etc. Without seeing these, I'm inclined to believe that a pitcher only has so many bullets, so to speak. I allow the 10-12 year olds I coach 40 pitches per week, and the two kids with the best arms will not pitch till they reach high-school. Old timers commence scoffing...

You will have to conduct the studies yourself, they don't exist. If you want to really help these kids, have them throw everyday, a regiment of short throws progressing to long toss from 70 feet, ten throws from a distance and progressing at ten foot intervals. Pitch counts hurt young pitchers more than anything else, because it does not prepare them for HS and college ball, where they will be expected to pitch six innings minimum.