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How to make Baseball great again

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  • How to make Baseball great again

    The rash of injuries across the board, not just with the White Sox, got me thinking that the sport is doing something wrong when it comes to conditioning.

    Back in the day (pre-streroid era) we did not see so many soft tissue injuries like we do now, especially all the Hamstring injuries. I will go out on a limb and say that the Hamstring is not a new evolutionary development for Human Beings over the past 20 years, and yet player used to rarely get the injured.

    I think I know what changed. No, it's not steroids any more, they are pretty much out of the game.

    It's physical conditioning.
    Over the past few years, we hear about players, Lucas Giolito comes to mind, who hit the Weight Room in the offseason to get buffed up and "new body." Everybody oooo's and ahhh's at the newly buffed up players who did it without steroids.

    If I was a head Trainer, I would lock the weight room and throw away the key. Baseball is a skill, not strength, sport. Pull up pre-1990's Youtubes of power hitters. With a few exceptions (Frank Howard, Harmon Killebrew, Babe Ruth, for example) the sluggers were skin and bones. Most of those guys were sending the ball out with skills, not brute force. NFL Linemen need brute strength for their job (along with skill), Baseball players do not. Go to Baseball Refence and pull up random sluggers from before 1990 and check out their height and weight stats, it is an eye-opener. Hank Aaron? 6' 0" 180 pounds.

    The problem with the emphasis on weight training is that it puts a lot of unnecessary strain on supporting tissue like, oh, Hamstrings and ligaments. Weight training should be limited to light-weight training to maintain muscle tone, not bulk. Bulking up in the weight room also changes the way the player's body is able to use the skills. When Giolito was haveing a string of bad outings this year, some said his "new" body was not conducive for his skills since his skills developed with a leaner body.

    How would I have my team get conditioned for the 162 game grind?
    1. Yoga. It makes the body as flexible as it can be. I'm guessing if someone like Eloy did it, he would not be always one routine flyball away from the 60-Day IL.
    2. Swimming and/or running. It gives the body the endurance to last 9 innings on a hot summer day and keeps all the muscles flexible and able to handle the work.

    Bottom line: the high number of hamstring injuries in MLB is the Canary in the Coalmine that says they are doing something wrong. It used to me the only time we heard about hamstring problems was when a Running Back pulled up lame.

    This would be the magic bullet for a healthy team.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Dumpjerry View Post
    The rash of injuries across the board, not just with the White Sox, got me thinking that the sport is doing something wrong when it comes to conditioning.

    Back in the day (pre-streroid era) we did not see so many soft tissue injuries like we do now, especially all the Hamstring injuries. I will go out on a limb and say that the Hamstring is not a new evolutionary development for Human Beings over the past 20 years, and yet player used to rarely get the injured.

    I think I know what changed. No, it's not steroids any more, they are pretty much out of the game.

    It's physical conditioning.
    Over the past few years, we hear about players, Lucas Giolito comes to mind, who hit the Weight Room in the offseason to get buffed up and "new body." Everybody oooo's and ahhh's at the newly buffed up players who did it without steroids.

    If I was a head Trainer, I would lock the weight room and throw away the key. Baseball is a skill, not strength, sport. Pull up pre-1990's Youtubes of power hitters. With a few exceptions (Frank Howard, Harmon Killebrew, Babe Ruth, for example) the sluggers were skin and bones. Most of those guys were sending the ball out with skills, not brute force. NFL Linemen need brute strength for their job (along with skill), Baseball players do not. Go to Baseball Refence and pull up random sluggers from before 1990 and check out their height and weight stats, it is an eye-opener. Hank Aaron? 6' 0" 180 pounds.

    The problem with the emphasis on weight training is that it puts a lot of unnecessary strain on supporting tissue like, oh, Hamstrings and ligaments. Weight training should be limited to light-weight training to maintain muscle tone, not bulk. Bulking up in the weight room also changes the way the player's body is able to use the skills. When Giolito was haveing a string of bad outings this year, some said his "new" body was not conducive for his skills since his skills developed with a leaner body.
    ellent
    How would I have my team get conditioned for the 162 game grind?
    1. Yoga. It makes the body as flexible as it can be. I'm guessing if someone like Eloy did it, he would not be always one routine flyball away from the 60-Day IL.
    2. Swimming and/or running. It gives the body the endurance to last 9 innings on a hot summer day and keeps all the muscles flexible and able to handle the work.

    Bottom line: the high number of hamstring injuries in MLB is the Canary in the Coalmine that says they are doing something wrong. It used to me the only time we heard about hamstring problems was when a Running Back pulled up lame.

    This would be the magic bullet for a healthy team.
    Excellent analysis, you have to be agile to play sports and not look like Charles Atlas. I had a trainer at my club in my tennis days and he believed in toning up,not bulking up. Ray Berres,the great White Sox pitching coach of the 50s and 60s never had his pitchers pick up a weight, on their off days they would run and run and run.
    Another thing that happened was the tightly wound baseball that led everyone to start swinging for the fences, in their quest to hit more homers guys spent way too much with the weights. It also led to a lousy brand of baseball with too many strikeouts and not enough base hits. I have noticed this year the game making a slight move back to the way the game was once played, quite a few teams this year have more hits than Ks including the White Sox. The last 2 years IIRC the Astros were the only A.L. team with more hits than Ks.
    Now coming up to bat for the White Sox is the Mighty Mite, Nelson Fox.

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    • #3
      Take an injury-prone player with a physique reminiscent of the steroid days, say Tatis Jr. He is super injury prone (also on steroids), but when healthy he hit well enough to earn nearly half a billion dollars because the potential is just so enticing. How much of a hit would his power numbers take if he switched to a different training style? Would he want too? Would the Padres be happy if he came back and hit .275 with 15 HRs per season?

      I guess the better question is can a healthy team of more human-like players compete with a typical 2022 team even if then 2022 team has more guys on the IL at any given time?

      I don't know the answer, but it would he hard to even field that team. Even the minor league players know they need to show as many tools as possible and probably aren't keen on giving up the weights.

      Comment


      • #4
        You guys are acting like this is an MLB issue. This is a cultural issue. 10 year olds on travel teams who are using weighted balls in throwing programs, 9 year olds who have a strength and conditioning coach, Emphasis on blazing speed being developed and not just god given. Parents push their kids to no tomorrow in hopes of fulfilling the parents dream. Then Johnny MakesaBuck comes a long and opens a gym, goes online and gets a personal training certificate, convinces Daddy BallCoach that his whole team NEEDS TO work with him 3 x a week, and now you have an entire crop of little kids using weights and weight balls and equipment without really being supervised. This isn't just the Tommy John Pandemic, its all muscles, we just overlook it.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Domeshot17 View Post
          You guys are acting like this is an MLB issue. This is a cultural issue. 10 year olds on travel teams who are using weighted balls in throwing programs, 9 year olds who have a strength and conditioning coach, Emphasis on blazing speed being developed and not just god given. Parents push their kids to no tomorrow in hopes of fulfilling the parents dream. Then Johnny MakesaBuck comes a long and opens a gym, goes online and gets a personal training certificate, convinces Daddy BallCoach that his whole team NEEDS TO work with him 3 x a week, and now you have an entire crop of little kids using weights and weight balls and equipment without really being supervised. This isn't just the Tommy John Pandemic, its all muscles, we just overlook it.
          Spot on, Domeshot. The travel team/AAU subculture has changed everything about youth sports. And not (in my opinion) for the better.

          2022 Sox Attendance Tracker: 10-6
          All-time Sox Attendance Tracker: 310-259
          Posts on old WSI: 7344

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          • #7
            Originally posted by Chez View Post

            Spot on, Domeshot. The travel team/AAU subculture has changed everything about youth sports. And not (in my opinion) for the better.
            Kids also specialize so early on, which is more overuse. Then add in curveballs at 9 or 10 when they shouldn’t have them, because the guy who owns the facility down the road and makes his living off youth baseball needs to have trophies so people keep paying him. I coach a good travel team and some of the culture of travel in general bothers me a lot.

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