Questions/Answers 2008

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001.  As a follow-up to my baseball batting muscles questions you write about the front arm:  "After snapping the Humerus bone of the front upper arm downward to front arm side of the body, baseball batters have to inwardly rotate the front upper arm."

I guess this is where I get lost on your swing.  It seems to me that if you are supinating your front arm that would cause the front upper arm to EXTERNALLY rotate.  I simply can not see how the front upper arm internally rotates.  What am I missing?


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     The rear arm is driving the center of mass of the baseball bat toward the point of contact.  Therefore, for the front arm to provide the oppositely-directed force required for force-coupling, it has to be moving away from the point of contact.  The only way that the front arm can do that is with inward rotation.

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002.  Another pupil confused about maintenance, and an additional question or two:

1.  Is maintenance 24 WW and IB and 36 BB reps for each pitch called for that day, for a total of 132 throws that day?  Or is it 12 torque and 12 maxline for a total of 84 throws that day?  What about footballs and javelin during maintenance?

2.  Is the weight being used during the interval program when it is stopped the one used during maintenance?

3.  How long can maintenance last?  Let's say a pitcher can't complete your 280 day without a baseball season interrupting.  Then that pitcher goes on maintenance for five months during competition.  Can that pitcher resume the 280 day where it was left off?

4.  How far back in the hand do you want baseball pitchers to grip the ball?  What grip pressure?

5.  You related a while back that one of your highly skilled pupils completed the IB throws on the 280 day without a rebound wall.  Can you explain what his method was?  Also, someone referred to a portable rebound wall in these columns recently.  Can you explain to us what that is and how it is constructed?


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01.  With regard to adult baseball pitchers, we have three situations.

     a.  Off-season training:  During off-season training, adult baseball pitchers should be completing my 280-Day program or as many of my 72-Day programs as possible.  When they reach 30 lb. wrist weights and 15 lb. iron ball, during every off-season, they complete my 72-Day programs for these weights.

     b.  In-season training: During their competitive seasons, adult baseball pitchers should be completing my Combined Workouts training program where they complete twenty-four total repetitions of my wrist weight exercises, my iron ball throws and my football throws.  They should throw three javelins, three lids, three football Maxline True Screwballs and three football Maxline Pronation Curves.  On every third day, they should throw a seventy-two pitch high-quality bullpen to a catcher.  On the other two day, they should throw a thirty-six blood flow intensity bullpen into a net.

     c. For whatever days that adult baseball pitchers are in their off-season, but have days remaining before they start their in-season training, they should do the seventy-two pitch high-quality bullpen into a net training day with my Maxline and Torque workouts that include my Maxline Fastball Sinker and Torque Fastball Slider.

02.  After my 280-Day program, my baseball pitchers reduce their wrist weights to fifteen pounds and iron ball to eight pounds.  Thereafter, when they complete my 72-Day programs, they maintain at whatever the next weight up is.  For example, after they complete my 72-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Fifteen Pound Wrist Weight Recoil Interval-Training Program, they should maintain with their twenty pound wrist weights.

03.  I believe that I answered this question in 01.  My adult baseball pitchers are either training, competing or maintaining.

04.  In my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, I go into great detail about how I recommend that baseball pitchers grip, drive and release their pitches.  I am pretty sure that my explanation and demonstration is in my Baseball Training section.

05.  Most of the baseball pitchers who did not complete my training programs with me constructed some type of rebound wall where they did not have to chase their iron balls.  In a pinch, I would place a piece of plywood or carpet on a hill, throw my iron ball at it and let it roll back to me.  In my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, I explain how I build the rebound walls that we use.

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003.  I am an agent representing several minor league players.  My agency covers the cost of players to receive professional help such as yours.  If you have a player that needs funding, I would like to set up an arrangement where I will pay your company on their behalf.  Please let me know if you are available for a phone discussion regarding this email.

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     I will mention your proposal to the baseball pitchers who are presently training with me.

     Typically, player agents contact me about working with their clients.  I not only guarantee no pitching injuries, but if they successfully complete all my training programs and master the skills of my baseball pitching motion, I guarantee that they will increase their release velocity and learn a wide variety of high-quality pitches.

     My guarantee is that, if these baseball pitchers do not achieve these goals, then I will return every cent of the coaching fee that I charge.

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004.  I heard you speaking with Kevin Kennedy and Rob Dibble on XM radio last summer and am so happy I came across your web-site.  You probably do not remember me.  I spent my freshman year in your St. Leo baseball program (fall 85-spring 86).  I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of my baseball time, but ultimately did not feel like St. Leo was the best fit for me academically or socially.

I decided to attend school closer to home and had a solid, if unspectacular college playing career that never advanced any further.  But that's okay.  I love the game.  Through work, grad school (MBA), a marriage, and child I did continue to play amateur and semi-pro ball well into my 30s.

Alas, all good things must come to an end and I just can't find the time to play anymore.  I want to thank you for all you have done and all that you continue to do for baseball players.  I was not a pitcher, but I did my iron ball workout every day.  I did my "wrong-foot throws".  People looked at me funny.  But, I know it worked.  My arm continued to get stronger (I was converted from IF to OF) and it NEVER hurt - ever.

I know you are focusing solely on the pitchers now, but I think you have some interesting hitting theories that I know helped me out.  I just wish your so-called "radical" (but in actually logical and based on the laws of science) ideas would gain more widespread acceptance in the game.  And I hope if my two year old boy decides to play baseball/pitch when he is older, that you are still doing your thing so I can send him to you to learn the right way.

I share your passion for baseball and for doing it the right way.  If the other circumstances were different, would love to have seen what kind of ballplayer I could have become with more time under your tutelage.


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     You are correct.  I do not remember you.  But, because I allowed every college student who wanted to play baseball to practice with the team, such that I had 105 baseball players that year at Saint Leo, I should not be expected to remember all their names.  Nevertheless, every one of those baseball players received exactly the same training.  I am happy to learn that those beginning training programs helped your throwing arm and ability to hit.

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005.  There is a rather lively debate on your pitching and training philosophies going on at Maxxtraining.com.  It is the only venue I know of where, as long as you refrain from profanity, you get to speak freely about your pitching and training philosophies.

  A participant recently posted a picture of a muscle that "stretched" and relaxed.  The top muscle is supposed to be a stretched muscle.  As a layman it does look like it is stretched.  What is your take on these photos from:

http://www.maxxtraining.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=519&start=50


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     I am just glad that these are not my muscles.  I have little faith with in vitro studies.  Just because they can do something in the laboratory does not mean that athletes can do the same in vivo (real life).

     In Question #057 of my 2004 Question/Answer file, I discussed the research to which those who believe in Plyometrics attribute their scientific verification.

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057.  Here are Enoka's references.  I've only included the titles for the studies that used humans.

01.  Fellows, S.J., & Rack, P.M.H. (1987) "Changes in the length of the human biceps brachii muscle during elbow movements," Journal of Physiology, 383, 405-412.
02  Griffiths, R.I. (1991) Journal of Physiology, 436, 219-136. (studied cats)
03  Ito, M., Kawakami, Y., Ichinose, Y., Fukashiro, S., & Fukunaga, T. (1998), "Nonisometric behavior of fascicles during isometric contractions of a human muscle." Journal of Applied Physiology, 85, 1230-1235.

     Here is a specific passage from Enoka describing tendon lengthening: "When the medial gastrocnemius muscle of a cat is electrically stimulated to produce an isometric contraction, muscle fibers can shorten up to 28% of their resting length [he then references a graph from Griffiths (1991)].  For this to happen, the tendon must lengthen by an equivalent amount so that whole-muscle length remains constant (i.e., isometric).  This tendon compliance (mm/N), which is the inverse of stiffness, is most evident in muscles with long tendons.  Not only does this effect occur during electrical stimulation of muscle, it also occurs during voluntary movements such as walking."(p. 275)

     Enoka then goes on to reference another graph from Griffiths (1991) showing whole-muscle length (mm), muscle fiber length (mm), and EMG (mV) for a cat step cycle plotted over time(s).  He uses the term whole-muscle length to include the tendon and the muscle.

     Enoka also includes references showing that some movements are influenced by the elastic energy mechanism.  Those studies are by Komi & Gollhofer, 1997, Journal of Applied Biomechanics, 13, 451-460; Reich, lindstedt, LaSayo, & Pierotti, 2000, American Journal of Physiology, 278, R1661-R1666; Zatsiorsky, 1997, Journal of Applied Biomechanics, 13, 479-483.

     As I read through the list of these references, I am carried back to my university days when everybody was designing research studies, rushing through them and publishing.  They all had the publish or perish mentality.  My own department ran wires to the leg muscles of rats and ran them on treadmills.  When I asked why, they looked at me like I was crazy.  It is thirty years later and I still ask why.  Nothing that they did meant anything to the real world.

     What purpose does studying, "Changes in the length of the human biceps brachii muscle during elbow movements" serve?  The olecranon process contacting the olecranon fossa limits the elbow extension range of motion.  The coronoid process contacting the coronoid fossa limits the elbow flexion range of motion.  The Triceps Brachii muscle straightens the arm.  The Biceps Brachii and Brachialis muscles bend the arm.  Did they take the Biceps Brachii muscle out of some human and study it like they did some poor cat in a following discussion?

     How did the people who wrote, "Nonisometric behavior of fascicles during isometric contractions of a human muscle," conduct this study?  Again, did they take a muscle out of some human volunteer experimentation?  How did they study fasciculi?

     In order to write, "When the medial gastrocnemius muscle of a cat is electrically stimulated to produce an isometric contraction, muscle fibers can shorten up to 28% of their resting length," I know that they 'sacrificed' some poor cat.

     They took the medial gastrocnemius muscle out of a cat, tied it securely on both ends and electrically stimulated it.  They found that the muscle fiber portion of the muscle shortened up to twenty-eight percent of its total length.  Then, from this information, Professor Enoka concluded that, "For this to happen, the tendon must lengthen by an equivalent amount so that whole-muscle length remains constant."  At first glance, this speculation appears interesting.  But, what does it mean for the real world?

     Does it mean that, like cats, the tendon of human gastrocnemius can stretch twenty-eight percent without rupturing?  Let's see, the best of humans can jump straight upward about one-half of their standing height, but cats can jump straight upward at least six times their standing height.  Does that mean that the gastrocnemius tendon of cats has twelve times the tensile strength of humans?  Does that mean that the gastrocnemius tendon of humans has one-twelfth the tensile strength?  I think that it means that this laboratory egghead recommended to don't-know-enough-to-know-better athletic trainers to start bouncing non-contracted muscle and tendons with 'Plyometrics.'  We can trace the resulting tendon snaps back to them.

     Perhaps we all should go watch 'Ol Sparky' at work here in Florida, where they electrocute humans.  We could tie down their lower legs and study how much the human medial gastrocnemius muscles shorten when they electrically stimulate them.

     Remember when Dan Marino and dozens of others popped the tendon of their Gastrocnemius muscle, the 'Achilles Tendon'?  Did it stretch twenty-eight percent?  Remember with Tommy John and thousands of others popped their Ulnar Collateral Ligament?  Did it stretch twenty-eight percent?

     In the real world outside of staged experiments, muscles and tendons do not voluntarily stretch without the potential of serious injury.  We should not try to make tendons stretch.  With my email answers, I am talking with laypeople in the real world.  With researchers in the laboratory world, we talk differently, but then, with the exception of human anatomist, Jeffrey Dalmer, to determine at what stress their tendons will pop, we know not to take muscles out of athletes.

     This was fun, thank you.

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     In short, I am not certain what value this research has for athletic training.  In general, I believe that plyometics eventually injures all who practice it.

     To make plioanglos training relatively safe, practitioners must learn how to have the muscles that they are about to lengthen already contracted when they apply the overwhelming force to them.  I am not sure that this overwhelming force will not still rupture the tendon of this muscle, but, at least, the muscle has a chance to withstand it.

     I believe that muscle tissue does not lengthen.  However, I am not as certain about connective tissue.  But, I have my doubts.

     Nevertheless, with my wrist weight exercises, I plioanglosly train my baseball pitchers.  But, I carefully apply graduated stresses over sufficient time periods that enable the involved muscles to make the required physiological adjustment.

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006.  On the answer to question #962 in 2007, you mentioned that you will be needing knee replacement surgery.  My wife will be needing such surgery (not as a result of pitching however!).  Are there any exercises you are doing or can recommend to strengthen the area so that recovery time is minimized?

While at the radiologist's office yesterday, I read a new magazine for sports for kids.  It seems that 2 years old is the proper time to start formal instruction in baseball.


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     What exercises someone who is going to have knee replacement surgery should do before they have the surgery depends on what they are able to do.  Without having to endure excruciating pain, they should do whatever they are able to do.  The more fit the muscles that flex and extend knee joint before the surgery, the easier it will be for them to return to normal activity after the surgery.

     At two years old, with regard to the total standing height, toddlers have heads that are several sizes larger than adults.  This means that they have to pay particular attention to balancing this monster-sized head.  Therefore, without falling on their face, they cannot bend forward at their waist.

     Therefore, without instruction, they will simply rotate their body and pull their throwing arm around with them.  That is the start of the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.

     With the drills that I use to teach the skills of my baseball pitching motion, they would learn how to rotate their body and drive their pitching hand behind the baseball in straight lines toward their throwing target.  Therefore, this new magazine must have had my baseball pitching motion in mind when they said that two years old is the proper time to start developing the maximum velocity overhand throwing mechanics.

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007.  I believe everything you say about pitching mechanics and how to pitch more effectively and without injury.  It's too bad that coaches and managers are afraid of what you have to teach.  Like you said in an interview you once gave, "It's their problem, not mine."

I am 52 years old and want to pitch in the men's senior league in San Francisco.  Dr. Marshall, I can't attend your clinics, but thought I could perhaps buy your book.  I looked on Amazon.com and didn't see it.  Can you tell me how to buy it, please?

Please tell me what my motion should be?  As I understand it, I raise my arm straight up (I'm a RHP), step with my left leg, throw the ball and finish the motion with my thumb and palm downward, the right leg completing the motion.  Is that correct?

I wish you had worked with me when I was a kid.  When I was seventeen I threw as hard as Sandy Koufax and led my high school conference in strikeouts and ERA.  I got guys out mostly by blowing the ball past them.  I had a fastball that didn't move and a natural screwball that I used against left handed batters or I'd nick the outside corner on a right handed hitter.  Those were the only pitches I had.  Never knew how to throw a curveball.


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     My Coaching Baseball Pitching book and Baseball Pitching Instructional Video are on my website free for all to read and watch.

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008.  I noticed your book was titled Adult Pitchers.

Would you recommend that a High School pitcher follow your program given that their arms may not be fully developed physically?  (15 to 17 yrs. old)


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     If you go to my website, then you will see that the title of my book is Coaching Baseball Pitchers.  Several years ago, I had two books.  One was Coaching Adult Baseball Pitchers and the other was Coaching Adolescent Baseball Pitchers.

     On my website, in my Pitcher Training Program file, I offer my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program that I recommend for biological sixteen years old youth baseball pitchers.

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009.  I have a question about the clinics you put on.  What exactly the certification is for?  Upon completion of this clinic what will I be certified to do?  Teach?  Perform my own clinics using your techniques?  Also, is the total cost of the clinic $100.00?

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     I will certify that you attended my one and one-half day Certification Clinic.  Whether that makes you feel qualified to open your own baseball pitching school depends on you.

     To cover the costs of materials and hosting my Certification Clinics, I charge each attendee one hundred dollars ($100.00).  Obviously, except for lunch on Saturday, attendees have to make their own travel, housing and food arrangements.

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010.  I went to your website and tried watching your Baseball Pitching Instructional Video without success.  Each time it went into Windows Media Player and I got a message saying, "Host is unreachable."

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     One of my Certified Marshall Baseball Pitching Coaches hosts the videos that I have on my website.  I have no idea why you cannot play the video.  I will copy him with this email.

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011.  Have you seen the throwing motion of the QB Philip Rivers of the Chargers?  It seems to me that he brings the ball back with his hand under the ball, instead of over the ball in the traditional throwing motion.

Is his motion similar to how you would teach to throw the football?  If you haven't seen it, the Chargers are playing this weekend in the playoffs.  I remember when he was drafted a few years back, there was a concern about his motion.  This was before I found your site.


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     To date, I have not watched much football.  However, the same principles apply.  Certainly with their need for a quick release, they do not have time for 'Late Throwing Forearm Turnover.'

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012.  My question concerns the relationship of the upper body and hips in your hitting and pitching motion.  You say this about you hitting motion:

“In baseball batting, the hips rotate first and snap to a stop at perpendicular to the driveline to the rear arm to contact of the pitched baseball.  The inertial mass of the upper body and shoulders elongates the muscles that forwardly rotate the upper body and shoulders.  When these muscles overcome the inertia, they powerfully forwardly snap the shoulders to perpendicular to the driveline to contact with the pitched baseball, where they also snap to a stop.”

“All ballistic/explosive motor skills that use the arms, such as . . . baseball batting . . ., build to the critical moment.  This means that athletes initiate the acceleration with their legs, which come to a stop, continue with their hips, which come to a stop, continue with their shoulders, which come to a stop and finish with their arms driving through release.”

However, in your pitching motion, you say that you want your baseball pitchers to forwardly rotate both the hips and upper body together simultaneously as opposed to a separate action as you do in hitting.  This is a major difference the traditional pitching advocates point out with your pitching motion.  They claim that not doing what you advocate in your hitting motion costs your guys velocity.

I assume the role of the hips in your pitching motion gets you more rotation towards home plate which would give you more power and release the ball closer to home plate.  Is this correct?

Is it your contention that the further rotation of the hips in your motion supersedes the extra power you might get from separating the hip action from the shoulder action that traditional baseball coaches advocate?


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     Wow.  You have caught me in a clear contradiction.  Let me see whether I can explain.

     With baseball batting, baseball batters have no choice but to forwardly rotate their hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm over their rear leg.  AT contact, baseball batters have to have their acromial line perpendicular to the flight path of the baseball.  This means that they would not benefit from forwardly rotating their hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm over their front leg.

     With baseball pitching, baseball pitchers can choose whether they want to forwardly rotate their hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm over their pitching (rear) leg or over their glove (front) leg.

     If they choose to forwardly rotate their hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm over their pitching (rear) leg, then, like baseball batters, they will be able to only forwardly rotate their acromial line to perpendicular to the driveline toward home plate.  This is exactly what 'traditional' baseball pitchers do that forces them to have to bend forward at their waist.

     However, if they choose to forwardly rotate their hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm over their glove (front) leg, then they will be able to forwardly rotate their acromial line, such that they point their acromial line as close to home plate as possible.  By pointing their acromial line as close as possible toward home plate, my baseball pitchers forwardly extend their driveline and release their pitchers closer to home plate than 'traditional' baseball pitchers.

     This means that, when I wrote, “All ballistic/explosive motor skills that use the arms, such as . . . baseball batting . . ., build to the critical moment.  This means that athletes initiate the acceleration with their legs, which come to a stop, continue with their hips, which come to a stop, continue with their shoulders, which come to a stop and finish with their arms driving through release,” I was wrong."

     This proves that I used to believe what I was taught about the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.'  It is not easy to overcome what we believe is right.  Fortunately, I believe this is the last vestage of my grandfather's 'traditional' baseball pitching motion that I finally learned was also wrong.

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013.  I am honored to simply write to you Mr. Marshall.  I am still digesting the techniques involved in your revolutionary pitching mechanics.  I know very little about arm mechanics and potential injuries, but at the very least, I know the drastic drop off in complete games and innings pitched and the subsequent creation of the 6 pitch specialized reliever.

I long for the work horse starter and 150 Inning reliever to return.  I'm amazed how easily swayed major league baseball general managers and managers are towards this trend of specialized relievers which may be no more than a "collective hunch" and passing fancy.

I have heard from religious people that visionaries predicted an increasing laziness with every passing generation.  It seems sensible considering the rise of the machine and the decline of manual labor.  It would partially explain the frustrations of pitchers when their arm and enthusiasm are not on the same page and partially explain the desperation that follows and alternative solutions such as steroids.

However, I still am skeptical about training methods used in North America and don't understand why your techniques are not utilized by MLB. What do they have to lose in trying?  Are any current managers or gm's or players currently using your services?  It makes me wonder in a paranoid-conspiracy sort of way if doctors and baseball are colluding together to create more arm problems so doctors can get more patients.  This is probably a bit far fetched and more likely the material for fiction, but these are strange baseball days.

The other thing I wanted to ask you is what pitchers today do we see throwing with proper mechanics?  I'm a big fan of Dave Bush; who pitches for Milwaukee.  He ranked fifth in the NL lst year in BB/9 IP.  Is control a by product of your method?  I know it may sound childish, but a little league manager encouraging his ace to throw strikes seems to hold true for the majors as well.

Some might say,"Great, Bush throws strikes.  He can win a stuffed animal for his girl friend at the circus!"  But, he also strikes batters out.  This to me is a strong indication that he can be an excellent pitcher in major league baseball.

Any comments and answers you could provide would be greatly appreciated.  Your work is very appreciated.  All the best and hope to visit your school in Florida some day.


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     While throwing strikes is important, throwing a variety of pitches that baseball batters cannot hit for strikes is even more important.  If you go to my Special Reports file and read my I Love Strikeouts, Do not Mind Walks, but Hate Hits, especially Extra Base Hits report, then you will learn that the variable that correlates most to low earned run average is number of hits per nine innings.  The fewer hits baseball pitchers give up per nine innings, the lower their earned run averages.

     If you read the newspaper articles in my Articles file, then you will learn that professional baseball is not interested in my baseball pitching motion and training program because I cannot teach calculus to people who have difficulty counting.

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014.  Thank you for the feedback and references.  I read the recommended article proving how walks are less harmful than say, giving up base hits, especially extra base hits.  No argument there.

I think the key to your argument is encouraging pitchers to take risks and throw pitches that batters have trouble hitting, maybe outside the strike zone.  I mentioned Dave Bush because his statistics are confusing.  He has excellent control which I agree can be misleading.  He also has a decent strikeout total, but he gave up way more than one hit per inning.  This tells me he is not taking enough risks and probably making bad pitches on 2 strikes.

It's frustrating to watch because it's clear that he has the smarts and ball movement to throw pitches in places batters will swing, but not hit.  Yet, for whatever reason, he fails to follow this thinking throughout a pitching sequence.  It seems to reflect lack of confidence in his pitches and as you say, too much concern over walking batters.

Then again, some pitchers like Johann Santana pitch way more effectively with no one on base.  Maybe this plays into their fear of walking batters.  Santana is not the best example because he simply doesn't allow many baserunners.

This leads to pitching from a wind-up or from the stretch and maybe, now it's in the realm of mechanics.

Any pitchers in the majors right now whose motion mirrors what you are teaching?


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     When baseball pitchers are capable of striking out one batter per inning, but give up more than one hit per inning, this means that they are giving in to the strike zone, such that the baseball batters can correctly anticipate what pitch they will throw.  As a result, they give up too many hits and too many extra base hits.

     To prevent hits, baseball pitchers have to throw whatever pitches that each type of baseball batter has difficulty hitting when they least expect them.

     For example, glove side pull hitters have difficult hitting my Maxline Fastball Sinker, two-seam Maxline Fastball, Maxline Pronation Curve and Maxline True Screwball.  If baseball pitchers properly sequence these pitches and show case my Torque Fastball Slider and Torque Fastball off the glove side of home plate, this type of baseball batter will have great difficulty correctly anticipating which pitch is coming.  As a result, they will not hit these pitches with authority.

     The problem is that, whereas hits and extra base hits lead to runs, baseball field managers and pitching coaches mistakenly believe that walks lead to runs.  Walks only lead to runs when baseball pitchers give in to the count and throw pitches that hitters anticipate.

     It would be interesting to learn the differences in walks, base hits and extra bases hits when baseball pitchers pitch from the 'traditional' wind-up versus the 'traditional' set position.

     A critical element of my baseball pitching motion is powerfully pronating the pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers on the releases of all pitches.  There are some 'traditional' baseball pitchers who strongly pronate the releases of some of their pitches, but none that pronate the releases of all of their pitches.

     After pronation, I teach my baseball pitchers to pendulum swing the pitching arm driveline height in one movement.  There are a few 'traditional' baseball pitchers who do this.

     After pronation and pendulum swing, I teach my baseball pitchers to move their pitching arm to driveline height before their glove foot lands.  This is the crow-hop throwing rhythm.  A couple of years ago, I saw a 'traditional' baseball pitcher do this.  Unfortunately, I did not get his name.

     After pronation, pendulum swing and crow-hop throwing rhythm, I teach my baseball pitchers to use their Teres Major and Latissimus Dorsi muscles to powerfully inwardly rotate and decelerate their pitching upper arm.  When they powerfully pronate their releases, some 'traditional' baseball pitchers do this.

     After pronation, pendulum swing, crow-hop throwing rhythm and inwardly rotating their pitching upper arm, I teach my baseball pitchers to powerfully forwardly rotate their hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm over their glove foot.  No 'traditional' baseball pitcher does this.

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015.  I ran across an interesting find in our family home video collection.  Back when two of our sons were very small, 4 years old and 1 ½ years old, my wife video taped me “playing catch” with them.

What it amounted to was I rolled a sponge rubber ball on the ground to them.  They would pick it up and throw the ball back to me.  Without fail, both boys threw with the same motion.  That is to say they would raise their throwing arm up so that the throwing elbow was next to their ear.  They would position the ball behind their elbow, so that their throwing forearm would be fairly lined up and pointing at me.

Then they would drive the ball with pretty good force on a fairly straight line toward me.  No late forearm turnover.  No reverse forearm bounce.  No real forearm flyout to speak of.  Very little “traditional follow-thru”.  They both came very close to “sticking” their arm in the strike zone.  They weren’t pitching to me.  We simply threw the ball around until they lost interest, which was normally about 2 minutes.

What amazed me when I viewed the tape which was made about 15 years ago, is how closely their throwing motion paralleled your delivery style.  I had not taught them this.  They simply instinctively did it on their own.  Since then I have paid special attention to other very small children’s throwing style.  It seems most all of them throw in a similar fashion to what I just shared with you.

Since those days, my boys picked up the traditional pitching motion…and I have subsequently taught them your method.

This raises a question in my mind.  If children are born with a natural tendency to throw “non-traditional”, how did our collective baseball culture ever devise the “traditional” throwing motion, and why?


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     Oh no, your young boys threw like girls and you let them.  You should have immediately showed them how to destroy their pitching arm.

     Without knowing it, these young boys used my Wrong Foot body action and my Slingshot pitching arm action.  You caught me.  I am trying to emasculate youth baseball pitchers.

     The reason why they threw this way is because they had to take great care to not bend forward at the waist.  That is because, relative to adults, their heads are too big for them to move it far from their axis of rotation.

     If, at that time, you had praised their Wrong Foot Slingshot throws for their accuracy, like throwing bean bags into a strike zone opening in a backstop, then taught them my Wrong Foot Loaded Slingshot drill, my Wrong Foot Pendulum Swing drill and my Drop Out Wind-Up Pendulum Swing drill, then they would be highly-skilled throwers by now.

     This is exactly what I did with Kindergarten and Motor Performance Study children in East Lansing, MI when I was teaching Motor Skills Acquisition students and the local Elementary School Physical Education teachers how to teach the basic motor skills of running, jumping, throwing, kicking, catching and striking to their students in a technique that I called, Individual-Oriented Group Instruction.

     At that time, this teaching technique was so well-received nationally that the Chair of my doctoral degree committee went on the Phil Donahue show to explain this revolutionary new Elementary School motor skill acquisition teaching technique.

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016.  Some more questions:

1.  I am just over 4 months of your WW/IB regimen.  Progress has generally been very good.  For the first time in 4 years, I have real hope that I might pitch competitively again.  I hope you don't get tired of hearing "thank you".  I regret, with all my heart, that I did not discover you years ago.  The psychological pain of missed opportunities is far worse than any physical pain.

2.  Along the way there have been learning pitfalls and physiological change pains.  You have walked me through each of those pitfalls via email, although I'm sure you don't remember the specifics, let alone my name.

3.  My most recent issue seems to be a lingering one.  Weeks ago I emailed you regarding my concern for discomfort/pain in the middle-back part of my shoulder.  The issue remains.  It is not the "top-back" or "top-side", indicating supraspinatus.  It is not the "far back/bottom" (anymore) indicating the teres major.  It is between those 2, which I can only guess means that the infraspinatus and/or teres minor are either inappropriately recruited and/or are currently receiving more stress than they are conditioned for.  The pain is somewhat non-specific in nature, and is definitely muscular.

4.   This mid-back shoulder pain does not surface during WW/IB training.  It has only surfaced throwing baseballs.  Still, I am able to pitch fastballs max-effort for extended periods of time with good velocity (at or near my best ever, even before past injuries).  The pain/discomfort is "nagging", but not necessarily debilitating.  Towards the latter end of a bullpen, the "offending" muscles/tissue involved feel fatigued.  There is a minor throb, akin to the sore bicep of traditional throwers, after about 70 or so fastballs.  I am leery of another shoulder injury.  I've already suffered through a subscap repair and labrum repair.  I'm done with that.

5.  I'm now doing 15 lbs. WW.  With the recent increase to that weight, I've experienced mild discomfort in the top-back part of my shoulder, presumably the supraspinatus.  It is dissipating, and I know from your instruction that a physiological change is occurring.  I'm not worried about the WW discomfort.  I do wonder, however, why the aforementioned mid-back of the shoulder pain doesn't surface during WW/IB.

6.  My force application, I believe, is very sound.  I pendulum swing to driveline height prior to front foot landing.  I palm-out, lock, have forearm to upper arm angle of 90 degrees or more from the side view.  I passively rotate to driveline.  I do not reverse rotate.  My arm path is straight and true.  I actively pronate before, during, and through release.  My centripetal imperative has my throwing arm popping the elbow up.  I do not cross my body with my arm nor do I pull it down.  I "stick it".  My body rotates 180 degrees with throwing foot ending up directly in front of glove foot.  I stand tall and rotate.  My back bends only slightly to the side as an imperative from the glove side lean.

7.  I believe I know what I'm doing with respect to training and force application.  Still, I'm at a loss over this lingering pain.  Very discouraging.

8.  I will certainly keep training at appropriate intensities, and I will reduce my baseball throwing intensity.

To my question:  Help!  I realize that's not a question.  Have you seen this before?  Do I simply need more patience?  Did/do any of your students contend with lingering conditions such as this?


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     Although I am not available to verify, it sounds as though you are correctly performing the drills that I use to teach the skills of my baseball pitching motion.  If this is true, then whatever discomfort you experience is because the intensity at which you are performing is too greatly exceeding the ability of some tissue to withstand.  While we want the intensity to slightly exceed the ability of the bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles to withstand, we do not want any tissue to fail.

     Therefore, when you encounter a discomfort and every baseball pitcher I have ever training has always encountered several discomforts, you need to judge whether the intensity is helpful or too much.  If it is helpful, then continue at the same intensity and the discomfort should dissipate in a couple of weeks or so.  However, if the discomfort continues to increase, then you need to reduce you intensity to a level where the discomfort does not continue to increase.  It is possible for some discomforts to last months, but never increase.

     The locations that you describe for your discomforts are typical.  Depending on what injuries they might have suffered previously or the lack of fitness from not using these tissues, you may encounter many and some of them may last for awhile.  Nevertheless, you have to continue to train daily at whatever is the appropriate intensity.

     I have designed a one size fits all program.  It may be that, with your history of pitching injuries, my program is too rigorous for you.  In this case, you may need to stretch out the number of days that you stay at the same weight and number of repetitions.

     However, whatever you do, do not stop training.  If you do, that same tissue will not be able to withstand the stress when you encounter it again.  Rest means atrophy.

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017.  When and is it necessary to ice the shoulder and elbow after pitching?  I thought it was only necessary to ice when pain is involved, but now have heard pitchers should ice after pitching.  I am confused.

I bought the "Cold Ice" sleeve for my 16 year old son.  He is Pitcher and SS.  He throws an 84 MPH fastball (two + four seem), a changeup, and a curveball.


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     When baseball pitchers use the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, not even icing their pitching arm before, during and after they pitch can save it.  If you want your son to eliminate all pitching injuries, then you will have him complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.  With my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, you can teach your son how to perform the drills that I use to teach the skills of my baseball pitching motion.

     In my entire baseball pitching life, I never iced my pitching arm.  However, I would wash it and take it home with me.

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018.  Thanks.  Once again, your words are very helpful.

Of note, the discomfort I described does not "feel" like rotator cuff issues I had in the past.  Assuming proper force application, it shouldn't be.  Perhaps the posterior deltoid is involved.  Regardless, I appreciate your instruction and advice, and will do as you say.

I have 3 more questions:

1.  I have noticed that, due to your trainining regimen, the correct force application is very natural.  It has become second nature.  I can't even remember throwing the "old" way.

Just as exciting, I've also noticed that I am able to throw at maximum effort and still throw very accurately.  That is, I can put every ounce of my being into each pitch and still confidently hit my spots.  By comparison, when I threw with the traditional pitching motion, "overexertion" led to wild pitches/walks.  Needless to say, it also led to shorter outings.  We have been cautioned by traditional pitching coaches to avoid "overexertion" for years.  I'm beginning to think that's BS.  Are these common observations?

2.  Related to number 1 above, I am pleasantly surprised at my accuracy.  It is much better than when I threw with the traditional arm path.  Again, is this a common observation?

3.  What are we going to do if and when you decide to "retire"?  I understand the nature of change.  I know we most teach our kids, peers and teammates to influence incremental change.  But I hope that your Pitcher Research/Training Center continues on.  It needs to.  Someone needs to get a PhD, work by your side, and take over the reigns when you're 99 years old.


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01.  With my baseball pitching motion, baseball pitchers use the muscles of their pitching arm in the manner they are supposed to use them.  Therefore, with little practice, the motion becomes natural.

     Because my baseball pitching motion eliminates as much side-to-side and up and down movement as possible, without regard for the intensity of their effort, it becomes very easy to drive the baseball in as straight a line toward home plate as possible.  That is why I tell my baseball pitchers to throw every pitch with as much intensity as they can.  Even when we have exhausted our ability to resynthesize adenosine-tri-phosphate, we do not lose our ability to throw strikes.

02.  'Traditional' baseball pitching coaches tell their baseball pitchers to throw at less than they maximum intensity because, with all the unnecessary side-to-side and up and down movement in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, they would not be able to throw their pitches anywhere near the strike zone.

03.  My plan is to make my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video so perfect that anybody will be able to watch it, master my drills and successfully complete my training programs.  Now, if I can just find a way to keep my website online for the next couple of hundred years.

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019.  My mother is getting up there in age and it does not seem like a week that goes bye without hearing about someone who lost their balance and broke their hip.  I notice at age 54 I don't seem to have as good a sense of balance as I once did.

My sister passed along the following article on Balance and I was wondering if you could comment on it.  I was not even close to the average time for maintaining balance as the national average in the article's self test.  You will note that the article goes on to describe a few exercises for maintaining balance.  I was struck that the article said that maintaining balance was a motor skill.  I told my sister that I thought you would say that if you want to stand on one leg with the other leg off the ground at a 45 degree angle then that is what you should practice.

If you disagree with the author, why do you think we lose our sense of balance and what do you recommend we do to prevent the loss of balance.

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Preserving a Fundamental Sense: Balance
By JANE E. BRODY

Scott McCredie is a Seattle-based health and science writer who says he “discovered” what he calls “the lost sense” of balance after he watched in horror as his 67-year-old father tumbled off a boulder and disappeared from sight during a hike in the Cascades.

Though his father hurt little more than his pride, Mr. McCredie became intrigued by what might have caused this experienced hiker, an athletic and graceful man, to lose his balance suddenly.  His resulting science-and-history-based exploration led to a book, “Balance: In Search of the Lost Sense,” published last June by Little, Brown.

Noting that each year one in three Americans 65 and older falls, and that falls and their sometimes disastrous medical consequences are becoming more common as the population ages, Mr. McCredie wonders why balance is not talked about in fitness circles as often as strength training, aerobics and stretching.  He learned that the sense of balance begins to degrade in one’s 20s and that it is downhill — literally and figuratively — from there unless steps are taken to preserve or restore this delicate and critically important ability to maintain equilibrium.

Vertigo, which can be caused by inner ear infections, low blood pressure, brain injuries, certain medications and some chronic diseases, is loss of balance in the extreme.  Anyone who has experienced it — even if just from twirling in a circle — knows how disorienting and dangerous it can be.  Really, without a sense of balance, just about everything else in life can become an insurmountable obstacle.

One normal consequence of aging is a steady decline in the three main sensory contributors to good balance — vision, proprioceptors on the bottoms of the feet that communicate position information to the brain, and the tiny hairs in the semicircular canals of the inner ear that relay gravity and motion information to the brain.  Add to that the loss of muscle strength and flexibility that typically accompany aging and you have a fall waiting to happen.

But while certain declines with age are unavoidable, physical therapists, physiatrists and fitness experts have repeatedly proved that much of the sense of balance can be preserved and even restored through exercises that require no special equipment or training.  These exercises are as simple as standing on one foot while brushing your teeth or walking heel-to-toe with one foot directly in front of the other.

Testing for Equilibrium

Marilyn Moffat and Carole B. Lewis, physical therapists in New York and Washington, respectively, agree with Mr. McCredie that “balance is an area of physical fitness that is often overlooked,” but they seek to correct that in their recent book “Age-Defying Fitness” (Peachtree Publishers).  They define balance as “the ability of your body to maintain equilibrium when you stand, walk or perform any other daily activity” like putting on pants, walking on uneven ground or reaching for something on a shelf.

Dr. Moffat and Dr. Lewis suggest starting with a simple assessment of your current ability to maintain good balance.  With a counter or sturdy furniture near enough to steady you if needed, perform this test:

1.  Stand straight, wearing flat, closed shoes, with your arms folded across your chest.  Raise one leg, bending the knee about 45 degrees, start a stopwatch and close your eyes.

2.  Remain on one leg, stopping the watch immediately if you uncross your arms, tilt sideways more than 45 degrees, move the leg you are standing on or touch the raised leg to the floor.

3.  Repeat this test with the other leg.

Now, compare your performance to the norms for various ages:

01.  20 to 49 years old: 24 to 28 seconds.
02.  50 to 59 years: 21 seconds.
03.  60 to 69 years: 10 seconds.
04.  70 to 79 years: 4 seconds.
05.  80 and older: most cannot do it at all.

If you are wise, whatever your age, you will want to strive for the norm of those younger than 50.  To increase stability and strengthen the legs, stand with feet shoulder-width apart and arms straight out in front.  Lift one foot behind, bending the knee at 45 degrees.  Hold that position for five seconds or longer, if possible.

Repeat this exercise five times.  Then switch legs. As you improve, try one-leg stands with your eyes closed.

You can also incorporate one-leg stands into daily routines — while on the telephone, for example, brushing your teeth, waiting in line or for a bus, or cooking and washing dishes.

Exercises to Build a Motor Skill

“Remember, balance is a motor skill,” Dr. Moffat, professor of physical therapy at New York University, said in an interview.  “To enhance it, you have to train your balance in the same way you would have to train your muscles for strength and your heart for aerobic capacity.”

Dr. Moffat pointed out that balance is twofold:  static while standing still and dynamic when moving, as in walking and climbing stairs.  Two main routes improve balance — exercises that increase the strength of the ankle, knee and hip muscles and exercises that improve the function of the vestibular system.

Like one-leg stands, many can be done as part of a daily routine.  Dr. Moffat recommends starting with strength exercises and, as you improve, adding vestibular training by doing some of them with closed eyes.

Sit-to-stand exercises once or twice a day increase ankle, leg and hip strength and help the body adjust to changes in position without becoming dizzy after being sedentary for a long time.  Sit straight in a firm chair (do not lean against the back) with arms crossed.  Stand up straight and sit down again as quickly as you can without using your arms.  Repeat the exercise three times and build to 10 repetitions.

Heel-to-toe tandem walking is another anytime exercise, resembling plank walking popular with young children.  It is best done on a firm, uncarpeted floor. With stomach muscles tight and chin tucked in, place one foot in front of the other such that the heel of the front foot nearly touches the toe of the back foot.  Walk 10 or more feet and repeat the exercise once or twice a day.

Also try walking on your toes and then walking on your heels to strengthen your ankles.  Another helpful exercise is sidestepping.  Facing a wall, step sideways with one leg (bring the other foot to it) 10 times in each direction.  After mastering that, try a dance-like maneuver that starts with sidestepping once to the right.  Then cross the left leg behind, sidestep to the right again and cross the left leg in front.  Repeat this 10 times.  Then do it in the other direction.

In addition, the slow, continuous movements of tai chi, that popular Chinese exercise, have been shown in scientific studies to improve balance and reduce the risk of falls.  This is the first of two columns.  The second will look at the vestibular system, which controls balance.


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     If you don't use it, then you will lose it.  Whatever you want to be able to do every day, you must do every day.  Therefore, if we want to be able to do these drills every day, then I would agree with what this article recommends.  I want to be able to jog every day, so I jog every day.

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020.  Subject:  YouTube-Shane Warne Magic Ball!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UHT3UIjwvE&feature=related

I hope you can open and play this youtube video.  It's a cricket bowler name Shane Warne.  In international cricket, he is known as the greatest "spin" bowler ever.  In this video it looks like he pronated the release of a screwball.

There is another clip to choose from titled, "Shane Warne-Ball of the Century".  You can really see the screwball action of his delivery.  The batsman didn't know what to do with it.  I am interested in your observations.


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     There is absolutely no doubt, this gentleman releases this throw with my screwball spin.  If I could have my pitches bounce before the batters could hit the, then I could have made my pitches bounce this erratically and nobody would have it them either.  Nevertheless, I do not like their throwing arm action.  Certainly, they do not separate the force applications of the throwing upper arm and throwing forearm.

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021.  I regularly go to the maxxtraining website.  Recently, exercisespecialist36 posted the following remarks about visiting your facility.

Well, for all those on here, I'm back and sorry for being away so long.  Anyway, I had the opportunity to have a visit from Maxx and him and I went to Z-hills yesterday, Sat. 12th, 2008 and met with Karma and saw the whole Mike Marshall deal in person and in full effect.  I must say that it was very interesting overall.  I will take you step by step what we saw and went through and then Ill give you all my take on it.

When we arrived we sat with Marshall and some of his guys and talked for about an hour or so about what he is all about, what his accomplishments were and why he himself got injured from baseball and then he explained in detail each and every muscle, joint and movement patterns in traditional pitching that MAY injury an arm.

He provided a booklet with each illustration of the muscle and bones etc and for those who don't know the human body and movement science, you would be very informed.

After that we followed two of his guys (one was a former minor leaguer who on here is fastball95), and they went through each station and progression all the way to mound type work. Overall, its hard to explain on here but if you haven't seen the motion and training, I suggest getting online and seeing the motion for yourself.  They start with their 30lb wrist weights and iron ball work, followed by a football rotational throws and a javelin type throw that mimics the motion and finally mound work that is about 50 feet with no catcher.

Over all I think it was a cool experience and when Joe threw his pitches some of them were really nasty.  He had really good movement on all his pitches and looked pretty good.  Now for all the issues and questions regarding Marshall, let me go through all of these.

First, when we arrived, I know it doesn't really matter what type of equipment or facilities you have but the place overall was pretty run down, it was almost like and old chicken farm. Now maybe you could get more kids to come if the facilities were better; however, this is really the least important thing but it could be more appealing. The one thing about Marshall is that his views are his and his are the only right views.  Not just about pitching but conditioning and all that, he would never integrate many theories to get his own.  I didn't like that as much.  His science was good but he did have some flaws (in my opinion) about some of his info.

One was a question about the kinetic chain and how the neurological system synergistically works with the muscular and articular system of the body. He says quote, "that’s all bulls**t", yet it is scientifically proven to be so and each effect one another.

Also, he talked about the hamstring and quadriceps and how they only flex and extend, but once again proven research will show that in function (walking, running) when you feet are on the ground, the hamstrings and quadriceps will move in the frontal and transverse plane and create more of a rotating motion of the femur, not just flexion and extension.

Also, he wasn't really huge of much weight training or conditioning at all which blew my mind.  Even with there new pitching motion, so sort of weight training and conditioning progression could even help them.

All this was almost like, not to offend anyone, but like a cult type thing where he brainwashed these guys into thinking only his way.  You have to look at many avenues on this to get an idea, but each one liked looked only one way and the way Marshall talked it was like David Karesh in Waco, Texas.  Marshall was a nice guy, he just came off kind of like that.

As far as the players there, it’s hard to tell what type of pitchers they were before using the traditional motion.  I have seen a lot of talent and some of the guys there just seemed that maybe with the traditional motion they probably had issues being the best they could be.

Overall, fastball95 was definitely the best one there and looked like he could really pitch well even from the traditional motion.  I don't understand some of the guys goals.  For instance, they have been there since August and they sleep in these little apartments that seems like an army base.

Anyway, they workout for like 6-7 months and then go play on their summer league teams.  After that, they will come back to Z-hills and train again.  Now if you have a dream, I say go for it b/c I did, but for most there, they probably won't make it to the show so what do you want to do?  How long do you stay there and train with no family, girlfriend, college, etc, etc?  How long do you do this lifestyle?

Lastly, Marshall kept saying over and over that the traditional motion WILL do this and this you your arm and you will get a hip replacement later in like and knee problems....etc.  Well how is this for sure?  It's NOT for sure!  Yes it could happen and that is a risk we all take.  But, I know plenty of pitchers who never had a issue and I'm one of them.

I pitched for 20 years and I have never had a problem with back ,hip, or arm.  I have never lost flexion and extension in my elbow.  Marshall said this will happen for sure to everyone, but yet I'm fine.  Nothing is for sure in this game.  I believe that most pitchers or athletes who get injured COULD be b/c they haven't trained properly as well as maybe even trained enough.

It very well could be the traditional motion that caused the injury, but you must look at it the athlete was lazy, or didn't have the education or worked with a trainer or coach who doesn't know the up-to-date training theories that are proven and then they injury themselves.  I think its really in the training itself and not the motion, although it could be the motion, but for me it was not the motion b/c I'm fine.

Last spring I came back pitch in a league after 6 years of not throwing at all, and I worked out for 7 months to get ready and I never pitched better in my life.  I went 19-4, although that doesn't mean anything, but what does matter is I threw just as hard as college and never had pain and felt strong and pitched great.

I'm currently training a ex-minor league player who has been out of baseball for 3 years but did throw 95 mph back then.  Anyway, he couldn't throw strikes so he was released.  Later he pitched in a men’s league and tore his labrum.  Now, I asked him how his conditioning was during that league, and he said almost non-existent.  Now that was his own fault, but he didn’t workout much, just showed up to pitch and BAM, torn labrum.  Was it solely the traditional pitching motion that caused it?  Who knows.

As for fastball95 on here, he tore is labrum (I believe he tore something) and he says', "oh its definitely the traditional pitching motion that caused it".  Yet, after asking him, he said he had played football back in high school and by looking at him, he is pretty huge and muscular.  Big kid, yet did early years of heavy weight training predispose his labrum or shoulder to being torn.  A good possibility!  I never played football in my life, and yet, I never had a injury ever playing the game of baseball.  There gotta be something there.

Overall, Marshall has something here worth looking into.  But overall, I believe it will never take full notice anywhere.  Overall I think fastball should get back on the traditional way, get with a renound, trainer who is well know about functional, integrated training and rehab and give it another shot that way.

The only thing I saw that was really interesting was in Marshall's DVD where Jeff Sparks was throwing.  He looked nasty, was throwing really well and you could see Marshall in his motion BUT, it looked like some of his motion was traditional and some was Marshall, but it was interesting.  What happened to Sparks anyway?  Marshall says that in the traditional motion you will get all these injuries later in life, but how do you know his motion won't do the same?  Sports take a toll on any body no matter if they have perfect technique and conditioning anyway.

As far as Marshall's knee problems and back issues; come to Largo, train with me for 3 months and I and for sure you will feel 10 times better and will have better movement b/c of my functional techniques.  You don't have to live in pain if you have someone that knows exactly the steps to take to make the person move better and with less pain, just as MAXX!


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     When Steve (Kharma) told me that he wanted to bring Bill (MAXX) and Adam (exercisespecialist36) to my Baseball Pitching Research/Training Center on the weekend that I cancelled my Certification Clinic, I was not pleased.  I would gladly have them when I have my materials together and the full day and one-half to present my information and personally answer all questions.  But, with less than two hours, I only had time to present the bare bones explanation of my baseball pitching motion.

     How Adam misunderstood what I said shows that I was right.  Nevertheless, Adam should be able to answer these questions.

01.  What injurious flaw inherent in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion causes their baseball pitchers to lose the extension range of motion in their pitching elbow?

02.  What is the anatomical damage that results in the lose of the extension range of motion in the pitching elbow?

03.  What mechanical adjustment must 'traditional' baseball pitchers make to avoid losing the extension range of motion in their pitching elbow?

04.  What injurious flaw inherent in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion causes their baseball pitchers to lose the flexion range of motion in their pitching elbow?

05.  What is the anatomical damage that results in the lose of the flexion range of motion in the pitching elbow?

06.  What mechanical adjustment must 'traditional' baseball pitchers make to avoid losing the flexion range of motion in their pitching elbow?

07.  What injurious flaw inherent in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion causes their baseball pitchers to rupture their Ulnar Collateral Ligament in their pitching elbow?

08.  What mechanical adjustment must 'traditional' baseball pitchers make to avoid rupturing their Ulnar Collateral Ligament in their pitching elbow?

09.  What injurious flaw inherent in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion causes their baseball pitchers to tear the attachment of their Subscapularis muscle to the lesser tuberosity on the front of their pitching shoulder?

10.  What mechanical adjustment must 'traditional' baseball pitchers make to avoid tearing the attachment of their Subscapularis muscle to the lesser tuberosity on the front of their pitching shoulder?

11.  What injurious flaw inherent in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion causes their baseball pitchers to tear the anterior or posterior aspect of the labrum in their pitching shoulder?

12.  What mechanical adjustment must 'traditional' baseball pitchers make to avoid tearing the anterior or posterior aspect of the labrum in their pitching shoulder?

13.  What injurious flaw inherent in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion causes their baseball pitchers to tear the Teres Minor muscle in the back of their pitching shoulder?

14.  What mechanical adjustment must 'traditional' baseball pitchers make to avoid tearing their Teres Minor muscle in the back of their pitching shoulder?

15.  What does the Pronator Teres muscle contribute to Dr. Marshall's baseball pitching motion?

16.  How does the Pronator Teres muscle enable Dr. Marshall's baseball pitchers to use their Triceps Brachii muscle to powerfully extend their pitching elbow?

17.  What does the Teres Major muscle contribute to Dr. Marshall's baseball pitching motion?

18.  What does the Latissimus Dorsi muscle contribute to Dr. Marshall's baseball pitching motion?

19.  Why does Sir Isaac Newton's first law require that baseball pitchers apply force to their pitches in straight lines toward home plate?

20.  What does Sir Isaac Newton's second law say are the two variables that contribute to release velocity?

21.  How can baseball pitchers satisfy Sir Isaac Newton's third law that says for every action force there is an equal and oppositely-directed reaction force?

     Joe (fastbal95) uses twenty-five pound wrist weight to do his wrist weight exercises, not 30 lbs. as Adam said.  He uses a ten pound iron ball to do his iron ball throws.

     To learn how to achieve the perfect spin axes for my Maxline Fastball, Maxline True Screwball, Maxline Pronation Curve and Torque Fastball, I use an appropriately-sized football.  How the tips of the football rotate immediately shows whether they are releasing these pitches correctly.  We also use the square lid off four gallon plastic buckets to learn how to release my Maxline Pronation Curve.  A modified plastic javelin helps baseball pitchers to learn how to not loop their pitching forearm.

     That Adam mistakenly believes that my baseball pitchers throw off mounds that are only fifty feet from home plate demonstrates how quickly the fastballs that my guys threw got to home plate.  From Adam's point of view, they got there ten feet sooner than he expected.  Part of Adam's confusion comes from the hidden velocity that my baseball pitchers enjoy from releasing their pitches closer to home plate than 'traditional' baseball pitchers can.

     On this day, Joe (fastbal95) threw my Maxline Pronation Curve and Torque Fastball.  He has an outstanding curve and torque fastball.

     My Baseball Pitching Research/Training Center is not a fantasy camp or a rip-off summer camp.  My baseball pitchers are here to work hard.  All equipment works properly.  That some of the material on the astroturf that covers where the baseballs sit after they hit the net is missing does not reduce the quality of their workouts or require that I needlessly spend thousands of dollars to replace them.

     I took two hours out of my busy life to explain to Adam and Bill my baseball pitching motion.  Whose views does Adam expect me to discuss?  If this had been my Graduate Exercise Physiology or Kinesiology classes, then I would have spent time discussing other training theories and why they fail.

     Near the end of the session, I was explaining how baseball pitchers should use their legs to apply more force toward second base.  Adam asked me a question about the kinetic chain.  I said that it is bullcrap to think that, in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, the legs contribute to the kinetic chain.

     Clearly, he did not understand what I was talking about.  But, he is not the first.  In fact, I believe that the vast majority do not understand.  But, since I am not hurried to leave as I was then, I will provide a more complete answer.

     First, what is a kinetic chain?  A kinetic chain starts with the first part of the body that applies force to the object of interest and lists all other body parts that also applies force.  For example, let us imagine a coal car like they have in coal mines on one hundred yards of level tracks loaded with coal that the miners push out of the mines.  Now, let us imagine that every ten yards someone gets behind the coal car and applies as much force as possible for ten yards.  When the first pusher encounters the coal car, it has zero velocity. When the second pusher encounters the coal car, it has some velocity.  When the third pusher encounters the coal car, it has some more velocity.  And so on until the coal car is moving as fast as the fastest pusher can run.

     Clearly, until the coal car achieved a velocity as fast as the fastest pusher could run, every pusher contributed to the final velocity of the coal car.

     However, with the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, after the pitching foot pushes off the pitching rubber and the glove foot lands and pushes toward home plate, not only does the center of mass of the 'traditional' baseball pitcher come to a complete stop, the baseball is about half-way through the 'Late Pitching Forearm Turnover' flaw in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.  That means that, after the glove leg completely negates the toward home plate force that the pitching foot applied, the baseball has absolutely no velocity.  Therefore, as I cryptically told Adam, that the kinetic chain of the 'traditional' baseball includes the legs is bullcrap.

     This is because Adam, Bill and most everybody else does not understand Sir Isaac Newton's third law, the law of reaction.  The law of reaction says that for every action force, there is an equal and oppositely-directed reaction force.  To convert this law of motion to a law of force application for baseball pitchers, the law of reaction says that, for baseball pitchers to apply greater force toward home plate, they must apply greater force toward second base.  This means that both the pitching and glove feet have to apply force toward second base.  This means that baseball pitchers have to powerfully forwardly rotate over their pivoting glove foot, not reverse rotate over their fixed pitching foot.

     I know that it is not easy to think outside of the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion box.  Everybody is so accustomed to watching baseball pitchers stride so far that their glove foot kicks up dirt toward home plate that they think that is the only way to do it.

     However, if baseball pitchers are to ever apply force toward second base with their glove foot, then they have to move the center of mass of their body in front of their glove foot.  To move the center of mass of their body in front of their glove foot, baseball pitchers need to:

01.  step forward with their glove foot,

02.  push with their pitching foot and

03.  pull with their glove foot.

     Then, to apply more force toward second base, after the center of mass of their body moves in front of their glove foot, they need to push back toward second base with their glove foot.

     With my baseball pitching motion, the legs do contribute to the kinetic chain for baseball pitching.

     With regard to Adam's confusion about how the pitching knee should function, with my baseball pitching motion, I teach my baseball pitchers to point their feet toward home plate and walk forward off the pitching rubber.  Therefore, all the pitching knee needs to do is extend.

     With the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, they turn their pitching foot to parallel with the pitching rubber.  As a result, when they push against the pitching rubber and move their body towards home plate, the inside of the pitching knee faces toward the ground.

     Over years of baseball pitching, this action lengthens the Medial Collateral Ligament and the lateral aspect of the pitching lower leg digs into the lateral aspect of the pitching upper leg.  These actions gradually destroys the pitching knee.  The X-rays of my pitching knee is my best evidence.  I am confident that X-rays of Adam's pitching knee will show lesser, but similar damage.  He just does not know it yet.

     When I taught my college courses, my supervisors referred to my students as disciples.  When I teach my baseball pitchers, they also believe what I teach them.  However, they do not have to take anything that I teach on faith.  The truth of what I teach is in the textbooks.  That those to whom Adam teaches do not similarly believe what he teaches shows that they do not believe what he teaches.

     Whatever my students have for goals is for them to decide, not Adam, me or anybody else.  It is their life.

     Apparently, Adam does not keep up with the major league disabled list.  Also, I have never heard any retired major league baseball pitcher say that he did not or does not suffer some malady from the years they pitched baseball.  I believe that with my baseball pitching motion, we can eliminate all pitching injuries when they pitch and after they are done pitching.

     At this point, actually when Adam started questioning the goals my students have, his discussion descended into silly gossip and unsubstantiable speculation and nonsense.  I will leave him there.

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022.  This is from Bill Vasko (MAXX):

Below you will find my thoughts on my visit and other things I have found of interest:

First, everyone was very helpful in showing us around and answering any of our questions.  I greatly appreciate the opportunity to visit and I am especially grateful to Kharma for making it a reality.

I have to agree with E36 on the conditions of the facility.  Especially if the trainees have to pay the amounts listed on MM's website.  Though MM might not have the money to upgrade the facility, I think it is needed before higher profile trainees would consider staying and/or training there.

Some of my points/questions/concerns come from my visit, while others come from MM's video.

As E36 mentioned, MM stated that the knee joint moved only in flexing and extending, which is not true.  While those are the primary movements, the knee is a multi-planar joint.  Just as there are rotational movements that occur in the elbow joint during pronation, the knee also has rotational and transverse movements, even during actions such as walking.

We've discussed scapular loading here and a bit at MM's.  While it may be harmful to "load" beyond the Acromial line, I still think rearward movement of the shoulders, and not so much the elbows, is an important component of posture.  Irregardless, one of MM's weightlifting "machines" was a prone position barbell row, the movement was restricted to a point.

I did not get the opportunity to ask MM about the 28-48 rep philosophy.  I did get to ask fastbal95, and his explanation, which I believe has been stated before, has to do with depletion of the substrate.  Fastbal, if you could point me to the section of MM's website where he describes this further, I'd appreciate it.  And in return, I challenge you to research the body's different energy systems--the phosphagen system, glycolysis, and the oxidative system.

A substrate is any molecule that starts the energy process--for example, phosphagens (ATP and creatine phosphate), glucose, glycogen, lactate, fatty acids, and amino acids.  The intensity of the activity and its duration determine which energy system is engaged.  That's why I am not sure why MM is a proponent of training that would engage primarily the use of glycolysis.

Pitching by nature is an anaerobic activity--yes, I know we have had this discussion before--Kharma will say it is ballistic--so let's say it is a very brief and intense activity with a period of rest immediately afterwards.  The 28-48 rep cycle does not replicate this game type activity.  Therefore, the training should focus on the phosphagen energy system.  I would love to hear your thoughts fastbal.

One of my regrets in not making it back Sunday, was that I wanted to hear MM's thoughts on hitting.  I do not coach baseball or pitchers, but I do coach hitting.  I am in the process of reading his hitting material on his website and I do have some questions--it's hard to understand what he is saying without video or photos.

For example, he discusses pronation in the rear forearm, but I am not quite sure when that pronation occurs.  I do not teach pronation in the rear forearm until well after contact.  There seem to be some inconsistancies in what he has in his hitting section and what elite hitters at the MLB level actually do.

Since I do not coach baseball or pitchers, the pitching motion is not of great concern to me.  But its application to throwing mechanics is of great interest.  I coach girls who often have poor throwing mechanics, and being able to diagnose potentially injurious motions will be a great benefit.  Some of the things that I agree with MM that will be part of my analysis is the pendulum swing, the positioning of the elbow in relation to the head (to a point), and eliminating forearm bounce or flyout and also looping. I do have some concerns about the pronation motion, which I will discuss below.

Concerns:

Reverse rotation and rotational force around a fixed front leg.  In MM's video, he states that he believes reverse rotation and rotation around a fixed but bent front leg is a problem of the traditional motion.  I don't recall exactly the reasoning.  But this is why pitchers who use MM's motion "walk" off the rubber in their delivery instead of powerfully rotating the trunk.

I am watching a DVD series by Gary Gray right now that discusses the kinetic chain and the use of the trunk or "core" in throwing and hitting movements.  I think Gary Gray is right on, and he is highly respected in his field.  I will make some copies of his material and send out to those that I think will benefit from it (fastbal, Kharma).  Also, if you read thru MM's hitting section on his website, he promotes the following:

Quote:  “In preparation for the powerful forward rotation of their hips and shoulders, I teach my baseball batters to keep their head absolutely still and relative to their body, keep their front and lead arms absolutely still and smoothly maximally reverse rotate their hips and shoulders."

So why is this rotation acceptable in hitting but not pitching?

Another concern is the ability to control pitches when using MM's delivery.  While there appeared to be great movement on the pitches that MM's students threw, there was an ability to know exactly where those pitches were going to end up.  MM himself even said that he did not care about control, that it would be taken care of after the students had mastered the motion.  I would have loved to get in and hit against one of the pitchers, but I really would have feared for my safety.  I think that a greater emphasis on control and pitching to a catcher would help the pitchers develop greater confidence in their abilities--this is just my opinion.

This lack of control would also be a concern for me if I were to introduce pronation to the regular throwing motion of positional players.  Should pronation even be introduced to positional players?  What is the application of MM's motion to positional players?

Another concern is with implementation and teaching.  This will probably be the greatest obstacle of all if MM's motion is ever accepted into mainstream coaching methods--and that is an even larger obstacle within itself to be discussed later.  But how do we get ALL of the coaches at ALL levels of baseball trained to teach this motion properly?  That is a great undertaking, especially when a lot of coaches are parents who volunteer to help out their kid's team.  Plus, the amount of time it would take to properly teach this motion to kids and train for it would be tremendous.  Is it all possible?  Well, anything is possible.

How do you convince people to change? Eliminating pitching injuries is an incentive.  But is it enough?  How many parents/players would be willing to trade their health for wealth?  What I am saying is; a lot of parents and athletes will take velocity over injury reduction in this age of high stakes sports.  Just look at the things that athletes are putting into their bodies today to secure a big contract, a college scholarship, or even a starting position on their high school team.

Injuries are a part of sports--and sometimes those injures may be life-long.  MM's motion produces pain-free pitching, based upon the reports of his students.  But how do we eliminate all injury in sports?  If you told me that I would lose 12 degrees of flexion and extension in my elbow joint like MM has, but I would be a multi-millionaire, I'd take the money any day of the week!!

So, if we are trying to prevent injuries, then the focus needs to be on the kids.  We have all read the debates over MM's students and the inability to produce top-notch pitching prospects.  While that may be holding MM back, shouldn't his focus be on eliminating injuries in KIDS?  He needs to find a way to target that audience.  Adults are going to make their decision on MM's motion or the traditional motion.  But we have the ability to steer kids down an injury free path.

Now, I am not sure if what MM is teaching is the only way to throw without injury.  I do not know enough about the biomechanics to offer up an appropriate recommendation.  But there are smarter people out there who can help in this area.  MM should find a way to get his message to those people.  If ASMI is not wiling to listen, then find others who are.

In my opinion, the missing component in preventing pitching injuries is the CORRECT analysis of mechanics and the diagnosis of injuries.  MM has claimed to have discovered the flaws of traditional mechanics that lead to these injuries--then he needs to keep trying to get this info to the appropriate people.  On the other hand, he should be willing to accept other thoughts on injury prevention.

For example, what types of training or modifications to the traditional motion can be used to prevent injury.  Is his way REALLY the only way?  E36 would say it is not the only way since he has pitched traditionally for 18 years without injury.  But I would have to add that E36 is probably the hardest working man I have encountered in my 15 years of coaching when it comes to training and preparing for his sport.  Is the TRAINING the missing component?  A great deal of athletes are either lazy, or really don't understand what it means to "train" for their sports.  And this is true at all levels!

Finally, I hope that fastbal95 has the opportunity to go and show his stuff at the highest level--he deserves the opportunity.  He is extremely diligent and dedicated and hopefully his hard work will pay off.  I understand what his goals are.  Unfortunately, I didn't get the chance to talk much with the other students--but what are their goals?  I'm not trying to be condescending, but MM's other students are not MLB caliber, at least from what I saw.

It is great to chase a dream--whether it be semi-pro ball, college ball, high school ball, or simply to pitch injury-free.  But, if fastbal95 is MM's only legitimate student with a chance at "the show," then he is facing a much steeper climb than many of us realized.  Are there any other MM students out there with great potential?

Overall, the visit was thought-provoking and probably created more questions than answers.  Between the visit with MM and E36, I definitely have been able to add some things to my critical analysis of athletes and my training methods.  I hope I did not offend anyone with any of my comments.  I tried to be as honest and objective as I possibly could and I look forward to further discussion.


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     When Steve (Kharma) asked me to allow Bill Vasko (MAXX) and Adam (E36) to come to my Baseball Pitching Research/Training Center the second weekend of January after I had had to cancel my Certification Clinic, I told him that I could not promise that I could be there, such that the best that they could expect would be demonstrations of my baseball pitching motion and my training program.

     Now, I read from them nothing about my baseball pitching motion or my training program.  Instead, they whine that the some of the material attached to the astroturf in the high traffic area has come off and that is the reason why higher profile trainees do not train here.  It could not be that they are not willing to commit to 280 consecutive days of hard training.

     Then, Bill Vasko makes a big deal about whether the knee joint is a multi-planar joint that does movements other than flexing and extending.  Like the elbow joint, the knee joint only flexes and extends.  I could cite every muscle in each joint and where they attach and what we will find is that, when these muscles contract, they only flex or extend the joint.  The forearm joint pronates and supinates, not the elbow joint.  The Fibula does not have the same abilities as the Radius bone.

     The reason I mentioned that the knee joint only flexes and extends was to show that, by pointing their feet toward home plate, during my baseball pitching motion, my baseball pitchers only flex and extend their knee joint.  Therefore, they do not lengthen the Medial Collateral Ligament or dig the lateral aspect of the Femur bone into the lateral aspect of the Fibula bone, the result of which, if done enough times, will require knee replacement surgery.

     I did carefully point out the danger of taking the pitching elbow behind the acromial line, such as those who teach Scapula Loading ask their pitchers to do.  I believe that Scapula Loading injures the attachment of the Subscapularis muscle to the lesser tuberosity of the head of the Humerus bone of the pitching upper arm and the anterior aspect of the Labrum.  The instruction with regard to the prone rowing barbell is that participants do not take their elbows behind their acromial line.

     Nevertheless, as I told Mr. Vasko and Adam, I put that and other weight training equipment at the request of a parent in ways that made the performance of which as safe as possible.  I do not recommend that the pitchers do them and certainly do not believe that those weight training devices contribute positively to baseball pitching.

     Unfortunately, Adam, the exercise specialist, does not understand the principle of specificity of training and mistakenly believes that he can have athletes perform a variety of loosely related exercises, which will result in making them better baseball pitchers.  When athletes perform jumping jacks, they only get better at doing jumping jacks.  The same goes for every other type of training other that specifically practicing the force application technique for baseball pitching.

     Mr. Vasko and Adam watched my powerful baseball pitchers use my baseball pitching motion to apply force to twenty-five pound wrist weight and ten pound iron balls in precisely the same manner that they will apply force to their baseballs.  I challenge their 'traditional' baseball pitchers to similarly use twenty-five pound wrist weight and a ten pound iron ball.  I want to see how well their pitching shoulder and elbow handle the weight during their 'Late Pitching Forearm Turnover' and 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce.'

     Now, from out of the blue, Mr. Vasko challenges Fastbal95 to explain which energy system baseball pitchers use.  In Chapter Thirty-One: Muscle Physiology of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, I explain the three energy systems and much more.  In my Question/Answer files, I have discussed this topic on several other occasions.  Like I tell everybody else who wants to understand what I teach, after they have watched my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video and read my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and Question/Answer files, then they can ask me questions.  That Mr. Vasko was too lazy to do his homework is his problem, not mine.  If he were a student in my Graduate Exercise Physiology course, then I would have taught him that he had better never come to my class unprepared.

     I understand Mr. Vasko's confusion about whether baseball pitching is aerobic or anaerobic.  Because baseball pitchers apply their maximum force for two-tenths of a second, he believes that baseball pitching is an anaerobic activity.  However, to qualify as anerobic, activities must produce lactic acid.  Baseball pitching does not produce lactic acid.  Aerobic activity does not produce lactic acid.  However, the intensity is so high that baseball pitching cannot be aerobic.  Therefore, I say that baseball pitching is a ballistic activity.  But, what difference does it make what energy system they use?  My baseball pitchers train hard every day without meaningful discomfort.

     I have never said forward rotation over a fixed glove foot.  The glove foot is not fixed.  Athletes in many sports forwardly rotate over their front foot.  The front foot pivots.  I strongly oppose reverse rotating over the fixed pitching foot.  That action contributes litte and destroys much.  That action eventully requires hip replacement, knee replacement and ankle surgeries.

     In the previous question/answer, I already debunked the nonsense that 'traditional' baseball pitchers use their legs to accelerate the baseball.  After they push forward with their pitching leg and push backward with their glove leg, the baseball is either at a dead stop or moving backward.  Therefore, these actions contributed nothing to accelerate the baseball.  'Traditional' baseball pitchers might as well have started from this position, much in the same way that some baseball batters start with their feet spread far apart.  Whatever Gary Gray said was nonsense.

     As I have carefully explained in my Question/Answer file, the reason why baseball batters have to forwardly rotate over their rear foot is that, at contact, they need their acromial line perpendicular to the flight path of the baseball.  With my baseball pitching motion, I want my baseball pitchers to have their acromial line pointing as close as possible toward home plate, which is parallel with their driveline toward home plate.  The only way to achieve that acromial line position is to forwardly pivot over their pivoting glove foot.

     If Mr. Vasko had taken the time to read Chapter Thirty-Four: Motor Development, Learning and Skill Acquisition of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, then he would have learned that, when learning the skills of my baseball pitching motion, baseball pitchers should do everything that they can to maximize the quality of their pitches without regard for where the baseball goes.  That is why I have them throw into a sixteen foot by ten foot net.

     After they learn how to make their high-quality releases consistent, then they can learn how to throw the baseball into the strike zone.  In other words, to become the best baseball pitchers that they can be, baseball pitchers should always throw every pitch with maximum horizontal and spin velocities.  Then, when they master the wide variety of high-quality pitches that I teach, they become high-quality baseball pitchers.

     Because they are only interested in winning baseball games now, most coaches only teach their baseball pitches to throw strikes with two or three less than full intensity pitches.  Conversely, I am only interested in baseball pitchers becoming the best injury-free, highly-skilled baseball pitchers that they can be.  As a result, with my baseball pitching motion and training program, my baseball pitchers elevate the quality of baseball pitching.

     To implement my baseball pitching motion, baseball pitching coaches only need to teach their baseball pitchers how to:

01.  pronate the releases of their pitches,

02.  pendulum swing their pitching arm with their pitching hand under the baseball,

03.  use the crow-hop throwing throwing rhythm to make sure that they move their pitching hand to driveline height before their glove foot lands,

04.  take their pitching arm backward to point at second base and

05.  forwardly rotate over their pivoting glove foot.

     I have numerous parents teaching their youth baseball pitchers how to do this.  It is simple.  All they have to do is watch my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video and teach their youth baseball pitchers how to perform the drills that I use to teach the skills of my baseball pitching motion.

     With my baseball pitching motion and training programs, baseball pitchers do not generate the forces that destroy their pitching arm, lower back, pitching hip, pitching knee or pitching ankle.  And, because they generate more force toward home plate over greater distances, they achieve greater release velocities.  Lastly, because my baseball pitching motion enables my baseball pitchers to get their pitching forearm vertical at release, they can master pitches that move equally well to both sides of home plate.

     However, Mr. Vasko made a valid point about the quality of the baseball pitchers I am training.  Fastbal95 is the only draft-quality baseball pitcher I have.  It is typical that, for a draft-quality baseball pitcher to commit to training at least 280 consecutive days with me, they have to be seriously injured.  Otherwise, draft-quality baseball pitchers will take the money and run and never come close to becoming the best that they can be.

     For my part, except that they will train as hard as they can for 280 consecutive days, I do not have any requirements for those who want to train with me.  I am interested in helping those who are committed to hard work.  Unfortunately, for some reason, those with great gifts do not have great drive.  I suppose that I can thank my less than great genetic gifts for my drive to become the best that I could be.  With my baseball pitching motion and training program, with what little I knew at that time, I did all right.  I believe that, back before voters included relievers in their selections, I was the first close to finish fourth in the Cy Young Award, second in the Cy Young Award and first in the Cy Young Award.

     Nevertheless, I do want to congratulate Adam on the fine pitching career that he achieved with his baseball pitching motion and training program.

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023.  The discomfort that I wrote you about in a near-panic is starting to go away; just like you said.

I will start a competitive season in late March.  That will give me 6.5 months of training going in.  I will continue to train daily before, during and after the season, and will follow your advice regarding intensity et al.

I threw 35 maxline fastballs yesterday.  The velocity shocked me.  I believe I might be throwing harder than I ever did, even before injuries.  Maybe not, but I'm throwing hard.  And I'm confident in both my health and performance.


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     I never tire of your or anybody else's questions.  And, I am always pleased to learn how you are progressing.

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024.  From: MAXX Training:
Subject: Re: Response to your post

Thanks so much for responding to the comments made by Adam and myself.  And thank you for taking the time to meet with us and letting us watch the training at your facility.

I hope you understand that Adam and I meant no disrespect toward you with our comments.  We both enjoyed the visit, we both learned some things, and we both had questions after leaving--which we discussed for two days.  So it was a true learning experience.  There is no doubt that neither of us will ever know as much as you do.  But as part of the learning experience, we observe, we question, we reserach, and we experiment.  Using all of those scientific tools, we implement training methods which we believe will have the most successful outcomes.

By taking the time to respond to our comments, we can further learn more about the training that you are doing, and "pick" your brain about anatomical and physiological processes of the body.

Thanks to the internet, I think that the things that you are doing are making people take notice.  This is a wonderful thing.  I hope that this opportunity allows you to introduce your knowledge to more and more people.  Keep up the good work!

P.S.:  With your permission, I'd like to post your responses on my forum so that others can see what you had to say.  Thanks!


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     The only way that parties interested in the same topic will ever meaningfully advance their knowledge is through free and open communications with others.  Therefore, I am very pleased that you will share our communications with your readers.

     I am always thrilled to answer any questions about baseball pitching that anybody wants to ask me.  However, to avoid the possibility that someone misinterprets something that I say, I would appreciate having the opportunity to respond to any comments others might have.

P.S:  The Certification Clinic that I will hold on the second weekend in April will move more slowly, be more thorough and set aside considerable time for questions.  As I remind every interested attendee, the experience is much more valuable when attendees have fully reviewed my materials and come prepared with their list of questions.

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question for you, that I briefly mentioned in my comments.  How do you think you mechanics apply to the traditional mechanics of the positional player, specifically infielders?  Should an infielder use the pendulum swing?

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     In my response to your comments about your visit to my Baseball Pitching Research/Training Center, I provided the five adjustments that 'traditional' baseball pitchers had to make to eliminate injuries to their pitching arm.

     "To implement my baseball pitching motion, baseball pitching coaches only need to teach their baseball pitchers how to:

01.  pronate the releases of their pitches,

02.  pendulum swing their pitching arm with their pitching hand under the baseball,

03.  use the crow-hop throwing rhythm to make sure that they move their pitching hand to driveline height before their glove foot lands,

04.  take their pitching arm backward to point at second base and

05.  forwardly rotate over their pivoting glove foot."

     However, because baseball position players already use the crow-hop throwing rhythm and only throw fastballs, baseball position players need to make three adjustments, which many do already.  Of course, position players should always use the twelve to six rotation without any sideways movement.

01.  Baseball position players need to learn how to throw my Maxline and Torque Fastballs with powerful throwing elbow extension and forearm pronation.

     Because it has the longer and straighter driveline, outfielders should predominantly use my Maxline Fastball release.

     Whenever throwing the baseball to the left of their body, catchers and infielders should use my Torque Fastball release.

     When throwing the baseball to the right of their body or straight forward, catchers and infielders should use my Maxline Fastball release.

02.  When position players have sufficient time to use the one step crow-hop throwing rhythm, they have sufficient time to fully pendulum swing their throwing arm to driveline height.

     When catchers have to rapidly respond to steal situations, they should place their throwing hand behind their throwing knee and bring the baseball to their throwing hand and while they step forward with their glove foot, they should pendulum swing their throwing arm to driveline height before their glove foot lands.

03.  A critical aspect in correcting for the injurious flaws inherent in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion is that baseball pitchers use the crow-hop throwing rhythm that position players use.  The crow-hop throwing rhythm moves the throwing arm to driveline height before the glove foot lands.

     A primary reason that baseball position players do not injure their throwing arms nearly as frequently as baseball pitchers is because their use the crow-hop throwing rhythm.

04.  Baseball position players typically take their throwing arm straight behind them and, in general, drive the baseball in straight lines to where they throw the baseball.  Therefore, most will not have to make any adjustment to what they already do.

     I would recommend that they always do this.  I do not believe that underhand, off-balance throws get the baseball to its intended target faster and certainly not as frequently.

05.  Baseball position players also typically forwardly rotate their body over their pivoting glove foot.  Therefore, most will not have to make any adjustment to what they already do.

     By the way, how did you and Adam do when you tried to answer the twenty-one questions whose answers I covered in our two hour discussion?  I can assure you that those who attend my Certification Clinic had better be able to answer these basic questions as well as explain what muscles baseball pitcher must use to generate their maximum force toward home plate.

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026.  I have been having my 11 year old perform your first 60 day program.  Since once he completes this it will be the end of January, should he be doing anything to maintain or just take a break until the spring season rolls around?

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     I designed my four 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Programs for youth baseball pitchers to complete before they were thirteen biological years old when they are ready to benefit from pitching one time through the line-up twice a week for two consecutive months.

     Unfortunately, that is not how people are using these programs.

     Because I cannot train youth baseball pitchers in the manner I believe that they should train, I should, at least, teach them how to minimize their unnecessary stress.  Therefore, I am going to combine all four 60-Day programs into one 60-Day program.

     However, no adolescent baseball pitcher can possibly master the first three drills that I use to teach the skills of my baseball pitching motion in twelve days.  This means that youth baseball pitchers will have to repeat this one 60-Day program every off-season until they are biologically sixteen years old.

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027.  This is Charlie.

I can't wait to show you that I am doing a lot of things correct now.  I do not have glove foot float.  I have a full drop step.  I am starting my pitching hip forward before I forwardly rotate my hips, shoulders and pitching arm to accelerate the ball through release.  However, sometimes, I have to lean to get my arm vertical.  Getting that last one down all the time is my next goal.

Things are going good and the team I am on up here has accepted me into the club association.  We have about 15 to 20 games this semester with 5 of them right outside Tampa over the week of March 10th.  So, I will be down there in about a month and a half.  See ya then Doc.


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     Congratulations.  I am looking forward to watching you pitch in person.  I have no problem with tilting to the glove side to get your pitching forearm inside of vertical.

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028.  I hope you don't mind a dumb question.  I need to use a quote, one attributed to 'Mike Marshall.'  Are you the person to whom this is attributed?

"Victory is in the quality of competition, not the final score."


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    That is my quote and what I believe.

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029.  This is Charlie.

Today, I threw multiple twelve-four maxline curveballs.  I am definitely starting my hip forward before I throw hard with my arm and I am getting the timing also.  I am also achieving a higher release point on my maxline fastball, so I am throwing it on steeper downward line to home plate.

Thanks again for everything and I will keep you posted.


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     It sounds like it is a good time being Charlie Long.  Congratulations.  With your continued hard work, you deserve it.

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030.  Out of all the current pitchers that play in the Major Leagues, who do you feel has the best mechanics/which mechanics most likely limit arm injuries.

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01.  To prevent Ulnar Collateral Ligament ruptures, baseball pitchers must pendulum swing their pitching arm backward with the palm of their pitching hand under the baseball when it leaves the glove, facing forward when it passes their pitching hip and facing away from their body when it arrives at driveline height.

     Therefore, to determine which of the current major league baseball pitchers are least likely to rupture their Ulnar Collateral Ligament, I look for how they pendulum swing their pitching arm.

02.  To prevent the lose of the extension range of motion as well as bone chips and spurs in the pitching elbow, baseball pitchers must pronate the releases of all pitches.

     Therefore, to determine which of the current major league baseball pitchers are least likely to lose the extension range of motion of their pitching elbow or create bone chips and spurs in their pitching elbow, I look at whether they pronate the releases of all pitches.

03.  To prevent the lose of the flexion range of motion in their pitching elbow, baseball pitchers must passively reverse rotate their hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm to point at home plate.

     Therefore, to determine which of the current major league baseball pitchers are least likely to lose the flexion range of motion of their pitching elbow, I look at whether they point their hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm at second base.

04.  To prevent injuring the front of their pitching shoulder, baseball pitchers must incorporate the crow-hop throwing rhythm technique of moving their pitching arm to driveline height before their glove foot lands.

     Therefore, to determine which of the current major league baseball pitchers are least like to injure the front of their pitching shoulder, I look at whether they pendulum swing their pitching arm to driveline height before their glove foot lands.

05.  To prevent injuring the back of their pitching shoulder, baseball pitchers must powerfully pronate their pitching forearm and extend their pitching elbow to drive their pitches in straight lines toward home plate.

     Therefore, to determine which of the current major league baseball pitchers are least likely to injure the back of their pitching shoulder, because when they do these actions, they will use their Terse Major and Altissimo Doris muscles to inwardly rotate their pitching arm, such that their pitching elbow points upwardly immediately after release, I look for whether their pitching elbow points upwardly immediately after release.

     Now, you can watch all the current major league baseball pitchers and rate them on these five criteria.  Those who receive the highest composite scores will be most likely to avoid pitching injuries.

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031.  I am 48 years old and have been teaching myself your pitching method for about 2 years now.  I have the technique mastered and everything feels great except one nagging little bad habit from the past that I just can’t seem to shake.

I still seem to contract my brachialis sometimes.  I am driving the ball in a very straight line.  I am rotating my humerus inwardly while pronating through release.

When throwing at intensities less than 95%, my arm turns over nicely after release with my elbow popping upward. My brachialis feels quite relaxed.

But every time I really try to “air it out” and throw with 100% intensity my arm becomes more “stiff” just before and through release.  I can feel my brachialis contract almost subconsciously.  It’s very difficult to disengage it at 100% throwing intensity.  It’s as if it contracts automatically and I feel I don’t have control over its action at 100%.

I have video taped my technique at 100% and at lower levels to see if I change anything.  The technique remains the same.

I can guarantee that I can throw 150 95% intensity or lower pitches today and my arm will feel great tomorrow.  But if I throw just 20 100% intensity pitches today, tomorrow my brachialis will be sore.  It’s VERY annoying.

One thing I may add is over 25 years ago I developed bone chips in my throwing elbow from baseball pitching.  It caused slight damage to the ulnar nerve.  A short time after that I tore my teres minor while pitching.  Could my body still be trying to protect my arm when I’m throwing full out even though it doesn’t have to?

If you’re going to tell me just to throw at 95%, I’ve already thought of that.  I want to throw as hard as I possibly can, without pain.


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     I would never tell you to only throw 95%.  I want everybody to throw absolutely as hard as they possibly can.

     First, let's make sure that the soreness is the Brachialis.  To touch the discomfort, where do you touch?  Could you possibly mistake discomfort in your Brachioradialis for your Brachialis?

     If you are correct in your analysis, then you might have some residual bone chip or nerve damage that subconsciously interferes with your high intensity.  Bone chip removal is a simple procedure, but I would not mess with the Ulnar Nerve.

     If it turns out to be essentially psychosomatic, where your anxiety of anticipated pain causes you to reflexively engage your Brachialis muscle, then the only remedy I could suggest is to throw at the intensity at which you feel comfortable for several weeks.  Then, after taking deep breaths, try to increase the intensity while remaining as anxiety-free as possible.

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032.  You are probably correct about the anxiety.  I will do my best to describe the location and type of pain I feel.

First, I wouldn't actually call it severe pain. It never hurts while I am throwing at 100%.  24 hours later I will experience a dull ache in the area.  It's more of a strong discomfort than anything else.  Now, if I were to then throw that next day at 100%, then it would hurt while I'm throwing.

So I back off to about 70% to 75% for 2 to 3 days until it feels fine, then I try it again at 100%.  That starts the cycle over again.

The location is on the anterior surface of my humerus about 3 inches up from the elbow.  I can find an area with my fingers that feels like it lies right next to the humerus bone.  When I apply finger pressure, it feels like sore overused muscle pain.  If I supinate my forearm, and extend my elbow fully, there is some stiffness and soreness in that area, not unlike in the summer when I was young after the first day of bucking 1,000 hay bales on my father's farm.  It really feels like muscle fatigue.

I helped move a large desk in our office today.  When I lifted my half of the desk, which probably weighed 80lbs., I felt muscle pain then.

When I look online to find the location of the Brachioradialis, it appears to me to be located more laterally near the outside of the arm.  If that is correct, I have never had discomfort there.


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     That is correct.  The Brachioradialis muscle lies on the lateral aspect of the anterior surface of the elbow joint.

     To check the Brachialis muscle you run your finger along the medial aspect of the Biceps Brachii but closer to the bone.  Then, at about four inches up from the elbow joint, if you apply deep pressure with your thumb as you squeeze that area between your thumb and fingers, then, if the Brachialis muscle is over-worked, you will illicit a pain response.

     What you have sounds like an involuntary response to pain.  I don't know whether to tell you to train through it or continually gradually extend yourself and drop back.  Just in case that you have some injury to the Brachialis muscle, I suppose that you should gradually extend yourself and drop back.

     I forgot to ask.  Does this happen with all pitches?  That is, can you throw at your maximum intensity with my Maxline True Screwball?  If so, then you should throw as hard as you can with whichever pitches you can and use the gradually extend and drop back technique with the other pitches.

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033.  I understand Dr Mike.  When are you expecting that you will be publishing your "combined" 60 day program?

I assume it is true that you still do not advise more than 60 days of your training a year...so is there no maintenance aspect to this at the youth level?

Thanks for everything you do!


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     This is something that I have been thinking about for quite a while.  Therefore, a couple of days ago, I eliminated my four 60-Day programs and designed one 60-Day program that incorporates all five of the drills that I use to teach the skills of my baseball pitching motion.

     I am still very concerned that, even with the elimination of the injurious flaws of the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, youth baseball pitchers can apply more force than their growth plates can withstand.  Therefore, I still believe that youth baseball pitchers should be biologically thirteen years old before they pitch competitively.

     For youth baseball pitchers less than sixteen biological years old, I recommend that they complete my 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition in the two months preceding the two months of their competitive pitching season.

     However, for youth baseball pitchers thirteen to sixteen biological years old, I recommend that they complete a second 60-Day program midway between the end of their competitive season and before they start their regular 60-Day program.

     By repetitively completing my 60-Day program, youth baseball pitchers will become more and more skilled with each drill, such that they will continue to increase the quality of their pitches.

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034.  The pronated curve and the screwball do not cause discomfort, only the fastball.

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     Okay.  You can throw my Maxline True Screwball and Maxline Pronation Curve at full intensity without any discomfort.

     When you throw my Maxline Fastball and Torque Fastball, do you experience the same discomfort?

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035.  I am a 5'8" 150lb high school pitcher.  I pitch on JV with about a 70mph fastball, 60 mph changeup, and I'm working on learning your maxline pronation curveball, maxline pronation screwball, changing my 4 seam fastball to your maxline fastball and I'm learning the torque fastball.

Basically, I'm replacing my repertoire with yours.  I was watching the Jeff Sparks clips from 2000.  I like his mechanics a lot and would like to copy him, how would I do that?

Also, for my 2nd question:  I have been having some pain in my elbow so I took 3 weeks off, came back and had pain in my shoulder.  I think it may be my motion what do you suggest?

Thanks a lot for your time.  I was planning on starting your 120 day program because a person who trains with you recommended it and that I would need the added strength to throw your pitches?


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     Why would you want to imitate the 1999-2000 version of Jeff Sparks when you could imitate the 2007 version of Jeff Sparks?  In addition, the pseudo-traditional wind-up baseball pitching motion that 2007 Sam Buchanan does is pretty good.

     Nevertheless, I recommend that you:

01.  Use my Wrong Foot body action; Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drill to learn how to pronate the releases of all pitches, especially using an appropriately-sized football.

02.  Use my Wrong Foot body action; Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm actions drill to learn how to properly pendulum swing your pitching arm in one continuous smooth motion up to driveline height and straight backward toward second base.

03.  Use my Drop Out Wind-Up body action; Pendulum Swing glove and pitching arm actions drill to learn how to pendulum swing your pitching arm to driveline height before your glove foot lands, and how to use your glove foot to apply force back toward second base.

     Then, when you have 120 uninterrupted days without baseball practice or games, I recommend that you complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

     After you complete my 120-Day program and master the proper way to apply force to your pitches, whatever discomfort you presently feel will be long gone.  Then, if, when you are biologically nineteen years old, you complete my 72-Day recoil training cycles, then you will become the best injury-free, highly-skilled baseball pitcher that you can be.

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036.  The fastballs tend to cause the most stress.  It may be that I pronate more efficiently on the curve and screwball than the fastballs.  In fact, in recalling how I throw each different pitch, it may be that my overall arm acceleration is not quite as great with the curve and screwball as it is with the fastballs.

    I believe my concentration on pronating on the curve and screwball may be greater than on the fastballs, and I am neglecting my overall arm velocity a bit.  Consequently, I may not be concentrating enough on pronating enough with the fastballs.  I'm not sure. At any rate, the pain is not serious, just annoying.

This does bring up another question.  Will maximum pronation while throwing a Maxline Fastball increase velocity, decrease it, or not effect it?  It seems that the more I pronate on the fastball, the more movement it generates.  But it also appears to reduce velocity slightly.  It sometimes feels like the more I pronate, the more difficult it is to generate overall arm speed.  Is this an illusion?


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     Provided that they continue to forwardly rotate their acromial line to point as closely as possible toward home plate, by powerfully pronating their pitching forearm before, during and after release, my baseball pitchers not only protect the back of their pitching elbow, they also increase the force that they apply to their pitches.

     Unfortunately, if baseball pitchers stop forwardly rotating their acromial line, such that it is significantly short of pointing at home plate, then they apply their pronation force significantly short of home plate.  Remember, release velocity relates only to the force that baseball pitchers apply toward home plate.

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037.  Thanks for reminding me about rotating the acromial line.

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     After years of the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion where baseball pitchers cannot forwardly rotate their hips more than forty-five degrees forward because their pitching foot is still close to the pitching rubber and cannot forwardly rotate their acromial line because it cannot rotate more than forty-five degrees than the hips, it is easy to forget that, with my baseball pitching motion, baseball pitchers can point their hips and acromial line close to pointing at home plate.

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038.  I have been experiencing pain, soreness and stiffness in the area of my lateral epicondyle.  If my anatomy is correct, both the lateral epicondyle and the capitulum are sensitive to the touch.  This has been persistent for a 2 mo. period.  The genesis is either hitting backhanded shots playing knee hockey (mini stick) with my son or attempting to throw pronation curves with whiffle balls to my son.

It is constantly stiff and hurts when I extend to shake hands and during the grip of shaking hands.  While in the anatomic position, it hurts to try to fully extend.  It also hurts to make a fist and when throwing a punch.


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      Unless you have mistaken supination for pronation, you will not irritate the lateral aspect of your throwing elbow.

     Much more likely is backhanding hockey shots, especially if, rather than bend your elbow to force-couple your arm action, you completely straighten your arm and supinate your forearm through release.

     You may also be joining the unhappy world of arthritis.

     Whatever it is, unless you train regularly for high-intensity activity, you should not participate in high-intensity activities.

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039.  Wow, thanks doc.  I've been looking at your videos and I've put some thought into it and do you think you'll still be doing this in a few years?  Perhaps when I'm 18 or 19, I may fly down there to go to college, and maybe I'll be able to come train with you.  I would highly appreciate it.

And about copying Jeff Sparks.  Thanks for the tips on the drills.  Would adding a leg kick to that hurt anything?  I'm just trying to make it look a little more traditional.  Thanks and I'll be studying your work for awhile.  Also could this increase my throwing velocity?  How hard have you had guys throwing that trained with you?


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      If I were you or anybody else interested in my baseball pitching motion and training programs, I would not expect to have me available to help in two or three years.  You should watch my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, read my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and Question/Answer files and complete the proper interval-training programs on your own.

     Lifting the glove leg is helpful when imitating a dog and a fire hydrant, but does absolutely nothing positive to add to either release velocity or consistency.

     To achieve your genetic maximum release velocity, you have to apply as much force toward home plate as you possibly can over as great a time period as you possible can.  That is exactly what I designed my baseball pitching motion and interval-training programs to enable every baseball pitcher to do.

     In addition, my baseball pitching motion enables baseball pitchers to throw a wide variety of high-quality pitches that 'traditional' baseball pitchers cannot throw.

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040.  I see where you and Jeff will be in Cooperstown for a demonstration Feb. 29th.  I live not far from there.  Is there anything I can help you with on this trip?  Perhaps you need a catcher for the demonstration?  Or someone to video the presentation?  Just let me know.

Also, one of your present students has been posting quite a bit on one of the message forums.  He has done a GREAT job representing you.  He is a really intelligent kid and no matter how far his talent and determination take him, it looks like he has a bright future in whatever he decides to do.


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     The convention hosts have told me that they will have young men with whom Jeff can do his football and lid throws and retrieve his iron ball throws, however we might be able to do them.  Nevertheless, please introduce yourself and if we need help, then I will know where to look for you.

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041.  On the blogs, they are saying that you have very effectively removed the injurious flaws from the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, but that the price you paid is loss of velocity.  How do you counter this argument?

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     'Traditional' baseball pitching coaches mistakenly believe that the 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce' injurious flaw in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion is what the also mistakenly call an eccentric, concentric, eccentric series of muscle contractions that account for their high release velocity.      However, the 'Late Pitching Forearm Turnover' flaw in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion leads to the 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce.'  The muscles that 'traditional' baseball pitching use during their 'Late Pitching Forearm Turnover are the muscles that outwardly rotate the Humerus bone of their pitching upper arm.

     This means that, when their glove foot lands and 'traditional' baseball pitchers begin to powerfully rotate their hips, shoulder and pitching upper arm.  For their pitching upper arm to keep up with their body rotation, they need to use the muscles that inwardly rotate their pitching upper arm.  Instead, they are using the muscles that outwardly rotate their pitching upper arm.

     Unfortunately, because, like when athletes jump off various heights, the muscles that they are about to stretch are not contracting.  Therefore, when the stimulus is too much, the involved muscles, the muscles that inwardly rotate the Humerus bone of the pitching upper arm, shut down, which leaves the Ulnar Collateral Ligament without muscle contraction backup and injury can occur.

     What this means is that to suddenly 'stretch' uncontracted muscles is a crap shoot.  Everything may be fine for all, but one time.  But, that one time ruptures the ligament that holds the bone of the critical joint together.  It would be malfeasance for coaches to teach such a dangerous technique.

     However, when muscles are already contracted when athletes apply a stretch stimulus to them, these muscles will lengthen without injury.  For example, when athletes put heavy strap-on weights on their glove and pitching wrists and practice driving their pitching hand through release, they appropriately train the muscles that safely decelerate their pitching arm to a stop to do so much more quickly.  This means that, instead of having to decrease the rate at which they are accelerating their pitching hand and baseball before release, they can continue to accelerate their pitching hand and baseball through release.

     This is an example of the correct way to strengthen muscles while they are lengthening (eccentrically).

     With my baseball pitching motion, I teach my baseball pitchers another highly valuable way to use this training technique.  In my Wrong Foot body action; Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drill, I teach my baseball pitchers to have their pitching upper arm as vertically as possible beside their head, such that when they drive the tip of their pitching elbow straight toward home plate, they stretch the muscles that extend their pitching elbow and inwardly rotate the Humerus bone of their pitching upper arm that are already contracting.

     This lengthening (eccentric) action increases the lengths of the involved muscles immediately before the powerfully accelerate the pitching hand and baseball through release.

     Therefore, contrary to your assertion that, in the name of injury-prevention, my baseball pitching motion decreases the force that my baseball pitchers can apply, the opposite is true.  Instead of dangerously seeking additional force, my baseball pitching motion uses safe techniques to increase our release velocity.

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042.  I want to throw your way.  However, I would never get any playing time and I would be made fun of.  It is not worth it.  I'm 15 years old.  A freshman in high school.  I'm a right fielder.  I throw the traditional way.  I currently throw lower-mid 80's.  My arm is out of control though.  I have pin-point accuracy with crow hops, but not regular throwing.  I want my velocity up.

Basically, what is the proper way to do the upper body with the lower body being the traditional way?  Kind of like Jeff Sparks did in 1999 and 2000.

Where should I start?  I know some stuff.  I've talked to one of your present students; he's a great guy.  He explained a lot of things to me that made sense.

So how can I throw using your upper body, traditional lower body... as a right fielder?


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     Nobody will know that you are pronating the releases of all pitches.

     Nobody will complain when you point your pitching arm at second base and drive your pitches straight toward home plate.

     Nobody will complain when you pendulum swing your pitching arm.

     Nobody will notice that you move your pitching arm to driveline height before your glove foot lands.

     However, they will notice that you do not lift your glove leg and bend forward at your waist.

     While lifting your leg and bending forward at your waist will reduce your release velocity and control and eventually injure your lower back, pitching hip, knee and ankle, if it is more important to you to not be made fun of, then knock yourself out.

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043.  I have a problem with your maxline pronation curveball.  I tried throwing it today how I was taught in your video.  It was getting the right forward spin, but it wasn't breaking?  The same thing happens when I throw the screwball.  How do I get more spin on it?  What drills do you recommend?

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     Are you using the lid drill?  Are you using the appropriately-sized football with my Wrong Foot Slingshot drill?  Until you perfect these drills and skills, you should not touch baseballs.

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044.  I just wanted you to know that I read your advice on hitting mechanics on your website and I was able to have an extremely effective batting practice today.  I read all the questions on your website tonight for the year 2008.  I also saw where it seems you really enjoy questions.

I am embarrassed to say that I do not know the meaning of the word "acromial" or "acromial line."  Would you be kind enough to define it for me?  Also, anything else you have to add to your hitting page I would be interested in.  It just seemed to me that you kept everything simple.  I especially liked your explanation of the set up.

Please define "acromial" or "acromial line."  Thank you.  Do you plan on adding more info to your hitting page?  I love your website.


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     If you can find an anatomy book and look up a picture of the Scapula bone, then you will notice that the lateral-most aspect of the bone is called the 'Acromial Process.'  Therefore, the acromial line is an imaginary line drawn through both acromial processes and laterally outward away from the body.

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045.  I completely understand your response in post #25, but the following comments confuse me a bit:

04.  Baseball position players typically take their throwing arm straight behind them and, in general, drive the baseball in straight lines to where they throw the baseball.  Therefore, most will not have to make any adjustment to what they already do.

05.  Baseball position players also typically forwardly rotate their body over their pivoting glove foot.  Therefore, most will not have to make any adjustment to what they already do.

I know that my position throwing contributed to my shoulder injuries.  When playing infield, I would throw ¾ arm slot (and I know now that arm slot is a false concept) and purposefully “grabbed” (forearm pointing forward, accelerating ball from behind the ear).  I did these things because that’s what I was taught during my youth.  And, I emulated what I saw on TV.  These flaws resulted in forearm fly out and perpetual bicep pain.  And, more significantly, reverse forearm bounce leading to a torn subscap tendon.

I’ve been training for nearly 5 months, have fixed those flaws, and my arm feels great.  I’m focusing primarily on pitching, but when fielding, I simply expedite the pendulum swing, achieve lock, pronate and throw on a straight drive line.  No thought required.  I’ve trained it, and I trust it.

My point is this:  I see a lot of fielders throw with injurious flaws.  Outfielders are generally less guilty than infielders.  Could it be that the lower volume of maximum intensity throwing by fielders delays or masks their injuries?  It’s common for fielders to have very sore arms or even out-right injured arms.  Still, they play, albeit less effectively.  They can “get away” with a broken wing.  I believe your training program and force application is a must for fielders.  Thoughts?


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     That sounds good to me.

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046.  I am sorry I missed you in Houston!  How did it turn out?  I am trying to get the CD and get a look for myself.  I have not heard a thing, and they, Pitching Central, would not say a thing when they were at the Texas High School Coaching convention in Waco, Texas.  It peeked my interest even more!  Do you do and certification courses in Texas?  I am interested in learning more about your methods.

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     Jeff Sparks and I showed what real baseball pitching coaching is all about.  Neither Ron nor Brent showed anything that would have value with regard to coaching baseball pitchers.

     On the second weekend in April, I will host a Certification Clinic in Zephyrhills, FL.

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047.  I am the father of a 9-year old son who has been playing baseball for a few years.  He has just entered kid pitch and is excited about the prospects of pitching.  He has solid speed/strength and more importantly at this age, he has accuracy.  However, he throws with a side arm motion.  The coaches are insistent that he change this motion.  My question is whether or not this is necessary.

My thoughts are that he is throwing in what is a comfortable motion.  You see big league pitchers who throw in unorthodox motions.

Lastly, my goal is for him to have fun not make the major leagues.  I have already witnessed that the change in his throwing motion has lowered his confidence and most likely will alter his throwing motion to where he is not as accurate.  Before doing this (as I do want what is best for him), I wanted to seek some additional advice as to whether or not this is critical to his development or is side arm really more dangerous.


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     You are in charge of your children, not non-trained volunteers of nine year old youth baseball teams.  It is your responsibility to determine how your son should pitch.  If I were you, I would find somebody with a doctoral degree in Exercise Physiology, Kinesiology, Child Growth and Development and Motor Skill Acquisition and, oh yeah, who finished fourth, second, first, seventh and fifth in the Cy Young Award.

     You need to watch my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video and teach your son how to properly perform the drills that I use to teach the skills of my baseball pitching motion and complete my 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program.

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048.  Thanks for your great page on batting mechanics.  I think you've built a great baseball resource and I am writing to ask if I could buy a text ad on that page.

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     Everything on my website is free for all to watch and read without charge.

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049.  With your mechanics do they allow you to only be pain free or throw harder?  Because if you throw slower, I could see how they reduce pain because your never throwing hard.  But, what is it?

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     I have explained several times that, with my baseball pitching motion, baseball pitchers can apply more force toward home plate over a longer time period.  This means that the only way baseball pitchers will ever achieve their genetic maximum release velocity is when they use my baseball pitching motion and interval-training programs.

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050.  I am a high school baseball coach in Texas and a teacher so we do not get out until May 30th.  Do you offer anything during the summer?  Can I learn through viewing cd's or video tapes?  Did they video you in Houston?  If they did does it show everything?

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     On my website, I have my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, my Pitcher Training Programs and Question/Answer files for all to watch and read without charge.  If you want to own your own copy of my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, then you need to send me one hundred dollars.  When I update my video, I will send you a copy without charge.

     From the third weekend in August to the fourth weekend the following May, I coach my baseball pitchers seven days a week for two hundred and eighty days between 9:00 to 11:00AM.  On the second weekend in April, I offer a Certification Clinic.

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051.  I heard you speak at Ron Wolforth's Boot Camp. I am the pitching/catching coach at a small private college in Iowa.  We will be playing games in the Orlando, Florida area the first week of March.  You invited anyone in the boot camp to come and check out your program.  I would be interested in accepting your invitation to come see your facility on our off day, Tuesday March 4th.  I remember you said you were located in Zephyrhills.  What is the actual address?

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     The actual address of my Baseball Pitching Research/Training Center is 4353 Gall Blvd.  To get there from Orlando, you need to go East on I-4, turn North of Hwy 39 at Plant City, continue North on Hwy 301 for four blocks, turn West on Vinson Avenue and immediately turn right into the first driveway.

     We train from 9:00 to 10:30AM.  Please do not be late.  We do not have a rewind button.

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052.  I found the problem.  In looking at stop action video of my motion, I found that I have been slightly reverse rotating my shoulders and pendulum swinging my throwing arm perhaps 10 degrees laterally behind me.

I adjusted my pendulum swing to straight back to second base.  Actually, it's more like 5 degrees to the shortstop side of second.  I am right-handed.  I made this adjustment about 5 days ago.  My arm feels so much better.

The pain is almost completely gone.  My driveline feels straighter and longer.  And, my velocity has picked up.

It is so important to stay vigilant in keeping the driveline as straight as possible, isn't it?  The slightest deviations can cause real problems.


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     With the drop step that I recommend that my baseball pitchers use with all my Maxline pitches, for you to take your pitching arm about ten degrees beyond second base is not a problem.  However, with the either straight ahead of slightly cross-step that I recommend that my baseball pitchers use with all my Torque baseball pitches, it is much better for you to take your pitching arm five degrees short of second base.

     After you get these glove steps straightened out, you need to add one step crow-hops to the end of your daily workouts.  I recommend that you take the final six baseballs and throw my Maxline and Torque Fastballs into the strike zone as hard as you feel ready to throw.  This drill is to help you make your Drop Out Wind-Up competitive pitching motion into the free flowing throwing motion that you eventually need it to be.

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053.  I am 15 years old and will be turning 16 in August and will be undergoing your 120 day training program once my high school season is over.  I would like to know which things I need?

6lb iron ball
10lb wrist weights
a football that fits my hand
bucket lids? where do you get these?
a mattress to throw against
2 dozen balls

Is that all?


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     You need all of them.  In my Equipment Vendors file, I provide information on how to obtain these items.

01.  I get my 6 lb. Iron Balls at Wolverine Sports at (800)521-2832.
02.  I get my 10 lb. Wrist Weight at Ooltewah Manufacturing at (800)251-6940.
03.  I get my appropriately-sized footballs at Wal-Mart.
04.  I get my four gallon buckets filled with detergent at Wal-Mart.
05.  Make up your own plan for your iron ball return.
06.  I get my baseballs from whichever baseball manufacturers sells them the cheapest.

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054.  I read somewhere that you trained Rudy Saenez and his velocity went from 94 to 103.  What did you do with him that allowed that 9 mph increase?

I'm 16 years old and pitch for my high school.  I throw about 75.  How would you recommend maybe that I could get up to 85 by my senior year?  I'm a junior now.


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     Unbeknownst to me, Rudy Seanez told a reporter with the Kansas City Star about the benefits of training with me for a couple of months in 1989.  If you click on my Articles file, then you can open the Kansas City Star article and read Rudy's comments for yourself.  I believe that, if Rudy had completed my entire interval-training program, I believe that he would have thrown harder and with much higher quality and a wider variety of pitches.

     All you can do is all you can do.  All baseball pitchers have different genetic maximum release velocities.  To start this process, you need to master my force application technique and complete the correct interval-training program for your age.

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055.  I learned an interesting fact lately.  R. A. Dickey, pitched from 2001 to 2006 for the Texas Rangers.  He was born without an ulnar collateral ligament.

With the forearm flyout that the traditional pitching motion produces, I would think that his forearm would practically shear off.


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     That would be a very interesting fact.  However, with my baseball pitching motion, I believe that my baseball pitchers could pitch without an Ulnar Collateral Ligament.  The reason is simple. Without 'Late Pitching Forearm Turnover,' my baseball pitchers would their Pronator Teres muscle to protect the inside of their pitching elbow and their Teres Major and Latissimus Dorsi muscles to inwardly rotate the Humerus bone of their pitching upper arm.

     By pendulum swinging their pitching upper arm to driveline height straight backward toward second base, my baseball pitchers immediately engage the muscles that inwardly rotate their pitching upper arm, flex their pitching elbow and pronate their pitching forearm, such that they would keep the coronoid process of their Ulnar bone tightly against the medial epicondyle of their Humerus bone.

     The result of these muscle action would be to eliminate the 'Pitching Forearm Flyout' injurious flaw of the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion and enable baseball pitchers to drive their pitching forearm and thereby, their pitches, within the seventeen inch width of home plate.

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056.  I read on your website you are coming to Cooperstown at the end of this month.  I live about 75 miles away and plan to make the trip this time of year to see you, and look forward to seeing you in person to demonstrate your pitching theories.

Are the talks open to the public and may I bring my video camera to film you?  I hope you will pitch a little yourself---it would bring back some great memories for me--the last time I saw you pitch was on t.v. with the Mets towards the end of your career over 25 years ago, and there was no mistaking that distinct motion!

By the way, even though you aren't in the Hall of Fame, I always thought you deserved to be---you opened the doors for all the relief pitchers with your Cy Young, and helped define the role with all those appearances.


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     Yes, on Friday, February 29, 2008, Jeff Sparks and I will be presenting our materials to the New York State Public High School Baseball Coaches Association in Cooperstown, NY.  I have no idea whether they mind non-members of their group attending, but I certainly do not.  I also have no objection to being videotaped.

     At sixty-five years old and having injured the front of my baseball pitching shoulder in a household accident several year ago, I no longer throw baseballs.  But, Jeff Sparks does and does so considerably better than I did when I pitched.

     You are correct Sir, that Gene Mauch and I developed the idea of having closers start their innings.  However, I never meant for that to be one inning and only when the team has a lead.  I averaged two innings per appearance for the decade of the 1970s and entered the game with the score tied, especially when we played on the road.

     You might find it interesting that, if I were given the opportunity to develop a major league pitching staff, I would have my best pitcher start every Wednesday and Sunday game, my second best pitcher start every Tuesday and Saturday game, my third best pitcher start every Monday and Friday game and my fourth best pitcher start every Thursday and close every Saturday through Tuesday game that my third best pitcher did not close.

     Then, my fifth best pitcher would close whatever other games we need to close.  Needless to say, unless we have unforeseen situations, we probably would not need three more pitchers, but we should have them available.  The idea of using someone who does not have the skills with which to start games as the closer sounds goofy to me.

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057.  I thought you might be interested to know that the Dodgers signed 39 year old Rudy Seanez to a 1 year contract today.  I believe is the only pitcher in still playing MLB to have trained with you.

1.  Do you still maintain any relationship with him and is there any way that you can leverage the relationship you have with him to get out the message of how pitchers can benefit from your program?

2.  Do you think that his longevity and fairly injury free career can be attributed to the pronation release on his fastball?


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01.  Last year, when Rudy volunteered the information that I saved his major league career, he did everything he was going to do to thank me.  To read what he said, you should go to my Articles file and read the Kansas City Star and Yahoo.com stories.

02.  It is amazing how straightening the driveline and pronating the releases improve baseball pitchers.

     However, Rudy should have been a much better baseball pitcher than he became, but he refused to learn everything I teach or complete all my training programs.  It is those guys with whom I want to work.  I am only interested in training baseball pitchers who want to be the very best that they can be.

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058.  It has been awhile since I threw a baseball question your way.  I hope all is well with you.

In a recent discussion, we have been debating the role of the catcher with the pitchers game.  You often hear how well some catchers are at calling a game.  Just how important, in your opinion, is a catcher to a pitchers game, beside the obvious defensive qualities he may bring to it.


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     I live in a different baseball world than the rest of the baseball players, coaches, scouts and administrative personnel.  In my baseball world, I know every pitch I have thrown to every batter.  This means that I know what every batter can hit and cannot hit and what pitch sequence works best.

     Therefore, before I step on the pitching rubber, I know what pitch I am going to throw.  I don't care what the catcher thinks I should throw.  By waiting for the catcher to get to the sign for the pitch I am going to throw, I am simply telling the catcher what I am going to throw.

     To learn how to play in my baseball world, interested parties should read Chapters Twenty-Three through Twenty-Eight of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book.  Or, they can continue to wander around in the darkness.

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059.  I was watching a slow motion video of Zumaya on the internet and he appears to loop badly.  It appears that his 100 mph throw is totally arm, as the ball completely comes to a stop at the end of his stride.

Is this the time where his throwing muscles are completely fully extended and loaded for the throw?  What do you see that is he doing that has prevented him from becoming seriously injured?  Is it the leading elbow?  Pronation?  Genetics?

Any predictions to an upcoming injury that he will have? (you were exactly right about other videos I have sent and predicted injuries).

The video link is below: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbSujT7MWy8&feature=related

Also:

There is a Junior in High School this year that throws similarly to Zumaya and he is hitting 90 mph.  The only pain he experiences is when he tries to throw a traditional slider.  I stopped this pain by teaching him to throw your sinker instead.  (Doc, he throws it so good, I could not believe it!).

I have found that is it quite impossible to start every High school pitcher from scratch with your motion.  So, I work with them, teaching as many of your injury preventing techniques as possible.  I film them with my 120 fps camera and cover every detail.  (Like teaching pronation, the screwball, pronation curve, and your sinker).

It is helping them immensely.  This same Junior throws your screwball with the movement exactly like you threw it in the majors.  Unbelievable!

Thank you for all your hard work in pitching research.


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     This past summer, Zumaya ruptured the tendinous attachments of his Flexor Digitorum Profundus muscle to the distal phalange of his middle finger.  I doubt that he will ever again be a quality reliever.

     I realize that time constraints prevent these high school kids completing my 120-Day program.  However, as soon as they have time, they need to do my program.

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060.  I am teaching your baseball pitching motion everyday.  Therefore, I am learning every day.

Your article, 'Pitchers: Average to Special.' is making a big difference to the High School kids.  For the first time they are actually understanding "why" what you teach works.

Thank you for all your time and work.  You have made an incredible difference in my life.


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     You are learning correctly.  You have to jump in and work with the students.  You need to explain how their pitching arm works.  You have to show them their muscles.

     In my rush to answer your last email, I did not congratulate you on telling the 'looper' not to pull his slider, but to drive his sinker.  When baseball pitchers learn how to drive their pitches, they will throw some outstanding reverse breaking ball pitches.  But, they also need to learn how to drive my Maxline Pronation Curve.

     I will put the article, 'Pitchers: Average to Special' in my Special Reports file.  I had forgotten about it.

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061.  Teaching your maxline pronation curve is very difficult.  When my kids have trouble, I have them try the true screwball.  It amazes me sometimes, that kids that have trouble getting the curve to work, can throw the screwball with no trouble at all.

I teach arm and shoulder anatomy to every student, not in highly technical terms, but in terms they understand.  I feel that the more they know about their own anatomy, the better they can understand why they need to do things a certain way.  So far, it is going very well.

By the way:  Parents and coaches are much harder to teach your skills.


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     To learn how to throw baseball pitches involves learning how to grip the baseball, how to use the pitching elbow and forearm to drive their baseball and how to use the wrist, hand and fingers to release the baseball.

     That is why I never teach my pitches with baseballs.  Instead, I use appropriately-sized footballs and the square lid off four gallon buckets.

     To learn the grips of my Maxline True Screwball and Maxline Pronation Curve is simple and everybody learns them quickly.

01.  With my Maxline True Screwball, I teach my baseball pitchers to place one tip of the football between their index and middle fingers and place their thumb on the seams.  Then, with their pitching forearm maximally pronated, such that their fingers point away from their body, I teach them to lay the football tightly against their pitching forearm.

02.  With my Maxline Pronation Curve, I teach my baseball pitchers to place one tip of the football between their middle and ring fingers and place their thumb on the seams.  Then, with their pitching forearm maximally supinated, such that their fingers point toward from their body, I teach them to lay the football tightly against their pitching forearm.

     I find that all baseball pitchers can accomplish these positions.  Next, I teach my baseball pitchers how to use their pitching elbow and forearm to drive the football to release.

01.  With my Maxline True Screwball, I teach my baseball pitchers how to assume my Slingshot glove and pitching arms positions, such that they point their glove arm at home plate and point their pitching upper arm as vertically upward as possible beside their head and their pitching forearm as horizontal as possible the full length of their pitching forearm behind their pitching elbow pointing at second base.

     On all Maxline pitches, I teach my baseball pitchers how to assume the starting position of my Wrong Foot body action, such that their feet are side-by-side pointing forty-five degrees to the glove side of the line between their feet and home plate.

     To start my Wrong Foot Slingshot drill, I teach my baseball pitchers to step backward one full step with their pitching foot at the same forty-five degree angle and reach as far backward as they can.

     To properly position their body to be able to drive their pitching hand to the pitching arm side of their body directly at home plate, I teach my baseball pitchers to step at the forty-five degree angle across the front of their body, such that, when their pitching foot lands, they have forwardly rotated their hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm to point directly at home plate.

     To make sure that they completely reverse rotate their glove shoulder, you must pay special attention to their glove arm action.  You cannot allow them to leave their glove shoulder short of pointing away from home plate.  Their glove hand should lay on top of their glove shoulder with their glove forearm pointing away from home plate.  They should stand tall and rotate.

     To drive my Maxline True Screwball through release, I teach my baseball pitchers to 'shave' the top of their head with the thumb side of their pitching hand and 'stick' their pitching hand at the pitching arm side batter.

     The extreme pronated position of their pitching forearm throughout the extension of the pitching elbow prevents the pitching forearm from adding any force to the release by pronating the pitching forearm.  However, the extreme pronated position of their pitching forearm prevents baseball pitchers from 'looping' their pitching forearm.

     This is why baseball pitchers can quickly perfect the drive phase of my Maxline True Screwball.  This is why I teach my Maxline True Screwball before I teach my Maxline Pronation Curve.  When I find baseball pitchers who have a very difficult time learning my Maxline Pronation Curve, I will not let them throw footballs until they have mastered throwing my square lids.

02.  With my Maxline Pronation Curve, I also teach my baseball pitchers how to assume my Slingshot glove and pitching arms positions, such that they point their glove arm at home plate and point their pitching upper arm as vertically upward as possible beside their head and their pitching forearm as horizontal as possible the full length of their pitching forearm behind their pitching elbow pointing at second base.

     On all Maxline pitches, I teach my baseball pitchers how to assume the starting position of my Wrong Foot body action, such that their feet are side-by-side pointing forty-five degrees to the glove side of the line between their feet and home plate.

     To start my Wrong Foot Slingshot drill, I teach my baseball pitchers to step backward one full step with their pitching foot at the same forty-five degree angle and reach as far backward as they can.

     To properly position their body to be able to drive their pitching hand to the pitching arm side of their body directly at home plate, I teach my baseball pitchers to step at the forty-five degree angle across the front of their body, such that, when their pitching foot lands, they have forwardly rotated their hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm to point directly at home plate.

     To make sure that they completely reverse rotate their glove shoulder, you must pay special attention to their glove arm action.  You cannot allow them to leave their glove shoulder short of pointing away from home plate.  Their glove hand should lay on top of their glove shoulder with their glove forearm pointing away from home plate.  They must stand tall and rotate.

     To drive my Maxline Pronation Curve to release, I teach my baseball pitchers to 'shave' the top of their head with the little finger side of back of their pitching hand and 'stick' their pitching hand at the pitching arm side batter.

     Because I teach my baseball pitchers to maximally supinate their pitching forearm at the start position for my Maxline Pronation Curve, they have the urge to drive their pitching forearm vertically upward and release the football over top of the index finger of their pitching hand.  This is the dreaded 'supination' release that destroys the back of their pitching elbow.

     However, if they try to do this with my square lid, they will turn the face of the lid to face forward and the lid will fall to the ground like a wounded duck.  To get the lid to fly properly, they have to pronate their release.  That is why, when I find baseball pitchers who are so ingrained with supinating the release of their curve that they cannot do otherwise with my appropriately-sized footballs, I do not let them throw footballs and certainly not baseballs until they master their lid throws.

     I do not understand how anybody can teach the pitching arm and shoulder anatomy in any other terms than the proper names of the muscles.  They are past the goo, goo, gaa, gaa language period of their lives.  The Biceps Brachii is the Biceps Brachii.  That is not technical, that is their name.  We need to take the time to learn the proper names of the muscles and call them by their proper names.  No nicknames allowed.  Okay, Stinky?

     Sincerely,

Dr. Mike Marshall:  (aka Iron)

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062.  I have an 8 year old son playing kid pitch baseball in 9 and up league.  Coach wants him to pitch because he has good arm and accurate.  I read some of your on line book which is very impressive technically, can you recommend books that have drills that incorporate the correct pitching mechanics?

  Here are references I have used so far:

1.  Some old pitching drills (chair drills) by a man named Green
2.  Ron Polk book from Mississippi State
3.  Ed Emanski video
4.  The Total Pitching Program by Daron Schoenrock
5.  The Pitching Manuel by Chris McCoy

Can you recommend better references?

What is the difference between an 8 year old making 30 throws from outfield position to a base vs. having him throw 30 pitches in the bull pen or a game?


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     These guys have no clue that they have no clue about how to teach the proper way for baseball pitchers to apply force to their pitches.

     To learn how to teach your son how to perform the drills that I use to teach the skills of my baseball pitching motion, you need to watch my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video and the Analysis of my 2007 Baseball Pitchers video.  Then, you need to copy my 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program and teach your son how to throw correctly.

     The crow-hop throwing rhythm.

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063.  I am a huge fan of yours and have followed your career closely.  I emailed you previously about an autograph for my collection.  You have refused me and countless others on this subject.  You have gone on to say you do not believe in autographs and say to ask your fireman, doctor and so forth because they are "heroes" are you aren't.  You also say its not about money to sign autographs.  You just DO NOT sign.

Yet, I was emailed today and was told you are booked for a baseball card show signing in New Jersey in April.  Why the sudden change in mind?  What about your morals?  What about hating autograph seekers?

Please enlighten me.  I'm really looking forward to your pompous response and to know why you have suddenly changed your mind and decided to sign autograph$$$$$$$$.


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     Unfortunately, I am not the only Mike Marshall to have played major league baseball.  Before you make a fool of yourself, you might check to see whether I am the Mike Marshall scheduled to appear in New Jersey.

     Nevertheless, to satisfy the true autograph collectors, a few years ago, I did autograph some baseballs, baseball cards and photographs.  To inquire as to their availability, you may contact Jim Corcoran at (813)972-8175.

    For the reasons you cited, I do not sign autographs.  If you mail stuff to me, then you have better make sure to mail something to return it in.  Otherwise, it goes in the trash.

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064.  Thanks for the swift response.  I just checked again and they say it is YOU: The Seattle Pilots/Montreal Expos/Dodgers Mike Marshall.  I knew it was too good to be true, but apparently a lot of collectors are under the idea it is you appearing.  I am sorry to bother you sir and have a nice day.

P.S.:  If you would like to contact the company promoting your appearance, there number is 1-973-808-1740 and the contact name is Mollie Bracigliano.


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     I can assure you that I am not appearing at any autograph signings anywhere.

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065.  I have had the pleasure of speaking with some of your students and teachers over the past few months about the motion that you have come up with.  He gave me your email and said that you are happy to answer any questions about your motion, so I thought I would drop you a line.

Obviously, my future lies as a position player, but I am a student of the game and I am aware of the controversy that any talk about you or your motion creates in many baseball circles.  However, I am very interested in your motion along with the science and research behind it.  I appreciate you taking the time out of you day for any response.

Ok, here are a few questions that I would like to know about:

1.  I have been reading up on your book online and was wondering; where have you quantified the research you have done?

More specifically, how have you quantified the reduced torques on the elbow and shoulder in your delivery?  Do you have any numbers to back this up?

2.  Finally, are there any journals or such that have published your papers regarding the current state of your mechanic?


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     I am very happy to answer any questions about my baseball pitching motion and interval-training programs.  I did my first research study in the fall of 1967 to determine the cause of baseball pitchers losing the extension and flexion ranges of motion in their pitching elbows.  You can find those research findings in Chapter Ten: Bi-Lateral Elbow X-Rays of Two Major League Pitchers of my Coaching Baseball Pitching book, which is free on my website for all to read without charge.

     If you have read Chapter Thirty: High-Speed Film Study of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, then you know that, in 1971, I was the first Kinesiologist to determine the displacement, velocity and acceleration graphs for baseball pitching.  That was many, many years before my Michigan State University colleague, Dr. Richard Nelson, invented the term, Biomechanics.

     Of course, this research was several years before the development of the present equipment that uses reflective dots for determining the displacement, velocity and acceleration graphs for the x, y and z axes.  Nevertheless, the principles were that same; we just had to do our calculations by hand.  Unfortunately, looking at shiny objects move around the computer screen does nearly nothing with regard to teaching the skills of baseball pitching.

     That is why I prefer to use my limited resources to take five hundred frames per second of sixteen millimeter film.  Obviously, to be able to work with the material into my video studio, we digitize the film.  This way, I am able to use video and high-speed film to show my baseball pitchers precisely how they apply force to their pitches.

     A few years ago, I read an article from the American Sports Medicine Institute that stated that 'traditional' baseball pitchers 'red-line' their Ulnar Collateral Ligament with every pitch and provided the numbers.

     If you have watched my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, then you know that the injurious flaw inherent in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion is 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce.'  Thirty-three years ago, to eliminate the unnecessary stress that caused the rupture of his Ulnar Collateral Ligament, I advised Tommy John to pendulum swing his pitching arm with his pitching hand under and behind the baseball rather than on top.

     While Tommy went on to win more games after his Ulnar Collateral Ligament surgery than any other similarly-situated pitcher since, I decided that I needed direct evidence that my baseball pitching motion significantly reduces the stress on the Ulnar Collateral Ligament.

     In my baseball pitching motion, I teach my baseball pitchers to pendulum swing their pitching arm downward out of their glove with the palm of their pitching hand under the baseball, backward vertically beside their body with the palm of their pitching hand facing forward and, at forty-five degrees behind their body, upward with the palm of their pitching hand facing away from their body with their thumb on top straight backward toward second base.

     When their pitching arm is forty-five degrees behind their body, I teach my baseball pitchers to lift their glove foot off the ground and, with my Maxline pitches, step forward at a forty-five degree angle to the glove side of the line between their pitching foot and home plate and, with my Torque pitches, step straight forward of their glove foot or their pitching foot, whichever enables them to drive their pitching shoulder toward the glove arm side of home plate better.

     As a result of delaying the forward step of their glove foot until after baseball pitchers have pendulum swung their pitching arm forty-five degrees behind their body, my baseball pitchers will have their pitching arm at driveline height before their glove foot lands.  This means that, when their glove foot lands, my baseball pitchers have their pitching arm at driveline height moving forward 'locked' with their pitching shoulders.

     With the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, when the glove foot lands, 'traditional' baseball pitchers are about halfway through their 'Late Pitching Forearm Turnover,' where their pitching forearm moves upward and backward.  As a result, the backward movement of their pitching forearm and baseball and the forward movement of their pitching elbow combine to either 'red-line' or rupture their Ulnar Collateral Ligament.

     Therefore, I contacted Professor Murray Maitland, the Director of Physical Therapy, at South Florida University to see whether we could conduct a research study in which we compare the stress on the Ulnar Collateral Ligament with the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion and my baseball pitching motion.  Professor Maitland agreed.

     Starting four years, Professor Maitland biomechanically analyzed my baseball pitchers and the baseball pitchers on the University of South Florida baseball team.  He completed the study two years ago and gave me the preliminary results.  He said that the data show that my baseball pitchers stress their Ulnar Collateral Ligament at one-half the intensity of 'traditional' baseball pitchers.

     Now, I know that, as would I, you would like to see a published report on this study.  However, Professor Maitland is now at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA and it takes time to write these studies and it takes time for periodicals to review these studies and it takes time to publish these studies.

     For my part, I am not working at a research university or for a well-funded private research company.  That I helped finance this research is out of my pocket with no possibility to recoup my expenses.  Nevertheless, I conducted this research to show what I already know.  With my baseball pitching motion and training programs, no only will baseball pitchers never injure themselves, but they will also be able to achieve their genetic maximum release velocity and throw the wide variety of high quality pitches required to succeed at the highest level.

     If the American Sports Medicine Institute or any other private or university-affiliated biomechanics laboratory wants to biomechanically analyze and compare my imperfect baseball pitchers with any 'traditional' baseball pitchers to determine and compare the stress on their pitching shoulder, pitching elbow, pitching hip, pitching knee, L5-S1 inter-vertebral disk and any other typical baseball pitching injury location, then I will gladly offer my baseball pitchers as subjects in this research.  Otherwise, all these labs are doing is reporting on the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, not investigating how to eliminate pitching injuries.

     I assure you that, if I had these resources at my disposal that these researchers have had, then I would have answered these and many more questions about the perfect way for baseball pitchers to apply force and train to become the best, injury-free, highly-skilled baseball pitchers that they can be.

     Even without funding and facilities, forty years ago, I learned what injurious flaws inherent on the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion decrease the extension and flexion ranges of motion of the pitching elbow and these guys still do not understand what causes these problems or how to prevent them.  And, this stuff is Baseball Pitching Injury Prevention 101.

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066.  My son is a seventeen year old left-handed pitcher.  He started throwing curve balls in eighth grade.  His elbow is starting to get sore when he throws now.  Any suggestions for exercises, diet or technique?

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     At biological sixteen years old, I recommend that youth baseball pitchers complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.  You can find that program in my FREE Baseball Pitcher Interval-Training Programs file.  To learn how to teach your son how to properly perform the drills that I use to teach the skills of my baseball pitching motion, you need to watch my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video that you can find in my FREE Baseball Pitching Instructional Video file.

     So, there you have everything that you need to take care of you son's baseball pitching needs; free on my website.

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067.  I have a serious question that I need help with now.

I started having a lot of pain in my throwing elbow last Tuesday, we started on Monday.  I went to the doctor and he said it was epicolydis or tennis elbow and recommended I get one of those straps.  So. I did.  It still hurts just as bad.  I mean on a scale of 1-10, it is a 7.5 after practice and a 8.5 during when I'm trying to throw.  I can't throw hard at all anymore.  I normally throw 70.  I now can barely throw 20 without it hurting.  And it hurts after I finish the throw.  What can I do?  Please help.  Seriously, I need a lot of help.  The doctor offered to give me cortisone shots.  Should I do it?  I'd do anything to be able to throw hard again.


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     If you were to reach fully extend your pitching and glove arms straight forward in front of you with the palms of your hands facing upward, where do you feel the pain?  Is it on the little finger side, on the thumb side, the front of your elbow or the back of your elbow?

    As you learned, the strap does nothing and neither will the cortisone shot.  What you need to do is to learn how to properly use your pitching arm to apply force and complete the appropriate training program.

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068.  The pain when I do that is on the pinky side on the front of the elbow.

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     The bony knob on the little finger side of the Humerus bone at the elbow is called the medial epicondyle, which is also called, the Little League elbow.

     'Traditional' baseball pitchers unnecessarily stress the medial epicondyle ossification center, ligament, tendons and muscles when they take the baseball back with their pitching hand on top of the baseball.  Because their pitching hand is on top of the baseball, 'traditional' baseball pitchers cannot smoothly and continuously pendulum swing their pitching arm to driveline height.

     Therefore, they have to stop their pitching hand and raise their pitching forearm and hand straight upward. I call this, 'Late Pitching Forearm Turnover.'  Then, because they stepped forward at the same time that they started their pitching arm backward, when their glove foot lands, they start their pitching elbow forward before their pitching arm is at driveline height.  As a result of their pitching forearm and hand still moving upward and backward and their pitching elbow moving forward, the medial epicondyle of the inside of their pitching elbow receives a 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce,' which injures the involved tissues.

     To prevent these injuries, baseball pitchers need to take the baseball out of their glove with their pitching hand under the baseball, not on top, then, with their pitching arm fully extended, pendulum swing their pitching arm backward toward second base with the palm of their pitching hand facing forward and, lastly, when their pitching arm is forty-five degrees behind their body, they need to turn the palm of their pitching hand to face away from their body.  This prevents 'Late Pitching Forearm Turnover' and 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce.'

     As I said in my earlier email, to learn how to do the drills that I use to teach this and the other injury-preventing skills of my baseball pitching motion, you need to click on the FREE Baseball Pitching Instructional Video and watch my video and click on the FREE Baseball Pitcher Interval-Training Programs, select the program for your biological age and complete it.

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069.  Which of your training programs do you recommend that I do?  Do you mean that I should use the one with the wrist weights that go from 10 lbs. to 25 lbs?

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     At the beginning of each of my interval-training programs, I explain the biological ages of those who should complete each of my interval-training programs.

01.  If you are ten to sixteen biological years old, then you should complete my 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program.

02.  If you are sixteen biological years old, then you should complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

03.  If you are nineteen biological years old, then you should complete my 280-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program and my six 72-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Wrist Weight and Iron Ball Recoil Interval-Training Programs.

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070.  In the answer to an earlier email, you said, "The American Sports Medicine Institute or any other private or university-affiliated biomechanics laboratory wants to biomechanically analyze and compare my imperfect baseball pitchers with any 'traditional' baseball pitchers to determine and compare the stress on their pitching shoulder, pitching elbow, pitching hip, pitching knee, L5-S1 inter-vertebral disk and any other typical baseball pitching injury location, then I will gladly offer my baseball pitchers as subjects in this research.  Otherwise, all these labs are doing is reporting on the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, not investigating how to eliminate pitching injuries."

I thought that these laboratories were researching how to eliminate pitching injuries.  If they are not trying to learn how baseball pitchers can pitch without injury, then what are they doing?


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     They are making money.

     These are not federal grant funded research facilities like those doing research at State Universities.  They charge serious money to biomechanically anayze baseball pitchers.  When they give you the results, they do not tell you what you need to do to prevent all the injuries that I listed in my paragraph.  Instead, they just send you on your way.

     This past November, I presented my materials at a day-long seminar for the continuing education of athletic trainers and physical therapists.  I was thrilled to learn that a former employee of the American Sports Medicine Institute, Jeramy Loftice, was also presenting his materials.

     Mr. Loftice earned his Master's Degree at Louisiana State University where he also pitched for their baseball team.  Unfortunately, like over ninety percent of all baseball pitchers at LSU at that time, he injured his pitching arm and required surgery.  To his credit, to find out what baseball pitchers had to do to eliminate pitching injuries, Mr. Loftice joined the American Sports Medicine Institute.  In the spring of 2006, instead of me, the St. Louis Cardinals hired him to help them eliminate injuries to their baseball pitchers.

     Clearly, Mr. Loftice did not help the pitching staff of the St. Louis Cardinals avoid pitching injuries.  When I listened to his presentation, I found out why.  He has absolutely no idea what causes pitching injuries.  When asked what causes pitching injuries, he started by saying five year olds throw too many pitches and continued blaming everything he could think of, including genetics, except the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.  It was clear to me that Mr. Loftice and the American Sports Medicine Institute are more interested in continuing their financially successful businesses than eliminating pitching injuries.

     When I was asked what I thought about what Mr. Loftice's presentation, I said that he said only one thing with which I agree and that was that baseball pitchers should pendulum swing their pitching arm straight backward toward second base.  I said that everything else he said causes pitching injuries.

     At his point in this discussion, I want to direct your attention to a newspaper article in my Articles file that appeared on Yahoo.com.

"Fleisig questions a large chunk of Marshall's motion.  While the idea of directing force toward home plate and only home plate makes sense logically, Fleisig said, "We were dealt elbow joints and knee joints and hip joints."  In Fleisig's mind, pitchers achieve maximum velocity when they coordinate those joints, not pronate their wrists and use pendulum swings."

     So, instead of, as I do, crediting Sir Isaac Newton's law of inertia as the scientific reason why baseball pitchers should apply force to their pitches in straight lines toward home plate, Dr. Fleisig agrees with me that "the idea of directing force toward home plate and only home plate makes sense."

     This is from where Mr. Loftice came up with the idea that baseball pitchers should pendulum swing their pitching arm straight back toward second base.

     Unfortunately, Dr. Fleisig also said, "We were dealt elbow joints and knee joints and hip joints."  "Pitchers achieve maximum velocity when they coordinate those joints, no pronate their wrists and pendulum swings."

     Before Dr. Fleisig complicates the discussion of how the pitching arm should apply force to the baseball with what the hip and knee joints need to do, lets return to what he said about straight line force toward home plate.  Javelin throwers drive the javelin in straight lines straight forward.  They have elbows, hips and knees.

     My point is; baseball pitchers are perfectly capable of applying force to the baseball in straight line toward home plate from the first moment the baseball moves forward through release.  Elbow, hips and knees do not get in the way of driving the baseball straight toward home plate.

     For the sake of accuracy, baseball pitchers pronate their forearms, not their wrists.  Wrists only flex, extend, radial flex and ulnar flex.  I keep getting this feeling that Dr. Fleisig did not excel in anatomy.  That is unfortunate because, without a solid knowledge of anatomy, he can never understand what muscles are available to perform specific movements.  For example, he will never understand how the Pronator Teres muscle prevent the loss of the extension range of motion in the pitching elbow and much, much more.

     Neverthless, when Jeramy Loftice teaches baseball pitchers to pendulum swing their pitching arm straight backward toward second base, then, eventually, he will have to also teach baseball pitchers to pronate their releases, move their pitching arm to driveline height before their glove foot lands, use their Teres Major and Latissimus Dorsi muscles to inwardly rotate their pitching upper arm and everything else that I teach baseball pitchers about how to apply force with their pitching arm.

     Dr. Fleisig and Mr. Loftice do not yet realize it, but once they understand that baseball pitchers must apply force straight toward home plate, they have to accept every other aspect of my baseball pitching motion.  For example, they have to understand that baseball pitchers have to point their pitching and glove feet toward home plate.

     This leads me to what I learned at the Houston baseball pitching clinic.  First, while I personally like both Ron and Brent, I learned that neither have the slightest idea what they are talking about.  Second, I learned that Brent Strom has jumped ship from Tom House and Paul Nyman and is now preaching what I teach.

     When Brent took the microphone, he said:

01.  that he spent two months learning how to throw my Maxline Pronation Curve and it is a far better curve than the 'traditional' curve,

02.  that Dr. Glenn Fleisig of the American Sports Medicine Institute agrees with me that baseball pitchers should drive their pitches in straight lines toward home plate,

03.  he agrees with my pendulum swing with the pitching hand leaving the glove under the baseball, facing forward when the pitching arm passes the hip and, at forty-five degrees behind the body, faces away from the body,

04.  that baseball pitchers should get their pitching hand to driveline height before their glove foot lands and

05.  that he believes that baseball pitchers should point their feet toward home plate.

     However, because he believes that 'traditional' baseball pitching coaches will not like the looks and because he believes that the 'traditional' body action provides more power than the body action that I recommend, he hoped that he and I could come to some compromise.

     Then, Brent Strom announced that he would start a new job with the St. Louis Cardinals shortly after this December 2007 baseball pitching clinic.

     Some of you may recall that, a few weeks before the start of spring training in 2006, the St. Louis Cardinals sent a representative to my Baseball Pitching Research/Training Center to evaluate my baseball pitching motion and interval-training program.  This gentleman had already talked with all the other usual baseball pitching coach suspects.  While he did not have sufficient academic background to understand everything on which I base my materials, he did recognize that it works.

     After delivering his report, this gentleman telephoned me and told me that the St. Louis Cardinals had decided to go another way.  He said that the Cardinals wanted real peer-review research and they felt that I only had empirical information.

     I immediately recognized Dr. Fleisig's words.  However, I also knew that the American Sports Medicine Institute does not research baseball pitching; it reports on the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.  Therefore, like with every major league team they have worked, they will not eliminate pitching injuries.

     As part of his introduction, Jeramy Loftice says that he consults with major league baseball teams.  I knew immediately that the St. Louis Cardinals hired him in 2006.  I also knew that, from March 2006 to November 2007, the Cardinal pitching staff has undergone numerous surgeries.

     Therefore, I immediately understood that Brent's new job meant that Mr. Loftice no longer worked for the St. Louis Cardinals.

     Now, the St. Louis Cardinals finally correctly decided that, except for the body action, they like my baseball pitching motion.  They are going to pendulum swing their pitching arm to driveline height.  They are going to move their pitching arm to driveline height before their glove foot lands.  They are going to drive their pitches in straight lines toward home plate.  They are going to pronate the release of their curves.

     Loyal readers, we have won.  After I teach Brent that the 'traditional' body action is injurious, inefficient and not effective with my pitching and glove arm actions, a Major League Baseball team is going to use my baseball pitching motion and the Brent Strom Fractured Olecranon Curve.

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071.  It is no longer hearsay, the proof is in.  The St. Louis Cardinals are using the pitching arm action that Dr. Mike Marshall teaches and teaching their pitchers how to throw the Maxline Pronation Curve that he invented.

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New pitching camp is a pilot program
By Derrick Goold
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
02/13/2008

JUPITER, FL.  —  The Cardinals invited the elite from their next generation of pitchers to come to spring training early and brush up on the classics.

Six of the Cardinals' best pitching prospects, including rising reliever Chris Perez and first-round pick Adam Ottavino, came to Roger Dean Stadium this past weekend for a minicamp with the club's minor-league pitching coaches.  Billed as a chance to prep the youngsters for their first major-league spring training, the six-day camp is also a pilot program for a larger initiative.

The pitchers are getting extensive video work, going through a new long-toss program, and learning the principles of what the Cardinals call "classic mechanics," what they believe are the shared traits from the deliveries of great pitchers.

"We're not trying to reinvent the wheel here," said Brent Strom, the Cardinals' new minor-league roving pitching instructor.  "Before coaches came along, Bob Feller, Sandy Koufax, all the greats, did what they did because they had to.  The body found a way to do what it needed  —  to throw hard, with velocity, and get hitters out.

"It's a very natural approach to finding the best mechanics."

All six of the minor league pitchers in the minicamp are non-roster invitees to major-league spring training, which begins Friday for the Cardinals.  Pitching coach Dave Duncan has been watching the minicamp.  He's intrigued by three of the prospects: hard-throwing closer Perez, reliable starting pitcher Mitchell Boggs and lefty Jaime Garcia, a 21-year-old who might be the organization's top starting prospect.

The other three minicamp participants are P.J. Walters, the reigning organization pitcher of the year; Ottavino; and Clayton Mortensen, a 2007 draft pick out of Gonzaga who appears primed for a rapid rise.

The six pitchers each will throw their third bullpen session of the camp today.  Each time the pitchers throw, they are videotaped by pitching coach Tim Leveque.  Earlier in camp, the players compared video from before they were drafted, video from last season and video from Saturday's bullpen sessions.

Perez said that in watching tape of his college innings he realized he has shortened his stride to the plate.  Ottavino called the minicamp "liberating" because he believes the video and the instruction have helped him rediscover his earlier delivery.

"Natural mechanics," said Dyar Miller, the Cardinals' minor-league pitcher coordinator.  "We're looking at what's natural for them and working from there."

For several years, farm director Jeff Luhnow has directed a study that analyzed video of pitching mechanics to find shared traits from effective and healthy deliveries.  Illustrator Michael Witte has assisted the Cardinals, drawing on the research he did as a fan  —  watching old games and identifying key elements of the best deliveries.

The Cardinals have used these studies to assist them in the draft.  How Ottavino's mechanics lined up with this information, for example, was part of why they selected him 30th overall in 2006.

On the first day of minicamp, the prospects watched a video of former major-league pitchers and their "classic mechanics."  Witte, who is attending the minicamp and working with Strom and Leveque, helped pick the subjects, which included Koufax, Bob Gibson, Jim Palmer and Satchel Paige.

Leveque said the pitchers are urged to use their athleticism.  In an attempt to "mass produce pitching mechanics," he said, it has been forgotten that "pitchers are athletes; pitchers are not caged animals."

Strom, who has been pitching coach for Houston and Kansas City, said that realization changed his view on pitching.  He remains an advocate of long toss  —  having the six pitchers throw at distances.  That has caught the attention of a few major-league pitchers regarding how far and how early in spring the kids are throwing.  Strom has also embraced some new approaches since he last was a pitching coach.

"Sure, there are some things I wish I hadn't coached before; there are things I'd like to take back," Strom said.  "The biggest thing I was guilty of was reducing the pitcher's delivery into its lowest common denominator.  Looking for the perfect movements.  They don't exist."

But there are truisms, he said.

Strom, a former major-league pitcher, has stressed the importance of tempo and rhythm to the pitchers in the minicamp.  He also has worked with them on momentum.

Leveque has a database of video that includes at least a thousand pitchers, including all major leaguers, many past major leaguers, and all of the Cardinals' draft picks from the past three years.  This helps the coaches to chronicle improvement and find a model for the individual pitcher.  It is the Cardinals goal, Luhnow said, to tape every pitcher in the minors and give them the same tutelage.

In a couple weeks, another 10 pitchers  —  top prospects on their way to minor league spring training  —  will go through a similar mini-camp.

"This is a start, and we'd like to expand it even more," Luhnow said.  Strom "has a very refreshing perspective and new ideas we're adding to the knowledge we have.  We want the pitchers to see what got them here  ...  and then see what it's going to take to get to their potential."

dgoold@post-dispatch.com  |  314-340-8285


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     To understand that this newspaper article confirms that the St. Louis Cardinals are going to use how I teach baseball pitchers to use their pitching arm to apply force to their pitches, we only have to read the last paragraph of the article.

"This is a start, and we'd like to expand it even more," Luhnow said.  Strom "has a very refreshing perspective and new ideas we're adding to the knowledge we have.  We want the pitchers to see what got them here  ...  and then see what it's going to take to get to their potential.""

     Jeff Luhnow, the guy that St. Louis Cardinal owner, DeWitt, assigned the task of eliminating pitching arm injuries and training better quality major league baseball pitchers said, 'Brent Strom has a very refreshing perspective and new ideas we're adding to the knowledge we have.

     Those of you who, with me, listened to Brent speak at his Houston baseball pitching clinic, know that that very refreshing perspective is mine and those new ideas are pronating all releases, smooth, continuous pendulum swing of the pitching arm, moving the pitching arm to driveline height before the glove foot lands and straight line drive toward home plate.

     As I said earlier, rather than the Marshall Maxline Pronation Curve, the Cardinal baseball pitchers will learn the Brent Strom Fracture Olecranon Curve.  I name it that because some stupid baseball pitching coach taught Brent to extend his pitching elbow straight toward home plate without pronating his pitching forearm and, as a result, Brent fractured his olecranon process.  He has a huge scar to prove it.

     As I also said earlier, from attending that Houston clinic, I came to like both Brent Strom and Ron Wolforth, but neither have any idea what they are doing.  This means that, when Brent teaches them my pitching arm action, he will not use the drills that I use to teach the skills of my baseball pitching motion.  He will not use wrist weights, iron balls, lids, appropriately-sizes footballs or any of the teaching and training aids that I use.

     Therefore, while I do believe that Brent will eliminate bad mechanics as the cause of pitching injuries, he will not eliminate lack of appropriate training as the cause of pitching injuries.

     I am also very concerned about how he teaches my Maxline Pronation Curve.  Without clearly understanding how to pronate the release, Brent could incorrectly teach his baseball pitchers to do the same thing that his baseball pitching coach taught him and get the same results.

     When these types of injuries result, who do you think they will blame?

     I suspect that, even though they have not mentioned my name as contributing anything with regard to this 'classic mechanics' project, when these injuries occur, my name will come to the top of the list.

     I understand why baseball pitching coaches plagiarize.  However, Mr. Luhnow has earned advanced degrees.  I do not understand why Mr. Luhnow would not want talk to me about the baseball pitching motion and the Maxline Pronation Curve that I invented.

     Also, I cannot imagine that, if he knew that this is my stuff, the Cardinal owner would not want to talk with me.  I know that he understands copyrights and getting the best people to do a job.

     If, as Mr. Luhnow says in the last sentence of this article, "We want the pitchers to see what  ...  it's going to take to get to their potential," then I am the only person who knows how to teach and train the Cardinal baseball pitchers how to become the best injury-free, highly-skilled baseball pitchers that they can be.

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072.  Looks like someone in Japan has been watching your video.

  http://youtube.com/watch?v=5-mkW5xFB_s


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     Although they did not draw the circle on the baseball, they certainly did show the grip that I teach to throw my Maxline Fastball Sinker.  However, they still have not figured out my Maxline Pronation Curve.

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073.  When your body is tired (muscles and tendons), what are the best recovery methods?

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     Your muscles metabolize glucose and triglycerides to resynthesize adenosine-tri-phosphate for continued muscle contractions.  When they run low on these substrates, you need to replenish them.

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074.  There is a Phillies pitching prospect named Josh Outman.  His father had him pitching differently from the conventional motion.  However, he has switched back to the traditional motion to play pro baseball.

Here is a story of him when he was in high school using his unorthodox motion.  Could you comment on it?  Specifically on this business of raising your pitching arm vertically and then placing it behind you almost touching your opposite shoulder.  I don't know how similar it is to yours after this starting movement.  I don't see any mention of pronation of all the pitches, either.

http://outmangenealogy.org/docs/articles/joshoutman.html


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     In my 2005 Question/Answer file, I talk about Mr. Outman in questions #980, #982 and #988.  Then, in my 2006 Question/Answer file, I analyzed his pitching motion in #517.

     Basically, instead of pendulum swinging his pitching arm up to driveline height, he simply lays his pitching arm on his back, much like with my Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions.  However, instead of keeping his pitching hand the full length of his pitching forearm behind his pitching elbow, he allows his pitching hand to move forward.

     While this pitching motion prevents the 'Late Pitching Forearm Turnover' and 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce' injurious flaw inherent in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, he still has all the other injurious and mechanical flaws of the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.

     With my baseball pitching motion, from the end of the pendulum swing of their pitching arm where the pitching hand is at driveline height reaching straight backward toward second base, I teach my baseball pitchers to raise their pitching upper arm to as vertical as possible beside their head with their pitching hand the full length of their pitching forearm behind their pitching elbow.

     However, from that point onward, I teach my baseball pitchers to drive their pitching hand straight toward home plate by powerfully pronating their pitching forearm, extending their pitching elbow and inwardly rotating their pitching upper arm.  Unfortunately, from what I have seen, Mr. Outman does not use the same force application techniques.

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075.  Last spring, my son worked in the 60-Day Youth Pitchers Motor Skills Program.  In August, you viewed his X-rays and determined him to be, at least, biologically sixteen years old.

We are now preparing to begin the 120-Day High School Pitchers Interval-Training Program and I am not finding the "Step Back" and "Drop Out" body actions on our 2006-edition DVD.  Are these new body actions, new names for old body actions, or am I just blind?


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     I am in the process of reorganizing my interval-training programs.  If you click on my 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program, then you will notice that I have changed the names of those drills as well.

01.  For my Wrong Foot Slingshot drill, you use my Wrong Foot body action and my Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions.

02.  My Wrong Foot Loaded Slingshot drill remains the same.

03.  My Wrong Foot Pendulum Swing drill remains the same.

04.  For my Drop Out Wind-Up Pendulum Swing drill, you should watch the baseball pitchers in my Analyses of my 2007 Baseball Pitchers file.

05.  For my Pseudo Traditional Wind-Up Pendulum Swing drill, you should also watch the baseball pitchers in my Analyses of my 2007 Baseball Pitchers file.

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076.  I was wondering what value you place on location and command with your pitchers?  Through my background in baseball, the best pitching advice I have ever received is three most important things a pitcher must do;  location, movement, and deception.

Location meaning being able to not only throw strikes, which I would call having control, but being able to command your pitches in specific locations.

Movement obviously meaning the ability to move your pitches the way you want them to move.

Deception meaning the ability to deceive the hitter with your motion, your pitches, and the location and movement of those pitches.

From what I have seen in your studies and what you seem to teach, movement is a big part of what you teach.  I haven't heard much about location or command, as well as deception.

I know your pitchers throw into nets in Zephyrhills.  Do you think that is an effective way to learn how to locate and command your pitches?

If you could, please rank location, movement, and deception from most important to least important in your view.

Also, from a hitters point of view, all of your pitchers look the same to me.  Pretty much the same arm slot, same tempo, etc.  How would you expect a whole team of pitchers with your motion to fare against a team, given that they all throw with the same motion and the same pitches?  To an outsider and a hitter, there doesn't seem that there would be much need for adjustment from pitcher to pitcher with your motion.


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     There are four general types of hitters; Pitching Arm-Side Pull Hitters, Pitching Arm-Side Spray Hitters, Glove Arm-Side Pull Hitters and Glove Arm-Side Spray Hitters.  Each of these general types of hitters has pitches with which they have more difficulty hitting.

     First, I teach my baseball pitchers to be able to throw the wide variety of pitches that they need to succeed against all types of hitters.

     Second, I teach my baseball pitchers how to sequence the appropriate pitches for each type of hitter that will enable them to achieve the best results.

     With regard to control:  I want my baseball pitchers to throw every pitch within the twenty-four by seventeen inch strike zone.

     With regard to movement:  I want my baseball pitchers to make every type of pitch that I teach them to move as I have designed them to move.

     With regard to deception:  With my baseball pitching motion, without regard for the type of pitch, the pitching arm follows the same driveline.  Therefore, until it is too late to adjust, baseball batters have no idea which of the wide variety of pitches that we throw is coming.

     If you were to read Chapters Twenty-Three through Twenty-Eight of my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, then you know that I kept pitch by pitch records of every game and every batter.  As a result, I know the At Bat results for every one pitch, two pitch, three pitch and so on sequence that I used against the four types of hitters.

     The secret to successful pitching is to throw whatever pitches hitters are not expecting you to throw.  My theory:  With each pitch, baseball pitchers should challenge themselves to throw the toughest pitch for each baseball batter to hit, never the batters.

     Before baseball pitchers throw to catchers, they need to master how to grip, drive and release the wide variety of pitches that they need to succeed.  With my ten by sixteen feet nets, they have plenty of room to throw while they master these pitches.  Until my baseball pitchers can throw strikes with their pitches into the net, they should not throw to catchers.

01.  Clearly, once they show that they can throw strikes into the net, the next test is whether they can throw strikes to catchers.

02.  Clearly, once they show that they can throw strikes to catchers, the next test is whether they can throw strikes to baseball batters in batting practice.

03.  Clearly, once they show that they can throw strikes to baseball batters in batting practice, the next test is whether they can throw strikes to baseball batters in simulated games.

04.  Clearly, once they show that they can throw strikes to baseball batters in simulated games, the next test is whether they can throw strikes to baseball batters in competitive games.

     To become the best injury-free, highly-skilled baseball pitcher they can be requires a lot of very hard work and dedication.  But, it also requires pitching coaches who know how to teach the skills of baseball pitching.  I believe that, if they understand how good they can become, baseball pitchers would do the work.  Unfortunately, they have never met a baseball pitching coach capable of teaching them how to do master these skills.

     To maximize release velocity, release consistency and a wide variety of baseball pitches, baseball pitchers need to drive their pitches in straight lines toward home plate over as great a distance as possible with their pitching forearm vertical or slightly inside of vertical at release.  With every pitch coming from the same release point, baseball batters have no way of knowing which of my six basic adult baseball pitches my baseball pitchers are throwing.  Therefore, the sameness is a benefit not a deficit.

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077.  I just had to put in my post on the ASMI, “What’s Wrong with Mike Marshall” forum.

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Re: What's wrong with Mike Marshall
« Reply #22 on Today at 10:27am »

I can't understand how people will be so open minded to all the "varied styles" of baseball pitching techniques, when the human anatomy is the same in each person.  We all have one humerus bone, one radius, and one ulna bone in our arms.

Our elbows flex our forearms toward our upper arms.  They extend the forearm to straighten out the arm, and not beyond, etc., etc..  We are all built with the same biomechanical components in the same places.

Athletes of all types of sports must learn how to master certain techniques in the same manner if they are to achieve excellence.

The basketball player must learn to master his jump shot in a precise manner in order to excel.  When you see master 3 point shooters, their techniques are identical.  They are using their biomechanical structures in the same manner to achieve the desired results.

In order for a figure skater to master the triple toe loop, the technique must be exactly the same for every skater.  Why?  Because every one has the same body parts, and these parts only move in specific directions with specific strength capabilities and similar balance points.

Olympic class sprinters ALWAYS set up on the starting blocks in a 4 point stance with one foot slightly behind the other.  When they are sprinting you can see the entire group's running technique is identical.  Why?  Because their human bodies are constructed the same.  If one runner was built like a cat, then he would run on all fours.

But people run on two legs.  And world class sprinters master every movement of their body, even down to how they use their fingers when running.  And they all do it the same way...if they wish to excel.  They are simply making every movement of their body as efficient and as effective as they can in order to aid them in achieving their top genetic running speed.

In the martial arts, dozens of very specific body movements and techniques must be mastered in order to achieve excellence.  I find it very interesting that the masters of boxing, karate, gun fu, etc., all agree that the greatest force delivered from a punch is when the forearm is pronated while extending the elbow.  Hmm... I wonder who realized some 41 years ago that pronating the release of a pitch not only protects the elbow but also delivers MORE release velocity?

The point I'm trying to make is, the vast majority of top performing athletes MUST master motor techniques that maximize the capabilities of their bodies.  They must work WITH their body structure, not against it.

What I don't understand is when it comes to baseball pitching, there is as much diversity in pitching technique as there are pitchers and "pitching coaches".  Why?  Aren't we all constructed the same way?

The last time I looked "Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body" it hadn't been revised to read, "Exception:  The baseball pitcher may have as many as one million variations of biomechanical features that differ from the normal human.  The baseball pitcher may have more bones, fewer bones, more muscles, fewer muscles, different attachment points, more joints and ligaments, fewer joints and ligaments, and joints that flex and extend in the opposite direction as the normal human.  This evidence is due to the fact that there as many pitching styles as there are baseball pitchers".

Please forgive me for making such an absurd comment.  I don't mean to be sarcastic, but sometimes it seems that the only way to reveal absurdity is to demonstrate it.

The belief that many different styles of performing such an explosive and violent action as throwing a baseball 100 times at 100% intensity is somehow a good thing is totally absurd to me!

Every human being has a HUMAN body, with a HUMAN foundational construction.  I know nobody wants to hear this, but it's the truth...there is only one way for the human body to throw a baseball at its maximum efficiency and maximum effectiveness.  Dr. Marshall has spent 41 years developing this technique, and has done it!

Now, instantly the "relativists" will call me "arrogant", "pompous", and "close-minded".  Well, I've seen and tried everything else...it doesn't work.

For those who believe there is no one absolute perfect way to throw a baseball...for those who believe that there are just endless "possibilities" and no "for sure" answers, I ask you these questions:

1.  When your first grade teacher taught you that 2+2=4, did you argue with her, and insist the answer was 5?  Not if you were willing to acknowledge an absolute.  (Also, not unless you wanted to graduate to the second grade).

2.  If you were trapped in a burning building with seemingly no way out, and suddenly somebody told you that there was one doorway you could escape through, would you stand there and argue that there must be more than one way, or would you accept the absolute fact that if you don't take the one way, you will burn up?

3.  Take a look at javelin throwers, shot putters, and discus throwers in action.  Then ask yourself this question,  "Why do all of these athletes in their respective throwing sports all perform their throwing actions in practically identical fashions, yet baseball pitchers are all different?"

Why do we have an epidemic of baseball pitching injuries while other throwing sports have proportionately few?  Baseball pitchers cannot continue to violate the laws of physics, work against their anatomy, and expect to escape the consequences.

Many other throwing sports appear to have come quite far in developing techniques and training methods to build their athletes competitive edge.

Traditional baseball pitching failure is evidenced in the hundreds of thousands of destroyed pitching arms scattered across thousands of baseball fields.  It's a miserable testament to the "arrogant", "pompous", and "close minded" mentality of baseball people today.

They are more interested in tradition than innovation.


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     Are you trying to say that, for every human movement, there is one perfect way to apply force?  But, if you don't know what that one way is, then don't you have to claim that there are infinite ways?

     Nicely done.

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078.  Out of all the current pitchers that play in the major leagues, who do you feel has the best mechanics and the type of delivery that eliminates all arm problems?

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     That sounds like a worthwhile study.  To determine whether their baseball pitching motion eliminates pitching injuries, why don't you make a check list of the following criteria and evaluate every major league baseball pitcher.

01.  If current major league baseball pitchers have their pitching hand on top of the baseball when they swing their pitching arm backward out of their glove, then they do not have the type of delivery that eliminates pitching injuries.

02.  If current major league baseball pitchers reverse rotate their hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm beyond second base, then they do not have the type of delivery that eliminates pitching injuries.

03.  If current major league baseball pitchers do not have their pitching arm at driveline height before their glove foot lands, then they do not have the type of delivery that eliminates pitching injuries.

04.  If current major league baseball pitchers do not drive the baseball in straight lines from second base to home plate, then they do not have the type of delivery that eliminates pitching injuries.

05.  If current major league baseball pitchers do not powerfully pronate the release of all pitches before, during and after release then they do not have the type of delivery that eliminates pitching injuries.

06.  If current major league baseball pitchers do not stand tall and forwardly rotate their hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm over their glove foot, then they do not have the type of delivery that eliminates pitching injuries.

     I look forward to your report.

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079.  Thank you for your very quick response.  Reading this criteria I am beginning to think that no pitcher is invulnerable to arm problems.  I cannot think of one pitcher who brings the ball out of their glove with their pitching hand under it.

However, if there is/are a major league pitcher(s) with these type of mechanics, and I correctly identify these pitchers, will there be some sort of reward for my hard work?


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     These are simple mechanical adjustments to make.  Unfortunately, for various reasons, baseball pitchers refuse to make them.  Most notably, because their pitching coaches will not let them.  I have trained hundreds of baseball pitchers and not one has ever suffered a pitching injury.

     This is your question, not mine.  Did you offer me a reward?

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080.  I was thrilled to read that the St. Louis Cardinals are interested in your pitching motion.  You wrote that Brent Strom is going to teach your concepts, but that he wants you to compromise your body action.  If that will make your pitching motion acceptable to professional baseball, then why not do it?

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     During his presentation at the Houston baseball pitching clinic this past December, Brent Strom said that he agrees with how I teach baseball pitchers to use their glove and pitching arms, but he wanted me to compromise how I want baseball pitchers to use their body.

     Later, I heard that Mr. Strom wanted this compromise for two reasons.

01.  He did not want to upset ‘traditional’ baseball people with the lack of glove leg lift and reverse rotation of the hips, shoulders and pitching arm beyond second base.

02.  He personally believes that the ‘traditional’ body action generates more force than the body action that I teach.

     With regard to his I-do-not-want-to-offend-anybody reason, science is science, absolutes are absolutes, we cannot compromise Sir Issac Newton’s three laws of motion.  Basically, Mr. Strom is asking Sir Isaac Newton to rescend the law of reaction.

     While I am sure that Mr. Strom does not understand, he is also contradicting himself.  Mr. Strom recommends that his baseball pitchers long toss.

     When baseball pitchers long toss, they use the ‘crow-hop’ throwing rhythm, not the ‘balance position’ pitching rhythm of the ‘traditional’ baseball pitching motion.  I have never seen baseball pitchers use the ‘balance position’ pitching rhythm when they try to throw the baseball as far as they can.

     The reason is simple.  The body action of the ‘crow-hop’ throwing rhythm is mechanically superior to the body action of the ‘balance position’ throwing rhythm.      The ‘crow-hop’ throwing rhythm has three elements that are critical to enable baseball pitchers to achieve their maximum release velocity.

01.  They pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward straight toward second base such that their pitching hand arrives at driveline height at the same time that their glove foot lands.  When baseball pitchers achieve this skill, they make certain that they conserve the momentum of the baseball.

02.  They keep the center of mass of their body moving forward until after they release their pitches.  When baseball pitchers achieve this skill, they make certain that they conserve the momentum of the center of mass of their body.

03.  They forwardly rotate their hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm to point toward home plate over their glove foot, not their pitching foot.  When baseball pitchers achieve this skill, they make certain that they continue to increase their rate of acceleration through release.

     To learn my body action, I have my baseball pitchers practice my one step crow-hop body action.

01.  To assume their starting position, I teach my baseball pitchers to stand with their pitching foot one step behind their glove foot, which is one and one-half steps behind the pitching rubber, with their glove and pitching hands together at shoulder height.

02.  To start their one step crow-hop body action, I teach my baseball pitchers to simultaneously take a half-step forward with their glove foot, start to swing their pitching arm vertically downward to their pitching arm side.

03.  To continue the one step crow-hop body action, I teach my baseball pitchers to hop a full step forward with their pitching foot, such that, when their pitching foot lands, their pitching arm is vertically beside their body.

04.  To continue the one step crow-hop body action, I teach my baseball pitchers to simultaneously step forward with their glove foot, pendulum swing their glove arm downward and upward to shoulder height straight toward home plate and pendulum swing their pitching arm backward and upward straight toward second base to arrive at driveline height at the same time that the glove foot lands.

05.  To continue the one step crow-hop body action, I teach my baseball pitchers to simultaneously drive their pitching knee inward and forward toward their glove knee, pull their glove arm straight backward toward second base and powerfully forwardly rotate their hips, shoulders and pitching upper arm to point toward home plate.

06.  To continue the one step crow-hop body action, I teach my baseball pitchers to simultaneously powerfully push backward toward second base with their glove foot and extend their pitching elbow, pronate their pitching forearm and inwardly rotate their pitching arm through release.

07.  To finish the one step crow-hop body action, I teach my baseball pitchers to keep their glove hand beside their head, stick their pitching arm in the strike zone and land with their pitching foot in line with the glove foot and home plate.

     Brent Strom and just about everybody else mistakenly believe that baseball pitchers should use the 'traditional' body action, which includes striding seventy to ninety percent of their standing height.  When 'traditional' baseball pitchers stride so far, they apply force toward home plate.  This clearly violates Sir Isaac Newton's third law.

     My goal is to use scientific principles to develop the perfect way for baseball pitchers to apply force to their pitches.  Every human activity has a perfect biomechanical and anatomical way to apply force.  Baseball pitching is no different from any other human movement.

     Rather than to dumb down the baseball pitching motion to satisfy those who cannot accept anything other than the 'traditional' baseball pitching body action, I prefer to teach them why they need to accept the glove leg as another way to apply force toward second base.

     For whatever reason, all I have to do is consider Newton's Law of Reaction and it is clear to me that the pitching leg, glove arm and glove leg must all apply force toward second base.  However, I seem to be in the minority.  It probably has something to do with the excitement I felt when I saw my first algebraic problem.  It opened new worlds of Math to me and scared many around me.

     Therefore, like with every other Newtonian principle, I have to come up with an analogy that makes the principle easier to understand.

     The first analogy I tried in my undergraduate Kinesiology class was rocket science.  I told my students to consider the booster rockets strapped to the side of the space shuttle as the sources of oppositely-directed force.  I told them that, for the shuttle to climb to the edges of earth's atmosphere, all these booster rockets must apply force back toward earth.

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081.  Here is an interview from a website called Baseball Prospectus I thought you might like to dissect.  http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=7171

After reading your Q&A's for a while and this interview, I feel like the NPA is not on "cutting edge of research and instruction" and is actually seems to be taking a step backward from your research on keeping pitchers healthy.

--------------------------------------------------

February 24, 2008
Prospectus Q&A
Doug Thorburn
by David Laurila

Pitching is both an art and a science, and from youth leagues to the big leagues, so is the challenge of keeping pitchers healthy.  The National Pitching Association (NPA) is on the cutting edge of research and instruction on all three fronts, and many of their concepts are shared in their forthcoming book, Arm Action, Arm Path, and the Perfect Pitch: a Science-Based Guide to Pitching Health and Performance.  David talked to the NPA’s motion analysis coordinator and coach, Doug Thorburn.


(I would disagree with Mr. Laurilla that baseball pitching is both and art and a science.  Baseball pitching is pure applied anatomy and force vector mechanics.  The same goes for eliminating pitching injuries.  He is perpetuating the ignorance in baseball.)

Baseball Prospectus:  The title of the new book includes the term "arm action."  How do you define arm action?

Doug Thorburn:  That is a question that I’ve asked many coaches and scouts, only to get several different answers.


(Whoa.  Sorry to interrupt all ready.  Mr. Laurilla said that the National Pitching Association is on the cutting edge of research and instruction and the first thing that Mr. Thorburn says is that he has talked with many coaches and scouts, only to get several different answers.  That is not science, that is an opinion poll.  I will read the rest, but I already know that he is not a scientist.)

Some define arm action as everything that the arm does from the time the pitching hand separates from the glove to ball-release and follow-through, while others use it to describe a more specific piece of that sequence.  You’ll hear other terms such as 'arm path' and 'arm circle,' and some use these terms interchangeably with arm action, while others consider them distinct.  Personally, I like to use arm path to describe the route that the pitching hand takes from glove break to the start of upper-body rotation, and arm action to describe the overall arm speed as the pitcher incorporates the rotational elements of the delivery into ball release.


(Scientifically, the baseball pitching motion has five phases)

01.  When baseball pitchers move the baseball from their glove to the moment immediately before the baseball moves toward home plate.  I call this, the 'transition' phase.
02.  When baseball pitchers forwardly rotate their pitching upper arm to point toward home plate.  I call this, the 'pitching upper arm acceleration' phase.

03.  When baseball pitchers explosively extend their pitching elbow, pronate their pitching forearm and inwardly rotate their pitching upper arm through release.  I call this, the 'pitching forearm acceleration' phase.

04.  When baseball pitchers reach as close to home plate as their pitching arm allows.  I call this, the 'deceleration' phase.

05.  When baseball pitchers return their glove and pitching arms to the best defensive positions.  I call this, the 'recovery' phase.)

But these definitions are by no means standard across baseball, and I try to avoid these terms because they cause so much confusion.  This is a big problem with much of the vocabulary for pitching mechanics, as there are so few definitions that are standard throughout the industry.  Two coaches might agree that a pitcher has good arm action, but disagree on what that means.  So it seemed an appropriate book title, given that we challenge conventional wisdom throughout the book, and much of that conventional wisdom is rooted in this misunderstood vocabulary.  Meanwhile, terms like arm action have been passed down through generations of coaches, and like the conventional wisdom of pitching mechanics, they have survived largely because their interpretations were never challenged.


(That Sir is why science clearly defines the five phase of the baseball pitching motion.)

BP:  The terms 'command' and 'control' are often used interchangeably.  Should they be?

DT:  Command and control are two more examples of pitching vocabulary that can cause confusion.  At the NPA, we have unique definitions for each.

Command is used to describe the ability to consistently execute a certain pitch type, or as a 'command pitch' that a pitcher can trust to locate whenever necessary.  Most developing pitchers start without a command pitch, until they can consistently harness a fastball.  But by the time a player reaches the majors, he usually needs to have command of three different pitches to keep hitters off balance.


Control is what we use to describe a pitcher’s ability to locate a pitch at any given time, as stuff will vary throughout the season or during a game.  A pitcher might have exceptional control of his curveball today, but when he is faced with a jam and runners on the corners, he might go to his command-pitch fastball that he knows he can locate low in the zone.

Kevin Goldstein has offered other definitions of command and control, with control representing the ability to avoid walks, and command defined as locating pitches within the zone, and hitting specific targets.  I think that Kevin’s definitions are outstanding, and like the NPA versions, they describe two unique aspects of pitch execution.  Ideally, we can use Kevin’s definitions in conjunction with the NPA’s to better describe the ability to locate a baseball.


(To me, when baseball pitchers can throw the six basic adult baseball pitches that I teach my baseball pitchers such that they move the same every time and find the strike zone two-thirds of the time, they are ready to learn how to pitch competitively.)

BP:  At a recent SABR conference in Boston, Bill James questioned the impact longer games have on a starter’s innings and health, theorizing that it is harder to keep your arm warm for three hours than it is for two.  Assuming the same pitch count, is there anything to that?

DT:  I don’t know of any research in this particular area, but there could be something to it.  We are currently studying several different elements involved with pitcher fatigue, including workloads, mechanical efficiency, functional strength, and stamina.  The duration of games could contribute as well, but it’s difficult to study the issue until we have an objective measurement of fatigue.  PAP (Pitcher Abuse Points) is a great start, but unfortunately the 100-pitch threshold that is inherent in the system is a bit misleading when applied with individual players, unless an adjustment is made to account for the pitcher’s particular fatigue rate.  For example, the PAP barrier for Pedro Martinez might be 90 pitches, and Randy Johnson’s might be closer to 110.


(Pitcher Abuse Points my ass.  I pitched in 106 games, threw batting practice every day after I did not pitch the night before and closed every World Series game and never felt stiff, sore or tired.  The problem with the injurious flaws in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion and the lack of a quality interval-training program to train baseball pitchers.  Give me the baseball pitchers in any major league baseball organization for three years and I will show you how meaningless this statistical nonsense is.)

Understanding the factors that lead to fatigue is crucial, as is the ability for a coach to identify when fatigue sets in for an individual pitcher.  Fatigue affects different pitchers in different ways, but many will sacrifice their mechanics and timing as they get tired, and the associated risk of pitching while fatigued is at least somewhat dependent on how a pitcher responds mechanically when it sets in.  The challenge is different for starting pitchers than for relievers, and until we have a definitive measurement of in-game fatigue, we will have to use educated guesses and previous patterns to establish those thresholds for individual pitchers.


(Fatigue my ass.  It is the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion and the lack of proper training.)

Tools such as motion analysis can help the process, to establish mechanical baselines so that coaches and players can more accurately assess fatigue during the course of a game.  Other tools such as PAP and even time-of-game measurements can add to the information we can use to establish fatigue thresholds.  A manager can go into a game knowing that tonight’s starter typically goes 95-100 pitches before fatigue has an effect, that it sets in after an average of 140 minutes, and that this player tends to lose balance and posture as he gets tired.  All of this information can go into the decision-making process of when to remove the starter for a reliever, and the costs and benefits associated with each side of the decision.


(Can't you hear me?  The 'traditional' baseball pitching motion is the problem.  It does not help to motion analyze the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion for mechanical baselines.  Those baselines mean nothing.)

BP:  It is often stated that throwing split-finger fastballs increases the likelihood of arm injury.  Why?

DT:  I haven’t come across any research that found a convincing link between a split-finger fastball and a specific arm injury, and I would put this in the category of unproven conventional wisdom.  If the pitch is thrown properly, and with the correct frequency of 15-20 percent, there shouldn’t be an increased risk of injury beyond other types of pitches.  Everything about a split-finger delivery is the same as a regular fastball, aside from the grip.  The only difference is the physical split of the fingers, and it is true that players with small hands will feel pain in those fingers if they attempt to stretch too far, and get an extremely wide grip.  A wide grip is not necessary to throw a split-finger, and what most kids try to find is actually a forkball grip.  Forkballs are great if you’re Bob Welch or Jose Contreras, but not so great if your hands are still growing and can’t yet hold a baseball properly.

During my playing days, I relied heavily on a split and eventually a forkball, as I couldn’t grip a changeup properly, and had not yet learned how to throw a breaking ball that didn’t hurt my elbow.  I would spend hours with a forkball in my left hand, so that I could stretch out my fingers and grip the pitch easily.  I never experienced any pain in my elbow from forkballs, and throwing the pitch felt the same as a fastball, but there were nights when my hand hurt from the stretching exercise.

To get around this, I have taught some young players to throw a 'pitchfork,' which is like a combination split-change, or a three-finger splitter.  The name fits when the pitch is gripped correctly, with the index and ring fingers split to the sides of the baseball, and the middle finger gripped right over the top, bisecting the ball with the thumb.  The pitchfork requires less stretching of the fingers, but allows the pitcher to grip the ball deep in his hand, and create a velocity drop with the same arm action and forearm angle as a fastball.


(I know that it is expecting too much to think that Mr. Thorburn has heard of the Lumbricals, Dorsal Interossei and Palmar Interossei muscles.  But, if he did, then he would realize why the split-finger grip between the index and middle fingers excessively stresses the index fingers.  But, I also doubt that Dr. Andrews understands this as well.)

BP:  So, you see no direct correlation between the pitch and increased injury risk?

DT:  I am not an expert on how the finger spread impacts the connective tissue within the throwing arm, and would have to defer to our colleague Dr. Andrews for a proper opinion.  Mechanically, we have not detected any injury risk factors that are associated with splitters, but the guys at the Andrews Institute or ASMI could definitely add to the discussion.  The difficulty with injury prediction and prevention is similar to that for fatigue, as there are several confounding variables.

Arm injuries are a product of mechanics, workloads, functional strength and flexibility, nutrition, genetics, and luck.  You can have great mechanics and functional strength, like Mark Prior, and still get taken down by a Brad Hawpe line drive or a collision with Marcus Giles on the bases.  Of course, Mark was also in the top four in baseball in PAP in 2003 and 2005, while still thick in the injury nexus, so he’s dealt with a combination of bad luck and heavy workload.


(What crap.  Pitching arm injuries are a result of the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion and lack of proper training.  End of story.)

BP:  When Tom House talked to BP in July 2006, he mentioned the importance of timing in a pitcher’s delivery.  Can you elaborate on what he was referring to?

DT:  Tom was referring to the amount of time that it takes for a pitcher to execute each individual phase in the kinetic chain of the pitching delivery, as well as the time for the entire pitch cycle from first movement to ball release.  In my opinion, timing is the single most important aspect of the delivery, and teaching a pitcher to find his own ideal timing signature is the most critical phase in development.  Each player has a unique personal timing, but all pitchers fall within a predictably narrow range, once they’ve achieved a strong level of mechanical efficiency.


(Here we go with this 'kinetic chain' nonsense.  The 'traditional' baseball pitching motion does not have a kinetic chain.  For baseball pitching to have a 'kinetic chain' requires that every segment of the body contributes to the acceleration of the baseball.  However, when we look at the baseball after their glove foot lands, we see that the baseball is actually moving backward.  This means that the pitching and glove legs have contributed nothing to the acceleration of the baseball.)

Working with our colleagues at Titleist Golf, we have learned that the timing and sequencing for the kinetic chain of events is very similar between a golfer’s swing, a batter’s swing, and a pitcher’s delivery.  The best pitchers of all time have been able to consistently repeat their deliveries, including timing, positioning, mechanics, and sequencing.

In the book, we challenge the established convention of using a slide step from the stretch, and study how a forced change of timing can impact the effectiveness of pitches thrown with a slide step.  There are numerous mechanical flaws that arise from improper timing, and the key to correcting those flaws is the recognition that timing is important, and the identification of the timing that produces the best delivery for each pitcher.  The key to mechanical consistency is repetition of proper timing, and it's one thing that pitchers like Maddux and Smoltz do better than anyone else in baseball.


(I have to give him one here.  He is absolutely correct that for 'traditional' baseball pitchers to change from their normal set position pitching rhythm to a 'slide step' set position pitching rhythm does severely disrupt their ability to properly position their body for their maximum release velocity.  But, that is a result of the 'balance position' pitching rhythm of the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.  With the 'crow-hop' pitching rhythm of my baseball pitching motion, my baseball pitchers do not have the same difficulty with a 'slide step' glove leg action.)

BP:  From a motion analysis standpoint, how would you break down Felix Hernandez and Dontrelle Willis?

DT:  Well, I would love to get those guys under the high-speed cameras, pitching at 1,000 frames per second; then I could really do a breakdown for you.  But going from what I have seen with my 32 fps eyeballs, here’s a brief assessment of their deliveries:


(Wow, I would like to see their 1000 frames per second high-speed cameras.  Actually, I expect that they would be video cameras where, rather than stop each frame at the aperture, they pull the film past the aperture.  Nevertheless, I would like to see how clearly this film shows the action of the middle fingertip at release.  Also, I believe that the normal video film speed is slightly less than thirty frames per second.)

On Hernandez, speaking of inconsistent timing, he is one of the first pitchers that came to mind when I answered the last question.  In particular, he struggles with his timing from the stretch, though he is much better from the windup.  He also has a pretty big posture change near release point on most of his pitches, particularly from the stretch.  Those are the negatives, but there are pitches when he lines it up that look outstanding, with great balance, momentum, and stride, as well as excellent hip-shoulder separation (his greatest asset) and angular-trunk-rotation timing.  He is explosive when he lines up all the pieces, but he needs to do that more often.  In my opinion, he has a lot more in the tank, and with some refinement with his timing and his posture (possibly related to functional strength), he could really take a big step forward.


(Jibberish.  He should have waited until he had high-speed film.  Then, he might have been able to say something real.  For example, I would like to know precisely how far forward Mr. Hernandez rotates his hips at release and how far forward Mr. Hernandez rotates hie shoulders at release.  If he answered these questions correctly, then he would understand that hip-shoulder separation is bad, not excellent.)

As for Willis, he provides one of my favorite examples of signature, and how genetics can play a role in mechanical efficiency.  Dontrelle has had the extreme leg kick since he was in high school, and he depends on that leg kick to generate stride and momentum, and to create ideal timing for his personal signature.  When the Marlins tried to change the leg kick, it had a disastrous effect on his timing, and he struggled to find rhythm for most of the season.  The only issue I have is that he seems to lose balance momentarily as he brings the lift leg up to its maximum height, but he consistently regains that balance before he completes his stride.  He could get going to the plate a bit sooner, but he efficiently directs his energy to the target once he gets moving, and finishes with a strong posture and glove position at release point, while releasing the ball close to home plate.


(More goofy nonsense.  Lifting the glove foot off the ground does absolutely nothing to increase release velocity.)

BP:  How would you break down Tim Lincecum?

DT:  Lincecum is a fascinating case, and he does a lot of things exceptionally well mechanically.  He definitely has plenty of Koufax in him, both good and bad, but the pitcher I find myself comparing him to most often is Roy Oswalt.  They are very similar with respect to mechanics, size, and stuff.  I’m actually going to be breaking down individual players’ mechanics in a series of articles on our website, within the vein of the great work being done by Carlos Gomez, and Lincecum versus Oswalt will likely be one of the first examples.  I’m going to break down strategic pairings of pitchers, either based on age, handedness, stuff, hype, stats, or mechanical trends, and then compare and contrast the pitching motions of those players.  The breakdown of similarities between Lincecum and Oswalt is also covered in the book, as we address the conventional wisdom of "don’t rush."


(When you have no idea what you are talking about, start mentioning the names of successful baseball pitchers.  That way, you can bask in the glory of their successes and nobody will realize that you have no idea what you are talking about.)

BP:  Michael Bowden, a top pitching prospect in the Red Sox organization, has a delivery that has been described as being long in back and short in front.  What is your opinion of him, mechanically?

DT:  Michael Bowden and I actually share a birthday, though my cake has seven extra candles every year.  I have never seen Bowden pitch in person, and have only watched video from a single outing, so I can’t make a full assessment, but my first impressions were that he is a "stay back" pitcher, who is a bit slow to the plate until after maximum leg lift.  His balance is strong for the first part of the delivery, but his head tends to trail behind his center of mass as he gets into foot strike, which could hinder his consistency at release point.  He has a good, high leg kick, with some funk as he brings his lift leg down near the ground, and then bursts toward the plate with the foot just off the ground.  The lift sequence looks a bit funky, but it works well for him, as it helps him get a good stride despite relatively low momentum. He lands with a closed stride, which some scouts hate to see, but he is able to properly time his upper body rotation, and doesn’t throw across his body.  He has good delayed trunk rotation, including a bit of a hitch in his throwing shoulder that he uses for extra load, and to buy a split second of time.  Like the leg kick, this is a good example of what I call 'functional funk,' which might look a bit weird to the eye, but actually helps him coordinate his delivery.  This is an area where I often disagree with other scouts and coaches, because what they see as ugly, I see as something that can disrupt a hitter’s ability to pick up the baseball.  Funk can work as an edge for deception, as long as it’s mechanically efficient.  In the video I saw, Bowden had pretty good posture on his fastball at release point, but he got on top of some curveballs by sacrificing posture to get a higher release.  It’s a common trend that is correctable through mechanical consistency and proper timing, and is likely the result of the overall emphasis on downward plane, particularly with breaking balls.  Incidentally, downward plane and its effect on mechanics and batted balls is another conventional wisdom that is covered in the book.  Bowden also has a pretty solid glove side, keeping the glove in front of the torso through ball release.  I like his delivery overall, as he does a lot of things well, and has some room for improvement.  Of course, even Nolan Ryan had room for improvement, so that is no slight to Michael.


(What?  Nevermind.)

BP:  You said Bowden has "a pretty solid glove side, keeping the glove in front of the torso through ball release."  Why is that important?

DT:  Conventional wisdom also dictates how a pitcher should position his glove, as many coaches instruct a player to 'pull the glove to the hip' before ball release.  At the NPA, we teach players a strategy that we call 'swivel and stabilize' which involves keeping the glove out in front of the torso through release point.  In the book, we break down the motion analysis pitchers into two groups, based on glove position at release point, and compare the data for the 'pull glove to the hip' pitchers to those in the 'swivel and stabilize' group.  We also look at pictures of six elite major league pitchers throughout the study of conventional wisdom, including the evaluation of glove position.


(challenged.  The sole purpose of the glove arm in the baseball pitching motion is to provide the reaction force to the pitching arm's action force.  Use your swivel and stabilize on your favorite bar stool.  When the National Pitching Association studies pictures of six elite major league pitchers, they can only report on the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.  They are only pretending to be conducting research.  In the world of real research, they are laughable phonies.)

BP:  You also said that some scouts hate to see a pitcher land with a closed stride.  Why?

DT:  When evaluating a pitcher, many coaches and scouts follow the conventional wisdom of 'stride straight at the plate,' as pitchers that land open or closed are often assumed to have other mechanical flaws that are associated.  So we did some research, using motion analysis numbers and 3-D video, to test the mechanical implications of an open or closed stride.  We use a sample of 33 pitchers, aged high school to professional, and look for correlations or trends in the data.  We also take a look at elite major league pitchers, using photos provided by Getty Images.  The NPA Model is rooted in the motion analysis of elite pitchers, and we have found that mechanical efficiency is strongly related to performance, and that the best pitchers of all time have consistently displayed many of the same mechanical advantages.


(Again, this is all irrelvant.  You are only reporting on the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.  You have no idea how where baseball pitchers place their glove foot influences the baseball pitching motion.)

BP:  Barry Zito and Tom Gordon have outstanding curveballs.  What are the similarities and differences in how they deliver the pitch?

DT:  Curveballs are a hot topic of debate, given the perceived injury risk associated with Little League players throwing curveballs at an early age.  But there is more than one way to throw a breaking pitch, and the NPA method is different from what some coaches teach.  At the NPA, we teach a 'karate chop' curveball, where the pitcher throws the ball with the palm facing the body as the throwing arm goes through internal rotation and release point.


(How do baseball pitchers release their 'karate chop' curveball?  He said that baseball pitchers throw the baseball with the palm of their pitching hand facing their body as their pitching arm goes through internal rotation and release point.  Internal rotation means inwardly rotating the pitching upper arm.  But, what do baseball pitchers do with their pitching forearm?

With my Maxline Pronation Curve, I teach my baseball pitchers to extend their pitching elbow, pronate their pitching forearm and inwardly rotate their pitching upper arm through release.   Are they stealing the release of my Maxline Pronation Curve?)

The alternate method is what many Little League coaches teach, which is to snap or twist the wrist for a curveball, just before release point.  Some coaches call it "pulling down the shade," while my Little League coach said it was like "throwing a Pringles can, end over end."  Unfortunately, I found out pretty quickly that twisting my wrist near ball release was really painful, specifically to my elbow.  But since I joined the NPA, I have developed a decent karate chop curve, which has never resulted in elbow pain.


(I don't know whether he is Kinesiologically ignorant and does not know supination from pronation, or he is trying to hide the fact that he is stealing my Maxline Pronation Curve.  But, if it does not slam the olecranon process into its fossa, then he is stealing my Maxline Pronation Curve.)

Barry Zito actually has two curveballs, and takes advantage of both the karate chop curve and the twister.  But he is most famous for his huge looping curveball, which I call the 'grandfather clock,' since it's so much deeper in shape than your standard 12-to-6.  The grandfather clock is a twist curveball, and twist curveballs typically leave the pitcher’s hand with a slight upward trajectory when compared to a fastball or karate chop curve, so many hitters can identify it right out of the pitcher’s hand.  So a pitcher needs to have exceptional spin and depth on his twister, like on Barry’s grandfather clock, in order to be effective at the highest level.  The karate chop curves typically look more like a fastball when they leave the pitcher’s hand, and are more likely to generate a swing-and-miss when buried in the dirt.  Gordon appears to be a karate chop guy, but I would have to take a closer look at high quality video to be sure.


(Twister and karate chop curveballs.  I wonder from where this guy earned his college degree and in what discipline.  It is like he is trying to write his own terminology for standard Kinesiological language.)

BP:  You said that Zito throws two distinct curveballs, a karate chop and a twister.  Which is more common, and how many pitchers utilize both?

DT:  Zito is the only example that stands out as a player that uses both, and most pitchers that make it to the major league level use a karate chop curveball.  But I would need high-speed motion analysis video of every major league pitcher to make a true count, as the twist occurs in about 0.01 seconds, just prior to ball release, and is difficult to see with our eyes.  Roy Oswalt is a great example of a major league pitcher with an outstanding karate chop curveball, as he gets a steep downward break on his curve without the use of a twist.  [Editor’s Note: Further information on the subject can be found on the NPA-produced DVD, Safe Curveballs.]


(Safe Curveballs.  I think that I now know where this guy got this curve.)

BP:  Rich Harden, Francisco Liriano, and Ben Sheets have all spent time on the disabled list in recent years.  To what extent do you feel their mechanics may have contributed to their injuries?

DT:  Unfortunately, I cannot publicly go into the details of these three players’ injury histories or their possible association with mechanical trends.  But injury analysis is also covered in the book, as we have found some particular mechanical inefficiencies that are potential precursors to injury, and an astute reader that is familiar with these players’ mechanics could put the pieces together.  In the cases of Harden and Liriano, however, I will say that they have likely suffered from the injury cascade effect.  As Will Carroll has noted, non-arm injuries can cause a pitcher to alter his mechanics in order to compensate and avoid pain, creating an immediate increase in further injury risk.


(That he quoted Will Carroll shows that he has no idea what causes pitching injuries.)

BP:  If you did a motion analysis of every pitcher in a given organization, to what extent could you predict short- and long-term arm health?

DT:  Again, pitching mechanics are just one element of the injury prediction equation, and the precursors that we have found are the result of some of the latest research.  We continue to gather the data necessary to further verify the trends that we have come across, and to search for other potential precursors.  From an organizational standpoint, motion analysis could be used to monitor the mechanics of every pitcher in the system as they develop, to help with the assessment of health and performance.  This could be used to assess short-term injury risk by looking out for precursors, and perhaps setting up workload limits based on mechanical efficiency, so that pitchers with higher-risk deliveries are kept on a shorter leash until they improve.  But the key would be to establish mechanical baselines and player signature, and then monitor that progress throughout the year, and from season to season.  For pitchers in the low minors, that might mean two or three analyses per year, while the pitchers on the major league staff might benefit from an analysis per month.


(I am sorry, but I have had enough of this guy.  Read on if you want.  I am out of here.)

I think the most practical and immediate application would be to find the baseline for individual major league pitchers, and anchor on the mechanics that produce the best results.  Then, if a pitcher does go down with any kind of injury, the anchor would be treated as a goal line, and a pitcher wouldn’t be put back on the field until he had reached his established level of efficiency.  This would help to greatly reduce the occurrence of cascade injuries, and to ensure that pitchers have reached full strength in their recovery before they toe the rubber.  Meanwhile, teams can test their own methods of coaching and development by making the appropriate measurements for the players in their system, and compare the motion-analysis results to performance.  In this way, each organization has the ability to use motion-analysis data to create their own model for pitching or hitting mechanics.

BP:  One last question.  A BP reader recently asked if James Shields' changing mechanics may be due to his regaining velocity and control post-surgerically.  Can you address that?

DT:  Well, it is likely that the causation arrow is pointing in the other direction, in that his regaining velocity and control post-surgery may be due to changing mechanics, and some of the mechanical alterations may have been necessary due to the surgery.  Unfortunately, I am not familiar with the specific mechanical adjustments that he has made since 2002, but I did notice an improvement with his balance and posture in 2007 compared to 2006, which I believe helped with his effectiveness.  In general, the easiest way for a pitcher to improve his stuff is to work hard on mechanical efficiency, as well as functional strength and flexibility.  Mechanical efficiency can improve real (radar gun) velocity, perceived velocity, command, deception, and the available options for playing the chess match between hitter and pitcher.  This is why I have a hard time with scouts that are quick to hand out ceilings and projection, because in most cases they underestimate the ability for a player to hone his skills and improve his talent level beyond raw tools.  By definition, player development requires athletes to learn, and the learning curve in baseball is steeper than any other major sport, as evidenced by the minor league system.  Learning ability is one of the strongest tools a ballplayer can have, and the motivation to improve through hard work is what separates success from failure for countless athletes.  But they can only get so far without quality information and communication, which is where we come in.


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082.  Last time we corresponded, I mentioned I was attending the pitching clinic put on by Ron Wolforth and Brent Strom.  I was a bit disappointed as their presentation was very unorganized.  After a whole day, I really have no idea what they were trying to teach.  However, one of their points was that they recommended pitchers throwing hard every day.

  Up here, our kids don't have the opportunity to throw 12 months out of the year.  Under our High School rules, we just started "pitchers and catchers" work outs last night.  I have always believed in building up a pitchers velocity as well as pitch count, different from what Wolford and Strom suggested.  What are your thoughts on how hard a High School age pitcher should throw and, how many pitches do you recommend he throws?


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     The most important factor in eliminating pitching injuries is to teach baseball pitchers of all ages how to properly apply force to their pitches.  This means that we have to stop teaching the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion and start teaching my baseball pitching motion.

     On my website, I provide everything that baseball pitchers of all ages need to learn how to properly apply force to their pitches.  Unlike Wolforth and Strom, I am very specific about how baseball pitchers learn the skills of my baseball pitching motion.

     Before their season starts, all high school baseball pitchers should have completed my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.  For baseball pitchers to start their baseball season without proper instruction and training invites injury.  Therefore, whether they do it on their own or surreptitiously, high school baseball pitchers need to properly prepare for the season.

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083.  I'm working with a minor leaguer who has a lot of ability but has had some elbow problems in the past (stress fractures in the olecranon).  I've convinced him that he needs to pronate all of his pitches.  He wants to know how to throw a pronated slider.

What is the best clip on your site to refer him to?


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     There are no shortcuts to perfection.  I have twelve very precise steps that I recommend baseball pitchers master before they try to throw my two-seam Torque Fastball Pronation Slider.

01.  With my Wrong Foot Slingshot drill, they must perfect their lid throws.

02.  With my Wrong Foot Slingshot drills, they must perfect my Maxline Pronation Curve release with their appropriately-sized football throws.

03.  With my Wrong Foot Slingshot drill, they must perfect my Maxline Pronation Curve release with their baseball throws.

04.  With my Wrong Foot Loaded Slingshot drill, they must perfect their lid throws.

05.  With my Wrong Foot Loaded Slingshot drill, they must perfect my Maxline Pronation Curve release with their appropriately-sized football throws.

06.  With my Wrong Foot Loaded Slingshot drill, they must perfect my Maxline Pronation Curve release with their baseball throws.

07.  With my Wrong Foot Pendulum Swing drill, they must perfect their lid throws.

08.  With my Wrong Foot Pendulum Swing drill, they must perfect my Maxline Pronation Curve release with their appropriately-sized football throws.

09.  With my Wrong Foot Pendulum Swing drill, they must perfect my Maxline Pronation Curve release with their baseball throws.

10.  With my Maxline Drop Out Wind-Up Pendulum Swing drill, they must perfect their lid throws.

11.  With my Maxline Drop Out Wind-Up Pendulum Swing drill, they must perfect my Maxline Pronation Curve release with their appropriately-sized football throws.

12.  With my Maxline Drop Out Wind-Up Pendulum Swing drill, they must perfect my Maxline Pronation Curve release with their baseball throws.

     Then and only then, is it safe for baseball pitchers to practice my two-seam Torque Fastball Pronation Slider with my Torque Drop Out Wind-Up Pendulum Swing drill.

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084.  From this article, it seems as though the White Sox are going to have pitcher injury problems.

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02/24/2008 3:43 PM ET
Buehrle to skip Monday's intrasquad tilt
Normal soreness cited for decision; lefty to start Friday
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com

TUCSON, Ariz. -- The White Sox will skip Mark Buehrle's start during Monday afternoon's first intrasquad game due to slight soreness in Buehrle's shoulder.

But before the city of Chicago flies into a panic, particular fans of the South baseball organization, the left-hander clearly stated Sunday morning how the issue was absolutely nothing of concern.  In fact, Buehrle didn't know his start had been skipped until he was informed by a pair of media members.

It's just Spring Training soreness, really nothing to worry about," Buehrle said.

"I'm always aware of guys with soreness and stiffness, especially during Spring Training," added White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, referring specifically to Buehrle in this instance.  Buehrle will throw a bullpen session on Tuesday in place of the two innings he was scheduled to throw Monday and then get right into Cactus League games. Buehrle comes back Friday against Arizona at Tucson Electric Park.

According to the White Sox ace, the short time it takes for him to get ready for the season already was being factored into how he approached Spring Training before arriving in Tucson.  That plan, coupled with the mild soreness, moved Buehrle's start back four days.

"[Pitching coach Don Cooper] told me this offseason he was going to take it slower," Buehrle said.  "It takes two games and I'm ready.  So, they were going to take it slower with me and get right into games."

Guillen pointed out how Buehrle has logged a large number of innings since 2001, a total of 1,577 2/3, to be exact, ranking him second behind Livan Hernandez in all of baseball during that period.  There also was the second-half rise of Buehrle's ERA in 2007, jumping from 3.03 before the All-Star break to 4.43 after the Midsummer Classic.

That particular leap marked the third straight season in which Buehrle struggled in the second half, or at last didn't pitch as well as he did in the first half.  So, Guillen and Cooper set up a plan where the Spring Training innings would drop in order to help keep Buehrle fresher later in the season.

"Obviously, when you pitch that many years and you have that many innings without any problems, any injuries, before Spring Training we think about monitoring him real well," said Guillen of Buehrle, adding how the southpaw said he felt tired after pitching two days ago.  "Don't pile him with that many innings here so he can stay stronger."

"We're going to get him short and just make sure he's ready, not over-ready," Cooper added.  "He piles up the innings during the season, and we want to make sure he doesn't pile them up down here.  Skipping him two innings in an intrasquad game is not going to put a crimp in his schedule."

Gavin Floyd, Ehren Wasserman, Andrew Sisco, Scott Linebrink and newcomer Tomo Ohka are set to throw in Monday's three-inning contest.

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com.  This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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     Without knowing where Buehrle's discomfort is, I cannot predict whether it is simply too much, too soon or a sign of future breakdown.  Nevertheless, if were I in charge of having a major league pitching staff ready for spring training, then they would have completed my off-season recoil cycles and well beyond any too much, too soon lack of fitness.

     This is their job.  They need to work at it every day.  That is what I did.

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085.  Yes.  My high school aged son understands this now all too well.  He has been working under your full training program for 120 days now.  The results have been nothing less than very impressive.

Varsity baseball tryouts have been this week.  Their workouts are much easier than the intensity he has been training at home.  The coach wants to "ease" them into workouts.  My son has been game ready for a long time now.

He said that on the second day, every other pitcher in camp reported having sore arms after just throwing the coach prescribed 40 pitches at 80% the day before.  For him, that is basically the same as doing nothing.

It's truly a shame, but while the other pitchers go home from practice icing their arms, my son goes home and does his full routine.

The coach keeps asking him if his arm hurts, and of course he said he throws a lot more than this every day, and he feels fine.


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     I understand that states have rules that limit the amount of pre-season training that baseball pitchers can have.  When I coached college baseball, the NCAA only gave baseball coaches three weeks to get their baseball pitchers ready to pitch competitively.  Obviously, that is ridiculous.

     Therefore, I guess the answer is what you and your son have done.  He completed my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program on his own.

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086.  I'm at the 6 month mark of training.  I got up to 20 lbs WW.  Tryouts/season start is 2 March.  In anticipation of that, I had reduced my WW regimen down to 10 lbs and 24-36 reps (vice 20 lbs, 60 reps).

1.  Should I stay at 10 lbs with reduced reps throughout the season, or return to 20 lbs with reduced reps?

2.  You had helped me understand that, based on an individual's pathology/history;  he may experience many discomforts throughout his training evolution.  But, he must keep training.  I have had numerous discomforts, but have still trained.  And, despite the discomforts, my health, longevity, accuracy and velocity have improved.  My discomforts generally surface during baseball throwing, and not during WW/IB training.  Is that common?

My latest discomfort has me confused.  It is one that I've written you about before.  This particular discomfort had disappeared for 3 months, but returned during baseball pitching yesterday.  Specifically, it is the far-back part of the shoulder.  It is in the shoulder "proper";  it does not feel to be latissimus or rhomboid related.  If you were to bring your throwing arm across your chest, and then reach under with your other arm, poke around with your fingers in the meaty "bottom" part of the shoulder…THAT is where the discomfort is.

Could you please confirm that that is the Teres Major?  What could be the cause?  My drive line is straight.   I pendulum swing to driveline height, palm out at shoulder height, lock, powerfully pronate through release at or inside the vertical.  I stick it.  I do not pull down or wrap across my body.


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     If you have told me what you were doing before you started my 280-Day program, then I would have told you that, since you will not be able to complete the 280-Day program, you should do my 120-Day program.

     Therefore, if we treat this like it is the 120-Day program, then you should train with fifteen pound wrist weights and an eight pound iron ball.

     The discomfort that you describe does sound like the Teres Major muscle.  As long as it is not the Teres Minor muscle, I do not worry about back of the shoulder discomfort.

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087.  I was wondering if the thumb positioning is important in holding the sinker.  Is it important to catch a bottom seam because with my hand I can't if I refer to the index and middle finger positioning on the ball that you explain for that pitch.

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     To throw my Maxline Fastball Sinker, baseball pitchers have to push the baseball with the side of their thumb toward their ring finger.  Basically, they have to squeeze the baseball out between their middle and ring fingers.

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088.  I have just read, with great excitement, the news that it may be the St. Louis Cardinals who "expose" your motion for what it is...the best way to eliminate arm injuries.

With that, what skills do you think current professional pitchers have that give them an advantage over everyone else when it comes to learning your motion, or do you think that some will not be able to fully grasp the grips and releases and thus remain average, yet uninjured?

In other words, what have these guys demonstrated to this point with their traditional motions that puts them ahead of someone who would have trained with you?  Is it pure physicality?


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     I believe that Brent Strom will try to teach the Cardinals pitchers with whom the higher-ups allow him to work:

01.  How to throw my Maxline Pronation Curve.

02.  How to take their pitching arm straight back toward second base.

03.  How to pendulum swing their pitching arm with their pitching hand under the baseball smoothly and continuously up to driveline height.

     I hope, but I am not sure, that he will also teach:

01.  How to move the pitching arm up to driveline height before their glove foot lands.

02.  How to drive their pitching hand and baseball straight toward home plate.

     However, unless he teaches these baseball pitchers how to do my drills with my interval-training program, I cannot be confident that his pitchers might not suffer lack of proper training injuries.  We cannot eliminate pitching injuries by correcting mechanics alone. But, it will be better than what has been.

     Brent does not understand how much better baseball pitchers can be with my entire training program and baseball pitching motion.  The fact that he believes that he can use the perfect pitching arm action that I have designed with the horrible reverse rotation over the pitching foot shows that he does not have the ability to properly implement my program.

     That said, I am pleased that he has moved somewhat over from the dark side of Tom House, Paul Nyman and the American Sports Medicine Institute, before Dr. Fleisig changed his mind and agrees with my straight-line drive concept.

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089.  Do you think that teams are wise to sign these pitchers who have had a couple of good seasons to long-term, lucrative contracts?  I think it is way too risky what with the rash of arm injuries that we see year after year.  Are these contracts insured?  If so, then I understand.  If not, I can't see me as an owner giving someone, a pitcher, all that money when he is a few more reps of the traditional pitching motion away from a serious injury.

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     The problem for the owners is that they do not have anybody capable of watching even highly successful baseball pitchers, let alone those that they draft, and knowing which ones are on the rapid pathway to injury.  Even with 30 frames per second video, I can see what injurious flaws they have and how much unnecessary stress they are suffering.

     I have heard that these contracts are insured.  However, I cannot imagine any insurance company doing this for a cost that would not be prohibitive.  I think that Workers Compensation could be involved.

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090.  We have the uploaded all the pitching instructional videos to google video servers.  The analysis videos are uploaded as well.  I will send them later under a different email.  I expect there will be minor changes to the HTML as we come to understand Google better.

When the user clicks on your link, it will open a google window for the user.  He will then have to click on the play button to play the video segment.

After this change, a virtually unlimited number of people can watch at the same time.  (You may want to remove the link to my write up on watching your videos, as it no longer applies.


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     I will do this immediately.  On behalf of my readers and myself, I thank you for everything that you have done to help me and them to understand our mission statement of high quality baseball pitchers without injuries.

     I will leave the Analysis videos as is until you send me the changes I need to make.

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091.  I came to your house in the early 90s.  One of my biggest regrets was not being able to contract with you.  Instead, I retained all that I could and eventually pieced together as much Marshall information as I could and used it to the best of my ability.  I am sure to this day I still don't know enough about your mechanics, but little pieces have gradually helped me.

I just tonight learned of your website and I was engulfed with your information.  I am now 38 with a bunch of kids and pro ball seems like a long time ago.  I did about 8 years in independents and an extended spring with the Yankees.  I eventually played on a team with Jeff Sparks and learned a lot watching him.

I love baseball and pitching mechanics even more and after 30 plus years of pitching coaching or teaching, I have come to the conclusion that all roads (pitching wise) lead to you.

I would like to meet you again and even train with your technique, if I didn't already detach my subscapularis.


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     I do remember you.  Unfortunately, it was that you wanted to take every shortcut and not commit to doing the work.  I am sorry that it turned out as I expected that it would.

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092.  You are right about the commitment at that time, but mostly my concerns were financial and honoring any financial commitment I made.  I have a desire to know your information and I am sorry I didn't recognize your opportunity when it bit me.  Do you believe in redemption?

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     I have much in my life that I wish that I would have done differently.  What are the saddest words anybody can say?  Answer: What might have been.  All we can do is to learn from our mistakes adn move on.

     Unfortunately, neither I nor you will ever be what we could have been.

     Another reason why I am sharing much of what I know about baseball pitching is so that someone might become what I believe I could have been.

     I believe that, with a couple of more years of my off-season training program and the Maxline Pronation Curve and Torque Fastball pitches I have invented since then, I could have pitched two inning per game in all 162 games.

     Unfortunately, my mistaken attempt to throw the 'traditional' supination curve stopped that quest.

     We all live with dreams unachieved.

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093.  I was watching the analysis videos today again for the 100th time and I feel some of the young men are not getting enough wrist action (backward to forward) into their fastball pitches.  I believe that with added wrist action, they could throw much harder.  Their arm speed is great, but the added wrist could add another 5-10 mph to the maxline fastball.

I have successfully used a training tool called a zip trainer to help teach wrist action.  It has added velocity (5-10 mph) to many kids I have worked with.  It costs only about 15.00.  (This is not an advertisement)  It works on one of the principles you teach, strengthening the muscles that start and stop the wrist.


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     How many pounds of force do adult baseball pitchers have to be able to apply with their wrist, hand and fingers to accelerate a baseball moving at ninety miles per hour in the final one-tenth of a second before release?

     Specificity of training requires that they learn how to apply that force with the identical force application technique that they use when they are pitching, not with a training tool.

     The answer is thirteen point two pounds.  They achieve this ability when they complete my 72-Day Fifteen Pound Iron Ball Recoil Interval-Training Program.

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094.  I would like to thank you for sharing your knowledge and for doing the incredible amount of work you have put into teaching all who want to learn your pitching method.

I used to think that people were born to be either good athletes or nerds.  I now firmly believe that almost any kid, no matter how bad they are athletically, can dramatically improve as a baseball player if given the right training and encouragement.

I remember 3 years ago when my youngest son left a baseball practice crying because the other boys were making fun of his lack of talent.  I then decided to do something about it.  I surfed the Internet looking for instructional videos and purchased several including yours.  My son has evolved from being the worst to being one of the best on his team.

Last Saturday was our team's 1st practice of the year which was held in a gym and my 10 year old son was throwing bullets.  His Torque Fastball comes in at 55-60 mph and has movement that breaks a few inches just before it crosses the plate.  His Maxline Fastball is fast also, but does not have as much movement.  His screwball looks like a football pass and his curve is just not there yet.

A Pony League pitcher was playing catch with him and couldn't believe that he was only 10 years old.  He kept asking "Doesn't your arm hurt throwing that fast?"  My son said, "No, it feels good throwing this fast."

My advice to anyone who wants to learn your method is to not take any shortcuts.  Start out with the 1st drill and do not move on to the next one until the previous drill is close to perfect.  Get that elbow up and point it toward home plate.  I highly recommend doing all of the wrist weight exercises in front of a full length mirror in order to get immediate feedback on your form.

In addition to using footballs, I also paint a black stripe on the baseball so we can easily see how bad or good our spin is.  Another thing that I do is have him lay on his back and throw your 4 pitches straight up in the air so that he can see how the ball is spinning.

My son really wants to pitch for the team this year.  I told him that he can try out, but I am certain that the Manager will again this year tell him that he can't pitch because his mechanics are all "wrong".

That's OK with me, he is doing well as a catcher and 3rd baseman, but when he turns 13 biological years old, I am going to make sure that I find a team that lets him pitch using 100% Marshall mechanics.

Thank you again for helping me turn my son into a great player.  Life is so much easier when you know what you're doing.


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    You and your son are doing it right, that is, not taking any shortcuts.  If he completes my 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program every off-season until he is biologically thirteen years old, then completes my 120-Day High School Baseball Interval-Training Program every year until he graduates high school, you and he will build a baseball pitcher you could never have dreamed he could be.

     Congratulations.

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095.  I appreciate your mission, which is blending your personal experience with a scientific approach to creating pitchers who are highly effective and are nearly immune to pitching related injury.  If only more instructors at every level had those goals at heart (and the knowledge to do so), we'd have many more young men pitching near their potential for longer periods of time.  Career ending injuries are a heartbreaking epidemic.

I do have an issue with the questions and answers section of your web site, however.  You seem to have no problem bashing some people whom I find to be knowledgeable, good men.  I attended a "bootcamp" in Houston in December, primarily because I heard you would be there speaking about pitching.

You did a great job both explaining and demonstrating (with pitcher Jeff Sparks) the benefits and effectiveness of your methods.  Everyone there, including Ron Wolforth (the workshop host and organizer) and Brent Strom (another speaker there) treated you with the respect you deserve.

Certainly, without the benefit of your experience, they teach pitching differently.  But if you heard them speak, it is obvious that they care about their craft and about the young men they teach.  They both stated they saw the value in your knowledge by letting it influence their future teachings.

I understand that you may feel (both emotionally and scientifically) that you know much more about how to make pitchers both more effective and nearly immune to injury.  Thank you for putting the time into that pursuit, and making it into something that you can continue to do.  But it was obvious to me that although both Brent Strom and Ron Wolforth are different than you, they are also knowledgeable and caring.  They seem to be learners who value new information, analyze it, and let it influence their teaching for the better.  Life and growth is nothing but learning and adapting.

Please don't diminish your message by allowing posts on your web site to bash good people.  Isn't that how you wish you were always treated?


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     It would be unfair to my readers to allow them to believe that anything that Ron and Brent believe about baseball pitching is correct.  Therefore, I tell the truth about their knowledge. Ron and Brent do not know what they are talking about.  They simply do not understand the science.  That does not make them bad people, just ignorant of the facts.

     You and they should sit before a panel of experts in your doctoral dissertation topic and see what it is like to answer questions about your work.  By comparison, I am a pussycat.  During much of Brent's presentation, I could have ripped much of what he said to shreds.  I did not.  The same goes for the other presenters at that clinic.  To me, it is a shame that this is from where those attending that clinic get their information.

     Nevertheless, I welcome both to the science behind what I teach.  Sir Isaac Newton will be pleased.  It is also helpful if they open an anatomy book instead of cutting photographs of baseball pitchers out of magazines where they have no idea how the pitchers got into or get out of that pose.  That might work for some elementary school project, but it does not work where the pain of pitching injuries is the result.

     That these self-appointed baseball pitching gurus continue to teach injurious flaws in the face of the hundreds of thousands of pitching injuries that they cause with their ignorance is what really makes me mad.  Those are the people that I bash.

    If I thought that Ron and Brent did not care about that, I would not say that I like them.  Nevertheless, I also think that hundreds of dollars for what they presented at their clinic is highway robbery.  But, I suppose that it is free enterprise and the rule is let the buyer beware.  You get everything off my website for free.

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096.  What do you exactly means when you say to keep your elbow ahead of your acromial line?

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     The acromial line is an imaginary line that we can theoretically draw between and beyond the acromial processes at the lateral tips of our shoulders.  When baseball pitching, I do not want baseball pitchers to take the tip of their pitching elbow behind their acromial line.

     While I don't think that it is necessary to talk about, I also do not want them to take the tip of their pitching elbow in front of their acromial line.  I want them to pendulum swing their pitching arm straight back toward second base and stick their pitching arm in the strike zone.

     This means that I want the tip of their pitching elbow on their acromial line at all times.

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097.  I have not contacted you for a while.  I am the A's fan who continually promotes your philosophy on the Oakland A's Fan Forum.

From what I have read regarding your pitching arsenal (fastball, breaking pitch, reverse-breaking pitch and 'splitter'), the two pitchers who had this were Hall of Fame New York Giants Christy Mathewson and Carl Hubbell.  They pre-date you, used a different conditioning program and pitching delivery than you.  But, did they influence your pitching (while you played) or your current program in any way?

I watched a few episodes of the Tim McCarver Show.  Your name was mentioned by some retired MLB players (namely, Rollie Fingers).  I forget who the others are.  They reckon that you should be inducted into the Hall of Fame as much as Ray Guy should be (for the NFL).

Your ex-Dodger teammate Tommy John and Jack Morris also appeared.  McCarver thinks both should be voted in and likewise with Luis Tiant and Jim Kaat.  I don't think you were mentioned on that episode.  Would you be willing to appear on that show?

And how good was Tim McCarver as a player?

ed Mike Marshall.  Is he related to you?


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     When I pitched major league baseball, I threw a two-seam Maxline Fastball, a two-seam Torque Fastball Slider, a two-seam Maxline Fastball Sinker and a Maxline True Screwball.  Sir Isaac Newton and Daniel Bernoulli influenced my pitch development and the Overload Principle and Specificity of Training influenced the development of my interval-training programs.

     Tim McCarver and I played together on the Montreal Expos.  He is an excellent bridge player.  I would love to appear on his show.

     I am not related to the Stanford Mike Marshall.

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098.  Just saw your name in an ad for "Real Sports" next week ands nearly fell off the couch!  Holy Cow that's GREAT!

Of course, I want to take credit for having you as MY go-to baseball guy for several years!  I am glad someone else has "rediscovered" you!  In all seriousness, what I really hope for you is that someone in organized baseball does the same.


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     Thank you for the shout out.

     This twelve minute segment on 'Real Sports' has been a couple of years in the making, but they do appear to be ready to show it.

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099.  You might not think it is necessary to talk about but the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs are a couple of the missing links I have been looking for these past 2 years?

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     Okay.  But, if baseball pitchers pendulum swing their pitching arm straight backward toward second base, drive their pitching hand straight forward toward home plate and 'stick' their pitching hand into the strike zone, then for me to explain that they remain on their acromial line is unnecessary.  When possible, I try to minimize the scientific language.

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100.  I am a former minor league pitcher and one of my friends just recently showed me your video.  I was at awe of your former student and Major Leaguer at the end of your video.  His stuff was straight filthy!

I am now a high school coach and I think there is some merit in what you are saying.  Is there any way possible to incorporate any of your techniques into a kid with "traditional" mechanics?


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     Congratulations on being a former minor league baseball pitcher.  I will bet that experience will help you greatly with your current position.

     I thank you for taking the time to send me an email in which you tell me that you think that, after forty years of research, you believe that there is some merit in what I am saying.  It makes me feel as though I did not waste the thousands of dollars and hours of hard work to earn my doctoral degree that, in my fourteen years of major league pitching, enabled me to set numerous major league baseball records and finished fourth, second, first, seventh and fifth in the Cy Young Award.

     Now, if only I were smart enough to figure out how to violate Sir Isaac Newton's three laws of motion and incorporate parts of my scientifically perfect baseball pitching motion into the worthless techniques of the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion just for you.

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101.  For the sake of accuracy, do you want the tip of the elbow on the acromial line?  Does that means on the outside of home plate to outside of 2nd base or the center of home plate to the center of 2nd base or the inside of home plate to the inside of 2nd base?

Also, if they do not have their elbows tips on line what kind of injury can be expected?


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     I want my baseball pitchers to pendulum swing their pitching hand downward, backward and upward to driveline height straight at the middle of second base.  From this 'Ready' position, I want my baseball pitchers to move their pitching elbow upward, forward and downward to point straight at the middle of home plate.

     With this movement of their pitching upper arm, baseball pitchers will minimize the horizontal error in their pitch locations.

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102.  I have a pitching and hitting question with regard to pronation.

In pitching, you say pronation is important because you are able to involve the Latissimus Dorsi and Teres Minor muscles to drive the baseball to home plate.  Putting aside the safety issue, this seems to me to be a reason that your pitching motion will improve release velocity.  If this is the case, why do you say that you make no claims that your pitching motion increases release velocity?  It seems to me that this would improve the force you could apply to the baseball.

In batting, you seem to talk mostly about the force coupling right before contact that maximizes bat head speed.  You also want hitters to pronate their top hand forearm through contact with the baseball.  Does this pronation bring into play the Latissimus Dorsi and Teres Major as it does with pitching. And does this, in turn, help the batter to apply more force to the baseball?


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     I do claim that my baseball pitching motion and interval-training programs enable baseball pitchers to achieve their maximum genetic release velocity.  The difficulty is that everybody does not have the same maximum genetic release velocity and we have no way of knowing what the maximum genetic release velocities of individual baseball pitchers are.

     However, the muscle most responsible for increasing release velocity with my baseball pitching motion is the Triceps Brachii, not the Latissimus Dorsi and Teres Major.  While they do help with the inward rotation of the pitching upper arm, the Triceps Brachii is the muscle that enables my baseball pitchers to continue to increase their rate of acceleration through release.

     Inward rotation of the rear arm in baseball batting is not as important as it is in baseball pitching.  The key to increasing bat head velocity is the force-coupling action of the front and rear arms immediately preceding contact.

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103.  Tonight, my wife and I visited your website and we couldn't be happier to find it!  What brought us to your web site, was an interest in learning about pitching, from a Dr's point of view, because our young son is a pitcher in the youth league.  We parents, do not understand proper pitching mechanics, most of the books are just too difficult to follow, and there is not much information available.  You explained things very well.

Most important is our son's health.  What we learned from you about baseball injuries and how pitching can affect a young man's anatomy and physiology, frightened us.  As parents we always follow the rules and do not have our son over do it (at least we thought we were).  I'm now have heightened sense of concern, because we didn't know growth plate development in my son's arm, would be affected by pitching, even if, we followed the rules (as explained by youth league baseball).

Some background about our son's baseball experience:

(1)  He never pitched longer than 2 consecutive months in a year.
(2)  He always followed a pitch count (minor league rules).

However the following concerns me;

(1)  My son's has been pitching since 7.5 years old.  The first year he pitched 1 or 2 innings, but this didn't happen until the last month of the season.
(2)  In year 2, he pitched spring minor league ball he threw 30 pitches with one day's rest.  One time, he did pitch 60 pitches, but he then rested for 3 days.  However, he pitched fall baseball too (approximately 14 innings during the entire 2 month season).   Pitch count was 60 pitches max.  These were the rules we followed, as told by the league.
(3)  He throws a 2 seam and four seam fast ball & changeup.
(4)  This year, my son began his 3rd season last month.  He is 9 yrs 8.5 months old.  We began coaching lessons.  Each week, he has one pitching lesson - throwing 65-75 pitches (not all at full speed).  Working technique, and strategy (e.g. pick off move, etc).  My son is proceeding fantastically, however your advice really made us more aware of injuries.

I would like to take you up on your offer, and send X-rays for evaluation.  Kindly write what I need to say to the X-ray tech, so that I obtain the correct X-rays, for your future evaluation.  Also, what are your rates, for the evaluation?


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     You need to have front and side view X-rays taken of both arms from the mid-forearm to the mid-upper arm, make copies and send them to me along with your email address.  I will read the X-rays and tell you your son's biological age and whether I see any differences in the development of the growth plates in your son's pitching elbow versus his glove elbow.

     I do not charge for this service.

     The biggest danger to your son's pitching arm is when he takes that coaching lesson from the 'traditional' pitching coach.  The second biggest danger to your son's pitching arm is when he uses that 'traditional' pitching motion in games.

     You, your wife and son need to watch my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video and follow the drills that I use to teach the skills of my baseball pitching motion to complete my 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program.  Until your son is biologically thirteen years old, he needs to perfect my motion and the pitches that I teach, not pitch competitively.  At nine years old, he should repeat my 60-Day program every year until he is biologically sixteen years old.

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104.  I just watched the Real Sports clip with Bryant Gumbel.  It was very interesting and will get your message out to millions.  I first met you at Henderson State and would watch your pitchers do exercises no other pitchers I had ever seen perform.

I remember asking you about putting your thoughts in a book and your response was "It would be outdated in a week" as I continue to improve the program.  Since your website has provided so much information for us to consider and ingest, I know your approach is correct.

Here is my frustration which was brought to my attention again in the Real Sports clip when Jeff Sparks mentioned the transition took 5 years or more to master.  The benefit was that his arm no longer hurt and was able to enjoy the joys of pitching.  How can the high school coaches like me ever be true to your principles and be considered a competent instructor when we have so little contact with our athlete?

I remember one of your frustrations with the college game was the restrictions place on your time spent with the athlete.  If you were ever to attend one of my practices, I would want you to see this guy is on the right track with these pitchers.  Right now, I feel you would be disappointed and just another challenged damaging pitcher's opportunity to be all they can be and enjoy the act of pitching.

Thanks for all you have done and continue to do to help us be better instructors in this great game.


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     It has taken me to this year to complete my research.  I can now say that when I next update my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, I will have the final finished product of each.

     The worst comment on the Real Sports show was when Jeff Sparks said that it took him years to master my baseball pitching motion.  He told the truth, but he started in 1993 and I was building a baseball field as I was trying to teach my baseball pitchers this motion.  Then, I did not see him for a year.  Then, I would only see him for a few months in the off-season.

     Now, I have a 724-Day program that would teach him what he did in bits and pieces.  With this program, I could teach high school graduates or drafted professional baseball pitchers everything that they need in less than two years.  If they master the pitches that I teach, then they would be the best injury-free, highly-skilled baseball pitching Monsters that they can be.

     I understand that does not help high school and college coaches.  But, they can do it in the following way.

     For high school baseball coaches, when their high school baseball pitchers are biologically sixteen years old, their baseball pitchers should complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program every year until they start college.

     For college baseball coaches, when their baseball pitchers start the fall season of their Freshman year, college baseball coaches should have them complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

     Then, immediately after their first spring season, college coaches should have their baseball pitchers complete my 280-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program in time for the next spring season.

     Then, immediately after their baseball pitchers second spring season, college coaches should have them complete my 72-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Fifteen Pound Wrist Weight Recoil Interval-Training Program, my 72-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Eight Pound Iron Ball Recoil Interval-Training Program and my 72-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Twenty Wrist Weight Ball Recoil Interval-Training Program.

     Lastly, immediately after their baseball pitchers third spring season, college coaches should have them complete my 72-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Ten Pound Iron Ball Recoil Interval-Training Program, my 72-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Twenty-Five Pound Wrist Weight Recoil Interval-Training Program and my 72-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Twelve Pound Iron Ball Recoil Interval-Training Program.

     If college coaches red-shirt their baseball pitchers during their Freshman year, then their baseball pitchers will have completed my entire interval-training program before their Junior season and college coaches will have quality, injury-free, highly-skilled Monster baseball pitchers for two more years.

     Then, every off-season after their baseball pitchers complete my 72-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Twelve Pound Iron Ball Recoil Interval-Training Program, for as long as they want to pitch competitively, they should complete my 72-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Thirty Pound Wrist Weight Recoil Interval-Training Program and My 72-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Fifteen Pound Iron Ball Recoil Interval-Training Program.

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105.  I have a 12 year old son and I would like for your techniques to become his pitching style.  A couple of questions:

1.  When should he start your 60 day Youth Motor Skill program?  His baseball season starts in 4 weeks.  Is this something we can start now or wait until after the season, which ends in mid-July?

2.  After completing the 60 day program, is it safe to begin practicing the Maxline screwball and pronation curve?  Do we need to wait until the growth plates mature more?

3.  How much down time should there be between the 60 day programs?

4.  He’s big kid for his age, about 5’11”, 180 pounds.  Is it OK to start with 5 pound wrist weights and 4 pound iron balls?


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     It is not only a waste of time for unskilled youth baseball pitchers to pitch, but when they use the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, it is also injurious.  With every 'traditional' pitching motion pitch he throws, he is destroying his pitching arm.

     I recommend that youth baseball pitchers complete my 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program once a year until they are biologically sixteen years old.  I also recommend that they do not pitch until they can throw all four pitches that I teach for strikes and not until they are biologically thirteen years old.  Until they are biologically sixteen years old, I recommend that they only pitch one time through the line-up twice a week for only two consecutive weeks.

     The answers to the rest of your questions are in my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.

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106.  I received your 2006 DVD about 2 years ago.  I just want to thank you for producing it.  I have used it to teach my son.

He is 15.  At high school tryouts 2 weeks ago, some of the boys were making fun of him by making the loaded slingshot position, and actually mimicking your drive line and pronation quite well.  When they would do this, they would say, ”Who am I right now?”  Of course, they were mocking my son.

My son said they mimicked his motion so well it proved to him he was doing it correctly.  After a few days of practice when every other pitcher had a sore arm and he felt great, I told my son as a joke, he should walk into camp with a bag of ice on his shoulder and ask, “Who am I right now?”

Well, after about 10 days of inter-squad games, all the mocking has stopped.  Yesterday, the Head Varsity Coach told my son that he had earned the right to be the starting pitcher for their first district game next week.

He is the only sophomore on the varsity team, and the only player who doesn’t have a driver’s license.  Yet, he beat out every other pitcher for the first game start.

Now, his next goal is to be this year’s ace of the varsity staff!  I just wish to offer you HUGE thanks for your work.


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     You and your son make my heart sing.

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107.  Do the same problems persist with girl's underhand fastpitch?  If they throw too much will they hurt their growth plate as well?  Will some of your exercises help avoid or reduce injury?  If yes, which ones?

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     Because to throw fastpitch softball, youth softball pitchers do not have 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce' and flex the pitching elbow, they will not suffer the same injuries as youth baseball pitchers.  Because I have not researched fastpitch softball pitching as thoroughly as I have researched baseball pitching, I cannot say that they will not do any damage to growth plates in their pitching elbow.

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108.  I am enjoying, as I expect the entire country is, the current HBO Real Sports segment about your determination to rid major league baseball of arm ailments.  I've watched it numerous times already.

I'm a few years younger than you, and I saw you pitch in your glory years with the Dodgers when they came to New York.  Besides being a great pitcher, I enjoyed the swagger you always brought to the mound.  "Colorful" the sports writers might say, in every good sense of the word.  Although I was a fan of both the Yankees and the Mets, I most admired you and the great Dick Radatz (Red Sox) among relievers for your ability and mound presence.

I was a pretty good pitcher until I injured my arm at age 15 on a cold day pitching a complete game.  Never the same after that, although I switched to the outfield and continued on to play in college.  My pitching arm steadily worsened over the years as a result of throws from the outfield, etc.

Just as you demonstrated on Real Sports, to this day I too am unable to extend my elbow completely or to bend it completely.  If one looks carefully at my suit jacket, they can notice one straight arm and one bent one.

I had to learn to use my left arm to shave and comb my hair for just the reasons you described on the program -- and over the years I have become more of a 'lefty' than a righty in everyday activities.  I e-mail you because I'm in the process of winding down my business career and starting to focus on the pleasures of retirement (including playing catch with the grandchildren.  I have had to give up another love of mine, golf, because my right arm has become sufficiently bent as to not allow a proper address position without contorting myself.

Consequently, I have seriously begun to explore possible surgical solutions to my elbow problems for quality-of-life purposes.  I have seen a few specialists, some with sports medicine credentials, but I can't seem to get comfortable with the procedures they propose.  They have different opinions about the problem, and propose different surgeries.

I feel like I have the calcification you spoke of (which is impeding the elbow joint in both directions), but my basic question is -- should I even consider surgery after all these years, or simply live with what I have?  Physical therapy, tried extensively many years ago, helped not at all because of the abnormal bone mass which developed in the injured area.  I wonder if you ever had elbow surgery on your right arm, after the career ended?

I look forward to your reply.  It would be a great thrill to once again have full extension of my right arm at the elbow, but I'm careful enough to want to understand what the risks are and what I should (or shouldn't) reasonably expect.  Thanks for taking the time to read my e-mail.  And congratulations on all the valuable research you do that eventually will save generations of future baseball players from a lifetime of pain and handicap.


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     Sorry.  We are both doomed to live out our life with the irreparable damage that the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion caused.  Who can we sue?  I believe that if we had purchased a video from one of today's self-appointed gurus, like Tom House or Dick Mills, and followed it, then we could and should sue them.

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109.  The segment of yours recently aired on HBO sports intrigued me.  It's a shame the baseball establishment is so entrenched and limited in their thinking.  While I have never pitched I have played volleyball much of my adult life.  When I saw your method I was wondering if there might be some sort of correlation between the pitching motion and the volleyball spike.

It's such a popular game these days, but the injury rate, particularly rotator cuff injuries, are quite numerous.   It's more a case of when and how bad a case you'll have if you play enough volleyball.  The spike puts an enormous strain on the shoulder and there must be a way to generate similar force and control without having to blow a shoulder out.

I know this isn't your normal field of interest, but if you should somehow find the time, give it a look see.   I'm sure if there was a better way to spike, we in the sport would be much more open to it than the baseball establishment.


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     All sport skills that use the maximum intensity overhand throwing motion should use the technique that I teach.  With volleyball strikers, I would teach them my Wrong Foot Slingshot and Wrong Foot Loaded Slingshot drills and then show them how to use the Loaded Slingshot arm action which the requisite jumping action.

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110.  I have emailed you before about the high school 120 day program.  Being a full time high school player as a senior I find no time to do the training program anymore.  I pronate as much as possible, even from the outfield.  I have all six pitches and am at 90 mph now.  I hide the marshall delivery with a leg kick because of the negative attention I receive if I don't.

I was clocked at 91 mph the day after I threw 4 innings.  I never ever have a sore arm anymore, except for one reoccurring problem.  Every time I pitch now, it feels like I have pulled a muscle in my lat.  I understand that the lat should be worked as a decelerator muscle rather than the small fragile muscles of the rotator cuff, i.e. the labrum.  The pain is directly below my shoulder blade and only discomforting during the pronation snap.  Is there anything I can do to do fix this problem?


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     Yes, you need to learn how to stand tall and rotate over your glove foot through release.  By lifting your glove leg and striding too far, you are leaving your pitching leg so far behind that you are unnecessarily stressing your Latissimus Dorsi muscle on your pitching side.  That is why I teach my baseball pitchers to use the crow-hop body action.

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111.  I caught an episode of Real Sports the other day on HBO and I saw your segment on there and your pitching methods.  I am sure ever since that episode aired you are getting more email than ever, but hopefully you will find the time to read my email.

I guess I will start out by saying that I have never been more upset by any other TV show that I had ever watched...but let me explain:

There you were, methodically describing your new way of pitching, and there I am sitting on the couch with a 12" titanium plate and 12 screws in my right humerus, with all of my once major league aspirations well beyond me by 10 years.  You see, growing up I was a flame thrower all through the Little League (minor, major, junior, senior) levels.  And just as I was starting my high school career, and making my way into my new 6'-4" lanky body frame, that dreadful day happened to me is a blink of an eye.  I can still remember it this instance as if it were yesterday.

It was the bottom of the first inning, two outs, full count.  All I wanted to do was paint the outside edge of the plate with an 80 mph fastball and take it back to the dugout.  I wound-up, began my delivery, then SNAP!  I immediately saw double/blurred vision, and the ball ended up in the third base side dugout.  Everyone in the crowd and outfield could hear the snap.  I grabbed my arm in disbelief.  Did I just dislocate my shoulder?  I had no idea.  I remained standing there until the coaches ran out to me.

They began investigating my arm and they could feel that my right humerus was in two pieces.  I couldn't grasp what just happened.  I just stood there with disbelief holding my arm.  Thus, this was the end of my baseball career, my dreams of pitching in the Bigs, etc.

I say your appearance on this HBO episode was so upsetting to me because I wish me and my family knew about your philosophies.  But I guess looking back, we all have 20-20 vision.  Do you think your pitching methods could have saved me from breaking my arm while pitching?

Now, before you answer, there is one of unusual twist to my story that I would really like get your opinion on.  After many hospital visits and bone scans, it was determined that I had fibrous dysphasia, smack-dab where my arm broke.  Just for details, my arm broke in a splinter-like fashion from the top of the humerus down to the bottom, all the way through.

My question now is, with my arm having fibrous dysphasia, do you think your pitching methods could have still prevented my arm from snapping while pitching?

  I don't have any children now, but when I do, and they want to play ball, I hope I can still find your teachings then.


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     I cannot claim any expertise in whether fibrous dysphasia weakens bone.  However, I know that the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion unnecessarily stresses the Humerus bone of the pitching upper arm.

     It does so with an injurious flaw that I call, 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Turnover.'

     When 'traditional' baseball pitchers take the baseball out of their glove with their pitching hand on top of the baseball, they come to a point in their take-away where their pitching arm stops moving backward and they have to raise their pitching forearm to driveline height.  I call this, 'Late Pitching Forearm Turnover.'

     While they are in the process of raising their pitching forearm upward, they glove foot lands and they immediately start to forwardly rotate their shoulders and pitching upper arm.  This means that they have started to move their pitching elbow forward, but their pitching forearm is still moving upward to driveline height.

     The result of these opposing forces is that the pitching forearm moves backward and downward until it reaches the limit of its ability to outwardly rotate.  At that moment, all that backward and downward force focuses on the Humerus bone and ruptures the Ulnar Collateral Ligament or fractures the Humerus bone.

     You are not the only 'traditional' baseball pitcher to fracture your Humerus bone.

     Tony Saunders of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays fractured his Humerus during a game when trying to throw the 'traditional' supination curve.  Then, after the break healed, he fractured it again.  Unbelievably, the doctor, trainer and pitching coach sent him back to the pitching mound to use the same baseball pitching motion that broke the bone the first time.

     I have removed this unnecessary stress from my baseball pitching motion.

     For as long as I live, I plan to keep my website on line and up to date.  I will also try to find a way for it to continue after I die.

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112.  I understand that parents come to you "after" an injury.  It seems to me that teaching this "before" any injury would be the way to go; then you are starting with a fresh arm and it would seem that it would progress much faster.  But as you know, progress moves slowly, especially in the sports-medicine field.

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     Parents believe the 'traditional' baseball pitching coaches until their sons cry themselves to sleep with the pain created by the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.  After all, baseball pitchers have pitched this way for over one hundred years.

     Sports Medicine claims to conduct research in the prevention of injuries.  They have failed baseball pitchers.  Nevertheless, they still keep the money from the surgeries.

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113.  I generally don't bring what I read about you on other web sites to you unless I feel it is serious enough to get your comment.  As you know, Bill Petersen has pretty much broken with your pitching motion.  I personally have no problem with this, but he is saying that your pitching motion is injurious.  As this has been the cornerstone of you life's work I feel this is a serious charge.

I gather we will have to pay Bill to obtain this his new motion, but I gather one has to incorporate a high leg kick into the pitching motion although I'm not positive on this.  Here is Bill's exchange with two of your students.  This is the best I can find of what he disagrees with you on.

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Bill wrote to your student who goes by Postblank:

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"You really should be more careful when you write or speak of things of which you have no personal knowledge.  I've taken about all I wish to absorb and the time has come to speak up.  Many on this board are aware of the process my son and I have been involved in for over four and a half years now, and have communicated with me for a very long time.

Earlier this year, under the direction of a biomechanics PhD, using a sophisticated motion sensor system, we did some scientific biomechanical analysis of both Marshall's mechanic and something more hybridized.  The sample size was one.  One pitcher throwing with two mechanics: my son.

The analysis showed conclusively why, when throwing with Marshall's technique, learned under Marshall's supervision, my son developed substantial and ongoing shoulder pain.  This same analysis also documents conclusively the changes we have made and why he no longer hurts.

Shortly, there will be a paper released that will detail all of this and many here will find it enlightening.  In a nutshell, many of the ideas and theoretical constructs you THINK you know something about have little bearing on truth when it comes to pitching.  It's time to check your hole card."

Bill Peterson (Coach45)

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Then he writes to Fastball95 who trains with you.

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"Summer 2005, long before you were around, Marshall passed off my sons' shoulder problem as an anterior deltoid issue.  It wasn't then and never has been.  I asked point blank, face to face, if we should have an MRI done and was told, 'no, he's just not strong enough yet.'  You know Pat well enough to know this is not likely.  Out of the 3+ years my son trained you were there for the last four MONTHS.  You have not seen how the program has changed.  Likely, you are the beneficiary of work laid down by those before you.

Here's a sample of what we've found:

Marshall's body action disconnects the pelvis and torso rotation from the arm/shoulder very early.  We measured it.  In essence you're throwing all arm.  By pointing the entire glove arm at home plate, it opens the entire shoulder line very, very early.  Combine these two elements and it's a prescription for the arm to lag behind.  Anterior shoulder damage.

In my son's case he's a good enough athlete that his hip- and torso- rotation rates are exceedingly high.  We measured it.  And in his case you also have to add inordinately long arms into the equation...at 6'-4 he has the wingspan of someone 6'-9.  Things lagging behind are now lagging even further behind.  Couple these things with a professional caliber athlete, and the ability to apply force just went through the roof.

Joe, how does 98.3% straight to the plate in the X axis sound?  Do you think Doc would like that number?  That's where my son was using what Doc taught him.  I doubt that anyone in the camp even comes close.  The problem is the arm is driving upward at just under 50 mph.  It would be very easy to call it vertical flyout.  Doc doesn't like the term, but it's true.  We measured it.

Doc has historically talked about the driveline as ear height.  Simply and observably not true.  But take a skilled motor learner, embed that in their head, and tell them to drive the ball straight at home plate.  The result?  Flexing the shoulder joint downward.  It appears to be dropping the elbow.  It's not.  Everyone else there, that I'm aware of, flexes the elbow.  Doc calls it grabbing.  It's not.

It's the body's natural response to the chain of events happening.  My son was an adept enough learner to over-ride this natural sequence and follow instructions.  And it added to the problem.  The instruction and the concept was wrong.  We've fixed it.

If Doc couldn't effectively get all this across in three years of work, why could I, without my Cy Young and PhD, break through.  Because I'm teaching something that works and it's repeatable with other students.  It's different.  Why in the world would I wish to hang onto something that doesn't return what is promised?  I'm more pragmatic than that.

I understand why Marshall tried another body action:  he could't seem to keep guys from reverse rotating.  His solution threw the baby out with the bath water.  What we've found is that a rather simple adjustment at hand break fixes the problem.  Our high speed imagery proves that we've fixed it, and the kids I'm teaching don't have the problem.

Anyone down there in the camp have 30 degrees of separation on a fastball release?  With serious velocity?  Here it is below, and I'd like to see yours.  Joe, whether you like it or not, there are some smart people out here in the real world.  And it doesn't take a specialized degree.  It takes a gift for observation and perseverance.  I could write many more volumes about this, but I have no clue whether you'll listen or not.  You've got choices ahead of you.  I hope you choose wisely."

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My questions:

Has Mr Peterson discussed these issues with you?

Can you comment on Pat's pitching arm injury?

Mr. Peterson has no problem with "grabbing," can you comment on this?

Bill writes, "Marshall's body action disconnects the pelvis and torso rotation from the arm/shoulder very early.  We measured it.  In essence you're throwing all arm."  Can you comment on this?

Bill writes:  "I understand why Marshall tried another body action:  he couldn't seem to keep guys from reverse rotating.  His solution threw the baby out with the bath water."  What does he mean by this?


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     I will respond first to the biomechanical analysis of Pat Howe throwing with my baseball pitching motion and with Bill Peterson's baseball pitching motion.  He did not throw with my baseball pitching motion.  While he trained with me, there were brief times when he came close to throwing with my baseball pitching motion, but, for whatever reason, he would revert back to the pitching arm action with which he came to me.

     On the day after my students arrive, I take videotape of them throwing the way that they have thrown all their lives.  When I watched Pat, I saw that he would drop his pitching upper arm well below the line across the top of his shoulders.  This usually indicates that baseball pitchers are protecting an injury to the front of their pitching shoulder.

     However, when I asked him whether he had ever injured the front of his pitching shoulder, he said no.  I told him that, if this is true, then he has a mechanical flaw in the action of his pitching upper arm that I will show him how to correct.

     Also, as you know, at the start of every single day of training with me, I ask every baseball pitcher whether they have any discomfort.  I keep all records.  Never did Pat Howe ever say that he had any discomfort in the front of his pitching shoulder.

     I have never said that Pat had a shoulder problem because he never told me that he had a shoulder problem.  Bill never asked me whether Pat should have a MRI taken.  If he had, I would have asked him why he would ask that question because Pat never complained of any shoulder problem.

     With regard to whether I continually have changed my program, the answer is that I am still teaching the absolutely same baseball pitching motion that I have always taught.  What changes is the pedagogy.  That is, I am always searching for better ways to help baseball pitchers to learn the skills of my baseball pitching motion.

     The idea that my baseball pitching motion disconnects the hip and thorax rotation from the pitching shoulder and pitching upper arm is ridiculous.  The 'traditional' baseball pitching motion requires baseball pitchers to forwardly rotate their hips first, then their shoulders, then their pitching upper arm.  That is what causes unnecessary stress to the front of the pitching shoulder.

     With my baseball pitching motion, I use the crow-hop throwing technique.  This means that, instead of reverse rotating over their pitching foot, I teach my baseball pitchers to forwardly rotate their entire body over their glove foot.  We do not separate the hip, thorax, shoulder and pitching upper arm at all.  We bring them forward together.  Then, because we time the moment that our glove foot lands with when our pitching arm reaches driveline height, we remove all the unnecessary stress from the front of the pitching shoulder.

     If Bill Peterson will give me the name of the biomechanist with whom he is working, I would be glad to debate this matter in exhausting detail.

     I would also like to debate the biomechanist's misconception that, "By pointing the entire glove arm at home plate, it opens the entire shoulder line very, very early."  When my baseball pitchers move their pitching arm to driveline height at the same time that their glove foot lands, they do not put any unnecessary stress on the front of their pitching shoulder.

     That is why no baseball pitcher that I have ever trained who uses my baseball pitching motion has ever injured the front of their pitching shoulder and that includes Pat Howe.

     Bill did not say what moved 98.3% straight toward home plate.  If he is talking about the pitching elbow, I would be thrilled.

     Do you remember when you emailed me and questioned me about the segment in my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video where I asked the question, Does he move his elbow to driveline height?  I always responded, No.  I said no because none of the baseball pitchers did?  That is the point.  I teach my baseball pitchers to raise their pitching elbow to driveline height.  For whatever reason, nobody was doing it.

     If you look at my Wrong Foot body action, Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drill, then you will see that I want their pitching upper arm vertically beside their head.  I do not want any 'flaring.'

     If you look at my Wrong Foot body action, Loaded Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drill, then you will see that, from my 'Ready' position, I want my baseball pitchers to immediately move their pitching upper arm into my Slingshot position.

     Unfortunately, for whatever reason, until this year, not one of my baseball pitchers has ever done what I asked.  I cannot make them.  But, I continually tell them.  But, for whatever reason, they never did.  Now, this is not an injurious flaw, it is a mechanical flaw that decreases their horizontal command.  That is why they miss inside and outside.  It is a form of 'flaring,' just like 'traditional' baseball pitchers, although not nearly as bad.

     This year, just like I did with Pat's group, I again started out with my returning baseball pitchers explaining the importance of the vertical pitching upper arm and plioanglosly lengthening the Triceps Brachii, Teres Major and Latissimus Dorsi muscles of their pitching upper arm.  But, this time, two of my baseball pitchers did it.  I smiled and waited.

     After they finished their wrist weight recoil cycle and were about one-half way through their iron ball recoil cycles, these two guys were ready to show the other guys what I have been trying to teach them all these years.

     With my Wrong Foot Loaded Slingshot drill, I told these two guys that, during the pitching upper arm acceleration phase of my baseball pitching motion, I wanted them to wait until they pointed their pitching elbow straight at home plate and then, I wanted them to try to rupture their Ulnar Collateral Ligament.

     Before I continue, I have to tell you that I know that, because they are already contracting all of their accelerator muscles, no matter how hard they try, it is impossible to actually rupture their Ulnar Collateral Ligament.  They might feel some training discomfort in their Triceps Brachii, Teres Major and/or Latissimus Dorsi the next day, but that is a good thing.

     One of the two kids does a great job of keeping his pitching hand on the driveline toward home plate.  Therefore, he was able to keep horizontal command.  The other kid moves his pitching hand laterally behind his head just before he starts toward home plate, which means that the extra force decreased his horizontal command.  But, both kids visibly increased their release velocity.

     In the poorly chosen words that Kinesiologists regularly use, these kids eccentrically, then concentrically contracted their Triceps Brachii, Teres Major and Latissimus Dorsi muscles.

     Immediately, the other baseball pitchers recognized the increase in release velocity.  One of the more experienced baseball pitchers was throwing on the pitching mound immediately to the left of the kid with the straighter driveline tried to keep up with the kid next to him and could not.  Jeff Sparks was sitting with me.

     After they finished, Jeff and the other more experienced baseball pitcher asked me, what did these kids do that they were not doing?  I said, for the first time in the all my years of coaching baseball pitchers, they did what I asked them to do.  When they asked, what was that?  I told them that they immediately moved their pitching elbow to driveline height.

     Within a few days, Jeff appropriately adjusted his pitching arm action and he is throwing better than I have ever seen him.  The other more experienced baseball pitcher has made some improvement, but can make significantly more.

     To answer Bill Peterson's complaint about vertical flyout:  I have said this all along.  I say it in my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.  The cure is for baseball pitchers to move their pitching elbow to driveline height.  When their pitching elbow is at driveline height and they drive their pitching forearm as horizontally close to the top of their head as they can, they greatly decrease the upward angle at which they drive their pitching hand through release.

     Therefore, despite Bill's claims that Pat performed my baseball pitching motion exactly as I teach it, he did not.  In fact, except when I was standing over him making sure that he had his pitching upper arm vertical, he was the only baseball pitcher I have ever trained that dropped his pitching upper arm well below the line across the top of his shoulders.

     If you watched the 'Real Sport' show on HBO, then you watched the best evidence of whether Pat had an injured shoulder.  Remember when, just after Pat fired an iron ball at one of my rebound walls, Bryant Gumbel asked Pat how much the iron ball weighed and Pat told him fifteen pounds?  If you rewind and watch Pat powerfully throw that fifteen pound iron ball at the wall, you will see that Pat has his pitching upper arm absolutely vertical.  I guess that that video proves that Pat did not have any pain in the front of his pitching shoulder with my baseball pitching motion.

     Bill, you must stop lying.  I have the evidence that proves that you are lying.

     I love Pat and he works very hard, but, for whatever reason, except for brief periods, he just will not do what I tell him that he needs to do.  He is the only baseball pitcher I have trained that never learned how to throw my Maxline Pronation Curve.  Oh, there were moments when he would get it right with my Wrong Foot drills, and, for brief periods, with my Wind-Up body actions.  But, very shortly, he would start dropping his pitching upper arm downward and, as a result, he could never drive his pitching forearm inside of vertical, such that he always spiraled the baseball.

     Bill said that I started to teach the crow-hop body action because I could not keep my baseball pitchers from reverse rotating over their pitching foot.  That is not true.  I started teaching the crow-hop body action because it is the only way to enable my baseball pitchers to lengthen and straighten their drivelines.

     I could once again try to get Bill and my readers to understand the proper way for baseball pitchers to satisfy Sir Isaac Newton's law of reaction, but I have done that many times before.  Therefore, I will leave that discussion as is or if someone wants to challenge me about what I have said with something more than it looks different, I will gladly revisit that discussion.

     Perhaps Bill's biomechanist would like to explain how he/she satisfies Sir Isaac Newton's third law of motion.  I would love to debate that issue.

     Bill claims that Pat has thirty degrees of pitching forearm to pitching upper arm separation with his fastball releases.  That is very good.  I would like to see that high-speed film.  With Bill's track record for the truth, I do not believe anything that he says.  He is going to have to show me the irrefutable evidence.  Where is the high-speed film?

     Now, to answer your questions:

01.  No, Bill Peterson has not discussed these issues with me.

02.  As far as I know and according to my records, when he left here, Pat did not have a pitching arm injury.

03.  When baseball pitchers 'grab,' they move their pitching hand closer to their pitching elbow than the full length of their pitching forearm.  With your kind assistance, we are using plastic practice javelins with great success at correcting this problem.  The vertical pitching upper arm also helps to correct this problem.

04.  I believe that I have already explained how my baseball pitching motion does not disconnect the hips and trunk from the shoulders and pitching arm.  But, the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion does.

05.  I believe that I have also already explained why I stopped trying to placate the 'traditional' baseball pitching coaches with a small glove leg lift and some minimal reverse rotation over the pitching foot.  Apparently, Bill thinks that, when I did that, I removed the most valuable aspect of my baseball pitching motion.  Once again, he is wrong.

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114.  I have an 11 year old in Little League who has an incredible arm for his age.  Your teaching techniques really intrigue me.  I know he is too young to teach these methods from some of your emails I have read (if I understood them correctly), but I have a few questions for you.

I was wondering if your motion was legal as baseball rules are today?

And also I notice the position that the pitchers body is in almost looks like you're in a vunerable position for line drives and hard grounders.

Also at what age would your recommend your techniques and how much do your camps usually cost?


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     You are correct, I have only worked with high school and junior college graduates.  I leave training youth baseball pitchers to their parents.

     Everything that your parents need to learn how to teach you how to become the best injury-free, highly-skilled baseball pitcher is on my website without charge.  You and your parents should start by watching my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.

     Yes, my baseball pitching motion is completely legal.

     With my baseball pitching motion, my baseball pitchers are in the perfect position to protect themselves from hard line drives back at them, to field bunts and topped baseball in front of them and ground balls hit to their glove side.

     And, when we pitch to glove arm side batters, we expect the pitching arm side middle infielder to move closer to second base and field ground balls to our pitching arm side.  That is much more than you can say about the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.

     Parents should use my 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program to teach the drills that teach the skills of my baseball pitching motion when their youngsters indicate that they want to play baseball.

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115.  First of all, I have to congratulate you for your web site, it is more than informative site, to me, it is more educational.

My 14 years old son started pitching last year and your web site has helped us to achieve certain grade of improvement.

He does the weight training (16 rep) with therapeutic weight, this has giving him more endurance in his arm.

The question I have is this:  This kid, in the outfield , has a  very strong arm, from the center field fence (300’) he can make a throw to home plate in one bounce.  What could cause him to loose speed when he pitches from the mound?

Could it be the release?

I would appreciate any suggestion how to improve his speed.  Probably, the video clip can not help too much to analyze the release point; I have been working with the “form.”  I would like your opinion with the Kick, the stride etc.

This kid is planning to go to high school next year, since he is lefty.  I would like him to improve and make the Varsity team.


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     Most baseball position players use the crow-hop body action to throw.  All 'traditional' baseball pitchers use the balance position body action to throw.  Therefore, if position players want to throw as hard on the pitching mound as they do in their positions, then they need to use the crow-hop body action.

     In my baseball pitching motion, I use the crow-hop body action.

     Everything you and your son need to learn to become the best injury-free, highly-skilled baseball pitchers that they can be is on my website for all to watch, read and copy without charge.

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116.  I don't particularly mind that guys like Bill Peterson and Chris O'Leary go their separate ways from you.  But, I am disappointed with the dishonesty associated with the break.  I don't see any reason for it.

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     Both Bill Peterson and Chris O'Leary only know what they mistakenly think they know from watching and reading my stuff.  Now, they want to make money from what they think that they know.  But, to do that, they have to discredit the source of their knowledge.  They are not the first to try this in business.  They will have the same success that all other phony imitators.  None.

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117. I have already started watching the videos online.  I probably will go pick up the wrist weighs today or tomorrow.  How much does the 120 day program cost and what stores is it being sold in, or is that also online?  Also, what was the name of the pitcher you taught who went on to play for the Devil Rays who went from a 79 mph fastball to 96?

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     I will say it again.  Everything that you need is on my website without charge.  When you watch section eleven of my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, you will learn the name you seek.

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118.  I am a 17 year old high school senior baseball player.  Your research has really been an eye-opener to me.  My plans after my baseball career ends are to do similar research like you have done.  I am currently planning to study exercise and sports science as my major in college after I transfer from playing baseball.

Of course, I am a “traditional” throwing right-hander and your research has given me many ideas.  But, a question I would like to ask, a question that many pitchers ask, is how do I build velocity?

What are the effects of long toss, weighted balls, weight-lifting, and even possibly too much flexibility?  I recently finished an off-season training program at a place called Carolina Acceleration.  It included weight-lifting, speed and agility, but most of all we used a throwing resistant cord to increase velocity.  The program guaranteed an increase of at least 4 mph, but possibly 6-8 mph.  Mine went from 78-78 mph.  I was extremely disappointed.

After working extremely hard to better my stamina, strength, power, and speed I find myself early in the season with an aching forearm or “tennis elbow”, and a muscle spasm in my lower scapular area.  The physical therapist and orthopedic are trying to calm these down.  Do you have any ideas on these subjects of injury?  I believe the muscle spasm happened from playing shortstop and having a quick-short arm action that pinched my scapula inward towards my spine.


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     To prevent the problems that you are experiencing, you have to stop being a 'traditional' baseball pitcher and learn how to use my baseball pitching motion.

     Release velocity equals the force toward home plate that baseball pitchers apply times the time period over which they apply that force divided by the mass of the baseball.

     This means that, to achieve their genetic maximum release velocity, baseball pitchers have to drive the baseball in straight lines toward home plate over as great a distance as possible.

     This is exactly what I train my baseball pitchers to do.

     I recommend that you complete my 724-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.  To learn how to perform the drills that I use to teach the skills of my baseball pitching motion, you should watch my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.

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119.  When I played baseball my teammates called me "the intellect," partly in a pejorative way I suppose.  In truth, I was neither that smart, nor that skilled.  But, watching you on Real Sports and remembering your career, I personally have no greater admiration than for someone who is blessed with both outstanding physical prowess and exceptional mental faculties.

Without using those words, I think that's the real reason you expressed to Bryant Gumbel deep satisfaction with your life despite the challenges of gaining wide acceptance for your pitching techniques.  The people who are blessed with great physical and mental gifts -- in painting, sculpture, music, etc. -- are the ones who create the masterpieces which forever smile on mankind.

You should be as widely cheered now for your efforts to save future generations from arm ailments as you were cheered for your boffo relief performances thirty years ago.  I wouldn't be surprised if someday you're remembered more for your advances in pitching kinesiology than for your own pitching heroics.


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     I hope that you enjoy my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.

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120.  I learned about your life after baseball from your appearance on Ed Randall's radio show last year on wfan and was really interested in what you had to say.  And I've kinda followed your idea and train of thought since then, and I came up with a question for ya.

Recently I heard the question put to Mel Stottelmyre about how the modern pitcher just can't pitch allot anymore, and Mel agreed that it's true that pitchers just aren't taught the way they used to be to just throw and throw and work super hard on their bodies.  But he said, in his role as a major league pitching coach, he can't change stuff.  He's going to continue to baby his pitchers too, because by the time these guys reach the bigs, it's too late to start conditioning them any other way.

So, I guess I want to know if you think this current generation of pitchers is doomed to be chained to the pitch count, or do you think if one team or two tried experimenting with your style of doing things, they might get some results. also, you'd think the Latin and other foreign born ball players wouldn't be part of this American trend of pitchers that can't pitch anymore, yet they seam to follow.

my own opinion is that pretty soon teams are going to get so tired of their starters not being able to eat up innings anymore and their bullpens swelling to 6, 7 or sometimes even 8 guys, they are going to look for a better way of doing business.


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     I understand what Mel means.  By the time that baseball pitchers work their way to the major leagues, they are not about to change what they do.  However, if they are not successful or become injured, then the door opens for some minor adjustments.

     That is why I believe that major league teams could use my services for their baseball pitchers who are not successful, injured or drafted.  After a couple of years, I believe that the other baseball pitchers in that organization would come sniffing around to see what is going on and, inevitably, want to try the wrist weight and iron ball drills.

     I know that major league baseball pitchers are not fit. Most of the reason is that the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion is so injurious that baseball pitchers have to wait for their minor injuries to heal before they can train again.  By this, I mean that 'traditional' baseball pitchers have severe discomfort after they pitch.

     However, with my baseball pitching motion, my baseball pitchers can train every day and once fit, never have any discomfort after they pitch.  I pitched 179 closing innings in 1973 and 208 closing innings in 1974 without ever having any discomfort of any time.

     In the 1968 off-season, I started every Wednesday and Sunday games for my Puerto Rican team.  I know that, with my baseball pitching motion, I could train baseball pitchers to start twice a week every week of the season and go three times through the lineup.

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121.  As a strong believer in the theory and practice of your pitching philosophy, I have a question regarding my young nephew, Simon, at what seems to be a fairly significant time in his baseball development.  He is, as I said, young, only 10.  But this is the first year in little league that he is planning to pitch.  He is a manifestly gifted kid with an extremely strong and accurate arm, and his coaches are understandably looking forward to putting him on the mound.

But, as the person whose voice counts most with his parents regarding Si's baseball life, I have reservations about having him pitch at this age.  First, I just have basic doubts about how much is learned about the craft at this age vs. how much damage can be done to unformed joints, etc.  It has always seemed like a fundamentally questionable tradeoff, though I'm certainly not educated enough to say with any absolute conviction.

Beyond that, however, since I am such a strong believer in your school of thought, I tend to feel that it might be better to keep him off the mound for the even more significant reason that when he reaches the age of player that you work with, he might do better absorbing the mechanics of your motion if he doesn't need to unlearn five or six+ years of bad habits in order do it.  Intuitively, it seems that maybe the best-case scenario would be to have a kid who is athletically gifted, has a live arm, but no baggage in the form of muscle memories that have to be excised.

The flip side of that argument may be, however, that unless the student/player has at least some significant pitching experience then he may not have any knowledge base on which you can build -- you may just be speaking a language he doesn't understand.  So, essentially, this is my extremely long-winded way of asking what you think would be easier for you to work with when the time comes, a completely blank slate with RAW talent, or someone who already knows something about pitching, it's just that he knows the wrong things.

Again, I apologize for my wordiness here.  I realize your time is extremely limited and valuable and I'll understand completely if it's simply not possible for you to answer.  In any case, I do appreciate your work and your efforts to help reduce the unnecessary suffering of so many young athletes.  A life's work to be admired after such an already admirable career on the field.


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     My advice is the same for the parents of all youth baseball pitchers.

01.  As soon as youngsters show interest in baseball pitching, every year until they are biologically sixteen years old, parents should use my 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program to teach them how to perform the drills that I use to teach the skills of my baseball pitching motion.

02.  When they are biologically thirteen years old, youth baseball pitchers should pitch one time through the lineup twice a week for two consecutive months.

03.  When they are biologically sixteen years old, youth baseball pitchers should complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program every year until they are biologically nineteen years old.

04.  When they are biologically sixteen years old, youth baseball pitchers should start and pitch no more than three times through the lineup and relieve and pitch one time through the lineup once a week for four consecutive months.

05.  When they are biologically nineteen years old, young adult baseball pitchers should complete my 724-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

06.  During every off-season thereafter for as long as they want to pitch competitively, they should complete my 72-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Thirty Pound Wrist Weight Recoil Interval-Training Program and 72-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Fifteen Pound Iron Ball Recoil Interval-Training Program.

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122.  More from the Peanut Gallery of Bill Peterson.

--------------------------------------------------

"Dirt,

As said elsewhere, I think Marshall was the first out-of-the-box thinker to accurately asses and describe some of the mechanical causes of injuries.  And I don't believe anyone else was really looking.

Your last statement is the one I find problematic and it's problematic because his proposed solutions have created another set of problems.  From our findings (an admittedly small sample size) the body action and glove-side techniques cause the throwing shoulder to lag even farther behind than with conventional mechanics.  The guys he trains, even those most particularly adept athletes, make tremendous strength gains.  Without those strength gains I suspect every one of them would have been injured.

There are also serious inefficiencies in the driveline.  In reality it's very short, not having the length Marshall describes, because the ball actually comes almost to a complete pause before final acceleration starts, and even then the ball is not driving straight toward the plate it's being driven upward very fast (we've measured this component at almost 50 MPH).

That's a bunch of wasted force, as is the disconnect of pelvis/torso rotation from the shoulder & arm.  I'll see if I can put together an animated GIF that shows this...I'm still figuring out software issues.

In the interim, here's a still that shows the specific evidence of shoulder lag.  You can study Marshall's other students and see that they are all essentially the same.  This problem is induced by his body action and glove side technique as taught.  The fixes for this are proprietary, though we hope to share them with everyone in baseball."


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          This photograph shows exactly what I have said about Pat Howe.  He refuses to perform my baseball pitching motion.

          After my baseball pitchers pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height, I teach them to ‘lock’ their pitching upper arm with their shoulders and immediately raise the pitching elbow to driveline height.  Patrick consistently refused to do so. This photograph shows that he has failed to ‘lock’ his pitching upper arm with his shoulder.

        The first step in my cure was to teach him how to properly perform my Wrong Foot Slingshot drill.  That was the drill he was using in the ‘Real Sports’ segment in which he very powerfully threw a fifteen pound lead ball at my rebound wall.  If you watch Pat throw that lead ball, then you will see that he had his pitching elbow at driveline height, which means that he did not drive the ball upward.

         The second step in my cure was to teach him how to properly perform my Wrong Foot Loaded Slingshot drill.  This drill requires baseball pitchers to immediately ‘lock’ their pitching upper arm with their shoulder as they assume my Slingshot position.  Unfortunately, before he mastered that skill, his father told him to stop doing my training program and start getting ready to pitch in the Colorado summer league.

        As I have said all along, the only detriment to Pat’s success is his father’s interference with very bad advice.

          We shall see whether what Bill has Pat doing now works.  I will bet that Pat never achieves the skills and success as the high school pitcher with whom Bill worked who now does precisely what teach.

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123.  I have been coaching baseball for over 20 years.  The one thing that I have always considered to be my best attribute.  No matter how successful I have been, I am always looking for new or better ways to coach.

I just saw Bryant Gumbel Real Time Sports and was intrigued with your pitching method.  I would like to find out how I can become Certified to be a Marshall Baseball Pitching Coach.  With pain in my shoulder due to pitching and playing all of my life, it would be easier to convince others to teach your way of pitching. Please let me know how to become certified.


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     For the time being, I am not offering my Certification Clinics.  However, on my website, without charge, I have provided everything that you need.

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124.  I received your response from my earlier email and copy and pasted it onto Baseball Fever.  It was subsequently deleted by Jake Patterson.  He protects Bill Peterson from anyone who questions anything he says.

Also, Sam's mom has begun posting on Baseball Fever and pretty much all of her posts get deleted by Jake Patterson.  So after her posts were deleted, I posted and said, "I guess some people cannot handle the truth."  This post was of course deleted by Jake Patterson and I was subsequently banned for two days from Baseball Fever.


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     It sounds to me that Jake Patterson is un-American.  When Jake cannot handle the truth, he silences the messengers.  If Jake does not change his ways, free-thinking bloggers should boycott Baseball Fever.

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125.  Do you give lessons in Florida?  If so, how much do they cost?

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     At sixty-five years old, after this group finishes, I will not longer sit in my chair at my Pitching Research/Training Center for two hundred and eighty consecutive days and teach amateur baseball pitchers.

     However:

01.  I will continue to provide my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video and other materials without charge on my website.

02.  I am considering a consultant relationship, where I would personally work with baseball pitchers for four consecutive days at selected times during the completion of my 724-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

03.  If enough readers are interested in learning more about my baseball pitching motion and interval-training programs, then I would consider offering Baseball Pitching Seminars.

04.  And, I plan to speak at as many baseball clinics and conventions as I receive invitations to do so.

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126.  I have a son who is 11 years old.  He's a southpaw.  He plays up for his age on a travel baseball team.  His mechanics are solid.  He has been getting pitching lessons since he was 7.   He never complains of any pain.  Sometimes soreness after pitching a game of 60 or so pitches.  He never throws more than 60-65 pitches a week.

I did not see your HBO special.  I do not have HBO.

I am impressed with the time that you have dedicated towards pitching and youth sports.   My son takes about 2-3 months off a year from pitching.  I try to learn as much as possible so that my sons arm will be in great shape for both HS and College if he still has an interest.

After reading on your website how little they should be pitching at this age, I feel that I may have gone wrong with my son.

I listened to Tom House speak one day and his philosophy was that kids don't throw enough.  If you don't mind answering my question, how would you change his training?  Should I just have him stop pitching?

One of my son's pitching coaches is coming down to your home next month to learn more about you and your pitching.


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     My advice is the same for the parents of all youth baseball pitchers.

01.  As soon as youngsters show interest in baseball pitching, every year until they are biologically sixteen years old, parents should use my 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program to teach them how to perform the drills that I use to teach the skills of my baseball pitching motion.

02.  When they are biologically thirteen years old, youth baseball pitchers should pitch one time through the lineup twice a week for two consecutive months.

03.  When they are biologically sixteen years old, youth baseball pitchers should complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program every year until they are biologically nineteen years old.

04.  When they are biologically sixteen years old, youth baseball pitchers should start and pitch no more than three times through the lineup and relieve and pitch one time through the lineup once a week for four consecutive months.

05.  When they are biologically nineteen years old, young adult baseball pitchers should complete my 724-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

06.  During every off-season thereafter for as long as they want to pitch competitively, they should complete my 72-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Thirty Pound Wrist Weight Recoil Interval-Training Program and 72-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Fifteen Pound Iron Ball Recoil Interval-Training Program.

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127.  I saw your spot on ESPN and it was great.  I like when people try to make a Baseball better.

While on your website, I saw "I cannot teach calculus to people who have difficulty counting." and I had a hearty laugh.  Although I think you can and I hope you keep trying.

From what I've seen, I really think if you have more success, people will slowly begin to use your methods, or variations of it.

If it takes 5 years to master your method, 2-3 years just to learn, in professional baseball time, that's a very long time for a player to be immobilized.  I understand the possibility of a longer life for a pitching arm.  How else can you just such large bet on unproven system?  With all due respect, CY young didn't use your method, nor did he use some variation of your method?

Other than pitching arm longevity, theoretically speaking, does your method allow for any benefits?  Are they any extreme possibilities with your method (105 mph fastball, new pitches, etc.)?


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     In the 'Real Sports' segment, Jeff Sparks said that it took him five years to learn my baseball pitching motion.  But, that was because we did not train together on a continuous basis.  Today, with my 724-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program, he would have learned my baseball pitching motion and had the terminal strength that all baseball pitchers need in less than two years.

     With my baseball pitching motion and interval-training program, regular baseball pitchers can become Monster baseball pitchers.

     In 1972, after I used high-speed film to refine my baseball pitching motion, I pitched 116 innings in 65 games with a 1.78 earned run average and finished fourth in the Cy Young Award, the highest any closer had ever finished.  At the end of the season, I told my manager, Gene Much, that I could do more.

     In 1973, I pitched 179 innings in 92 games, both major league records, with a 2.66 earned run average and finished second in the Cy Young Award, the highest any closer had ever finished.  I had become a Monster baseball pitcher.  At the start of the next season, I told my manager, Walter Alston, that I could do more.

     In 1974, I pitched 208 innings in 106 games, both major league records, with a 2.42 earned run average and finished first in the Cy Young Award, the highest any closer had ever finished. I had become a bigger Monster baseball pitcher.  At the end to the season, I told my manager, Walter Alston, that I could do more.

     However, during the off-season as a result of a pitch sequence study I completed, I determined that I needed to add a curve ball to my selection of pitches and mastered the 'traditional' suspiration curve.  In the first month of the 1975 season, I pitched fifteen innings in five games against the Cincinnati Reds and shut them down.  Unfortunately, in the second month, I threw my new curve and pulled the seventh rib on my glove side away from my Sternum.

     While that ended my climb up the Monster baseball pitcher ladder, I knew that, even when the results were bad, all research is valuable.  I learned that the 'traditional' suspiration curve was the wrong way to throw curve balls.

     Eight years after my professional baseball career ended, I created my Maxline Probation Curve.  Fifteen years later, I created my Torque Fastball.

     If, in 1975, I had known how to throw these two additional baseball pitches, I believe that I would have pitched 230 innings in 115 games.  And, each succeeding year, I would have continued to do more.  In my reality, I believe that I could have pitched two innings in all 162 games in a season.

     That is the kind of pitching that baseball pitchers who master my baseball pitching motion and finish my interval-training programs can do.  That is the reality of baseball that I know can happen.

     I know how to build Monster baseball pitchers.  If the parents of youth baseball pitchers would follow the guidelines that I have outlined, then, when their sons become the best injury-free, highly-skilled adult baseball pitchers that they can be, they will be Monster baseball pitchers.

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128.  We are planning to come out on the 12th of April this year.  Please let me know what to do.

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     With only two reservations, I have cancelled my April Certification Clinic.

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129.  Do you know when you will have your next Certification Clinic?

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     With the lack of interest, at this time, I have no plans for hosting another Certification Clinic.  However, until I close up shop this summer, individuals are welcome to visit my Baseball Pitching Research/Training Center.

     After that, interested parties have my website where everything that they need to learn how to teach my baseball pitching motion is available without charge.  They only have to watch my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, read my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, my Question/Answer files, my Special Reports file and my other files and copy my training programs.

     For those who want to understand how the baseball pitching arm works, I am working on my Anatomy of the Baseball Pitching Arm handout.  After I learn the printing costs, I will make it available for interested parties to order at my costs.

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130.  In regard to question #113 of your 2008 questions:

You say, "Before I continue, I have to tell you that I know that, because they are already contracting all of their accelerator muscles, no matter how hard they try, it is impossible to actually rupture their Ulnar Collateral Ligament.  They might feel some training discomfort in their Triceps Brachii, Teres Major and/or Latissimus Dorsi the next day, but that is a good thing."

1.  What are all the accelerator muscles that have to contract?  I assume the Triceps Brachii is one.  I think that the Subscapularis is also an accelerator muscle.  I was under the impression that the Teres Major and Latissimus Dorsi were decelerator muscles, but it seems to me they would also accelerate the baseball.  I'd like to be clear on all the accelerator muscles.

2.  My second question concerns the concept of proprioceptive awareness.  I'd like to discuss this in the context of your two guys who finally immediately raised their pitching upper arm to elbow height from the Ready Position.  You say that these two were the first to do this.  My question is how they were able to accomplish this?  As they both have been with you for a while, was it simply a case of them feeling what you were asking?

If this is the case would this be an example of Proprioceptive awareness?  You say that Jeff Sparks was able to mimic what these guys accomplished.  Would this again be an example of Proprioceptive awareness?  Are these three able to consistently repeat this maneuver?

3.  Finally, are you saying that because these guys are now immediately bringing their pitching upper arm beside their head with (I assume) the forearm the full length behind, that the forearm from there goes horizontally straight toward home plate and does not fly up?

I hope to see you at your April Certification Clinic.


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01.  With my baseball pitching motion, my baseball pitchers 'lock' their pitching upper arm with their shoulders and forwardly rotate their body to point their pitching upper arm as close as possible at home plate.  From this position, they powerfully pronate their pitching forearm, extend their pitching elbow and inwardly rotate their pitching upper arm.

     a.  To powerfully pronate their pitching forearm, they use their Pronator Teres and Pronator Quadratus muscles.

     b.  To powerfully extend their pitching elbow, they use their Triceps Brachii muscle.

     c.  To inwardly rotate their pitching upper arm, they use their Teres Major and Latissimus Dorsi muscles.

02.  When I watched the first young man who, from my 'Ready' position, immediately raised his pitching upper arm vertically upward to beside his head and forwardly rotated his body to point his pitching upper arm at home plate before he drove his pitching hand straight at home plate, why he was able to do this and he said, because I have faith in what you say to do.

     I understand this.  These kids come to me with pre-conceived ideas of what they are supposed to do.  When I tell them something that is too far away from what they think that they should do, they do not do what I say.  My biggest battle in developing my baseball pitching motion has been overcoming their skepticism.  For whatever reason, this young man believed that I was trying to do what was best for him and simply did what I asked him to do.  As a result, I now have a camp where everybody is trying to learn this technique.  I am having more fun watching even the worst of them than I have ever had before.

03.  The only way that baseball pitchers can have either horizontal or vertical or something in between baseball pitching forearm flyout is if they generate centripetal force.  To generate horizontal centripetal force, they have to move their pitching arm horizontally from their glove side to their pitching arm side.  To generate vertical centripetal force, they have to move their pitching arm vertically from below their pitching shoulder upward.  Obviously, when they raise their pitching upper arm to vertical, they do not generate any vertical centripetal force.

     From this position, it is more likely that, from years of the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, that my baseball pitchers actively extend their pitching elbow upward rather than horizontally inside of vertical.  This is not vertical baseball pitching forearm flyout.  It is simply a force application flaw.

     If you watch my kids complete their wrist weight exercises and iron ball throws, then you can readily see that they can drive their pitching hand absolutely straight toward home plate without any horizontal or vertical movement.  That proves that they can do what I ask.  The difficulty is in forgetting the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion and believing in what I teach.

     While I am absolutely thrilled with how well my baseball pitchers are performing my baseball pitching motion, the final proof will come when I high-speed film them.  I have no illusions that they are perfect, but I expect considerably improved.

     Due to lack of interest, I have cancelled the April Certification Clinic.  After watching over one hundred and fifty high school and college coaches pay about five hundred dollars each for the, except for my presentation, worthless Wolforth/Strom clinic in Houston, I am convinced that, to get people to attend, I need to charge too much money, over-state everything with nonsensical boot camp and so on language and flood the high schools, junior colleges and college baseball coaches with flyers.

     Since I am closing shop this summer, I doubt that will happen.

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131.  I saw your interesting piece on Real Sports.  You mentioned not being able to straighten your arm because of elbow arthritis.  I am fifty, and have the same problem in my left elbow, and I don't have full range of motion in either direction.  I've tried hanging weight on it, but it doesn't help.  Is there anything that you can suggest to help regain full use of my elbow?

P.S.:  I grew up near Cincinnati in the '70's and always hated seeing you coming in from the bullpen when you played the Reds, but I enjoyed watching you pitch the rest of the time.

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     I did not say that baseball pitchers lose the extension range of motion because of arthritis.  I said that they lose the extension range of motion because the constant slamming of their olecranon process into its fossa caused the hyaline cartilage in the fosse to calcify.  No surgery or rehabilitation technique can fix that.

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132.  I have a 13 year old going on 14 in May.  Baseball is his game and has been for the last 4 years, nothing but baseball.  He is or now was a pitcher.  After two serious arm injuries in three years and coming back from the latest injury, I'm not sure what I can do or what direction to go.  I do know that at this age I do not want to risk another injury.

The first injury was a 45% separation of the growth plate in his right or throwing elbow.  It took 18 months to come back from that one and another 9 months before he could pitch again.  The second one was a severe strain of the Tommy John ligament same elbow, he just was released for baseball activities again, but not pitching, both mine and the doctors wishes.

My predicament is this: he made a little bit of a name for himself locally in the pitching circles for being a hard thrower with accuracy.  Now that I put a stop to pitching, we've been told that he will never make the high school team unless he pitches.  I say that he needs another year or two to grow and develop without pitching, and then start back up slowly at the age of fifteen or sixteen in his jr. and sr. year.  He does play travel ball and I've since found out that since he can't pitch maybe he might be replaced because he's taking up space on the team.  This has been devastating to him and we have had several arguments over this, but my word is final, no pitching.

The only consistent and valid advice I've gotten is to follow through with what I'm doing.  Help, I just don't know what I'm going to do yet.  Some of the people who have told me he won't make the high school team unless he pitches are volunteer coaches involved with the team.

Then, on the other hand, I've been told by others that he has a gift of the ability to throw hard with accuracy.  He has always been undersized compared to others of his age group, he will be fourteen years and four months old when school starts in September of this year.  He is right now 5ft. 7 inches tall and still barely 105 lbs.  Most of his teammates are close to 25 to 35 lbs heavier then he is.  He was always throwing harder then his teammates up until this summer when he took his two month break from baseball.

I guess I'm asking for your opinion:  Do you think I'm doing right by my son?  There will be no pitching for him in the near future on a regular basis.

One last thing: I did pay for an independent evaluation from a professional college coach, and he said yes there is talent there in his pitching a baseball.  This same coach suggested that he stay in baseball shape and get ready for the summer camps and tryouts.  Pitch for the tryouts so they can see if there is still potential, and then stop pitching un till his junior year.

Is there any kind of advice you can give me about this?  I'm sorry for the long winded rambling e-mail, but I was trying to give you as much accurate info as I could.


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     The advice is simple.

     First, your son should wait until the growth plates in his pitching elbow have completely matured.  At that point, he will be biologically sixteen years old.

     Second, in the meantime, every year until he becomes biologically sixteen years old, your son should complete my 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program.

     Third, when your son is biologically sixteen years old, he should complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

     On my website, without charge, I have provided everything everybody needs to learn how to perform my baseball pitching motion.  You and he should start by watching my video.

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133.  If what I am hearing is correct, your guys are now starting to get their pitching hip ahead of their glove hip before they release the ball.  As I look at the 2007 videos of your guys none of them do this so this is pretty big news.  I see this as your vision to drive completely behind the baseball.  If I am correct on this then the summation of the increased force plus releasing the baseball closer to home plate should be pretty significant.  Am I correct on this?

One of life's great mysteries to me will be why there is not a line to get into your training facility every day.


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     What I said was that, from my 'Ready' position, my guys are immediately raising their pitching elbows to vertical, such that they are pointing their pitching elbow at home plate before they accelerate their pitching forearm through release.

     When I take high-speed film, we will see precisely what they do.

     The slingshot action of their pitching elbow pointing at home plate serving as the fulcrum from which their pitching forearm accelerates through release is significantly increasing their release velocity and consistency.

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134.  I wrote to you the other day regarding the 1-7 rotation on my son's screwball.  Thank you for the reply.  You didn't go so far as to tell me to change it, so I haven't said anything to my son yet.   He throws it very comfortably, actually keeps his hand WELL INSIDE his elbow (~ 30 deg) as his hand passes his head and as I mentioned his control is good and it's starting to break (regrettably like a slider!)  Is this something he should keep or abandon?

Also, he has been working on the Drop-Out Windup and does it really well.  It has simplified motion really helps him direct the ball to home plate.  He doesn't over-rotate and throws about 30% of the Maxline Fastballs to where I simply DO NOT have to move the glove!  When he strays from the zone he only has to check TWO things.  One:  is the glove side foot "dangling" or not taking a direct and immediate step forward.  This is the usual culprit.  Two:  is the hand flying outside of the elbow?  This is happening less and less with the fastball and never with the screw/slider hybrid.

My concern is this:  my son (11 y/o) was demonstrating the Maxline Fastball for his friends at Little League practice today.  And he was using the Drop-Out Windup.  Well, I was told that a "concerned parent" was watching and before it was all said and done they had clocked him at 62mph with his MF and were commenting on how he is going to "wear out his arm without a proper windup" - you know, the usual BS.

Is throwing out of this windup at practice or with me on the side ok for him?


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     If your son is throwing his screwball for strikes, then I would leave him alone.

     When he throws my Maxline pitches, are you teaching your son to drop step?  By moving his body to his glove side, it is easier to forwardly rotate over his glove foot and gives his a better angle at which to throw his pitches to home plate.

     Your son should practice both my Drop Out Wind-Up and Pseudo-Traditional Wind-Up.

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135.  Has anyone from an MLB team made their way to Zephyrhills during spring training this year?

I'm counting down the days until the April certification clinic.  I can't wait, even though I despise flying.


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     No.

     Because yours was about the only deposit I received, I have cancelled the April certification clinic.  I will return your deposit.  Nevertheless, if you want, you can visit my Baseball Pitching Research/Training Center on Saturday and Sunday and I will explain what we do.  We train from 9:00 to 10:30AM.

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136.  I watched the special on HBO again.  I really think you know what you are talking about with the arm and throwing motions. The only way to conquer that throwing motion is to start out as an infant.  That is so unorthodox and unnatural.

I really hope you find a pitcher that can throw like that.


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     If you knew anything about child growth and development and motor skill acquisition, then you would be able to understand that my baseball pitching motion is orthodox and natural.  In truth, the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion is unorthodox and unnatural.  Without training, all children throw 'like a girl,' with an arm action very much like my Wrong Foot Slingshot drill.  No child would ever voluntarily throw with the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.

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137.  I don't know if you can help me or not, but after seeing your story on Real Sports, I figured I'd give it a shot.

I was wondering if you have given any though to the mechanics of softball pitching.  I pitch in what is called a modified fast pitch league in which the ball cannot rise above the shoulder before releasing.  I have heard that underhand is the natural way the arm was meant to throw and in looking at the mechanics of your method, it seems though you're reversing an underhand throw, thereby reducing injuries.

I guess my question is: is there any possibility you can show me how to throw that way underhanded?


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     The baseball pitching arm action and the softball pitching arm action are totally opposite.  In baseball pitching, baseball pitchers should extend their pitching elbow and pronate their pitching forearm.  In softball pitching, softball pitchers should flex their pitching elbow and supinate their pitching forearm.

     I have spent over forty years researching baseball pitching.  Someone else will have to research softball pitching.

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138.  I was completely blown away watching the real sports segment you were interviewed on. I am a Pre-Athletic Training and Pre-Physical therapy student.  I see, on a regular basis, pitchers on our baseball team endure the painful process of rehab from Tommy John surgery as well as pitchers merely trying to prevent it from happening.

I was only able to see part of the interview, so I was wondering about how long it can take for a pitcher to adopt your style of pitching?  As well as a little on how you came up with the change in the biomechanics of the throw.

I was wondering why it is that lifting the leg on the non dominant side is changed?  My last question would be whether the pitching style prevents injury to both the shoulder and elbow?


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     No baseball pitcher who has learned my baseball pitching motion and completed my interval-training program has ever suffered any pitching injury, pitching elbow or shoulder.

     To convert adult 'traditional' baseball pitchers to my baseball pitching motion and give them the strength and skill that they need requires my 724-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.  Non-polluted youngsters master the skills much faster.

    With my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, I tell the story of how I developed my baseball pitching motion.  It is free for all to watch on my website.

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139.  Thank you so much for your hospitality several weeks ago during our visit to your training center.  It always amazes us visitors your willingness to accept us, converse and share your ideas.

I had not been there since your certification seminar last year, and it was again inspiring to see the intensity of your pitchers and your passion for pitching.  I loved hearing about how during your career sometimes you just did a blowout workout, throwing dozens more iron balls than normal, just because you felt so strong and were so overjoyed at the art and science of pitching.

It was enlightening to hear your thoughts on the vertical forearm.  Would you again delve into your reasons for naming it "loaded slingshot?"  It might be helpful to others in the great wide world who are learning your motion from a distance to hear the thoughts you shared on the unwillingness of some of your past pupils to get the elbow to driveline height, and how doing so is the key to activating the triceps in a plioanglos manner and really driving the baseball straight forward.

Many people in the greater pitching world now know your full-time passion is training young pitchers in Florida, even your most savage and ignorant critics who make ridiculous statements about what release velocities that can be achieved with your motion.

Critics who don't know you aren't willing to force pitchers into "my way or the highway" even as they pay the princely sum of $10 a day for you instruction.  Critics who don't know you accept anyone for training, regardless of native ability.

Critics who don't now the lengths to which you have gone to get your pitchers a fair shot in pro ball.  Critics who don't know what it is like to have a gaggle of young men living on your property for two-thirds of the year, young men who need jobs, support, supervision, and occasionally, a surrogate father.  Critics who chastise your Astroturf, when you could have sold out Sir Newton and charged $1000 for a worthless weekend of band-aid instruction by teaching a bastardized motion.

What they don't know is that you aren't operating in a vacuum.  They should always remember there are dozens, if not hundreds, of us out there.  We are doing your training programs ourselves.  We are visiting Z-hills when we can.  Some are coaching college baseball.  Some are playing professional baseball, or about to.  We are dissecting your pitcher trainer video daily and teaching youngsters in our towns the best we can, with no compromises to the traditional motion.  We are silent, for the most part.  That's because we have better things to do than whine and argue on those wanna-be Internet sites out there.

Great ideas prevail.  Training every day prevails.  Words on a computer screen written by ignorant critics or pretenders with pseudo credentials are cheap.

There is nothing like training every day.  Besides being the road to getting hitters out, it is a stance against stasis, a belief that improvement is the center of our lives that we can be something tomorrow we aren't today.  If you don't train every day, you aren't improving.  And there is only one way to train every day at maximum intensity.  Without shredding your olecranon process or the front of your shoulder, that is.


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     When my baseball pitchers raise their pitching upper arms vertically upward to beside their head and forwardly rotate over their glove foot to point their acromial line and pitching upper arm at home plate with their pitching hand the full length of their pitching forearm behind their pitching elbow, they have maximally lengthened their Triceps Brachii, Teres Major and Latissimus Dorsi muscles for powerfully contractions that will explode their pitching hand and baseball straight toward home plate.  I call this position of the pitching arm, the Slingshot.

     When my baseball pitchers pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height pointing at second base with the palm of their pitching hand facing away from their body, I call this position, the Ready position.

     From the Ready position, my baseball pitchers have to move their pitching arm into my Slingshot position.  To do this, they have to immediately vertically raise their pitching upper arm to driveline height and move it forward to beside their head with their pitching hand remaining the full length of their pitching forearm behind their pitching elbow.  I call this action, Loading the Slingshot.

     Back in the early 1970s, when I was teaching myself this baseball pitching motion, despite the fact that, in 1967, I had an 1.98 earned run average for the Detroit Tigers, I dedicated myself to changing my baseball pitching motion as I determined that I should.  I have never regretted the four years of back to the minor leagues and struggle to master my new skills.  With what I know today, I could have accomplished the change in half the time.  But, the point is; if I ever wanted to be all that I could be, I had to change.

     Five top seven finished in the Cy Young Award, the first closer to win the Cy Young Award, setting numerous major league records and being better than I ever thought I could be for fourteen years of major league pitching made is worth the effort.

     After my major league career, I have learned much more about what I could have done to make myself an even better baseball pitcher.  That is what I am teaching my students.

     However, because I was no longer teaching something so drastically different from the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, I knew that I would have to accept whatever changes my students make and use each generation of my students to build more changes.  That does not mean that I taught any of them differently.  It means that each generation of students made slightly more changes than the group before.  Finally, with my 2007-2008 group, they have incorporated all the changes that I want baseball pitchers to make.

     That does not mean that they are all perfect.  It means that they are all finally trying to incorporate all the changes in their baseball pitching motion that I want them to make.  This is the natural evolution of motor skill development.  Now, I want to go back to all those preceeding generations of students and show them the final changes that they need to make.  Once he saw it, Jeff Sparks made the change almost overnight.

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140.  I thought you and your readers may be curious to how the "Marshall disciples" Kurt and Aaron are doing at Becker College in Worcester, Mass.

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http://www.becker.edu/pages/322.asp

"Lake Mary, FL 3/15/08:  In his first start of the season, Kurt Tholen (Goshen, CT) led the Hawks to a 4-2 victory.  Kurt Tholen was solid on the mound for the Hawks.  The sophomore pitched a complete game, allowing two runs on eight hits, to earn his first win at Becker College.

Kissimmee FL 3/11/08:  The Hawks pitching staff was led by Aaron Sayad (Chicago, IL) who allowed four runs on three hits, in five innings of work, to earn the win."

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http://www.becker.edu/Include/athletics/Baseball%2008/teamcume.htm

               ERA   APP   W/L   INN   H   R   ER   BB   SO   2B   3B   HR   AB   B/Ave
Kurt Tholen:   3.00   2    1-0   9.0  10   3   3     2    2    2    0    0   24   .294
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I recently attended a few of their spring training games in Orlando area and while they have much more work to do, specifically following pitch sequences more precisely, educating catchers and coaches on pitch sequences and maintaining more exact pitching charts.  Suffice to say, they are improving with more innings and beginning to surface as the dependable guys who can eat up innings and get people out.

I have received a few calls from people in the Northeast about watching them pitch, after they saw the HBO show.  These folks should go to the Becker College baseball website and look up the schedule.  I'm sure Aaron or Kurt would be happy to speak with them.

While attending games in Orlando at Disney Wide World of sports, there was an "ice station" complete with coolers, a trainer and boxes of cellophane to ice down the traditional pitchers, it seemed like the thing to do for all of the pitchers, almost as if it were a given.  Of course, your guys laughed and asked for ice for their drinks.  It was sad and eye opening at the same time.

Facing a pretty tough lineup vs. Ramapo College, Kurt did win his first college game, and believe me, after all he's been through, this was a proud and exciting moment in our household.  While he worked hard to get this far, let me thank you again for all you have done for him.  It is a great start, but he knows he has much remaining to do.  Aaron pitched very well after the first inning, but had no run support and lost 2-1.

After the 1-2 "marshall" punch the Ramapo team was glad they were done with Becker, and even posted the following on their website: http://www.ramapoathletics.com/news/2008/3/16/BB_0316082626.aspx

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"The Roadrunner offense was able to pound out eight hits and drew a pair of walks in game one, but was unable to deliver with runners on base, and only tallied two runs for the game."

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I suggested that Aaron chart and call pitches from your pitch sequences when Kurt pitches and vice versa, seems to me that is the most effective way of progressing and using pitch sequences.  The coaches still are light years behind in figuring all this out, but we're giving it our best shot.  All they know is these guys can give me innings and get guys out- maybe that is goodness.  We have only just begun.  Will keep you posted.


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     My congratulations to you and your son for all the hard work.

     When Kurt arrived at my Baseball Pitching Research/Training Center, he was still suffering from years of shoulder pain.  While changing how he applied force to the baseball eliminated the pain, it could not immediately eliminate the adjustment in his pitching motion that he used to protect his pitching shoulder.

     Instead of raising his pitching upper arm vertically upward to properly load my Slingshot pitching arm position, he would drop his pitching elbow below his shoulder height and drive the baseball at a very steep angle upward and forward.  Of course, this took away both his release velocity and consistency.

     To correct this mechanical flaw, Kurt worked for many, many hours with my Wrong Foot Slingshot and Wrong Foot Loaded Slingshot drills.  I also believe that it helped him to drive over from their game site and watch the guys training with me this year and how well they are raising their pitching upper arm to vertical and pointing their pitching elbow at home plate before their accelerate their pitching forearm through release.

     However, he did it, to have the success he had, he must have made a meaningful adjustment to his driveline.

     Aaron Sayad is also an interesting story.  When Aaron showed up at my Baseball Pitching Research/Training Center, he also suffer pain in his pitching arm, but his pain was the result of pulling his pitching arm across the front of his body and supinating his releases.  I wish that I could say that he has learned to pronate his curve, but he is the only guy who has not.  However, he has learned to pronate his Maxline Fastball, Maxline Fastball Sinker, Maxline True Screwball and Torque Fastball.

     This means that Aaron has a solid glove side of home plate game.  Aaron has a very good arm, which means that he can throw the baseball in the high eighties to ninety miles per hour.  Unfortunately, he still pulls and supinate his curve and slider, which means that these two pitches are release consistency unreliable and have the same low quality as the 'traditional' supination curve.  Nevertheless, by relying on his glove side corner game, Aaron can have some success.

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http://www.becker.edu/Include/athletics/Baseball%2008/teamcume.htm

               ERA   APP   W/L   INN   H   R   ER   BB   SO   2B   3B   HR   AB   B/Ave
Aaron Sayad:   5.24   4    1-3  22.1  18  15  13    14   25    7    0    0   81   .222
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     In Florida, Aaron started games on Saturday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday of the same week.  In those four starts, he pitched 22.1 innings.  With a 5.24 ERA, he clearly does not follow my pitch sequences, which means that he has to give batters pitches that they are anticipating.  Without my Torque Fastball Slider and Maxline Pronation Curve, he cannot have the success he should have.  However, that he struck out 25 batters in 22.1 innings shows that, if he masters these pitches, then he could become a quality baseball pitcher.

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141.  My son is a freshman in a Division I university on a baseball scholarship.  He was heavily scouted his junior and senior years of high school by the MLB.  However, a series of tragedies happened to him his senior year in high school.

1.  His velocity went from low 90's to max 84 and started having shoulder discomfort.  We quietly took him to a nearby doctor who also does work for a major league baseball team.  James was diagnosed with a cyst in his right shoulder.  His high school coach disclosed this to the pro scouts.  After intense physical therapy and anti-inflammatories, he was released and allowed to pitch.  This was April 2007.  The discomfort was gone, but velocity wasn't there.

2.  In May, he ended up in the hospital diagnosed with type I diabetes.

Two days after being released from the hospital, he pitched in our districts and did very well.  By the end of summer he was back to hitting 92.

Whereas the majors backed off drafting him, the university did not blink and honored their scholarship offer.  He's gotten to pitch and got a start against a top Division I team and closed against another top Division I team.  However, his velocity is not there again and now has discomfort in his elbow.

The trainers took X-rays today and I'm mailing a CD of his MRI.  He has fluid in his elbow.  X-rays show no bone damage or chips floating in there.  However, after throwing 42 pitches in the 7th, 8th and 9th innings, he is very sore in his elbow.  He never struggled with pain in that location before.

I am very interested in your program and I am trying to figure out how we can eventually get him some help.  Our problem is: he is in the beginning of their season and has been assigned and has signed a contract to play in a college baseball summer league.

My son's dream has been to pitch in the majors from a little boy.  We've done everything to help him, but always have told him to have a plan B.  If we could I would like to get some information on when and where you have clinics and then begin on figuring out how we can get him to see you.


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     As long as your son continues to use the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, he will suffer ever-increasing pitching arm injuries and pain.  To break his downward spiral to oblivion, he needs to complete my 724-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

     On my website, without charge, I have provided everything your son needs to learn how to become the best injury-free, highly-skilled baseball pitcher that he can be.  He should start by watching my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.

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142.  I am a certified athletic trainer for a small high school.  I just finished watching the interview you gave with Real Sports.  We just started our season here and, within two days, I had three of my five pitchers in my athletic training room complaining of shoulder and elbow pain.  One has a SLAP lesion and another has an avulsion fracture of his medial epicondyle.

I had a father who "taught" his son how to pitch cuss me out in October because I told him his son's biomechanics of pitching have caused his son's SLAP and Bankhart lesions that have resulted in surgery.  I slowed down a couple of the pitches and watched them.  It makes perfect sense!  The arm follows a natural motion.  I would be interested in learning more.


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     On my website, without charge, I have provided my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video for my readers to watch, my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book for my readers to read, my Question/Answer files for my readers to scan and my Pitchers Training Programs for my readers to download and complete.  Have a good time and, when you are finished, if you have any questions, then please email them to me.

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143.  I am a freshman in high school.  I saw your video on Real Sports and I knew right away that your pitching motion makes complete sense.  I was wondering if you would ever consider working with a high school student like me?  I would love to learn everything about your pitching motion.  I look forward to hearing from you and hope to get the chance to learn under you.

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     You do not have to learn under me.  On my website, without charge, I have provided my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video for you to watch, my Coaching Baseball Pitchers and other text files for you to read, my Question/Answer files for you to scan and my Pitcher Training Programs for you to download and complete.  If, after you have watched, read, scanned and downloaded, you need any help understanding how to complete my training programs, then please email me.

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144.  Is your instructional video and book also geared for young boys?  My son is eight years of age and is a passionate lefty.  My husband and I are interested in purchasing the training material, but from what we gathered it is primarily intended for High school through MLB.

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     As soon as youngsters show an interest in learning how to pitch baseballs, parents should show them how to complete my 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program.

     On my website, without charge, I have provided my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video for you and your son to watch, my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and other text files for you and your son to read, my Question/Answer files for your and your son to scan and my Pitchers Training Programs for you and your son to download for your son to complete.

     If, after you and your son have familiarized yourselves with these materials, you have any more questions, then please email me.

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145.  I am currently playing Independent professional baseball.  Last year, I played Division I colleg baseball.

I was introduced to your pitching philosophy today and I found it interesting to say the least.  As you probably assume, I am skeptical about what you are teaching.  I am not saying you are wrong, but I would like to know what parts of the traditional mechanics you do consider wrong or harmful.

I am not writing you to contradict your teachings, but your pitchers look very awkward.  I understand that Major League clubs have turned your philosophy down several times, simply because they are too thick headed.  That I do understand.  They will try to fix you even if you are not broken.

I noticed several things about your pitchers’ mechanics.  (I did not read your philosophy in detail.  I just watched the videos online).

1st, the actual windup seems traditional, but at the time of separation, the drive foot does not come in line with the rubber; it stays perpendicular.  I would think there is no balance, which makes for a lack of consistency.

2nd, there is no leg lift, also a balance position and, to my knowledge, a power generator.  The motion you teach is like a slide step from the wind up.

3rd, the pitchers step away from center (to their glove side), which in my experience allows for better arm side movement, but less control.  That could be because I was not doing it on purpose and I was “flying open.”

4th, the shoulder rotates like a screwball.

The 5th, and my concern, is that each pitcher has his back turned to the plate after each pitch.  I understand that you have done a large amount of research on the topic, but would agree with me that this puts the pitcher at risk each time he makes a pitch?

Dr. Marshall, I do not want to seem like I am closed-minded about your philosophy, but I do not just want to hear why your way works.  I would also like for you to disprove the traditional/current way of pitching.

I do know that pitching mechanics have evolved over time and that there have never been more pitching injuries than in today’s game.  Do you think it is all about the mechanics?  Perhaps it is also about the workout regimen.  Back in the ‘50s, there was only a four man rotation and pitchers were throwing complete games left and right, on three days rest.  There was no such thing as a pitch count, when he was done he was done.

Dr. Marshall, I greatly appreciate your time and I hope you can answer my questions.  I am very interested to hear from you.


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     On my website, I have already answered each of these questions several times.  You said that you attended college.  Therefore, you should know not to ask questions of your professor until you have completely prepared for the lecture.  Nevertheless, you seem to be a thoughtful young man.  Therefore, I will answer these questions.

     However, before you ask my any more questions, I ask that you give me the respect of watching my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, reading my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and other text files and scanning my Question/Answer files.

01.  With my Pseudo-Traditional Wind-Up competitive baseball pitching motion, I have my baseball pitchers raise both arms over their head.  This does absolutely nothing to increase the release velocity or consistency of their pitches.  It is simply an unnecessary movement that I designed to appease fans of the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.

     When 'traditional' baseball pitchers turn their pitching foot to parallel with the pitching rubber, they:

     a.  Insure that some day they will need pitching hip replacement surgery and/or pitching knee replacement surgery and/or pitching knee surgery.

     b.  Make it impossible to not take their pitching arm well beyond second base, which insure that they will injure their pitching arm and because only the force baseball pitchers apply toward home plate contributes to release velocity, decrease their release velocity and release consistency.

02.  When 'traditional' baseball pitchers lift their glove leg off the ground, all they accomplish is to raise their center of gravity, which decreases their body control.  Lifting the glove leg does not contribute anything to release velocity.

03.  When 'traditional' baseball pitcher stride to their pitching arm side, to get the baseball into the strike zone, they have to pull their pitching arm across the front of their body, which decreases release velocity and consistency.  The reason why 'traditional' baseball pitchers stride to the pitching arm side of their body is because their glove foot lands before they have properly positioned their pitching arm to accelerate toward home plate.  With my baseball pitching motion, because we properly position our pitching upper arm to accelerate toward home plate before our glove foot lands, we can use our pitching upper arm far more powerfully.

04.  The two most powerful muscles operating on the shoulder joint are the Teres Major and Latissimus Dorsi.  By powerfully inwardly rotating the pitching shoulder, they considerably increase the straight-line force toward home plate.

05.  Because they were not pitching to baseball batters, after they release their pitches, my baseball pitchers watched the flight of their pitches with no concern for line drives hit back at them.  In game situations, when their pitching foot lands in line with their glove foot toward home plate, they would stop their body from further forward rotation and be ready to move forward to field bunts and topped baseballs, ground balls hit to their glove side and line drives hit at their heads.  Therefore, the risk of line drives injuring my baseball pitchers is far less than line drive injuring 'traditional' baseball pitchers.

     My grandfather gave me a lot of good advice, but none better than, 'nobody can know that you are a fool until you open your mouth.'  What this means is that you had better learn everything about a subject you can before you declare knowledge of the subject.  Therefore, you need to learn how to ask questions as though you do not know anything and you will not show yourself to be a fool, but you will also have a chance of learning.

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146.  Some questions:

1)  Are you still offering your Certification Clinic the second weekend in April?  I read in your 2007 file that you need to have 10 people sign up of the clinics or they will be cancelled.  If it is still on, I will send you a $100 check in the mail.

2)  Generally speaking, what are the differences in speed, trajectory, and movement between your maxline screwball and curveball?  The releases are very different, however it seems that they are similar pitches after release.  I assume that your maxline curve has a sharp downward break and the maxline screwball is a few miles per hour slower than the curve and breaks downward as well as horizontally to the pitching arm side.

3)  The following is my understanding of a portion of your instruction.  Please help me where I misunderstand.  You say that pitchers should raise their elbow above their pitching hand during the acceleration phase.  Leading up to the ready position a pitcher first pendulum swings their arm until it is horizontally extended pointing straight toward second base with the palm facing upward.  From this point, where the arm and ball start forward, the elbow should be raised above the hand and ball.  I believe this can only be done by actively externally rotating the humorous with the muscles in the back of the shoulder Beginning to lean the upper body to the glove side during the acceleration phase may also help in getting the elbow above the hand.  The reason for getting the elbow above the hand during the acceleration phase is to allow the ball to accelerate along a smooth path and in a straight line.

In your instructional video, I watched the side view of your pitchers training with wrist weights and iron balls as they attempt to do this.  Some of your pitchers came very close to a smooth straight line path during acceleration.

In the more recent video clips of each pitcher throwing various pitches from the side view, it looks like most of the pitchers to not raise their elbow as soon as they do while doing the drills, thus shortening the useful length over which they have to accelerate the ball.

In any case, the ball begins horizontal acceleration toward home plate from the first movement forward after the ready position.  It appears that the hand and ball drift forward with a small amount of acceleration until the point where each pitcher has their humorous maximally externally rotated.  From that point, a greater force can be applied further adding to the acceleration toward home plate.  From the video, it looks as if this fully loaded state happens when the hand and ball have already moved forward several feet toward home plate.  It would seem better to reach this fully loaded state sooner so that the maximum force can be applied over a longer distance.  Your raising the elbow above the hand advice seems to addresses this issue because to do it a pitcher's humorous must already be maximally externally rotated.  It is easier said than done.

  When, if at all, should a pitcher use the muscles in the back of the shoulder to actively externally rotate the humorous?  Near the end of the pendulum swing?  Once the pitching arm is straight back in the ready position with the palm facing upward?  After the hand starts toward home plate?  Or not at all?  I have tried actively externally rotating my humorous beyond a relaxed state with the palm facing upward in the ready position while keeping my forearm and hand relaxed, however the muscles in the back of my shoulder are not relaxed.  Throwing like this seems to feel more powerful and smooth, but I could be imagining things.  I notice that when I actively externally rotate my humorous that I am not very good at instantaneously relaxing the muscles in the back of my shoulder and maximally applying force with the muscles on the front of my shoulder.  I'm sure a little practice would help or maybe I shouldn't try to do it that way.

I enjoyed reading your research and analysis in chapter 30 of your book.  It supports and validates everything you teach.


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01.  No.  Nevertheless, everybody is welcome to visit at any time.  However, it is something that I would like to do at some future date(s).

02.  With my pronation release, my Maxline Pronation Curve moves more dramatically than my Maxline True Screwball.  However, because the pitching arm action so closely resembles my Maxline Fastball and Maxline Fastball Sinker, my Maxline True Screwball has greater deception.  They both achieve the same release velocity.

03.  I want my baseball pitchers to pendulum swing their pitching hand to driveline height with the palm of their pitching hand facing away from their body.  Then, when they start their body forward, I want my baseball pitchers to also raise their pitching elbow to driveline height and reposition their pitching forearm for whatever pitch they want to throw.  Then, immediately before they accelerate their pitching hand through release, to insure that they can get their pitching forearm horizontally inside of vertical at release, I want my baseball pitchers to tilt their body at least forty-five degrees to the glove side of their body.

     I am fully aware that my baseball pitchers do not perfectly execute my baseball pitching motion.  That does not mean that they cannot.  It means that, like everybody else, they cannot get their head around everything that I want them to do.  Fortunately, with every group that I train, they move closer.  My present group is getting very close.  As always, I will take high-speed film of them and put it on my website.

     I see no purpose in examining what they do that is contrary to what I want them to do.  That only shows that they are not sufficiently skilled to perfectly perform my baseball pitching motion, not that they cannot do it.  Certainly, it does not mean that we should accept or teach what they are doing.  However, even with these mechanical flaws, they can pitch far more frequently than 'traditional' baseball pitchers without discomfort and better quality pitches.  Nevertheless, I want perfection.

     To raise their pitching upper arm vertically to driveline height is not easier said than done.  It is very easy to do.  That last year's baseball pitchers did not do it only shows that, for whatever reasons, I failed to convince them that they should do it.  Because a couple of my second year guys believed me that they would benefit from doing it, all in this year's group does it.

     Like when students raise their hand in class, for baseball pitchers to raise the pitching upper arm to vertical involves shoulder girdle upward rotation and shoulder joint abduction.  To upwardly rotate the shoulder girdle, baseball pitchers use their Trapezius I muscle.  To abduct their shoulder joint, baseball pitchers use their middle Deltoid and Supraspinatus muscles.  To reposition their pitching forearm for whatever pitch they want to throw, to varying degrees, involves what appears to be shoulder joint outward rotation, but the inertia of the pitching forearm, wrist, hand, fingers and baseball plioanglosly forces this to happen.  Therefore, it actually involves the muscles that inwardly rotate the shoulder joint.

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147.  My son is a freshman at a local university where emphasis is placed on academics, not athletics.  Understandably, he wants to be as good a pitcher as possible and perhaps be in the starting rotation at some point.  Do you offer any summer clinics that he can attend?

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     Even though I could earn a ton of money training baseball pitchers such as your son for four to eight weeks during the summer, I understand that four to eight weeks is far too short to truly benefit these young men.  Therefore, no I do not offer any summer clinics that your son can attend.

     However, on my website, without charge, I have provided my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video for visitors to watch, my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and other text files for visitors to read, my Question/Answer files for visitors to scan and my Pitcher Training Programs for visitors to download and complete.

     Therefore, your son has everything that he needs to become the best injury-free, highly-skilled baseball pitcher that he can be.  All he as to do is learn what I have placed on my website.

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148.  It seems silly to me that the people writing checks to pitchers would look into changing the dimensions of the mound and the game, rather than the mechanics of the pitchers.  Nevertheless, I would be interested in hearing your comments on how lowering the mound may or may not reduce injuries for "traditional" pitchers, and of course the effect that lowering the mound would have on your approach.

I found this study online and thought I would forward it to you:

http://www.scientificblogging.com/news_releases/lower_pitchers_mound_will_reduce_baseball_injuries_study

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Lower Pitcher's Mound Will Reduce Baseball Injuries - Study Submitted by News Account on 23 March 2008 - 1:47am. Applied Science

In baseball's golden age, pitchers had a higher mound and threw more complete games, but careers were shorter.  As salaries continue to rise there is greater concern about protecting the investments.  A new study involving several Major League Baseball pitchers indicates that the height of the pitcher’s mound can affect the athlete’s throwing arm motion, which may lead to potential injuries because of stress on the shoulder and elbow.

The study was led by William Raasch, M.D., associate professor of orthopaedic surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, who also is the head team physician for the Milwaukee Brewers.  Major League Baseball funded the study in an effort to help prevent injuries among professional baseball players.

While they did not get enough data to recommend reducing the 10-inch mound height, which became standard in 1968 and is also used in college and high school baseball, Dr. Raasch says the findings give trainers information that can help them determine if pitchers would be better off practicing on flat ground especially after an injury.

The researchers recruited 20 top-level, elite pitchers from Major League Baseball organizations and Milwaukee-area NCAA Division I-A college pitchers for the study, which was conducted both during 2007 spring training in Arizona and at the Froedtert & Medical College Sports Medicine Center in Milwaukee.

“Our researchers employed a motion analysis system using eight digital cameras that recorded the three-dimensional positions of 43 reflective markers placed on the athletes’ bodies.  Then we analyzed the pitching motion at mound heights of the regulation 10-inches, along with eight-inch and six-inch mounds, as well as having the athletes throw from flat ground,” Dr. Raasch explains.

The study focused on determining if there is increased stress on the shoulder or the elbow based on the height from which the pitcher has thrown. A kinematic analysis provided information regarding pitching motion (position and velocity), while the kinetic analysis determined the forces and torques generated at the shoulder and elbow.

“We found that compared to flat ground, pitchers using a 10-inch mound experience an increase in superior shear and adduction torque in the shoulder – meaning there’s a greater amount of stress on the joint surface and surrounding structures.  That greater stress may result in injury to the shoulder including tearing of the rotator cuff or labrum which may result in surgery and long-term rehabilitation.  It also can make it difficult for the athlete to replicate the same throw and develop a consistent strike,” Dr. Raasch says.

“The most notable kinematic difference was the increase in shoulder external rotation at foot contact. This probably represents a change in the timing of the foot contact relative to arm position, because the foot lands earlier in the pitch delivery during flat ground throwing than with a slope,” he says.

“Nolan Ryan, who played major league baseball for 27 years, often threw pitches more than 100 mph, even past the age of 40, and he liked to throw on flat ground in his waning years.  I think others might follow his lead,” Dr. Raasch says.  He adds that he hopes subsequent research during spring training in 2008 will provide even more valuable findings for baseball players and trainers.

The results of the study were presented at the 2007 MLB Winter Meetings at the joint session of the Major League Baseball Team Physicians Association and Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society.  Coauthors of the study include Jeremy R. O’Brien, M.S., research engineer; Craig C. Young, M.D., professor of orthopaedic surgery; and Mark W. Lydecker, MPT, OCS, ATC, physical therapist at the sports center.


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     That Dr. Raasch cares what Nolan Ryan has to say about anything proves that he is not a research scientist.

     That Dr. Raasch does not understand that baseball pitchers spend years to master their baseball pitching motion with regard to the height of the mound, such that, when they threw on lower mounds, their pitching rhythm would remain the same as they have used for years proves that he does not understand motor skill acquisition.

     Basically, this (research) study is ridiculous.

     The cause of the unnecessary stress on the pitching shoulder and elbow lies in the injurious flaws inherent in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, not the height of the baseball pitching mound.

     The cure for rupturing the Ulnar Collateral Ligament is for 'traditional' baseball pitchers to pendulum swing their pitching hand all the way up to driveline height in one smooth, continuous movement.

     The cure for irritating the front of the pitching shoulder is for 'traditional' baseball pitchers to move their pitching hand to driveline height at the same time that their glove foot lands.

     Therefore, lowering the mound would not decrease pitching arm injuries and practicing pitching off flat ground between pitching off the mound in competitive games, because of the muscle memory that baseball pitchers develop relative to pitching off mounds, would increase pitching arm injuries.

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149.  Thank you for making sense of the pitching motion.  As an engineer, I always puzzled at the supposed benefit of a high leg lift.  I remember reading one book where a pitcher claimed that he gained at least 5 mph when he used a higher leg lift.

I also was glad to see you state (in #81) that the changing from a windup to a slide step disrupts the pitching rhythm.  Your consistent motion is reason enough to change.

Don't feel too upset that Newton's Laws are poorly understood.  When recently researching my father on the web (he was a rocket scientist), I came across the fact that Fritz Zawicky - the father of the jet engine - claimed in 1937 that a rocket could not operate in outer space because it required the atmosphere to push against to provide thrust!  (By 1940, he realized that he was mistaken.)  Maybe, he was absent the day they discussed Newton's Third Law!


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     At least it only took Mr. Zawicky three years to correct himself.  Baseball has had over one hundred and thirty years and still does not get it.

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150.  After watching your video, I am utterly amused and disgusted that you are actually teaching someone to throw a baseball using these mechanics.  The concept makes absolutely no sense and the probability of an injury occurring by using this technique increases ten fold.

I truly believe this is money making scheme and even the players in your video could not successfully use the mechanics you were attempting to teach consistently or properly.  Someone from the medical field such as Dr. Andrews should take a look at what you are teaching and make a medical judgment on the actual positioning of the elbow.  It is sad that people across the country are actually watching this and trying to replicate whatever the hell you are teaching.


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     Finally, I have encountered someone with the insight and intelligence to see through my charade.  I am raking in the money fooling the dunces into believing that I actually pitched 208 closing innings.  Like the moon landing, I filmed it in the back lots of a Hollywood studio.

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151.  Sports Illustrated has opened its archives for free.  Here is a copy of the article about you in 1974 that I think your Web site viewers would be interested in reading.  I think you should have been in the Nike commercial for "I am not a role model" instead of Charles Barkley.  This should also be seen and given to every youth baseball coach as well as major league pitchers to see what they could become in terms of durability.

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August 12, 1974

HE ALSO SERVES WHO SITS AND WAITS

But baseball's best reliever—and most reluctant hero—seldom waits for long.  Mike Marshall is busily working on his doctorate and a pennant for the Dodgers.

By Ron Fimrite

It is best that Mike Marshall never learn that his peers—if it can be said he has any—tend to think of him as a luxury item.  As an academician and a libertarian, Marshall has little tolerance for those who would confuse a person with a commodity.  The dignity of man is one of his enduring passions, a subject to be taken no more lightly than, say, physiological psychology, his field of scholarship at Michigan State University.

Nevertheless, when Walter Alston was asked last week to describe what the addition of this indefatigable relief pitcher had meant to his team, the Dodger manager said, "Mike Marshall gives us the luxury to do things we could not do before."  He cited as a perfect example the events of that very night when Andy Messersmith, the Los Angeles starter, mysteriously departed a game against San Diego after seven innings of nearly flawless, seven-zip pitching.

Naturally, his replacement was Marshall, making his 70th appearance of the season.  With the bristling efficiency that characterizes his every movement on and off the diamond, Marshall mixed his favorite screwball with a good fastball and a hard slider to retire the next six Padres and preserve the victory.

"Why was Messersmith removed?" Alston was asked.

"We talked it over and decided to rest Andy for the important games coming up with Houston and Cincinnati," he replied.  "And we had a pretty good man out there in the bullpen."

Was Messersmith, whose record is 13-2, miffed at being deprived of both a complete game and a possible shutout?

"So what if I go nine and get a shutout?" he said.  "That's personal baseball, and I don't believe in it.  Besides, Mike had a day off yesterday and we were afraid he'd get rusty."

Two nights later, Marshall relieved starter Al Downing after that worthy walked the first San Diego batter in the seventh inning.  Downing was leading 3-1 despite occasional fits of inaccuracy and seemed to be pitching effectively enough.  No matter.  In came the ubiquitous Marshall for the 71st time.

Did the Padres score another run?  Is a betting man a good credit risk?  Marshall not only shut them out in the remaining three innings, he singled in two of the five runs the Dodgers scored after he appeared on the scene.  But why was Downing taken out of the game so abruptly?

"He kept getting in trouble with his control," said Alston.

"We only had a two-run lead," said Downing, a gracious man.  "And we've got a pretty good man out there in the bullpen."

In both instances, Marshall was a luxury.  He can work so often and with no appreciable diminution of skill that a manager can rest a Messersmith or remove a slightly shaky Downing with no fear of the consequences.  Because of Marshall, Alston carries only nine pitchers on his roster, although he ordinarily prefers 10.  He could just as well limit himself to five—four starters and that "pretty good man out there in the bullpen."

"If he wasn't winning, I might complain about not pitching," said fellow reliever Charles Hough of Marshall.  "What can you do when you're playing behind the best there is?"  Not much.  After relieving Don Sutton last Friday, Marshall had appeared in 73 of the Dodgers' first 109 games, including a record-breaking 13 in succession from June 18 through July 3.

During those thirteen consecutive games, he won six, lost none and saved two.  In one six-game stretch, the Dodgers won five times by one run and Marshall was the winning pitcher in all of those narrow victories.  Dodger pitchers have not had two complete games in a row since mid-May and have had only 26 this year.

Complete games are indeed rare when Marshall is within hailing distance.  Last year, when he was with Montreal, which traded him during the off-season to the Dodgers for Willie Davis, he set a major league record by appearing in 92 games, a total he is certain to exceed this season.  His record is already 11 and 6 and he has 16 saves.  He could become the first pitcher to appear in 100 games in a season and the first reliever to win 20.  He is, as Hough says, "fantastic."

Marshall rejects such hyperbole.  He is able to do what he does, he says, because he has spent 10 years studying both pitching technique and the workings of the human body.  Despite the objections of several major and minor league managers, he developed the screwball to a fine art.

But Marshall is not merely a student of the game.  Sometime this year, he should receive his doctorate in physiology from Michigan State as the result of a five-year program of study that he describes pedantically:  "I am in the College of Education, Department of Physical Education, majoring in exercise physiology with a cognate degree in physiological psychology.  My specialty is child growth and development.  The topic of my dissertation is Classifying Adolescence Males for Motor Proficiency Norms.  No one ever seems to get all that straight."

Marshall insists it is scholarship, not unusual physical prowess that is the source of his durability.  He can pitch more often than anyone else because he knows more about his body.  He trains his own way, stubbornly ignoring baseball conditioning rules that were developed, if that is the word for it, in the days of the brothers Delahanty.

"He's inventive in a game that hasn't had much inventiveness in the last 103 years," says Steve Garvey, the Dodgers' first baseman who was a student of Marshall's in a kinesiology class at MSU.

"Mike believes in long-distance running, not sprints, in weight work and in a lot of muscle stretching," says Messersmith.  "He knows more about what goes into the pitching motion than anybody in the world.  He has lectured to me a lot about the functions of the body."

Marshall's 31-year-old body is unremarkable.  He is short for a pitcher—only 5'10"—and he weighs 180 pounds.  He has big shoulders and a weight-lifter's arms, but he bulges at the middle.  He has long sideburns and an impressive mustache, but his curly brown hair has thinned on top.  Standing one sunny day last week in the doorway of the Lanai Coffee Shop at San Diego's Town & Country Hotel pensively chewing on a toothpick, he could have passed for a life-insurance salesman.

What is remarkable about Marshall is his mind.  Baseball may never have known one quite like it. "I am an educator," he explained from the improbable vantage point of the Dodgers' dugout.  His teammates busied themselves with batting practice and shagging fly balls, activities that seemed increasingly trivial as Marshall ventured random opinions on the human condition.

"Baseball is a hobby I pursue.  Other than the actual playing of the game, I find the whole of professional baseball extremely boring and mind-dulling.  Oh, certainly, there are some fellows here I enjoy, but it's not the same as in the academic community.  Fortunately, I'm able to see some of my friends in education during the summer.  They recharge me."

(There seems to be something missing here.)

He could not think of it.  Maybe it was:  "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."  Anyway, Marshall was off and running, looking strangely like a small boy at play.

That night he would jog in from the bullpen, carefully tamp down the mound, rescue Downing and, as a true team player, help achieve victory with his bat.  Afterward, he would dress quickly, steer clear of journalists imposing on his privacy and retreat out of sight.

Marshall has a wife and three daughters, but he refuses to discuss anything so private as family life.  He is equally reluctant to reveal what plans he might have after he achieves his doctorate.  He has said before that he is fully prepared to abandon the ball park for the groves of academe, although he cannot expect an educational institution, even one as affluent as Michigan State, to reward him with a salary comparable to the $87,500 the Dodgers reportedly pay him.  The inordinate amounts paid big leaguers is merely an added incongruity in the life of an intellectual who plays a child's game so well that he keeps winning, even while deploring the concept of victory.

Messersmith, also a speedy dresser, was happy with the victory that kept the Dodgers 5½ games ahead of the Reds, their opponents in a key three-game series this week.  "I know what Mike says about winning, and how performance is all that really matters," he said.  "But there's one thing:  his kind of performance leads to winning."


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     Those were the days.  If I had known then what I know now, then I could have kept those days going for several more years.  Nevertheless, that year provides the evidence that, today, I know how all baseball pitchers can do what I did and more.

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152.  I have a client who is a professional tennis player; she has had a chronic tendonitis of the supraspinatus for approx. 6-8 month.  Without going into too much detail, she is becoming extremely disheartened about any overhead movements.  I am an ex-physiologist who studied in England.

I watched your show the other night and am coming to the conclusion that you could help not just baseball players, but tennis servers too.  By the way, I run a Physical Therapy clinic in Tampa and I’m treating her with conventional shoulder stabilization exercises as well as passive modalities.  What are your feelings on the matter?


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     With some minor adjustments to meet the needs of each sport skill, the drills that I use to teach my baseball pitching motion works for all maximum intensity overhead throwing motion.  This includes tennis serving.  I have rehabilitated many tennis servers including a professional player who won major tournaments.

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153.  I just watched your pitching videos and that could be the ugliest pitching motion ever.  How can you teach someone to do that?  If it is so great, why don't you see and major league guys do it?

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     Isn't it amazing what a doctoral degree in Exercise Physiology, Kinesiology and Motor Skill Acquisition, fourteen years of major league experience with five top ten finishes in the Cy Young Award, including being the first closer to win the Cy Young Award and forty-one years of research would teach me was the best injury-free, highly-skilled baseball pitching motion?

     It is too bad that you and major league baseball pitchers are insufficiently educated to understand that the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion has destroyed hundred of thousands of pitching arms, yet you continue to support it.

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154.  I heard about your services on the television.  I can’t remember which channel, but your program looks a quite interesting approach.

I am the mother of a very highly skilled baseball player who has lost his ability to throw the baseball to its desired target.  Just about 4 weeks ago he was throwing rockets with his dad from any position 200-250 ft arm speed is about 80-82 15 years old.  He went to tryouts and the second day came back like an 8 year old throwing the ball.  He has played for numerous travel teams here in the northeast and played well and was well known.

Is this the yips or is this an amenity problem that the brain forgets how to throw properly.  Oh, another thing the slower he tries to through the worst he looks and, in the gym, they told the boys I don’t want anyone throwing hard.

Can you help us?  Is baseball over for him?


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     It sounds to me like performance anxiety.  I recommend that you don't bring someone in to teach him.  I recommend that you leave him alone.  If he wants to play baseball, then he will figure it out on his own.

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155.  I am currently working on my Doctorate in Physical Therapy.  I am doing a project on Little League Elbow, and I am very interested in referencing your research on a more biomechanically efficient method of pitching.

I was wondering if you could verbally describe the motions from the beginning phase to the release of the ball.  I can visualize it, but I can't seem to figure out which muscles are being activated at which points.

I was watching your segment on Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel and it appeared that most of your athletes had significant hypertrophy in the triceps.  I am wondering if that is due to specific training exercises, or due to the actual pitching motion.  Is the force being generated from the triceps?

If you could get back to me when you get a chance, I would greatly appreciate it, as I think this method would show great results in the physical therapy community.


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     I have answered these questions many, many times.  I request that you scan through my Question/Answer files, starting with 2008.

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156.  I understand you want your pitchers to point their feet directly toward the catcher, (0 degrees) and step forward as in a normal walking motion when driving the ball home.  By moving the center of mass forward in this way, you can very efficiently rotate the pitching hip and shoulder toward home plate and beyond the glove foot.  The large muscles on the front of the thigh, as well as, I assume, the Soleus muscle of the lower leg help to accelerate the pitching hip forward.  Then, the pitching knee should drive inward toward the glove side thigh.

I understand that when traditional pitchers place their pitching foot parallel to the pitching rubber, (90 degrees) they cannot perform this action, because they are merely using the muscles located laterally on their upper leg to “abduct” their leg away from their body, and not getting the full benefit of rotating their hips until well after the ball is released…which is too late.

I have seen javelin throwers using a foot placement action during final drive that would appear to have them pointing their throwing foot about 30 to 45 degrees toward the throwing arm side of their body.  It appears they abduct their throwing leg to a certain degree, then as forward momentum carries them forward at the proper instant they immediately, and slightly lift the throwing heel, powerfully rotating on the “ball” of the foot to transition into a very powerful forward walking motion.  To my untrained eye it appears they are receiving the dual benefit of “abduction” then “extension” as their “in between” throwing foot placement allows for the smooth and powerful transition from one to the other.

If your pitchers would use their foot placement and leg action in a similar fashion, couldn’t they get the dual benefits of leg abduction and extension?  Perhaps I’m missing something.


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     Rather than the force generated by the pitching foot pushing back toward second base, the critical element in the actions of the legs is the powerful forward rotation of the body through release over the glove foot.  Therefore, the action of the pitching leg must help the body accomplish this forward rotation.

     This means that how quickly my baseball pitchers can move their pitching hip forward is more important than how powerfully they can push off the pitching rubber.  Therefore, they need to powerfully flex, not extend their hip joint.  To do this, they contract their Abdominal, Rectus Femoris, Vastus Medealis, Vastus Intermedius and Vastus Lateralis muscles.

     With my Maxline pitches, I want my baseball pitchers to step at forty-five degrees to the glove side of their body (drop step).  They should have their pitching arm in my Loaded Slingshot position a the same time that the heel of their glove foot touches the ground.

     At this moment, I want my baseball pitchers to simultaneously roll across the entire length of their glove foot, move their pitching arm into my Slingshot position and drive their bent pitching knee diagonally toward their glove knee.

     Next, I want my baseball pitchers to simultaneously raise up on the toes of their glove foot and point their acromial line and pitching upper arm at home plate.

     Lastly, I want my baseball pitchers to simultaneously pull their glove forearm straight back to their glove shoulder, push hard backward toward second base with their glove foot and powerfully extend their pitching elbow, pronate their pitching forearm and inwardly rotate their pitching upper arm.

     With my Torque pitches, I want my baseball pitchers to step toward their pitching arm side such that their glove foot lands on the line between where their pitching foot is on the pitching rubber and home plate.  They should have their pitching arm in my Loaded Slingshot position a the same time that the heel of their glove foot touches the ground.

     At this moment, I want my baseball pitchers to simultaneously roll across the entire length of their glove foot, move their pitching arm into my Slingshot position and drive their bent pitching knee diagonally toward their glove knee.

     Next, I want my baseball pitchers to simultaneously raise up on the toes of their glove foot and point their acromial line and pitching upper arm at home plate.

     Lastly, I want my baseball pitchers to simultaneously pull their glove forearm straight back to their glove shoulder, push hard backward toward second base with their glove foot and powerfully extend their pitching elbow, pronate their pitching forearm and inwardly rotate their pitching upper arm.

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157.  I recently had to pitch off of a mound that had a virtual crater in front of the rubber.  I tried to keep my normal toe-forward approach, but the mound simply did not allow for it.  So, I was forced to place my foot parallel to the rubber and compensated by:

1.  Passively rotating acromial line to point no further than home plate (as usual).

2.  Pendulum swung down/back/up such that the palm faced outward at shoulder height, etc (as usual).

3.  Made sure that, given my parallel foot placement, I did not reverse rotate acromial line and arm past 2B (as usual, but with a little more attention to this particular component).

4.  Straight drive line, pronate (as usual).

Results were good.  I did not allow the mound to throw me off balance physically or mentally.  I managed to stand tall and rotate, but not as well as I would have on a well groomed mound.

Was my compensatory approach OK?  Do you have any other recommendations?


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     With my Maxline pitches, I want my baseball pitchers to step at a forty-five degree angle to the glove side of their body.  This should put your glove foot to the side of any hole made by 'traditional' baseball pitchers.

     With my Torque pitches, I would have taken the time to push the displaced dirt into the hole and stomp it down.

     Under no circumstances would I turn my pitching foot to parallel with the pitching rubber.

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158.  I see on your website that you recommended a book called, You Must Relax, to someone with performance anxiety.  Do you think this is good reading for a teenager?

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     You Must Relax by Edmond Jacobson is a good book for everybody to read.  I used it to teach a course in Neuromuscular Tension Control.  If you have any problems finding a copy, let me know.  I believe that I still have some from those days that I taught the course.

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159.  My son is 19 years old and is a college freshman.  He is getting some playing time as a PH,DH and PR.  He is now considered an outfielder and a first baseman, but will never be used in these positions because of a throwing anxiety he developed 5 years ago.  I realize you work to teach different mechanics to pitchers.  However, I wondered if you thought teaching him to throw another way might restore his confidence to overcome his anxiety?

I will attempt to give you a brief background.  Up until age 13, he was an exceptional pitcher and shortstop with speed, great hands and fluidity.  He has always been a hard worker.  In fact, he was voted the hardest working freshman this year.  I only mention this because Tom Hanson (sports psychologist) told me that most of the ones to develop this anxiety are hard workers.  Anyway, he lost his throwing mechanics just before age 14.  I feel this was due to an embracing moment when he made a bad throw during a game.  Since then he has struggled with his mechanics and never knows where it is going.  He has never had any pain or injury with his arm.

I saw your interview with Bryant Gumbel tonight and the guys throwing with your mechanics remind me of Zeke.  This made me wonder!  I'll admit it maybe far fetched but we are desperate.  This is a kid that was signed by one of the top baseball programs in America only for his hitting and speed.  His defensive abilities would be his best tool if he could throw again.  Many Pro scouts have told him that he would be signed if he could whip this throwing problem.  Problem is, no one has found a solution.  This has been a gut-wrenching time.  It's like having a child with a disability and no one to help him!!!  Do you think you can help or do you know anyone that could?


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     The reason why your son and many, many others develop a fear of throwing is the uncertainty they have in their ability to repeat the same throwing motion in competition as when they practice.  When they practice, they do not feel rushed or pressured.  However, in competition, they feel rushed and pressured.

     Their throwing inconsistency comes from the amount of horizontal centripetal force that they generate with the 'traditional' throwing motion.

     However, with my baseball pitching motion, my baseball pitchers do not generate horizontal centripetal force.

     Therefore, your son should practice throwing with my Wrong Foot Slingshot drill, my Wrong Foot Loaded Slingshot drill, my Wrong Foot Pendulum Swing drill and my One Step Crow-Hop Pendulum Swing drill.  I believe that he will find less inconsistency between his practice throws and his competition throws.

     On my website, without charge, I have provided my Baseball Pitchers Instructional Video for visitor to watch, my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and other text files for visitors to read, my Question/Answer files for visitors to scan and my Baseball Pitchers Training Programs for visitors to copy and complete.  I recommend that, except for throwing screwballs and curves, your son complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

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160.  I looked through your on-line book and videos, but could not see any examples or mention of pitching from the stretch.

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     With base runners on first and second bases, my baseball pitchers use my Drop Out Wind-Up body action.  When they suspect an attempt to steal second, my left-handed baseball pitchers can use my Set Position Wind-Up body action.

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161.  I saw your story on HBO the other day and was impressed.  I have a couple of questions for you.

My son is 11 years old and has never played baseball.  He would like to play and has natural athletic ability.  I was wondering if he learned your technique if he would be able to start playing the game now or is it too late for him.  We have a very competitive league and most kids his age have been playing since they were 4 or 5 years old.  I feel like he may be able to play if he could pitch.  This brings me to my next question.

Do you offer any kind of camp that he could attend for a week this summer?


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     Because I strongly recommend that youth baseball pitchers do not pitch competitively until they master the skills that I teach in my 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program and are biologically thirteen years old, this is the perfect time for your son to start to learn how to pitch.

     I do not offer camps for youth baseball pitchers. Instead, I want their parents to become their baseball pitching coach.

     On my website, without charge, I have provided my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video for parents to watch, my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and other text files for parents to read, my Question/Answer files for parents to scan and my Baseball Pitchers Training Program for parents to copy and have their sons complete.  You and your son should start by watching my video.

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162.  I do/did place my landing foot at 45 degrees.  As best I could, I did as you said with maxlines.  The torques were the problem, as you can imagine.  The ground was frozen.  But, I get your point.  Much appreciated.

One more thing.  I've been using an 8 lbs shotput that feels too big for my hand.  I tried calling for a special order 8 lbs ball per your website instructions.  I know you're busy.  How can I get an 8 lbs ball without intruding on your time?  If it's listed somewhere in the Q&A, I've missed it.


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     With my drop step, baseball pitchers step forty-five degrees to the glove side of the line between their pitching foot and home plate and, when their glove foot lands, to have a stronger base from which to drive their body toward home plate, they have the foot turned outward at forty-five degrees.

    In my Equipment Venders file, it shows that I am the person to contact for the eight, ten and twelve pound iron balls.

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163.  I wondered what your history was following MLB.  Now, I know.  I saw the piece Bryant Gumbel did on your insights into throwing techniques and injury rehab.  I am a physician.  I played in the Minor leagues of tennis 35 yrs ago.

Recently, I have been unable to reach full extension at the elbow.  Routine XR is negative for fx, dislocation, or pathology, e.g. OA etc.

  In the piece, you mentioned Olecranon Bursitis as a possible precipitant?  How did you treat?


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     Unfortunately, it is impossible to regain the loss of extension and flexion ranges of motion in the pitching elbow.  The only thing that athletes can do is to learn how to powerfully pronate their pitching/serving forearm before, during and after release/contact.

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164.  I understand.  I use the pseudo-traditional and I step 45 degrees to the glove side of the line.  And, my foot is turned outward at 45 degrees.  All very natural and powerful thanks to your training.  I'm not a power pitcher, but I did add 4 mph over the past 7 months.  I don't need to tell you how much fun I'm having with your pronation curve.

I did refer to the Equipment Vender file and did call the number listed as directed.  I can send a money order if that is acceptable.


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     Are you able to properly time the push-back off your glove foot with your pitching forearm acceleration through release?

     Can you imagine what would happen in major league baseball if I taught all the baseball pitchers on one team how to properly throw my Maxline Pronation Curve?

     To purchase the eight, ten and twelve pound lead balls, you need to send me three dollars for every pound of lead balls that you want plus twenty dollars for shipping.  This means that if you want all thirty pounds of lead balls, you need to send me one hundred and ten dollars.

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165.  I am a 14 year old right handed pitcher.  I've pretty much pitched and played baseball all my life.  I have gone to a pitching coach named Eric Sparks for about 5 years now and he says he has worked with you in the past.

He uses most of your techniques and mechanics such as a scap-load, hip load, and moving your body around the baseball with his major goal of being throwing without pain.  He has the same mentality as you in which the traditional motion causes arm injuries.

Late last September, I was pitching in a game when I fractured my medial-epicondyle bone.  The fracture required surgery where they put a screw in my elbow to hold the bone in place.

Now, my question to you is why did this occur? What was I doing wrong in my mechanics?  How can I fix this mechanical flaw? Was it because I was throwing too much (which I did a lot during the summer)?  Also, since the screw in my elbow is removable, is it recommended that I get it removed?


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     I do not teach Scapula Loading.  I do not teach Hip Load, whatever that is.  And, I have no idea what moving your body arong the baseball means.

Those are very dangerous techniques that contributed to your injury.  I am afraid that the few months that Mr. Sparks trained with me did not prepare him to properly teach my baseball pitching motion.  He added some garbage of his own.

     You pulled the ossification center for your medial epicondyle off the shaft of the Humerus bone in your pitching upper arm because of the unnecessary stress of the 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce' in your baseball pitching motion.  'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce' occurs when baseball pitchers take the baseball out of their glove with their pitching hand on top of the baseball.

     Without Mr. Sparks' future involvement, after the medial epicondyle ossification center reattaches to its Humerus bone, you need to complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

     On my website, without charge, I have provided my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video for visitors to watch, my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and other text files for visitors to read, my Question/Answer files for visitors to scan and my Baseball Pitching Training Programs for visitors to download and complete.  You should start by watching my video.

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166.  I saw in this week's letters that one of your readers got banned from baseball-fever and Jake Patterson for two weeks.  Tell him he's not trying hard enough.  For what it's worth, I thought I'd post what Jake Patterson wrote on baseball-fever after a visit to your Training Center for your readers:

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3/8/2007

"Hi All,

Some time ago I promised a report on my eventual visit to Dr. Mike Marshall's facility.

I was able to visit Dr. Marshall's facility in Zephyrhills, FL this past week and had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Marshall, Bill Peterson (Coach45) and 10 of Dr. Marshall's students.

What these young men are doing is remarkable.  While I do not profess to understand Dr. Marshall's methods (yet), the affects of his training were very impressive.  When comparing Doc's guys to what I saw in the Pirates and Reds spring-training bullpens this week I would have to say Doc's guys (The more senior ones at least) seemed to be throwing every bit as good and seemed to have a larger variety of pitches than the Pirates' and Reds' squads.  This of course is my opinion only as I did not have a gun nor did I track pitches for comparative analysis.

Marshall himself is a wealth of information and an asset to the game.  He is truly the gentleman others have reported.  He was extremely open about what he does and why and very passionate about his work.  The visit clarified many misconceptions I had about his techniques, and more important, what others have led me to believe about his training - more specifically his weight and iron ball training.  I have a ways to go before I can say I understand the motion and will go back and view his DVD again.

Bill Peterson's son is every bit as impressive as the few short clips Bill has posted on various sites demonstrate.  Bill understands the technique and I believe he is more than capable of helping others better understand what Marshall has spent the better part of his life developing.

The most impressive part of my day there was Bill was able to get me to throw (at 50+ years old) with a few minutes of training pain-free.  It was the first time in 15 years."

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I think the last sentence is key.  Using your techniques, he was pain free for the first time in 15 years.  Let's fast forward a year and see what this writer of children's books has to say.

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March 23, 2008

"Jack - After a long search, I teach pronated throwing using drills developed by RPM Pitching.  We have been at it for two weeks and we do not have one sore arm.  I have thrown every day over the past two weeks (53 y/o) and the only soreness I have is muscular.  First time in many years."

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  He's either lying a year ago or lying this week.

But ,I like to keep a sense of humor about guys like Jake.  Shortly after his glowing report of his trip to Zephyrhills, a concerned parent wrote a request for information on his son's arm pain.  You would think that a guy with a modicum of class would mention your web site after having 15 year of arm pain relieved.  No, Jake simply advised to see a doctor.  I draw the line when these guys don't mention your web site when these well-meaning parents come calling. So I went on his web site and got promptly banned.

Here is what Patterson recently wrote me when he banned me from his website.  The reason: Contentiousness and The Sentence: Life.

So, tell your reader, he's not trying hard enough.  Jake reminds me of a friend of mine who recently told me he only argues politics with those that agree with him.  I wonder if Jake gives that advise in his children's book.


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     As those who have read all my Question/Answer files, I have never and will never ban anybody from my website or refuse to fully answer their questions, no matter how contentious, vulgar or absurd they are.  That is un-American.

     My advice is, until he stops banning people or refusing to post everybody's comments, those not banned should boycott Jake Patterson's website.

     So many people have visited my Baseball Pitching Research/Training Center that I have no recollection of Mr. Patterson, when he was here or what happened when he was here.  But, if when he was here watching my guys perform the drills with which I teach the skills of my baseball pitching motion and Bill Peterson took a couple of second to show him the simple skill of pitching forearm pronation and his pain ceased, then great.  But, I do not believe that Bill Peterson deserves the credit for discovering that pitching forearm pronation prevents injuries to the back of the pitching elbow.

     I am the name brand.  Bill Peterson is the cheap, lower quality substitute.  You know, like eating the supermarket brand, Wheat Squares, rather than the brand name, Wheat Chex, Bill Peterson leaves a bad taste in your mouth.  And, he is taking his son down with him.

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167.  I understand your pitchers are highly trained to withstand the stresses of high velocity pitching.  Nevertheless, do you think they could benefit from recovery methods such as massage, spinal adjustments, inversion therapy, hot/cold contrast therapy to ensure that the body is not accumulating elements of fatigue?  If so, I have accumulated some resources and possible ideas that I could send to you that may help you and your guys on your mission.

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     During the entirety of my minor league, major league and for twenty-eight years of competitive pitching thereafter, I never iced my pitching arm or used any other so-called 'recovery techniques.

     Instead, I properly trained myself to be able to properly perform my baseball pitching motion at competitive intensity over one hundred and fifty times every day without any discomfort.  As a result, competitive pitching was like taking an easy jog through the park every day;  it was refreshing, not exhausting.

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168.  That's a good question.  I know I do during WW and IB training.  I don't believe I do it as well with baseballs.  I do know my centripital imperative indicates a straight drive line and good pronation.  My mechanical cues had not been related to front foot push back.  Rather, I think "passive rotate - pendulum swing - palm out - achieve driveline height in time - lean - plant - pronate inside the vertical.  That's an oversimplified "functional" string of cues that allows me to put all focus externally on target while still having a sense of kinestetic feedback.

How can I better engrain the push back?


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     When I see my guys drop step, but still move their body straight forward, I tell them to drop step when their pitching arm is hanging vertically downward beside his body, rather than when it gets to forty-five degrees behind their body.  This gives them a little more time to allow their body to move to their glove side with their glove foot.

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169.  I thought you might find this article interesting.

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Paul Sokoloski
March 23, 2008

Old-school John fires away at coddled pitchers.

Reaching back from the comfort of a well-padded chair, Tommy John reached back and snapped off one of his famous curves.

And like a good percentage of the others he threw during 26 big league seasons, this one was right on target.

“The big thing is, guys are bigger, stronger,” John said.  “But they don’t know how to play baseball.”

John was at PNC Field on Saturday, talking about the difference between today’s game and the one he played during a major league career that lasted from 1963 to 1989.

When John talks, you listen.  After all, the guy is so famous they named a surgery after him.  His 288 wins with six different teams, including three 20-win seasons in a span of four years spent with the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees, wouldn’t have been possible if not for an innovative elbow ligament replacement procedure.

It was performed on him in 1974 by the now renowned Dr. Frank Jobe, who substituted a tendon for the ligament in John’s left arm in what is called ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction.  It’s become known as “Tommy John Surgery” because John not only recovered from it he went on to win 164 more games in the big leagues after the operation.

“Most guys thought Tommy John was the surgeon, instead of the pitcher,” John said, laughing.  “Dr. Jobe told me you don’t have to have the surgery, but you’ll never pitch again.  If I had it and it didn’t work, I wasn’t going to pitch again anyway.”

It was a low-risk gamble for John, and it certainly didn’t affect his fastball much.  “I didn’t throw the ball hard, even before surgery. In those days, you were a good pitcher not because you threw 95 (miles per hour).  You were a good pitcher if you got batters out.  “That’s what we should get back to.”

He was on a roll now.

Of all those glorious victories he put up on the mound – including three World Series starts and five more in league championship series – most of them wouldn’t have been possible without the surgery that saved his pitching arm.

But John argues none of them would have been possible if he grew up in today’s game.  He was a 19-year-old kid, John remembers, just a year removed from high school, pitching in the late innings of an International League game against a big name he’d watched on television.

“A year out of high school,” John reiterated.  “That wouldn’t happen now.  I struck out Luke Easter, on a 2-2 pitch, with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning.  I would never have been allowed to do that now.”

Too many protections are in place, coddling pitchers through today’s game.  It’s the age of specialization, with long relievers and middle relievers and short relievers and closers all in high demand to work in bullpens that used to carry just a couple of relief pitchers.

There are limits on pitches developing players are allowed to throw because God forbid some high-priced prospect should come up with a sore arm.

“There are coaches who signal what pitches his guy on the mound will throw, in what situation, at every level of the sport.  There are also ERAs so bloated that bad pitching is the new good in baseball.

“Most of these kids have been told what pitches to throw in what counts in high school and college,” said John, 64, who has worked as a pitching coach in the minor leagues and as a manager in independent league baseball.  “They’ve been told what to do.  The pitcher never had a chance to think.  We need more teaching in the game.

“Maybe Luke Easter would have hit the ball over the wall for a grand slam,” John said of one of his earliest moments of glory.  “But I would have learned from it.”  He knows what he’s talking about.  John pitched his way to numbers that can rival anyone in the Hall of Fame, even if he’s not in there himself.  He had 46 career shutouts.  You could take an entire staff of an All-Star team and not find 46 career shutouts today.

John was a four-time All-Star, struck out 2,245 batters and pitched 4,710 1/3 innings.  He did all this without the kind of blazing heat that makes Jugs guns light up, but with a beautiful craftiness built on sheer cunning and guile.  Not to mention a patchwork left arm.


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     Tommy John is my friend.  I love Tommy John.  I agree with just about everything that Tommy John says and does.  However, I would not allow my starting pitchers to pitch more than three times through the line-up.  Otherwise, he is right on.

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170.  Can you expand on what it means to keep your pitching arm “locked’?  We noticed while watching the videos that a couple of players ‘dropped out of lock’.  Also, why is keeping the arm locked important?

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      When, from my 'Ready' position, my baseball pitchers raise their pitching elbow up to driveline height, they 'lock' their pitching upper arm with their shoulders.  Anatomically, they outwardly rotate the head of their Humerus bone in its Glenoid Fossa.  This action secures the Humerus bone in front of the acromial line.

     This is easy to test.

01.  Have a baseball pitcher raise his pitching upper arm to shoulder height.  Now, stand in front of the pitcher and place one hand on top of his pitching shoulder and, with the other hand, take hold of his pitching elbow.  Then, while firmly holding the pitching elbow, ask the pitcher to try to move it forward and take note of how much force he can apply.

02.  Have a baseball pitcher raise his pitching upper arm to vertically beside his head.  Now, stand in front of the pitcher and place one hand behind the pitching shoulder and, with the other hand, take hold of his pitching elbow.  Then, while firmly holding the pitching elbow, ask the pitcher to try to move it forward and take note how much force he can apply.

     If you have done this test correctly, with his pitching elbow vertical, then the pitcher will be able to drive you into the ground.

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171.  I wanted to inform you that the LA Dodgers released Rudy Seanez today.  I'm not sure of your relationship with Rudy, but I believe he is the only active major league pitcher to have trained with you.  I'm sure that he will get picked up by another team as soon as more pitchers get hurt using the traditional pitching motion.  Hopefully, we will see the fruits of your labor with some of your young studs making it to the big leagues real soon.

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     In the off-season before the 1989 season, I worked with Rudy for a couple of months.  In the off-season before the 1995 season, I worked with Rudy for two weeks at the beginning of the off-season and two weeks immediately before spring training.  In the off-season after the 1995 season, I worked with Rudy for two more weeks.  I have not heard from Rudy since then.

     Because he never completed any of my training programs and did not even try to learn some of the pitches I teach, I do not claim Rudy as one of my baseball pitchers.  Nevertheless, for some reason unknown to me, about a year ago, Rudy told a reporter that what I taught him cured his pitching arm injuries, enabled him to make it to the major leagues and added ten miles per hour to his release velocity.  My training programs do a lot more than eliminate pitching injuries and add release velocity.

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172.  I thought you might like to add this article to you Article file.  I stumbled on it in the new SI.com vault they now have online.  It is from July 1979 when you were with the Twins.  What I found compelling is that what you preach today is the same message you were preaching nearly thirty years ago.

I believe this article reinforces what you have been saying regarding a number of issues including pitching mechanics, educated people in professional baseball, infield positioning, charting batters and computers in the dugout.  Now, I understand where LaRusso got that idea.  You have been raging against the machine for a long time and there are many of us thankful for it.


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     Thank you.  I do not remember reading this article.

     However,rather than put this very long article in my Question/Answer file, I will put it in my Articles file.  For visitors to read this article, simply go to my Articles icon on my home page, click on it and select the 1979 Sports Illustrated article.

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173.  After reading through Chapter 37 and watching the pitching motion on video, I have a question about the release of the pitch.

From the Chapter 37 description, I get the idea that the pitching hand driving toward home plate as the glove leg pushes back toward second base would mean that the pitch is made during the glove leg push, and at the actual moment of release the pitcher’s weight may have even completed its shift to his pitching leg, which has moved to its position in front of the glove leg.

The videos of your 2007 pitchers, however, appear to show a more traditional timing – with most of the weight on the glove leg following a powerful pitching leg push-off as the baseball is released, with the pitching leg moving in front of the glove leg as a more or less follow-through motion.

If you have the time to clarify this for me, I would appreciate it very much:  In the Dr. Marshall pitching motion, where is the pitching leg when the pitch is released?


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     In my attempt to be completely transparent, I provide both what I want my baseball pitchers to do and what they actually do.  It is the heartbreak of coaching when I see baseball pitchers apparently working as hard as they can, but not performing the skills the way I teach them to do them.  Sometimes, it made me wonder whether it is possible for them to perform the skills the way that I want.

     However, this year's group has proved that they can perform my skills the way that I want.  Now, I have guys who perform my baseball pitching motion precisely as I want them to, although some better than others.  At the end of their training this year, I will again take high-speed film and video of them and put them together as I have done before.

     With regard to your question about where, at the moment of release, I want my baseball pitchers to have their pitching leg, I can tell you that I want the bent knee of their pitching leg at least beside if not in front of their glove knee.  I believe that the side view high-speed film of Kyle Francis throwing my Maxline Pronation Curve shows that it can be done.

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174.  So, I take it you measure the capacities of each of your pitcher's cardiovascular systems and the precise amount of carbohydrate each one consumes to ensure that they have entirely recovered from each bout.

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     When baseball pitchers can train every day at the intensity we train without any discomfort, their capabilities are self-evident.  There is no need for wasting time and money on unnecessary tests.

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175.  This article is about how the Red Sox are using the American Sports Medicine Institute.

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Sox Beat: Healthy pitchers key to good year
By ALEX SPEIER
New Hampshire Union Leader Sports
Sunday, Mar. 16, 2008

IT MAY WELL BE that no issue in baseball is more important than the ability to keep a pitching staff healthy.  The difference between a team's ace and its sixth or even seventh starter has a profound impact on the chances of winning.

Despite the huge stakes involved in a team's efforts to keep its best pitchers on the mound, the field still features as many uncertainties as it does answers.  There are fundamental questions that remain puzzles.

What is the optimal number of days of rest between starts?  Should pitchers throw 80 pitches an outing, or 100 or even 120?  What risks do relievers face when pitching on three or more consecutive days? No team claims to have a definitive answer to these questions.

"I think teams now are in different stages of the dark about this," said Sox general manager Theo Epstein.  "If some team really figures out how to convert human anatomy from one that wasn't meant to throw to one that does, they'll have a lot of success.  Until then, we're just trying to make improvements around the edges."

Yet even in those edges, dramatic differences are possible.  That seemed to be the case for the Sox last year. The team's training staff -- led by head trainer Paul Lessard and assistant trainer and rehab coordinator Mike Reinold -- positioned the pitching staff to excel over a seven-month run to the title.

The Sox did not avoid injuries completely in 2007.  Veterans Tim Wakefield, Curt Schilling and Mike Timlin all missed time with shoulder problems.  Josh Beckett missed a pair of starts because of an avulsion on his right middle finger.  Still, by and large, the team's training staff received raves for the work it did in keeping key pitchers on the mound.

"You have to look at the infrastructure of your organization and are you best equipped to keep pitchers healthy," noted pitching coach John Farrell.  "The infrastructure is critical -- having that cross communication between our medical staff and our training staff and our coaching staff.

"Fortunately, we're in a very good situation in that area, and I think that we've been able to manage that area very effectively not only last year but, we anticipate, going forward."

Reinold in particular is described as one of the unheralded keys to the success of the Sox.  The 30-year-old, who holds a doctorate in physical therapy, had been in charge of developing rehab programs for pitchers at the American Sports Medicine Institute, the home of renowned surgeon James Andrews.

For years, teams had sent rehabbing pitchers to work with Reinold in Alabama.  Among them was Josh Beckett, who went to ASMI when he experienced shoulder problems in 2000.

"Coming out of high school, you're not throwing everyday, you're not pitching every five days, you don't have to do all the shoulder work," recalled Beckett.  "When I got injured in 2000, I went to Dr. Andrews and Mike Reinold was working there.  They introduced me to the exercises that they and I thought were good, and I haven't really have any shoulder problems since then."

Rather than continuing to ship players to Birmingham to seek Reinold's expertise, the Sox decided to hire the Massachusetts native before the 2006 season.  In doing so, the team brought onto its staff an individual at the vanguard of keeping pitchers healthy.  The significance of the move seemed obvious.

"(Reinold's) brain and base of knowledge is an advantage," said Will Carroll, a medical writer for Baseball Prospectus.  "In the world of physical therapists, especially the ones that are sports-focused and baseball-focused, if he's not number 1 or 2, he is very, very close."

His impact became apparent last October. Both Beckett and Jonathan Papelbon excelled en route to a championship.  Those two pitchers achieved a degree of historic dominance during the postseason, a testament to their outstanding health.

While Beckett's shoulder program had long been established, Papelbon's was created following a season-ending shoulder injury in 2006.  The team put the pitcher on a rigorous training program to strengthen key muscles that would keep the ball of the shoulder from slipping out of place.  Then, when the team decided to move Papelbon back into his familiar role as closer last spring, it intensified its monitoring program.

For all their pitchers, the Sox seek objective data through a series of tests -- including strength and range-of-motion--to determine their health during spring training, at the All-Star break and following the season.  Individualized training programs for specific muscle groups are put in place based on the results.

"It's pretty beneficial when you do look at the (test) numbers and realize that a guy is work in one area, then you can work on that area," noted Sox reliever Javier Lopez.  "It's something we use as a gauge.  You can lift weights.  You can do shoulder exercises.  But if you're not working the right areas, you're not really helping yourself out."

That lesson was known long ago in rehab clinics and the insurance industry, which employed such tests to inform coverage decisions.  Until recently, such data remained underused in major-league training rooms.

"The Red Sox look at (pitchers) with objective measures and proactive things that they're doing, and they're well ahead of the curve," suggested Carroll.  "(But) it's not that hard.  We've had isometric, isokinetic range-of-motion (tests) since the 70s or 80s.  The fact that baseball hasn't used them is kind of interesting."

With Papelbon, the Sox took their data-driven approach to new levels.  The two-time All-Star is not allowed to pitch unless there is objective evidence that his shoulder is strong enough to avoid the sort of fatigue that led to his 2006 injury.  Every day, he checks in with the training staff to determine whether he has clearance to enter a game that night.

The results last year proved eye-opening. Papelbon recorded 37 saves and a 1.85 ERA while recording 12.96 strikeouts per nine innings.  Then, he blitzed through October with 10.2 shutout frames.

The 27-year-old expresses complete faith in his regimen.  Indeed, part of his stance in salary negotiations--including his lack of interest in a long-term contract--could be traced to the success of the shoulder program he follows.

"Me not needing to necessarily lock up a long-term deal," explained Papelbon, "is because I feel secure in my workload, my work ethic, my program that I'm on now and what I do on a day-to-day basis to get ready to pitch."  While the pitcher and his club alike are confident in his shoulder program, there are other dilemmas that will challenge the team's training, medical and coaching staff this year.

The Sox will have to proceed carefully as they regulate the workloads of young pitchers Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz.  The team will hope to find a program that permits Curt Schilling to return to the mound.  The better equipped the Sox are to handle such challenges, the better their chances of withstanding the attrition of another major-league season.

"I think once a team figures it all out, it will be a huge competitive advantage," said Epstein.  "There's certainly a very long ways to go.  There's more we don't know about shoulders and elbows than we do know at this point.  "But I feel like the guys we have in place now have a pretty good handle on systems, and give our players a good chance to stay healthy."


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     I would love to know exactly what the Boston Red Sox are doing.  While I disagree with the approach, I like that they are trying to do something.  It would be great if I had the opportunity to use my approach, then we could compare the effectiveness of the two systems.

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176.  I found this article about a kid suing his high school because he got hurt pitching.

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Athlete sued school district over pitching injury
DOUG PACEY; doug.pacey@thenewstribune.com
Published: March 26th, 2008 03:47 PM | Updated: March 26th, 2008 03:50 PM

At age 17, Jason Koenig was North Mason High’s innings-eater in 2001.  The right-hander appeared in five consecutive April games, throwing more than 400 pitches during the stretch and helping North Mason to first place in the Pierce County League.

In Koenig’s final appearance in the five-game span, he threw 140 pitches in a nine-inning complete game against Yelm on April 27, losing 1-0.  It was the last time he pitched.

Soreness developed in his right arm shortly after the game.  It was later discovered that Koenig, now a 24-year-old photographer living in Seattle, suffered a torn rotator cuff and labrum in his shoulder and torn capsule in his elbow.

He sued the North Mason School District, claiming coach Jay Hultberg was negligent in letting him throw so many pitches in such a short period.  But a Mason County Superior Court jury ruled in favor of the school district March 19.  Koenig can handle losing the lawsuit.  He simply hopes his case will signal a need for change.

“I would love to see pitch counts implemented at the high school level,” he said.  Two days before the game against Yelm, Koenig threw 30 pitches in two innings.

He was eligible to pitch, however, because Washington Interscholastic Activities Association rules limit only how often players can pitch, not how many pitches they can throw.  If a high school pitcher throws more than three innings in a game, he is not allowed to pitch for two days.

Mike Colbrese, executive director of the WIAA, said limiting the number of pitches a player can throw has never been brought up to the WIAA.  Colbrese said he would speak to baseball coaches and the Washington State Baseball Coaches Association about possible pitch counts and rule changes in light of testimony and evidence revealed during the trial.  That likely won’t amount to much.

Brad Conn, president of the state coaches association and the coach at Sedro-Woolley High, said there has been no movement from coaches to add rules that would limit the number of pitches players can throw.  Conn said he has kept track of the pitch counts of his players and his opponents for years, but he’s leery of adding restrictions.

“There is something to pitch counts,” he said, “but it would probably be overkill and restrict the people that are doing it right.”  Conn said he believes most coaches “look out for their kids,” but admitted he has seen some instances that indicate otherwise.  “I saw some kid threw a complete-game, 10-walk shutout this season,” he said. “That’s a lot of pitches this early in the season.  “I’ve seen coaches let their kid throw 150 pitches in a district playoff game.” That doesn’t surprise Stadium coach Chuck Peterson.  “It’s the stress, the pressure to win,” he said. “Coaches get fired if they don’t win.  Some will overlook it.”

Koenig said he has moved on since injuring his arm.

Koenig and his wife, Jenny, recently returned from a trip to Zambia, where they made a documentary of a group of volunteer teachers.  “I’m not complaining. I have a beautiful wife,” he said, “and my life has moved on.”

But the injury still affects him. Koenig said he has tried to play catch twice since 2001 and each time it ended badly.  “My older brother asked me to play catch and it didn’t go so well,” he said.  “He would throw to me, and I would underhand the ball back to him.”

Central to Koenig’s case were findings from the American Sports Medicine Institute that 17- and 18-year-old pitchers should not throw more than 105 pitches in a day or 130 in a week.  Little League Baseball adopted pitch counts in 2006 based on the ASMI research.  That data was released in 1996, but the jury found it could not hold North Mason coach Hultberg or the school district responsible for Koenig’s injury because too little information on pitch counts was available at the time.

With pitch-count data now readily available, and with the publicity from his trial, Koenig said he hopes coaches will be more aware of the long-term risks of allowing players to throw too many pitches.  “I’m hoping this case makes a little wave,” he said, “a ripple effect that will get people talking about pitch counts.”


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That the high school baseball pitcher sued his baseball coach for misusing him to the point that he suffered a career-ending, life-long pitching injury unfortunately shows that Courts will not get into things that they do not know.  This leaves it to the parents to take care of their children.

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177.  I have read articles about you and saw you on Real Sports on HBO.  I greatly admire what you do and think it's wonderful that you studied this pitching issue so diligently.

My question is:  I have never pitched before and want to know what I would be capable of doing.  That is, can just anymore build the arm strength eventually to be able to throw the ball 96 MPH or do you have to be naturally gifted and born that way?


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     Baseball pitchers have a wide variety of genetic maximum release velocities that each can achieve.

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178.  I run a Baseball Academy.  I recently saw the Real Sports HBO special that featured your pitching school, and I have become extremely interested.  The past few days I have tried your pitching style, and found that I was throwing with decent velocity, excellent tilt, and my extension is about 3 feet better.

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     To properly learn my baseball pitching motion, you should at least do my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

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179.  I am a big fan of yours as I saw you pitch when I was a kid.  I played 10 years professionally for the Twins and the Cubs organizations and presently am a private instructor.  I am a believer in teaching how to incorporate the legs with rotation and balance in order to get the maximum use of your arm without putting strain on the elbow as well as the shoulder.

I based my studies by breaking down the mechanics of several pitchers with different velocities and bodies (Nolan Ryan, Pedro Martinez, Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, Johann Santana) to prove how a second balance point at delivery must be achieved in order to get optimal control and velocity according to ability.  As you know not everyone can throw 95 plus.

But they can find their optimal velocity by controlling the body in such a way that energy can be distributed efficiently and evenly in the delivery that will naturally cause the arm to reach its maximum speed.

In the 9 years that I have taught pitching in this area I have never had a pitcher complain of arm problems other than normal soreness after games.  So far I have helped over 40 young men to compete collegiately and have had 5 drafted by MLB.

I would like to know more about your philosophies on weight distribution, arm path, release point, and arm action.  Also, I am very intrigued about your thoughts on balance (at the leg kick and release) as well as a pitchers tempo.  The latter one I am presently doing some research with the use of a metronome to help pitchers develop a proper tempo according to their mechanics.


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     Your argument that incorporating the legs with rotation and balance in order to get the maximum use of the arm without putting strain on the elbow as well as the shoulder does not work.

     If you were to watch side view high-speed film of 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, then you would see that, after their glove foot lands, their pitching forearm is still moving upward and backward.  Clearly, using the legs in the manner you believe baseball pitchers should use them does not contribute anything to the acceleration of the baseball.

     However, the body action that I teach does significantly contribute to the acceleration of the baseball.  With my baseball pitching motion, my baseball pitchers pendulum swing their pitching arm to driveline height at the same time that their glove foot lands.

      Then, because I teach my baseball pitchers to step forward only so far as they can easily move the center of mass of their body forward beyond the glove foot, I teach my baseball pitchers to continually move the center of mass of their body forward until well after they release their pitches.

     Lastly, because my baseball pitchers continuously move the center of mass of their body forward, I teach my baseball pitchers to forwardly rotate over their glove foot, rather than reverse rotate over their pitching foot.

     The wrong way to research how to eliminate pitching injuries is to analyze 'traditional' baseball pitchers, especially including several baseball pitchers who have suffered serious pitching injuries.

     It is just a matter of time before the baseball pitchers you have trained suffer serious baseball pitching injuries.  The unnecessary stress of the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion minimally damages the pitching arm with every pitch until the accumulation builds to the breaking point.

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180.  So, not just anyone can build up the strength to throw it 96 MPH?

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      Just because not all baseball pitchers are created equally does not mean that all baseball pitchers cannot be successful.  Skill means more than velocity.

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181.  But, with someone like Nolan Ryan who, in my opinion, does not swing the arm back but instead separates the hands with the elbows and then when the glove foot lands his rotation of the hips allow the arm to accelerate through the throwing zone.  Why would that kind of motion be considered incorrect according to your mechanics when he was still throwing 95-plus at 47 years of age?

I understand that he was a unique individual with an amazing ability, but there are some variables in his delivery that could be adapted in order for a pitcher to understand proper weight transfer.

I hope that I am not coming across as over bearing by pleading my case to you but I know that being a baseball mind yourself there is more than one way to skin a cat.

I have been in baseball for over 20 years and still don't know everything there is to know about the game.  That is why your website peaked my curiosity.  Another thing that is really getting my attention is that the number of arm injuries that are occurring throughout MLB are very much on the increase since you played.  I attribute it to poor mechanics and limiting how pitchers need to throw before they start a season.  What are your thoughts on that?


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     You may be able to skin a cat any way that you want, but, when Kinesiologists design how athletes should apply force for baseball pitching and all other sport skills, they know that, to satisfy Newton's three laws of motion and use the most powerful muscles available, they will find only one perfect way.  That perfect way is my baseball pitching motion.

     First, Nolan Ryan spent considerable time on the disabled list.  But, even if he had not, that does not make the 'traditional' baseball motion the best injury-free way to apply force to baseball pitches.  Mr. Ryan was a physical freak, who finished his incredible strike out career with a .526 win/loss percentage.

     Major league baseball pitchers continue to use the same 'traditional' baseball pitching motion that Mr. Ryan used.  The only answer to the pitching injuries that the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion causes is to use my baseball pitching motion.

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182.  I am going to explore your methods in greater detail and look into incorporating that into my teachings.  I am going to study your methods in great detail and see what results I can get.  If I have any questions, can I email you if I get stuck?

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     That is why I sit here every morning.

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183.  I am unable to find definitions for two of the terms you use in your pitching book.  Could you please explain/define them for me:

1.  mioanglosly
2.  plioanglosly

My grandson has been awarded the position of pitcher in his travel team and my son (his dad) is attempting to assist him in performing this assignment as effectively and safely as possible.

Thanks very much for your help, and for making your studies available on the net.


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     Because the contractile units in the myofibrils of our muscle fibers only contract or do not contract, I do not believe that the terms, concentric and eccentric muscle contractions accurately describe how muscles operate during sport activities.  Therefore, I prefer to discuss what happens to the joint angles of the bones to which the contracting muscles attach.

     When the joint angle to which the contracting muscles attach move closer together, I call this joint action:  mioanglos.  Mio is Greek for shortening and anglos is Greek for angle.  Therefore, mioanglos means any joint action in a sport activity where the two bones to which the contracting muscle attach move closer together.

     For example, when athletes do the upward phase of an elbow curl where they move a barbell with weights from their waist up to their chest, this would be a mioanglos joint action, where the contractile units of the myofibrils of the muscle fibers in the Biceps Brachii operate.

     When the joint angle to which the contracting muscles attach move farther apart, I call this joint action: plioanglos. Plio is Greek for lengthening and anglos is Greek for angle.  Therefore, plioanglos means any joint action in a sport activity where the two bones to which the contracting muscle attach move farther apart.

     For example, when athletes do the downward phase of an elbow curl where they move a barbell with weights from their chest down to their waist, this would be a plioanglos joint action, where the contractile units of the myofibrils of the muscle fibers in the Biceps Brachii operate.

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184.  Do you still recommend that baseball batters perform your upper-arms-at-sides reverse bench press to train both batting arms in a plioanglos manner?  Do you recommend that base runners perform any form of resistance exercises to overload the psoas muscles responsible for running speed?

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      The only weight training exercise that I recommend for baseball batters is the one that I used in my Overload for the Quick Bat report.  That involves only the front arm. Because a father of a young man I trained several years ago mistakenly believed that general activity weight lifting increased release velocity, I constructed a safe way for his son and others to complete some basic general activity weight lifting stations, including the reverse bench press.  However, I do not recommend that anybody does them.

     With regard to training base runners how to steal bases, because they want to use general activity weight lifting, I built a safe way for them to do leg presses.  However, I believe that they spend thousands of repetitions of the correct starting and sliding technique provides better results.

     For people and players with lower back discomfort, I developed my Knee Drop exercise that uses the Psoas Major muscle to gently rotate the second, third and fourth lumbar vertebrae.

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185.  Does your pitching motion work well with lefties too?  Plus, do you have any ideas for fielders or quarterbacks?

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     My baseball pitching motion works equally well for right and left-handed baseball pitchers.  My glove and pitching arm actions with my one step crow-hop body action for my Maxline and Torque Fastballs work very well for baseball position players.  My Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions works very well for football quarterbacks.

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186.  I play high school baseball.  Since my sophomore year, I have had two Tommy john surgeries on my right elbow.  I am trying to recover from my second right now to play the rest of the season.  I was wondering how long it took to work through your program and to actually break my bad habits?

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     You have had two Tommy John surgeries?  Why, after you had the first surgery, did you go back to using the same baseball pitching motion that ruptured your Ulnar Collateral Ligament?  Did you think that you would have a different result?

     On my website, www.drmikemarshall.com, without charge, I have provided my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video for visitors to watch, my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and other text files for visitors to read, my Question/Answer files for visitors to scan and my Baseball Pitchers Training Programs for visitors to download and complete.

     As a high school student, you should complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program every year until you are biologically nineteen years old.

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187.  I saw real sports and I was very impressed.  I have a 19 year old son that has an arm you would not believe.  I think he could be the young man you are looking for, but he needs some help.  I know it would be worth your time to take a look at him.  I know you get a lot people like me tell you that their sons have a lot of potential, but I would not be e-mailing you if I thought it would be wasting you time I would not do that.

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     I appreciate that you took the time to email me.  However, at sixty-five years old, I am no longer taking students.  Nevertheless, I strongly recommend that you and your son learn my baseball pitching motion and complete my 724-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.  If you do so and want me to check him now and then to see how he is doing, then I would be happy to do that.

     On my website, www.drmikemarshall.com, without charge, I have provided my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video for visitors to watch, my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and other text files for visitors to read, my Question/Answer files for visitors to scan and my Baseball Pitchers Training Program for visitors to download and complete.

     Good luck.

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188.  A hypothetical question crossed my mind:  Do you think that you could have taken a pitcher like John Smoltz before he was a big leaguer and turned him into an even better pitcher than he has been?  This would be assuming that he followed your training and mechanics to the most minute detail.

I ask this because Smoltz had Tommy John surgery 6 or 7 years ago and has gone on to pitch well after that.  I also ask this because I believe that despite the surgery, Smoltz has a great delivery that has been proven to be very very successful with Hall of Fame type numbers to numbers back up.

Do you think that he would have put up even better numbers using your delivery throughout his career?


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     If Mr. Smoltz has such a great delivery, then why did he rupture his Ulnar Collateral Ligament?  Because the tendon replacements for Ulnar Collateral Ligaments do not have a blood supply, which means that they are inert tissue, with every pitch, he is tearing it like he did his real UCL.

     If every major league baseball pitcher in history were to have completed my 724-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program and mastered the skills that I teach, then they would have become far superior injury-free baseball pitchers.

     The difference would have been in the same order as comparing my 208 closing innings in 106 games with Mariano Rivera's approximately 80 innings in approximately 70 games.  That is, two and one-half times better.  What if all the baseball pitching records were that much better?

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189.  The youth league I am involved in is having a debate on kid pitch.  Do you have any information that you could share or lead me to on the best age children should pitch?  Is there an age where children should be developed into a pitcher?  Should kid start pitching at age 7 and 8 so they can be “good” 9 and 10 year old pitchers?  My league wants to train kids to pitch at 7 or 8 so they are ready for the 9 to 10 year old league.  Any advice and do you think the trade off in regards to less action in the field is worth developing young pitchers.

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     The first concern of youth sport organizers should be to do no harm.

01.  Until youngsters are biologically sixteen years old, they have open growth plates in their pitching elbow.  This means that, if youth baseball program organizers do not carefully monitor the amount of stress youth baseball pitchers place on their pitching elbow, their youth baseball pitchers will permanently alter the normal growth and development of these growth plates.  Therefore, I recommend that, until they are biologically thirteen years old, youth baseball pitchers do not pitch competitively.

     The second concern for youth sport organizers should be to treat all participants equally.

02.  Youngsters do not biologically mature at the same rates.  Chronological twelve year old youngsters can be biologically ten years old or fifteen years old.  Therefore, to treat all participants in youth baseball programs equally, organizers need to know their biological ages.  To do this requires front and side view X-rays of their glove and pitching elbows from mid-forearm to mid-upper arm within one week of their birthdays.

     The third concern for youth sport organizers should be to teach the motor skills and strategies of the sports.

03.  The key to meaningful participation in sport activities is the ability of the youngsters to perform the motor skills of the sport.  With regard to baseball pitching, youth baseball pitchers must be able to throw my Maxline True Screwball, Maxline Fastball, Maxline Pronation Curve and Torque Fastball for strikes with my baseball pitching motion.

     On my website, www.drmikemarshall.com, without charge, I have provided my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video for visitors to watch, my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and other text files for visitors to read, my Question/Answer files for visitors to scan and my Baseball Pitchers Training Programs for visitors to download and complete.

     I strongly recommend that, every year until they are biologically sixteen years old, all youth baseball pitchers complete my 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program.

     If your youth baseball organization follows these guidelines, then, when these youngsters are high school juniors, they will be injury-free and highly-skilled and if they have mastered the skills and have sufficient genetic gifts, they can complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program and be on the road to all that they can be.  If you do not follow these guidelines, then you will knowingly destroy the pitching arms of all the youth baseball pitchers in your program.

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190.  My son is 10 years old.  I saw your interview on real sports.  I went to your website and read that you do not recommend pitching under 13 yrs old.  His little league coach has started him pitching, I took him to a pitching coach who taught him a technique, but his little league coach changed his pitching style.

Personally, I don't know that I even want him pitching after reading your article.  All my son talks about is about playing major league ball someday, I don't want him injured at 10.  I'm not your overprotective mom either, I want him to be tough, but there is a difference between making him tough and injuring him.


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     If you give your son over to that little league coach and that pitching coach, then they will destroy your son's pitching arm and his dream.  Instead, you and your son need to take charge of his baseball pitching motion, his motor skill development and when and how much he pitches.

     On my website, www.drmikemarshall.com, without charge, I have provided my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video for visitors to watch, my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and other text files for visitors to read, my Question/Answer files for visitors to scan and my Baseball Pitchers Training Programs for visitors to download and complete.

     I recommend that, every year until your son is biologically sixteen years old, you and he complete my 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program.  Then, if he has mastered my baseball pitching motion and can throw my pitches for strikes, when he is biologically thirteen years old, you can allow him to pitch one time through the lineup twice a week for two consecutive months each year until he is biologically sixteen years old.

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191.  I just sent a money order for an 8 lbs. iron ball.

I am having trouble with the slider, particularly during competition.  I release it more or less like a football pass with strong pronation at release.  Do I have the basic concept wrong?  I tend to "revert' to the maxline pronation curve instead of throwing the slider.  That curve, by the way, should be outlawed.  It's almost unfair.  I love it.  I need to do some wrong foots until I get a better feel for the slider.


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01.  As soon as I receive your request, I will put an eight pound lead ball in the mail to you.  Be sure that you immediately wrap it in athletic tape and do not lick your fingers.

02.  To start to learn how to correctly spiral my Torque Fastball Slider, I have my kids alternate their Torque Fastball with my two-seam Torque Pronation Curve.  In the beginning, they typically end up throwing a two-seam Maxline Pronation Curve to the pitching arm side of home plate.  However, after they learn how to turn their body to face the glove side of home plate, they develop just enough pitching forearm flyout to change the rotation of the baseball from forward to spiral.  Until then, the batters still cannot hit their pitches.

     You cannot learn my Torque Fastball Slider with my Wrong Foot Pendulum Swing drill.  You actually need the Wind-Up body action to generate the controlled pitching forearm flyout that you need.

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192.  I haven't been on your website for a few months, but decided to take a look at some of the Q and A's.  I read that you are "closing shop" this summer.  Are you going to stop training pitchers?

I am thankful for the information that you have provided.  When my son (you have met him. He attended you 2007 certification clinic) was in HS we tried to follow your teachings the best we could to eliminate his elbow problems.

Not only did he learn to throw without any pain, he also increased his velocity.  Although he no longer plays, he is coaching at the HS now and is able to throw 300 + pitches of batting practice for the boys each day without experiencing any pain.  People may try to discredit your methods, but "the proof of the pudding is in the taste".

Anyway, I hope that "closing shop" doesn't mean that you will no longer be available to help all of the players that could benefit from your knowledge.


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     The only thing that I will no longer do is sit at my Baseball Pitching Research/Training Center every morning for seven hundred and twenty-four consecutive days every two years.

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193.  My teams (16-18 year-olds in Senior Babe Ruth) have constant arm trouble.  I never remember having any problem when I played high school or college ball.  My initial reaction was the motion and amount of breaking balls they threw.  In fact, many of the pitchers had been throwing curve balls since little league.

I am coaching in the Cal Ripken Junior League which is 9, 10, & 11 year-olds and I want to know what I can do to teach these kids proper pitching.  Do you have any quick tips for teaching young kids your methods?  I would love to be an influence on these kids and help them to avoid injuries.


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     For biologically sixteen to eighteen year old baseball pitchers, I recommend that every year until they are biologically nineteen years old, they complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program and pitch only twice through the line-up twice a week for only four months each year.

     For youngsters less than biologically sixteen years old, I recommend that, every year until they are biologically sixteen years old, they complete my 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program, wait until they are biologically thirteen years old to pitch competitively.  Then, they should pitch only one time through the lineup twice a week for two consecutive month each year.

     On my website, www.drmikemarshall.com, without charge, I have provided my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video for visitors to watch, my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and other text files for visitors to read, my Question/Answer files for visitors to scan and my Baseball Pitchers Training Programs for visitors to download and complete.

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194.  How long does it take to achieve peak genetic velocity?  I'm not a power pitcher, but have improved velocity.  I was happy enough just to throw reasonably close to my "old" velocity.  But, I've been pleasantly surprised by a steady increase in velocity.  I've told you before that I've gain 4 MPH in 7 months of training.  My sense is that there is much more to come; genetic limitations not withstanding.

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     Three factors contribute to baseball pitchers achieving their genetic maximum release velocity.

01.  The closer that baseball pitchers learn to apply force exactly how I teach them to apply force, i.e., pointing their pitching elbow directly at home plate, the closer they will be to achieving their genetic maximum release velocity.

02.  After they complete my thirty pound wrist weight and fifteen pound iron ball recoil interval-training cycles, when, on any given day, they feel as though they can easily do two to three hundred repetitions of the drills I use to teach the skills of my baseball pitching motion, my baseball pitchers will have the fitness that they need to achieve their genetic maximum release velocity.

03.  After several months of high-intensity competitive pitching against challenging baseball batters that force my baseball pitchers to extend their intensity beyond what they believed possible, my baseball pitchers will have the explosive contraction/relaxation motor unit firing sequence that they need to achieve their genetic maximum release velocity.

     The modest increase in release velocity you have gained is a result of improving your driveline and using the appropriate muscles to apply force.  You have not perfected my force application technique well enough, trained long enough or challenged your game intensity hard enough to come anywhere near your genetic maximum release velocity.

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195.  I am going to study your method because it seems interesting to me.  And it might be able to pay off for me in the long run I am looking into a pitching career.  I am 14 years old and, last year, I fractured the growth plate in my throwing elbow and had a weak tendon due to pitching.  Do you think this method will possibly help me stay healthy?

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     While you would be better off had you not fractured the ossification process of your Medial Epicondyle, with my baseball pitching motion and waiting until you are biologically sixteen years old to competitively pitch again, you should be able to stay healthy and have fun.

     I recommend that, every year until you are biologically sixteen years old, you complete my 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program.

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196.  I have a 9 year son that is a very consistent pitcher.  I never played baseball on any level, but I did play football for many years.  I know enough not to instruct my son on things in which I have no idea on.  He has never pitched a day in his life until about 6 months ago.  That being said, he is on a prime team and a tournament team and, of course, it consumes all of our time.

The other dads/coaches, say he is doing very well and it is obvious.  He can throw strikes, but is not the hardest thrower on the team, but definitely the most accurate.  He has excellent "traditional" form.  The thing is everyone has their opinion on what he should be doing (mechanics).  I am very excited about progressing his skill and it seems momentum pitching makes more sense to me than anything.

I have stared at the Youtube video of Sandy Koufax so many times I am cross eyed.  What is your opinion on this (in consideration of his age)? My son listens extremely well, is very coordinated.  He is also 5' tall and weighs 98 lbs.  He is very stout, not fat, at all.  He has very good foundation; strong legs and 8.5 shoe size.  I think he will be a big guy.  I don't mean to ramble on; I just thought I would provide all that I could.

One other thing, about me.  I am not one of those dads trying to live my life through my son.  I am all too aware of what could and couldn't be and only want to help show him a "path" that will be his to take.


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     As his father, it is your job to guide your son, not watch as others destroy him.

     The story you have told me about your son is the same story I have heard for years that end up very badly.

     The pitching motion that these guys are teaching your son will destroy his pitching arm.  The games that he is pitching will destroy his pitching arm.  Within a few years, he will suffer permanent, irreversible damage to his pitching arm and pain that will stay with him for the rest of his life.

     I recommend that you immediately get him off these teams and away from these people.  Then, every year until he is biologically sixteen years old, you should help your son complete my 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program.  He should wait until he is biologically thirteen years old to pitch competitively and, then he should only pitch one time through the line-up for only two consecutive months each year.

     On my website, www.drmikemarshall.com, without charge, I have provided my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video for visitors to watch, my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and other text files for visitors to read, my Question/Answer files for visitors to scan and my Baseball Pitchers Training Programs for visitors to download and complete.

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197.  I am the JV baseball coach in high school.  I recently saw the report on your Bio Mechanics on HBO and my staff and I are baseball geeks to say the least.

We recently lost one of our top pitchers to a career-ending elbow injury.  I never want to lose a kid like him ever again no matter what level I am at.  So, we would like to learn more about your system and how it works.


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     Yours is a horror story that I read thousands of times every year.  The answers are on my website.

     On my website, www.drmikemarshall.com, without charge, I have provided my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video for visitors to watch, my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and other text files for visitors to read, my Question/Answer files for visitors to scan and my Baseball Pitchers Training Programs for visitors to download and complete.

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198.  I caught your segment on HBO's Real Sports recently.  After watching it, I just messed around with your motion and, although at first it feels awkward and counter-intuitive, you were right:  I threw pain free.

There is something about that traditional baseball throwing motion that to this day, after years of not playing baseball, still KILLS my arm.  I can't play catch for more than a few minutes.  Yet, I tried your motion and threw pain free as long as I wanted to.  I couldn't believe it!  I'm probably not doing it even close to correct, but just being able to propel all my weight forward and throw over the top did wonders.

I'm an Indians fan.  There is no reason a guy, like C.C. Sabathia, big as he is, should have the arm troubles he seems to have during the early parts of every season.


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     You should enjoy C. C. Sabathia for as long as you can. With his baseball pitching motion, he won't be around long.

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199.  I intend to train every day until I decide I no longer want to pitch.  I doubt that day will come.  I should tell you that I just turned 40.  I'm no spring chicken.  But, I'm throwing harder and better than I did in college.  Despite my age, if I continue to train, I STILL think there is much more to come.

I had emailed you about a number of discomforts in my shoulder through my training process to date (back of shoulder, but not the teres minor).  All of them have gone away as you said they would.

After I pitch competitively, however, some of those discomforts return the day or 2 after.  I believe that's a function of the greater intensity you mentioned.  The longer I train, the less frequently they surface.


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     As you are learning, it is the fear of the unknown cause of appropriate discomforts from training that makes baseball pitchers go to their trainers that results in the trainers telling them to stop training for two weeks that prevents baseball pitchers from ever becoming fit enough to withstand the stresses of competitive pitching.  That is why I told my baseball pitchers that if they ever went to the trainer after I had told them to continue training, then they will never become quality baseball pitchers.

     My definition of challenged are those who think that they know something, when, in truth, they do not know anything.  With regard to baseball pitching, athletic trainers are challenged.

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200.  I'd like to high-speed film on my son's delivery.  The cameras themselves are extraordinarily expensive as you know so that leads me to the idea of hiring someone to do it.  Do you have any advice to give on this?

Specifically, what camera type or style, and what fps rating would be optimal?  Lastly, any clue what a "fair" price would be?


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     Because nobody ever took me up on my $1,000.00 challenge, I have removed that file from my website.  However, in that challenge, I offered to take twenty-four high-speed film clips of baseball pitchers, one-half from the side view and one-half from the front view for only one thousand dollars.  I thought that four baseball pitchers with three pitches each might want to take me up on my offer.

     Otherwise, I have no idea who would take high-speed film for you.

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201.  I saw you on Real Sports and I wondered:  How long does it take to adjust to your pitching motion?

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     That depends on the motor skill acquisition ability of each baseball pitcher.  However, I have found that, when they complete my 724-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program, even the worst of my baseball pitchers can perform the skills of my baseball pitching motion quite well.

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202.  Thank you.  I will download the videos and have my husband help me talk with his coach.  I really appreciate your advice and will stop him from pitching until he is 13.

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     I said that your son should not pitch competitively until he has mastered the skills of my baseball pitching motion and is biologically thirteen years old.

     I doubt that your son's baseball coach will want to take the time to learn how to teach the drills of my baseball pitching motion.  Instead, I recommend that you, your son and your husband take charge of your son's baseball pitching motion.

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203.  I'm a 16 year old Traditional pitcher and I would like your advice on something that has stumped me for a very long time.

1.  Do pitchers really gain mph from lower body weight lifting?

2.  Do pitchers need to weight lift?

3.  What do you think traditional players should do to condition?


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01.  If you were to watch high-speed film of 'traditional' baseball pitchers, then you would see that, after their glove foot lands, the baseball is either stopped or moving backward.  This means that, whatever force they applied with their pitching or glove legs had absolutely no affect on the acceleration of the baseball toward home plate.

     If you were to watch high-speed film of my baseball pitchers, then you would see that, after they forwardly rotate and push off their glove foot, the baseball is maximally accelerated toward home plate.  This means that, whatever force they applied with their pitching or glove legs both contributed to the acceleration of the baseball toward home plate.

02.  Baseball pitchers can successfully use the overload principle to increase the ability of the bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles specifically used to apply force to their pitches.  That is what my baseball pitchers training programs do.

03.  To properly train their pitching arms to withstand the stresses of baseball pitching, 'traditional' baseball pitchers need to immediately switch to my baseball pitching motion and complete the appropriate baseball pitcher training program.  This means that, at sixteen biological years old, you should complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

     On my website, www.drmikemarshall.com, without charge, I have provided my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video for visitors to watch, my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and other text files for visitors to read, my Question/Answer files for visitors to scan and my Baseball Pitchers Training Programs for visitors to copy and complete.

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204.  I have an age 15 year who this fall had elbow pain on the inside of elbow.  The Dr. took X-rays, but didn't see anything.  We were told to take a rest.  He didn't throw from Oct to Feb.  The Dr. said in Feb and it was okay to start a throwing program.

My son didn't do according to Dr, but starting throwing from IF positions, no pain.  Then he pitched one inning a couple of weeks ago, no arm strength and a little pain.  He threw last night, he did okay but when he threw his fast pitch he said it was uncomfortable.  He threw easy for two innings.  He said he was okay this morning, but my husband noticed that my son was deliberate in not throwing anymore fastballs.  Is this normal or do we need to go get an MRI?


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     When 'traditional' baseball pitchers have pain on the inside of their pitching elbow, it means that they have 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce.'

     On my website, www.drmikemarshall.com, without charge, I have provided my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video for visitors to watch, my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and other text files for visitors to read, my Question/Answer files for visitors to scan and my Baseball Pitchers Training Programs for visitors to copy and complete.

     Until your son is biologically sixteen years old, every year until he is biologically sixteen years old, I recommend that he complete my 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program.

     You will find everything that he needs on my website.

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205.  Please let me know if you will still take four hundred feet of high-speed film for one thousand dollars.  If you do, I'll take you up on it this summer.

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     I planned to close my Baseball Pitching Research/Training Center on the fourth weekend in May.  However, because a couple of my baseball pitchers want to complete a recoil training cycle this summer, even though I do not plan to attend daily, I will keep the place open.  Therefore, I might be able to help you. With four hundred feet of film, I will be able to take twenty-four short clips starting when the pitching arm passes the hip.

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206.  I understand.  But, I have no trainer to go to.  Since I've started training, I've followed your lead.  I have not missed a day of training.  At 40, can I still expect velocity gains?  I see no reason why not.

With only 6-7 months of training under my belt entering this competitive season, I feel like I'm competing with less than my full strength/potential.  As much as I enjoy playing, I'm anxious to return to a higher intensity training focus so that NEXT year I'll be even better.  Does that make sense?  Still, I know I need the competition for the reasons you previously mentioned.  I just wish I started training much much earlier.

I have noticed that, during competition, I have a tendency to reverse rotate.  The pendulum swing to achieve palm out at shoulder height plus consciousness of a straight drive line with pronation has kept this traditional hangover in check.  Does that make sense?  More training required.


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     I was referring to the athletic trainers in college and professional baseball.  Their ignorance causes more pitching injuries than if they were not there.

     It makes complete sense to me not to want to pitch when you know that you could be training and become a much better baseball pitcher.  That is exactly what I recommend that all baseball pitchers do.  I strongly recommend that, before they pitch competitively, all baseball pitchers of all ages continue to train until they have mastered my baseball pitching motion and all of my pitches.

     When my baseball pitchers first start practicing my Drop Out and Pseudo-Traditional Wind-Up body actions, I have them do start and finish with several One Step Crow-Hop body action baseball throws.  I tell them that they need to focus only on forwardly rotating over their glove foot and driving their pitching knee to in front of their glove knee.

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207.  I am coaching one of your former students.  An opposing coach believes that his pickoff move out of the stretch is a balk along with the way he stands on the mound out of the stretch.

He thinks that because his entire pivot foot is not touching the pitching rubber it is a balk and also that his pickoff move is a balk even though he steps directly to first base with his non-pivot foot.  I have included him in this email along with our umpire assigner so that we can clear this up completely.  The NAIA uses the MLB rule book and the rule 8.01.b seems to verify that it is not a balk, but maybe you can explain it better than I can.


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     If my baseball pitcher is using my Drop Out Wind-Up competitive baseball pitching motion, then he has:

01.  his glove foot on the ground one full step behind the pitching rubber,

02.  his pitching foot pointing at home plate and

03.  his pitching hand in his glove in front of his body at his waist.

     This is not a set position, it is a wind-up position.

     Because baseball pitchers can throw to bases in an attempt to pick off base runners from either the set or wind-up positions, it is not a balk to be in a wind-up position.

     While the rule says that baseball pitchers must have their entire foot in contact with the pitching rubber, which refers to the situation where baseball pitchers stand to the extreme glove side of the pitching rubber and have half of their pitching foot off the end of the pitching rubber.

     With my Drop Out Wind-Up competitive baseball pitching motion, my baseball pitchers have their pitching foot pointing toward home plate with the entire width of their pitching foot in contact with the pitching rubber.  To legislate that baseball pitchers have to turn their pitching foot to parallel with the pitching rubber would mean that they are requiring baseball pitchers to reverse rotate over their pitching rubber, the chronic performance of which causes baseball pitchers to suffer pitching hip and knee injuries.

     As you correctly observed, to throw to a base in an attempt to pick off base runners, the only requirement is that they step toward the base to which they are throwing.  Clearly, when my right-handed baseball pitchers step directly at first base, they comply with this rule far better than left-handed 'traditional' baseball pitchers do with their forty-five degree step sort of toward first base.

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208.  I'm not going to switch my motion but does weight lifting help increase mph or force used in the traditional pitching motion?  Can you explain how the overload principle can work for a traditional pitcher and what they should do?

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     The overload principle cannot work with the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.  To prove this to you, all you need to do is strap thirty pound wrist weights on your glove and pitching arms and try to perform the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.  My baseball pitchers can do this with ease.

     This means that, with my baseball pitching motion, my baseball pitchers satisfy the principle of conservation of momentum.

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209.  You have a deal.  I'll work it out on my end and run some early summer dates by you.  You let me know what fits into your schedule and we'll be there.  I'm very excited to meet you and my son is also.

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     Okay.  How are you planning to use the twenty-four clips?  When I get the developed film back, I will make a DVD just like I do with my kids as shown in my High-Speed Film Analysis of my 2007 Baseball Pitchers.

     Your situation makes me believe that I need to provide a service to those working on my baseball pitching motion on their own.  Perhaps, I should offer two day evaluation sessions, where I watch those who are working on their own and tell them what I see that they need to adjust.

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210.  I understand the traditional pitcher can not do some wrist weight exercises, but I'm talking about overload with weight training.  Does weight training increase mph?

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     The wrist weight exercises that I recommend help baseball pitchers to increase their release velocity.

     When designing training programs, Exercise Physiologists use two principles.  One is the Overload Principle where the judicious application of increasing resistance forces the body to make physiological changes to meet the training overload.  The second principle is Specificity of Training where the resistance applied precisely mimics the activity they want to enhance.

     From your questions, it is clear that you have not taken the time to watch my video, read my book and other text files or scan my Question/Answer files.  Until you do your part in this exchange, do not send me any more questions.

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211.  Thanks again for coming on our sports talk radio show this morning.  The guys loved having you on.  Let me know if we can do it again later on down the road.

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     My mission statement is to show all interested how to eliminate pitching injuries and build monster baseball pitchers.  To that end, I will not only be on your show whenever you want me, I will be on everybody else's show whenever the want me and, as one of your guys asked me, without charge, I will meet with all general manager, pitching coaches, trainers, orthopedic surgeons and anybody else interested in eliminating pitching injuries, individually or collectively whenever they want.

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212.  I did not receive a response from the email I sent earlier in the week.  Therefore, it must not have made it to you or was not to your liking because you resent my original correspondence and not just questions.  Here are just the questions that I had:

1.  From the poor “traditional mechanics” that have been ingrained in my muscle memory resulting from the supination curve, it has also caused me – when throwing a fastball or ball around the infield / outfield at 100% – to release in front of me (at hyper-extension).  This causes pain in the ulnar collateral ligament region of my right arm.  Am I correct in thinking that your motion would alleviate such pain because the throwing arm is never allowed to get to full extension because of pronation inside of the elbow?

2.  I have been frustrated through the years in trying to break myself of this nasty aforementioned habit, to no avail.  What will it take for me to truly break myself of this and virtually guarantee it never rears its ugly head again?  What does it take to fully erase a muscle’s memory and/or motor skill?  Would your interval training and delivery do the trick or do I need to focus on something else / specific (while conducting your training or throwing)?

3.  You have already answered one of my questions countless of times for other readers in your Q & A section and as a result will use your Maxline Fastball and “one-step crow hop body action when playing and throwing a softball.  Should I conduct your 724-day interval training program for this intended use or something else?  Depending on your answer, I may undertake the 724-day program anyway just to see what I would have been capable of as a complete baseball pitcher.

4.  I periodically lift weights and run for the performance of my employment.  Would doing so conflict with your interval training program and/or results?

5.  On occasion I have to travel.  Upon my return, do I resume where I left off with your interval training program or do I regress in days / weight / reps?


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     I can assure you that I must not have received the email to which you refer because I especially like negative emails.

01.  Pain in the Ulnar Collateral Ligament results from 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce.' If you have watched my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, then you would know that taking the baseball back with your hand on top of the baseball causes this injury and that pronating the forearm prevents the bone on the back of the elbow from slamming together.

02.  On my video, I show how to learn how to pronate all releases.  To learn how to pronate the release of my Maxline Pronation Curve, you need the square lid off a four gallon bucket.

03.  For adult baseball pitchers to become the best that they can be, I strongly recommend that they complete my 724-Day program.  To make sure that you perform the drills that I use to teach the skills of my baseball pitching motion, you need to watch my video.

04.  No.

05.  For every day that you miss training, you need to go back two days in your program.  This means that, if you miss one week, then, when you start training again, you need to go back two weeks in your program.

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213.  Your baseball pitcher is throwing out of the stretch with his glove hand foot in front of the rubber and his pivot foot heel on the rubber.  What do you teach in relation to a stretch position?

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     I do not teach my right-handed baseball pitchers to put their glove foot on the ground in front of the pitching rubber.  That is a set position.  I only teach right-handed baseball pitchers to put their glove foot one full step behind the pitching rubber.  My baseball pitcher is trying to avoid conflict with those who do not know what they are talking about.

     That someone complains because he does not turn his pitching foot to parallel in the set position is nonsense.  The answer is to put his glove foot behind the pitching rubber.  In the Wind-Up position, even some 'traditional' baseball pitchers keep their pitching foot pointed at home plate.  But, that is a choice baseball pitchers can make even with the set position.

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214.  I heard you speaking on the radio in St. Louis on 590 KFNS with Kevin Slaten.  Since then I've been reading good and bad things about information you are sharing.  Some point out that while using your pitching motions will save the pitcher from injury, they never be able to succeed and an elite level.  Has anyone had long term success, using the motions you teach?  Are there pitchers in the majors today that have a style similar to yours?

Next, have there ever been pitchers that had a style similar to yours before you played?

Lastly, I hear Mark Cuban is looking to buy a baseball team.  I also hear that he's an owner that more resembles a fan who loves the game.  Maybe you could pitch your ideas to him.  At least he might be more receptive than the likes of Dave Duncan.

P.S.:  I've always wondered how well a pitcher could do if he could throw a ball in the high nineties and also throw an effective knuckle ball.


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     Whether any major league baseball pitchers have ever used my baseball pitchers is irrelevant with regard to the scientific merit of what I teach.

     However, when I pitched fourteen years of major league baseball and hold fifteen major league records, I used my baseball pitching motion.  Does that qualify as long term success?

     When I coached college baseball, I helped numerous baseball pitchers have success.  Many of them signed professiona contracts only to have the ignorant 'traditional' baseball people demand that they use the injurious 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.  If they did, then they injured themselves.  If they did not, then they got released.

     One of my guys, Jeff Sparks, stuck out forty-one batters in thirty and one-third innings with the best earned run average on the team and, when they found out that I trained him, they released him.

     How can my guys have long term major league success when 'traditional' baseball people will not allow them to use my baseball pitching motion?

     While more and more of today's baseball pitchers are using some of my concepts, such as taking the baseball out of their glove with their hand under, not on top of the baseball, I would not claim them as mine.

     I have never seen any baseball pitcher that uses what I teach before, during or after I pitched major league baseball.

     It might take someone who is not afraid of innovation, like a Mark Cuban, to turn his pitching staff over to me.  If he does, then his baseball pitchers will never suffer injuries and will dominate major league baseball for as long as I continue to train them.

     For knuckleballs to success at any velocity, they must not rotate at all.  When baseball pitchers apply their maximum force to knuckleballs, they greatly increse the likelihood that the baseballs will rotate.

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215.  I wonder if your research and analyses have led you to look at the most efficient tennis serving motions.  Tennis players experience many of the same shoulder problems at baseball pitchers.  Former top ten, world class tennis player Todd Martin, who is now playing champion's tour, has developed a fascinatingly simplistic and effective service motion that seems to over-ride shoulder problems he suffered from using the more conventional full serving motion.

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     The basics of the maximum velocity over-hand baseball pitching motion and tennis serve are identical.  Without taking high-speed film, that is about as much as I can say.

     Nevertheless, I do believe that tennis players that the weight of the tennis racquet forces tennis servers to pronate their serving forearm and inwardly rotate their serving shoulder.  Those actions should protect the back of their serving elbow and shoulder.

     However, I have seen some tennis servers with terrible 'Reverse Serving Forearm Bounces,' which means that they probably suffer injuries to the inside of their serving elbow and front of their serving shoulder.  If they learned how to properly pendulum swing their serving hand in one smooth, continuous movement up to driveline height, then they could eliminate those problems.

     I have also seen some tennis servers with terrible 'Looping,' which means that they probably suffer injuries to the front of their shoulder, although not as serious as they do from their 'Reverse Serving Forearm Bounce.'

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216.  The father of a young man that plays high school baseball with my son emailed me with the following news yesterday.  What do the comments mean and what are your reactions?

"The Orthopedist called.  He said there is a partial tear of his anterior bundle coming off his coronoid process.  He said he's done for the year.  He believes there is a 50-50 chance that he'll do well without surgery.  Without surgery he'll realistically not pitch until early July.  With surgery it will be even longer.  Ah, decisions, decisions."

The young man hurt himself while pitching.  He felt immediate pain after throwing a high fastball.  His pitch count was about thirty at the time of the injury.  He is 16 years old, about 6 foot 4, 230 pounds.


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     The Ulnar Collateral Ligament and the Brachialis muscle both attach to the coronoid process of the Ulna bone.  I have no idea what the doctor means with anterior bundle.  Sometimes, they will call the five muscles that arise from the medial epicondyle of the Humerus bone, the Flexor Bundle.

     Nevertheless, I believe that this young man injured his Brachialis muscle, which was contracting vigorously to prevent his olecranon process from slamming into its fossa.  To prevent this problem, he needs to learn how to powerfully pronate his pitching forearm before, during and after he releases all his pitches.

     At sixteen chronological years old with his height and weight, unless there is gigantism in his family, I have to believe that he is biologically sixteen years old.  If so, then he should spend his summer completing my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

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217.  I’ve read a lot about you and your program and think you’d be ideal to “fix” one major league pitcher in particular.  He’s a big, strong pitcher who has all the physical tools, but in several seasons, he has been unable to be consistently successful.  A lot of people think it’s mental, some say mechanics, and so on.  I think it might be all of those things.

But, it certainly doesn’t help to have a new coach come in every year to tell him what his problem is.  And, it really doesn’t help him when he struggles early in games, like he usually does.  He’s still at a point in his career where he can be tooled and polished.  A few years from now, his poor mechanics may lead to injuries.

Do you think if you appealed to his general manager, you might have some success with him?


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     When people do not know that they do not know and are positions of authority, they never accept advice. If this baseball pitcher wants to take charge of his career, then he will have to do it on his own.  That is what I did.

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218.  When your folks do the interval training program how do they work in rest intervals, especially when they get up into high number of repetitions.

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     Whether with my Wrong Foot Slingshot drill, my Wrong Foot Loaded Slingshot drill, my Wrong Foot Pendulum Swing drill, my Drop Out Wind-Up Pendulum Swing drill, my Pseudo-Traditional Pendulum Swing drill or my One Step Crow-Hop Pendulum Swing drill, my baseball pitcher complete the work interval for each individual performance in less than two-tenths of a second.

     Then, with the single exception of my Wrong Foot Slingshot drill, where they require about one second to reposition their body and limbs for the next performance, they take from three to five seconds to reload.  This means that their rest interval is at least five to twenty-five times longer than their work interval. Like with all aerobic interval-training programs, their rest interval contains the aerobic activity of repositioning their body and limbs for the next performance.

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219.  I have some thoughts on your recent response to a reader:

1.  You said, "Whether any major league baseball pitchers have ever used my baseball pitchers is irrelevant with regard to the scientific merit of what I teach."

In the not-so-distant past you have admitted that you do not perform any scientifically-controlled studies at your so-called research facility (i.e., your back yard).


You said, "However, when I pitched fourteen years of major league baseball and hold fifteen major league records, I used my baseball pitching motion.  Does that qualify as long term success?"

You used a very traditional pitching motion when you pitched professionally, and it was a damned good one.  Your current pitching motion, the one you are trying to promote to your gullible followers has little or no resemblance to the pitching motion you used to be successful in MLB.

One of your videos contains a clip of your delivery from the old days.  You spend quite a bit of time on it; detailing all of the “injurious flaws” in the motion that was responsible for your Cy Young and other typical signs of success.  In your Q&A over the past several years you have, at turns, opined how much better you would have been if only you had pitched with your current motion and then turned around and used your Cy Young as a rationalization for your current motion.  You should try to keep your outlandish claims at least somewhat consistent.


2.  You said, "When I coached college baseball, I helped numerous baseball pitchers have success.  Many of them signed professional contracts only to have the ignorant 'traditional' baseball people demand that they use the injurious 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.  If they did, then they injured themselves.  If they did not, then they got released."

I heard from one of your college pitchers from, I believe, St. Leo’s.  He said he thought you were a fool and a charlatan even back then.


3.  You said, "One of my guys, Jeff Sparks, stuck out forty-one batters in thirty and one-third innings with the best earned run average on the team and, when they found out that I trained him, they released him."

How many versions are there of this story?


4.  You said, "How can my guys have long term major league success when 'traditional' baseball people will not allow them to use my baseball pitching motion?"

When they attend try-outs they can’t seem to live up to any of your bombastic claims.  How many times does this story need to be repeated?


5.  You said, "While more and more of today's baseball pitchers are using some of my concepts, such as taking the baseball out of their glove with their hand under, not on top of the baseball, I would not claim them as mine."

You said, "I have never seen any baseball pitcher that uses what I teach before, during or after I pitched major league baseball."

So neither you nor Jeff Sparks used the motion that you teach?  That was the impression that I had, but you constantly talk out of the back of your neck on this particular subject.  I’m sure, in your own mind, everything you say is true.


6.  You said, "It might take someone who is not afraid of innovation, like a Mark Cuban, to turn his pitching staff over to me.  If he does, then his baseball pitchers will never suffer injuries and will dominate major league baseball for as long as I continue to train them."

Mark Cuban may be an innovator, or maybe not—regardless, I can’t believe any sane person would turn over a real pitching staff to you.


7.  You said, "For knuckleballs to success at any velocity, they must not rotate at all.  When baseball pitchers apply their maximum force to knuckleballs, they greatly increase the likelihood that the baseballs will rotate."

LA Flippin
lflippin@Fibrogen.com


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01.  I agree that comparing two groups of athletes performing the same skill with two different training programs is a valid way to evaluate the experimental variable.  However, it is also possible to evaluate force application techniques in terms of how they satisfy applicable scientific principles.

     I believe that, for all human movements to have perfect technique, they have to satisfy the scientific principles of Applied Anatomy, using the most powerful muscles available, and Sir Isaac Newton's three laws of motion, applying force in the longest straight lines possible with the most oppositely-directed for should determine how athletes should perform their sport activities.

02.  In my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, I showed high-speed film of my baseball pitching motion after my 1967 season and after my 1971 season.  I used the 1967 high-speed film to show how I learned that, to protect the back of my pitching elbow, I had to pronate my releases.  I used my 1971 high-speed film to show how I learned that, to increase my screwball strike percentage from fifty-four to sixty-three percent, I had to straighten and lengthen my driveline.

     That you believe that, after 1971, I used a very traditional baseball pitching motion when I pitched professionally shows that you have no idea what you are talking about.  I may have used a modified 'traditional' body action, but my pitching arm action was completely different from the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.  I would say that I succeeded despite my body action.

03.  I would be very interested in which of my baseball pitchers at Saint Leo College would say that what I taught him did not make him a better baseball pitcher.  If he does not want to say his name, such that I can face my accuser then, like in Court, we have to remove his testimony from the record.

     I readily have admitted that, when, in 1984, I coached at Saint Leo College, I did not know everything that I know now.  If I had, I could have helped all of them more.  However, no baseball pitcher who has used the baseball pitching motion has ever injured themselves.  It is the heart-break of coaching when some athletes cannot learn the skills that we try our best to teach them.  Unfortunately, mastering motor skills is a personal and private experience.  I cannot mind-meld with them, especially when they refuse to learn what I teach them.

04.  The reason why Jeff Sparks made it to the major leagues when numerous other baseball pitchers I have trained did not was because Jeff Sparks was both lucky and determined.  After the Cincinnati Reds released him from their Single-A team, he showed up at my door step.  As a result, I got Jeff on an Independent Northern League team.  After pitching a full season with them, the Pittsburgh Pirates signed him and sent him to their Triple-A team. At mid-season, they traded him to Tampa Bay.  At the end of the season, Tampa Bay called him up to the major leagues.

     This means that, in less than two years after the Reds released Jeff, he was in the major leagues.  This means that the system pitching coaches could not mess with him.  I can name at least a dozen baseball pitchers I trained with as much talent as Jeff who did not get a chance to develop because of those pitching coaches.

05.  When my baseball pitchers attend these sham tryouts, the people running the tryouts ignore them.  I wish that I had a way of demonstrating the truth in what I say.  Oh yeah, the Reds released Jeff and, two years later, he was in the major leagues.  That shows the stupidity of the guys running these tryouts.

     What I say is that, if I had used the baseball pitching motion that I teach today, then I would have been better.  Jeff has continued to train and learn what I teach today. He is a much better baseball pitcher today than he was in 1999 and 2000, when he completely humiliated major league baseball batters.

06.  I did not bring up Mr. Cuban's name, an emailer did.  My point was;  I would make an organization's baseball pitchers injury-free and highly-skilled.  I guess you are correct;  why would a sane owner of a major league team want that?

07.  I did not set major league baseball records by not taking care of myself.  That alone should show you that I do not drink.  But, I don’t believe that you can think rationally about me.  Do you not understand that the opposite of love is not hate?

08.  I am sorry, but you neglected to comment on my statement that one hundred mile per hour knuckleballs are impossible.

P.S.:  When I read your email to the guys, several of them, including Jeff, told me to tell you to get a bat.  I think that they want to see whether you can put your actions where you mouth is.  They say that your talk is cheap and asked, what the hell have you ever done in baseball?  That is a good question.

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220.  I pitched in high school 1953-1957 and college 1980-83, coached High School Baseball for 28 years, coached American Legion Baseball and coached college.  In 2001, I began my current business of Hitting and Pitching instruction.  My business is going great.

I began using videotape on my pitchers in 1984.  I learned what a pitcher was actually performing, as you say on your website.  I have been using pronate and not supinate since then.  I just began to read your book for the first time 5 days ago.   I couldn't stop reading.

Now I am watching your online videos.

Question:  Do you have a program for coaches?  I am very interested in learning more about your program.  Could you inform me of any thing you have for coaches?


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     I am very interested in conducting Coaching Baseball Pitchers clinics.  However, it will take me some time to get properly prepared.  Therefore, at this time, all I can say is to watch my website.  When I am ready, I will add Coaching Baseball Pitchers Clinics to my list.

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221.  I ran across an article in the Daily News here in L.A. today and it addressed a constant challenge I have with my own boys in addition to other boys I coach and other coaches I interact with regularly.  I grew up watching you pitch for the Dodgers, hard for me to count the other teams, and my much older brother used to always tell me that guy knows his stuff, he has a PhD and knows how the body works that's why he can throw so many innings and not get hurt.

Well now I have an 11 and 16 year old.  The 16 year old played Pony baseball for 10 years as an outfielder, and almost never pitched.  I could probably count the innings on two hands.  Now as a sophomore in high school he is the most effective pitcher on JV, and that is all he does.  His coach is a moron and has already blown out the arms of 2 kids on the team.  He has no clue how to manage pitchers and my concern is that my boy will be next, although so far the coach is so inconsistent that he has not left my boy in too long or had him pitch back to back games, but how do I protect him without overstepping my bounds with the coach?  I don't want to jeopardize his Position in the rotation, and I am sure the coach would see it is some sort of threat.

If I am not the coach, I keep my distance.  My wife and I have always prided ourselves on restraint and being objective, and having some basis in reality.  I would say that 80% of the people I come in contact with really think their kid will earn a paycheck playing baseball, talk about a deluded bunch of nimrods.  I have no such delusions.  I am thrilled he made JV and is doing really well.  I just want him to continue to improve and if the stars align maybe he could play some college ball.  You never know.

Right now I coach my younger boy and others and I am extremely conscious of pitch counts.  I agree with you that what little league has done is absurd.  They have been patting themselves on the back for coming up with the 85 pitch count for the 12 year olds, which to me, as someone who knows nothing, seems pretty freakin high for a 12 year old.  I usually try to keep them under 60.  But, if I read what you said correctly it's not the pitch count as much as it is the pitching motion.

Watching my older son's sessions with his pitching coach I can see the difference proper, or what I thought was, proper mechanics makes in his pitching.  I saw how difficult it was for him to make adjustments in his mechanics even though he had not been a regular pitcher before so I didn't think he had any previous mechanical issues to fix and I know it is the way he throws.

And my boys in particular are very different.  The older one is a lefty who does not throw hard, as his coach says he can't break a pane of glass, but gets outs very effectively.  And my younger one who throws gas and ahs a great changeup (no curveball), sometimes complains his arm hurts after pitching.

I guess my question after all this long winded crap is how do I affect this change, number one for someone like me who is just some shlub youth coach, and number two with kids that already have such a set way of doing things because they've been to 4 different pitching coaches in the last 18 months at the ripe old age of 11?


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     You wrote, "If I am not the coach, I keep my distance."  Wrong.  You are responsible for your children.  You already know that the coach has no clue.  You need to take charge of how your son pitches.

     If your son is biologically sixteen years old, then he should complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

     On my website, www.drmikemarshall.com, without charge, I have provided my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video for visitors to watch, my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and other text files for visitors to read, my Question/Answer files for visitors to scan and my Baseball Pitchers Training Program for visitors to copy and complete.

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222.  What is your opinion on Neiman Nix and his work at the American Baseball Institute?

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     Neiman is a very friendly, gregarious person whom I like personally, but, like when he trained with me, he is always looking for shortcuts.  I have watched some baseball pitchers he trained and found that they could not do my drills correctly and did not throw with my baseball pitching motion.

     I have no idea what the American Baseball Institute is.  Could you possibly mean the American Sports Medicine Institute?  If so, I have no knowledge that he worked with them.

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223.  I'm sorry, I wasn't clear on my question.  When doing the wrist weight and iron ball throws, how do you use a rest interval?  Say, for example, doing 48 repetitions of wrist weights, do you go straight through or do you take a rest interval at the end of each set of throws.

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     I leave it to them.  However, whoever completes their workout first seems to pull the others along.

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224.  I think you must concoct your pathetic story of MLB's vast conspiracy against you because it is the only way you can pretend that what you are doing is actually important enough to have any impact on baseball.

That is, you seem to say:  "Since the big bad MLB exerts all of its powerful influence to conspire against little ol' me, I must be an important threat to their provincial, small-minded ideas about pitching."

Unfortunately, your conspiracy ideas don't appear compelling to anyone outside of your cult of true-believers.

I think every adult with an average-or-better IQ would readily admit that reprehensible large conspiracies do occur in every field of human endeavor.  Because of your abrasive personality, I also find it quite believable that you have created numerous personal grudges for yourself within organized baseball.

But minor personal grudges are not the same as vast conspiracies.  Unfortunately for you, most large conspiracies as obvious and clumsy as the one you rely on actually seem to follow a different sort of pattern than the one you always claim is hampering the progress of your pitchers.  In fact, the $$$s for performance are so compelling it should be painfully obvious to anyone with an unclouded mind that baseball pitchers who can legally dominate MLB competition will be able to find their way into the game.

But, pitchers who use your mechanics routinely fail to provide any evidence that they can compete at the highest levels of play.  For whatever excuse, and I'm sure you have a great many of those, your pitchers and your mechanics do not appear to be very effective.  Your pitchers and your mechanics appear to be similar to the full-sized automobile that is claimed to run forever, powered only by a single 9v battery, but that never sees the light of day because the oil companies conspire against it.  Voodoo cult stuff.

Thus, it is not really rational to assert that a truly great pitcher, Jeff Sparks for example, whom you now appear to claim is among the best in history, could not find a spot somewhere on an MLB roster, or a minor league roster, or an indie league roster, or...

When you, or Jeff Sparks or your other students, raise the hackles and challenge me to pick up a bat...well, bud, that is just very sad.  I am not your competition and I have never made claims to be your competition.

If Jeff Sparks today is a far, far better pitcher than Mike Marshall was in his heyday, indeed, if Jeff Sparks deserves a place among the greats in the history of the game, then he has little to gain by challenging me to a duel.  He should be pitching against the best...but he is not doing that.

LA Flippin
lflippin@Fibrogen.com


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     I noticed that you failed to provide your qualifications to evaluate baseball pitching.  Without a knowledge base, your opinions have little merit.

     You also failed to provide the alleged name of the Saint Leo College baseball pitcher, who you claim disagreed with what I tried to teach him.

     You also refused to acknowledge that you did not understand that I used my 1967 and 1971 high-speed films to develop the baseball pitching motion with which I finished fourth, second, first, seventh and fifth in the Cy Young Award.  They were not the baseball pitching motion that I used.

     These behaviors severely erode your credibility.

     In case you do not understand debate, opinions are only as good as the facts on which they are based.  Therefore, as with all out preceeding debates, I have shown that you do not have any facts on which to base your opinions, just a childish diatribe.

     Nevertheless, I thank you for sharing your opinion.  I will leave it to my readers to determine whether or not your opinions have any merit.

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225.  I’m the designated relief pitcher in an adult league and I had a heel spur a few years ago that required me to avoid shoes that are too narrow around the heel.  It seems that baseball cleats in general are tight around the heel.

I basically throw a knuckleball so I’m not worried so much about arm trouble but this foot issue seems to still be a dilemma.  I don’t want to aggravate my heel and create a spur problem again.  I know this sounds bizarre but do you think I can just wear sneakers or some soft shoes on the mound or would that cause me to slip around too much?


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     When my baseball players injure the attachment of their plantar fascia to their calcaneus bone, I tell them to put an arch support in their shoe, such that they elevate the calcaneus bone from the bottom of their shoe.

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226.  Thanks for your answer.  The American Baseball Institute is an organization he runs in Washington state where he teaches some of your mechanics and conditioning programs.

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     Thank you.  I did not know that, to try to legitimize his bastardization of my baseball pitching motion and interval-training programs, he had made up a scientifically sounding organization.  Now, I know that it has a membership of one uneducated, non-research qualified person, him.

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227.  For what it's worth, Neiman Nix does give you full credit for the principles he teaches.  Would it be accurate to say that you do not support the so-called "bastardization" of your techniques, or is it only in cases of commercial gain?

I coach high school pitchers and use your wrist weight exercises and most of your drills as time permits.  I regret that I cannot teach them everything you lay out on your site, but I aim to get the idea of a straight driveline and pronation through release on all pitches in their heads.  I hope that in doing so, you do not disapprove too heavily of my methods.

Though I do not have access to X-ray equipment, I am mindful of their likely open growth plates at ages 14-18 depending on biological maturity, and do my best to limit their workloads.  One of them is coming quite far on the releases for the Maxline True Screwball and the Maxline Pronation Curve.  The bucket lid drill has been invaluable in teaching my players the MPC.


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     Like Chris O'Leary's website where he says that he is teaching my baseball pitching motion, neither he, Neiman Nix nor Chris O'Leary understand my baseball pitching motion or interval-training programs sufficiently to properly teach them.  Like with Bill Peterson, I do not mind that they use some of my concepts, but they should not try to make it sound as though I approve of what they teach.  I do not.  They all are cheap imitations of the original.

     The difference between what you are doing and what they are doing is that you are trying to help youth baseball pitchers; they are trying to steal money under false pretenses.  When, because they do not know what they are doing or think that they know better than I do and change some of it, their athletes fail, they try to make it my fault.

     Without my bucket lid drill, my appropriately-sized football throws and my baseball pitching motion, baseball pitchers cannot learn how to throw my Maxline Pronation Curve.  Therefore, when others try to steal this pitch that I invented and claim it as their own, they cannot succeed, karate chop or not.

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228.  For what it's worth, Neiman Nix does give you full credit for the principles he teaches.  Would it be accurate to say that you do not support the so-called "bastardization" of your techniques, or is it only in cases of commercial gain?

I coach high school pitchers and use your wrist weight exercises and most of your drills as time permits.  I regret that I cannot teach them everything you lay out on your site, but I aim to get the idea of a straight driveline and pronation through release on all pitches in their heads.

I hope that in doing so, you do not disapprove too heavily of my methods.  Though I do not have access to X-ray equipment, I am mindful of their likely open growth plates at ages 14-18 depending on biological maturity, and do my best to limit their workloads.

One of them is coming quite far on the releases for the Maxline True Screwball and the Maxline Pronation Curve.  The bucket lid drill has been invaluable in teaching my players the Maxline Pronation Curve.


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     Like with Bill Peterson, I do not mind that Neiman Nix and Chris O'Leary use some of my concepts, but they should not try to make it sound as though I approve of what they teach.  I do not.  I only approve of what I teach.

     The difference between what you are doing and what they are doing is that you are trying to help youth baseball pitchers; they are trying to steal money by stealing someone else's ideas and changing them to suit their inability to understand everything that I teach.

     When, because they do not know what they are doing or think that they know better than I do and change some of it, their athletes fail, they try to make it my fault.  Why do you suppose that Bill's son is the only baseball pitcher in his group that failed to learn how to raise his pitching elbow to driveline height?

     Without my bucket lid drill, my appropriately-sized football throws and my baseball pitching motion, baseball pitchers cannot learn how to throw my Maxline Pronation Curve.  Therefore, when others try to steal this pitch that I invented, they cannot succeed, karate chop or not.

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229.  Thank you for clearing that up.  My pitchers rather enjoy the football and bucket lid drills, and they have learned much in the ways of how to properly apply force to their pitches.  Of course, they are a long way away from fully understanding what they must do, but they try very hard and they are pleased to be on a path that actually seems to make sense to them on both a mechanical and intellectual level.

Now that you mention Bill Peterson, can you please elaborate on your thoughts of his RPM Pitching site?  I couldn't tell if you were grouping him with the Chris O'Leary's of the world or if you were separately categorizing him as an acceptable source of information, as I know his son went through your program and much of his work is derived from your program.


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     As I have said before, Bill Peterson sacrificed his son for his mistaken belief that he knows more about baseball pitching than I do.  Can you imagine that he wrote that he 'filled in the blanks of my baseball pitching motion?'  He's an challenged and so is the biomechanist he listens to.  My guess is that the biomechanists is the oft-injured former Giants pitcher.  I would love a head to head with him.

     I put Peterson with O'Leary and Nix in the same don't-waste-your-time category.  Why bother with cheap, greedy imitations when you can stay with the original?

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230.  I can't get over the hostility of some of these people.  It doesn't seem that you know any of them personally.  I think they never expect you to post their diatribes.  When you do, they expect you to go off on them.

You've been amazingly restrained.  I don't know if I'd be able to keep my cool enough to say, when there is no actual point to address, "I'll leave it up to the readers to evaluate your comments," or however you phrased it.


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     Over the years, Lee Flippin has taken a few runs at me.  He has advance degrees in a somewhat related field, such that he thinks he knows things that he does not know.  But, he also knows that I am going to post everything he says, unedited.  That is what he counts on.

     He always comes at me with hostility, but I stick to the points of his disagreement.  Then, like this time, where I show him the flaws in his arguments, he ends his emails with a childish, nonsensical rant that only makes him look bad.

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231.  My 13 year old son has been working through your 60 Day Youth Baseball Training Program and is coming along nicely.  His coaches approached me recently and had a couple of questions that they wanted to address.  I would like your help in answering these, please:

1.  After delivering the pitch, using your pitching motion, the pitcher ends up facing towards first base, which is different than the traditional pitching motion, where the pitcher ends up facing home plate.  What type of adjustments, if any, should be made to the infielders’ positions when my son is pitching?

2.  Regarding a pitcher’s foot placement, and using your motion, with a lead runner on second base, what is the best position for a right-handed pitcher to start?  Should the glove foot be in front or in back of the rubber?  My son feels more comfortable starting with the glove foot behind the rubber.  However, the concern is that with the glove foot behind the rubber, he may need to turn his shoulders to see the runner on second, which some umpires may consider a balk.

3.  The last two weeks of the 60 Day Training Program will overlap with the beginning of the baseball season.  Would you recommend reducing the number of iron ball and wrist weight repetitions?


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01.  My baseball pitchers end up in the perfect fielding position for protecting themselves against hard hit line drives back at them, for getting the jump on bunted or topped baseball and for fielding ground balls to their glove side.

02.  For right-handed baseball pitchers with base runners on first or second base, they should have their glove foot on the ground one full step behind the pitching rubber and use my Drop Out Wind-Up competitive baseball pitching motion.  This is not a set position, it is a wind-up position.  From wind-up positions, baseball pitchers are allowed to throw to bases in attempts to pick base runners off base.

     There are only two requirements:

     a.  They cannot step backward with their glove foot and

     b.  they must step toward the base to which they throw the baseball.

     As long as they do the same thing every time, to more easily see base runners, baseball pitchers can turn their head and shoulders toward bases.  Seeing base runners on second base with my Drop Out Wind-Up is the same as seeing base runners on first base with the 'traditional' set position.

03.  Athletes cannot train and compete at the same time. And, they need three weeks to come out of the training regression.  You should have started my 60-Day program at least eighty-one days before the season started.  Now, your son will on be able to complete a forty-six day program with no recovery time from his training regression.  How is he going to practice my Drop Put and Pseudo-Traditional Wind-Up body actions?

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232.  MLB pitchers have much to learn about your pitches and pitch sequencing.  The state of both is quite poor.

Most pitchers you see on the television set have two pitches per game they can control, sometimes three.  None have more than one glove-side or pitching-arm side pitch.  Many have only one or the other.  Few are willing to throw tough pitch after tough pitch, even with two open bases!

  Here is a perfect example from the other night.  The Atlanta Braves were losing by four runs in the 8th inning.  The Braves pitcher gives up a double, and the runner then steals or advances somehow on an out to third.  Now I would think the main priority would be keeping your team within four during your last at-bat, at all costs.  Runner on third, one out, two open bases, down by four.

So what happens?  RH pitcher facing a RH pull hitter who was hot that night.  The Braves righty throws nothing but fastball after 92 MPH fastball starting off the plate outside and tailing into the strike zone.  A bunch of foul balls.  One desultory slider for a ball.  More fastballs, more fouls.  No attempt whatsoever to throw any minus-speed pitches or move the ball toward the corners.

Finally, one of the tailing fastballs moving into this RH pull hitter winds up 1/16 of an inch lower than the others were and it was last seen exiting the ballpark in deep left center.  With two open bases and one out!  This guy was more worried about a meaningless walk than throwing tough pitches.  Heck, a walk might have been helpful and gotten them out of it with one pitch and a 6-4-3.

Of course, these things aren't episodic to one night of play.  This pitcher hadn't been trained.  He had nothing but a traditional slider and subpar maxline FB.  He did throw hard.  But as you know, MLB hitters swing hard and they guess right sometimes, and it takes more than a good arm to win.  He had no pitches to rely on when things got tough.  I guess they just tell them, "Hey, Hoss, just go out there and heave it.  You got a good arm."


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     Now, you understand why I cannot stand to watch major league baseball.

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233.  Would you clarify a small point of confusion regarding your speed-ups training?

1.  In Question 21 of your 2004 Q & A section, you wrote:  "With my 'speed-ups,' athletes jog easily for about twenty yards, then, gently increase the intensity for ten yards and gradually decrease the intensity back to jog."

2.  In Question 293 of your 2004 Q & section, your wrote:  "The idea is to jog comfortably for one-third of the distance, then gradually speed-up the pace for the next one-third of the distance and then, kick it for the final one third."

I am asking for a clarification because leg injuries from improper motor unit contraction sequences are epidemic among those addicted to stretching, and I am trying to wean them.  I am about to tell one self-proclaimed "trainer" he doesn't know the difference between base running training and his ischial tuberosity.

I am also going to tell folks that you coached college baseball for many years, and that your teams not only terrorized opposing defenses with steals and daring base running, but that you never had a player with muscle pull in the back of the leg from improper motor unit sequencing.


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     In Question 21, I was dealing with an injured player.  Therefore, I was very careful with how gently I wanted him to start practicing my speed-ups.  In Question 293, I was explaining how to train healthy athletes.

     Basically, we are trying to reprogram their motor unit contraction and relaxation sequences.  To do this, we have to gently move from jogging to imitation sprinting to actual sprinting and back to jogging again.

     With baseball position players, the bases provide the distances that they need to run, which makes their training highly specific.  However, we must take care to be gentle for several days and take daily reports of any discomforts.  Thereafter, we gentle increase the distance that we have them imitate sprinting and actually sprint.

     After about three weeks, they should be able to sprint from home to first three times, home to second twice, first to second three times, first to third twice, second to third three times and second to home twice.  I call this drill, my three/twos.

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234.  I remember your pitching very well.  Did you use the motion you advocate now when you were pitching in the major leagues?

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     I used the pitching arm action that I teach today.  Unfortunately, I did not know enouth to use the body action that I teach today.  If I had, then, instead of finishing second, fourth, fifth and seventh, I would have won the Cy Young Award several more times.

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235.  Have you ever reviewed video from hard throwers like Joel Zumaya and analyze his technique related to your studies and pitching philosophies?

I would be very much interested in hearing your commentary about his mechanics, the good and bad, etc.

I have a son that touches 93 MPH that is beginning to experience UCL soreness.  We are beginning to work on mechanical changes per your instructions to relieve the soreness.  As he increases size and weight, the speed increases have impacted his recovery time between games.

Zumaya and my son have similar form and I'm having difficulty ciphering the issues that are causing the UCL soreness.


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     Mr. Zamaya has a severe pitching forearm loop.  Unless and until he changes his pitching motion, he will always be injured.

     To understand what 'looping' means, you need to watch my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.

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236.  Do you mean that you are longer accepting students for this year?  Could I be a student next year?

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     No.  I mean that I am no longer accepting students ever.  To learn my baseball pitching motion, baseball pitchers will have to complete my training programs on their own.

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237.  Are their any contemporary pitchers that you can think of that do not have severe forearm pitching loop?  If you could identify them, I'll find video on YouTube of them for review.

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     If you watch 'traditional' baseball pitchers, then all you will see are numerous injurious flaws.

     On my website, www.drmikemarshall.com, without charge, I have provided my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video and other videos for visitors to watch, my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and other text files for visitors to read, my Question/Answer files for visitors to scan and my Baseball Pitchers Training Programs for visitors to copy and complete.

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238.  I just wanted to thank you again for opening up the facility for me to see the inner workings.  For the life of me, I can't understand why exactly the idea of having a group of pitchers who work with 30-pound wrist weights, followed by 15-pound iron balls, followed by 72 pitches (on a daily basis!) is somehow supposed to be bad.

A wise man once pointed out that if some low-level med school student came up with something that refuted the research of Dr. Jonas Salk, the medical community would be smart enough to say, "Rather than saying, who the hell is he to challenge Dr. Salk? This is interesting.  We should try to replicate the conditions and see if we can draw the same conclusions".


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     I hope that we provided all the information that you wanted to receive.

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239.  I know speak for many people you have helped when I say it is galling to hear such unwarranted insults directed toward you by the rude e-mailer who has been hassling you lately.

For the record, I would like to examine four main points:

1.  That Marshall is a charlatan.

Dr. Marshall has spent 40 years researching his findings.  Only part of it has been working with pitchers on fields and in gyms.  A good part of it was studying.  Real studying.  People who haven't completed a PhD program can't imagine the work it takes.  Hours of poring over four or five textbooks on the same subject, researching what others have written, comparing the differences in texts.

In Dr. Marshall's case, there were also advanced classes is physiology and anatomy.  When he talks about the 37 pitching muscles, he has seen them up close, in cadavers.  Dissection is always part of a good applied anatomy course.

Armchair wanna-bes need to ask themselves if they can name what energy system pitchers use.  What are the motor contraction sequences involved in sprinting?  What work-to-rest interval is optimal for training ballistic activities?  Dr. Marshall has researched all of those matters and used the knowledge to design pitcher training programs.

Are the programs perfect?  Marshall would be the first to say he doesn't really know.  He doesn't have millions in research money, a lab and a staff.  Why?  Because spends 2 hours every day, and has for the past 20 years, teaching young folks how to pitch.

If Dr. Marshall is a charlatan, i.e., a practitioner of quackery for profit, then the following credible organizations and people failed to detect it:

Michigan State University
St. Leo's College
Henderson State University
University of Tampa
West Texas State University
Rudy Seanez
Billy Kilmer
Hundreds of pupils who have trained with him in Florida and their parents.

2.  That Dr. Marshall is a fraud.

  For fraud to be committed, there must be consideration earned.  Dr. Marshall charges $10 a day. $10.  His book, the product of 40 years of work, is free.  His DVD sets are free.  Dr. Marshall could charge $500 for a weekend of lessons, and people would fly in from all over the world to do it.  He would be booked years in advance.  But, he doesn't.  He knows that three days of instruction are meaningless.  Baseball is harder than that.  He is unwilling to fleece people.  He is the opposite of a fraud.

Over the years, the expense of teaching pitchers, maintaining the dormitories where they sleep, filming them with real movie film, tending to their needs, etc. etc., has certainly cost Dr. Marshall many thousands of dollars more than he has ever earned from his mostly symbolic fees.  I say that because if you get to know Dr. Marshall, it will become clear he doesn't believe in entitlement, that you get only what you earn.  He charges the 10 bucks for that reason.

3.  Marshall is a cult-like figure and his adherents are cultists.

This is a major error.  The confusion comes because people loyal to Marshall are vocal because his techniques have restored their arms to working condition.  Don't confuse loyalty with brainwashing.

Cult leaders don't allow variation from the dictates of the cult.  Dr. Marshall doesn't do that.  Anyone can come train with him and ignore whatever part of the motion they desire.  Marshall doesn't care.  He simply instructs, and if you don't want to use it, he figures that is your business.  His pitchers dissent all the time - mistakenly in my view.  But they do.

They add leg kicks, don't get the elbow to driveline, etc.  That's fine.  Marshall just keeps teaching them.  He doesn't throw them out and call them disloyal.  He really takes a very dispassionate view of things.  "Here is how to pitch and I'll show you how to do it.  What you do with than information is up to, because I have better things to do than try to persuade you."

Cult leaders destroy apostates, either physically or emotionally. Dr. Marshall doesn't do that.  Pitchers who train with him often move on and change their motion back to traditional.  They are always welcome back.  Even parents who steal his ideas and modify them with disastrous results are welcome back.

Cult leaders create a "cult of personality" based on a self-professed elitism.  Dr. Marshall doesn't do that.  He is one of the most egalitarian people you would ever meet.  When coaching college baseball, he cut no one from the team.  He obviously had a traveling squad or a game-day squad.  But any undergraduate who wanted to play baseball was part of his baseball teams and got the same instruction as anyone else.  The famous Division III football coach at St. John's University, John Gagliardi, uses the same approach, and he was won more games than anyone.

Cult leaders operate in secret.  Dr. Marshall doesn't do that.  Anyone can visit his training center at any time, unannounced.  He beat most all of the other pitching wanna-bes to the Internet by years.  He posted his book free years ago on the Internet.  He travels to conventions and speaks.  He answers his own telephone most of the time.

4.  Dr. Marshall has an abrasive personality.

Ridiculous.  He occasionally shares on his Web page some salty opinions of people he no longer respects and who are misrepresenting themselves.

His writing style in the question and answer section accounts for most of this abrasive misconception.  However, Dr. Marshall writes in academic style.  Unadorned.  Few adjectives.  Straight to the point.  Little chitchat.  It is part of his intellectual rigor.  People mistake that for a cold or ornery personality.

In person, he is a warm and inviting man.  People he hasn't seen in years drop by his training center and are greeted by first name and with a big smile.  He has a beautiful home and family, and often shares both with visiting groups.  The highlight of his coaching seminars is lunch on his patio on the final day.

I figure it to be a pretty good bet that many of the people who unfairly criticize Dr. Marshall haven't put in the time and effort on research and training, spent the money on research and training, all while forsaking quick and easy profits from gullible pupils, as Dr. Marshall has.

Honestly, these people should be ashamed of themselves.  A lot of them are in the youth lessons business.  I know of a handful that are worth anything, and one of them is Marshall-trained.  The rest of just stealing money.  What they sell stinks.  Honestly, I'm not even sure that giving paid baseball lessons to children is an honorable way to make a living.


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     I would add that I never ban anybody from my website, edit their words or refuse to publish their negative opinions.  Therefore, I would assume that I am allowed to publish positive opinions.  I appreciate your support.

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240.  Given a contest with equally intelligent players, does a batter learn how to figure out a pitcher faster or does a pitcher learn how to effectively pitch to a batter faster?  Since some pitchers seem to 'own' a hitter and some batters 'own' a pitcher, is it a case of one of the players just not adapting at all, or the other learning to adapt faster to keep ahead.

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     For baseball pitchers to succeed against all four types of baseball batters, i.e., pitching arm side pull hitters, pitching arm side spray hitters, glove arm side pull hitters and glove arm side spray hitters, they need to be able to throw a wide variety of baseball pitches.

     For example, when pitching to pitching arm side pull hitters and glove arm side spray hitters, baseball pitchers need to throw my Torque Fastball Slider, my two and four-seam Torque Fastballs and my Maxline True Screwball and Maxline Pronation Curve.  However, when pitching to pitching arm side spray hitters and glove arm side pull hitters, baseball pitchers need to throw my Maxline Fastball Sinker, two and four-seam Maxline Fastballs and my Maxline Pronation Curve and Maxline True Screwball.

     When baseball pitchers cannot throw this wide variety of baseball pitches, they will not have the pitches that they need to get two of the four types of baseball hitters out.  I suppose that we could say that those two types of baseball hitters own them, but I would say that the baseball pitchers are insufficiently skilled.

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241.  The reason I have mentioned coming down to get high speed film, and earlier, about coming down to train, is that I have struggled now for the past 6 months.  In fact, I believe I have had only two good outings out of probably 15 over the past 5 years.

The reason I am writing this to you is that I am considering quitting baseball.  I remember when I first started you said give it five years to be able to get the motion.  I believe I have the motion, in fact I have all 6 pitches.  But, I cannot control them consistently enough to play competitive at any level.

I know many kids have quit on this motion and I do feel like I am quitting, but I also feel that I stuck it out longer than any of those guys.  I was just wondering what your feelings on this would be? Even if I quit, I would still like to visit if you are still training guys or if it was just to come down with my dad and visit you.  Let me know what you think?

Thanks for everything!


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     During your last visit, I saw a very skilled baseball pitcher.  I was and am very proud of what you have accomplished.  That you are not able to sustain that skill level is unfortunate, but understandable.  The key to replicating the perfect baseball pitching motion is proprioceptive awareness.

     This means that, with every pitch you throw, you have to feel that perfection.  To feel perfection, you have to eliminate all unnecessary sensory input.  That is what Peaceful Warrior was all about.  To do what we are supposed to do, rather than concentrating of what to do, we have to eliminate what not to do and let the what to do happen.

     Whether you should stop throwing baseballs depends on whether throwing baseballs provides anything of value to you.  To benefit from throwing baseballs, it is not necessary to pitch competitively.

     You have a gift for teaching.  You have the ability to demonstrate.  To contribute to the betterment of baseball, you do not have to win baseball games.

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242.  You always have great words of encouragement.  I decided last night not to quit, but to truck on!  I decided I would rather sit on a bench then not play at all.

Another team from picked me up on their team, because my other team said they didn't want me to pitch.  My father has always told me "Charlie, your problem is you want to be Sandy Koufax in a day."  Just like you have said "When are we perfect tomorrow, when does tomorrow come, never."  I've always liked that saying but I have never stuck by it.

I realized yesterday why I did well last semester in those appearances.  It wasn't because I got my foot down, or because I got my elbow up, or because I rotated all the way around before throwing, it was that I didn't have any expectations of what was going to happen, I just focused on what I had to do, instead of the outcome.

I still to this day have not followed the one time through the line up until my arm stops getting sore.  I told myself that I am going to make up excuses to get myself out of the game if I do well, that way I can finally improve.

As I said before, I would rather be sitting on a bench then not play at all.  I have a couple games this weekend, weather permitting.  Wish me the focus and the no expectations that I need and I will report back to on Sunday.

Thanks for everything Doc, this won't be the last email you recieve.


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     While your interpretation of my saying sounds better than mine, what I say is, 'If we are perfect today, then what will we have to do tomorrow?'

     When most wish athletes success, I wish them fun.  Have fun Charlie.

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243.  What is imitation sprinting?  I did some Internet and library research and came up empty.  I played around on the track with the connotation of the words, trying to extrapolate meaning from what we already know about you spring training and interval principles.  Is it perhaps mimicking the footwork and leg work of sprinting, but at a trotting pace, kind of like you see those show horses do when they are going through full gallop movements, but at a slower and more melodic pace?  Just an attempt at a definition.

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     I would say that imitation sprinting is sprinting without the intensity.

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244.  My 16 yr old son has completed the 120 day program and more.  He works on this stuff daily, and is really getting it down and getting his pitches to move well, and without any arm issues, and his arms by the way are about twice what they were before the wrist weights.

Batters appear to come to plate hoping to touch the ball, as opposed to hitting it, I love it.

Question:  Considering he throws the Torque Fastball around 84-86 mph, what mph should we expect for other pitches?

Is it approximately 10 less for Maxline FB & Torque Slider and 20 less for Maxline Curve and Torque Sinker?  (It seems I read something like that before but I couldn't find it again)


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     When baseball pitchers perform my baseball pitching motion and releases for all my pitches correctly:

01.  My two-seam Maxline Fastball is the fastest pitch.

02.  My four-seam Maxline Fastball and my two-seam Torque Fastball are close behind.

03.  My four-seam Torque Fastball is close behind.

04.  My two-seam Maxline Fastball Sinker and two-seam Torque Fastball Slider are approximately ten miles per hour slower than their two-seam fastball counterparts.

05.  My four-seam Maxline True Screwball and four-seam Maxline Pronation Curve are approximately twenty miles per hour slower than their two-seam fastball counterparts.

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245.  A quick question on pitch counts.

Are there any rough guidelines as to the maximum number of pitches a high school pitcher should throw.  I know it has to do with each individual’s “growth age,” but here at the rural poverty district high school where I teach, and help out with JV ball and legion ball we have no means to do the types of studies that need to be done to determine it.

I have seen our pitchers throw well over 110 pitches in a game, (here in early April) not to mention all the warm-up pitches.  The coach is relying on the pitchers to tell him if they are ok—which does not seem to me to be a wise strategy.  I know I lied about injuries that I had when I wanted to play.

Any help/suggestions/recommendations/studies that you could throw my way would be greatly appreciated.


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     From thirteen to sixteen biological years old, youth baseball pitchers should pitch only one time through the line-up twice a week for two consecutive months per year.  Then, during each off-season, they should complete my 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program.

     From sixteen to nineteen biological years old, high school baseball pitchers should pitch only twice and once through the line-up during one week for four consecutive months per year.  Then, during each off-season, they should complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

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246.  I've read that you have put on training for coaches who wish to be certified in your methods of coaching and training pitchers.  Can you let me know when your next certification will be held?

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     At this time, I have no Baseball Pitching Clinics planned.  However, after I complete some work that I have to get done in the next year, I hope to again offer clinics.

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247.  As a member of state baseball association, but not in a position of authority, I would like to know would you consider speaking to our baseball coaches at our clinic in 2009?>br>
If yes, what are your fees?


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     I would love to speak at your baseball clinic.  If possible, to demonstrate my baseball pitching motion and interval-training program, I would like to bring one of my baseball pitchers with me.

     I have no idea of the finances of your organization, but I certainly would consider whatever you guys think is appropriate.

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248.  I found this article on you in the August 12, 1974 Time Magazine.

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     Thank you.  I will add it to the list in my Articles file.

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249.  You wrote, "Pitching is an Initiator activity so it can be practiced alone, Hitting, on the other hand, is a Reactor activity so it must be practiced with others." My questions concern your training program for hitters.

1.  How did you train for hitting during the off season when you played shortstop?

2.  What did you advice your college players do during the off season to train for hitting?

3.  Would you give the same advice today?

As I see it, it would be tough to get someone to pitch you 85-90 MPH fastball, 80 MPH curves, etc every day.  It seems to me that to satisfy your Specificity of Training model, you would have to hit off pitchers every day.  Is this correct?


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01.  Using the program that I provided for the Dr. Mike Marshall's Baseball Batting Mechanics report in my Special Reports file, I trained the same way that I trained to pitch; every day.

02.  I would advise them to train every day.

03.  Yes.

     In my baseball batting drills, we hit a minimum of ninety-six baseballs tossed from behind a protector screen from twenty-five feet.  Like I basically do with my baseball pitchers, I would spend that final twenty-four days in batting practice situations.

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250.  This is Charlie.

We had two games yesterday and we won both.  I pitched in the second game.  The first pitcher did alright he held them to a two run game for 4 and 1/3 innings then he gave up a HR to make it 2-4 and then they brought me in.

After I had emailed you, I went home for two days and worked with my dad and getting my arm up because he noticed that even if took my arm back to 45 degrees before stepping, which most of time I wasn't doing anyways, he said I was still 'holding' it down below driveline height.  We deemed this was because I trying to throw to hard to early.  So I had two great days of pitching with him and we agreed that my goal in the next game would be to focus only on getting my arm up.

Back to the game, while the first pitcher was still throwing I was in the bullpen for a couple innings and I had plenty of time to warm up and all I focused on was getting my arm up and then I 'felt' it.  I locked it in as best as I could and only focused on it.

They brought me in with us being down 2-4.  I struck out all 5 hitters, walked one, and had error that I threw over the first baseman's head in the 1 and 2/3 innings I pitched and when I came out we were up 5-4.

I struck out guys on screwballs and four-seam fast balls.  I stuck to the sequences, but I also got a little creative.  After I had thrown a sequence to a right handed batter and showed that I was switching sides on the mound I decided that on either 0-0, 2-0 or 1-1, instead of throwing a torque slider or sinker I was going to throw torque maxline sinkers and maxline torque sliders.

I executed them beautifully and the guys were swinging and missing.  Most importantly, I focused on getting my arm up and then I just ripped the releases.  Even curveballs were right around the plate.

Thanks Doc for your words of encouragement, when it would be so easy to dismiss me as a non-talented pitcher.

We have games next weekend against one of the best teams in club baseball in the country and all I'm going to focus is the feeling of getting my arm up.  I'll write you soon.

P.S.:  "I went from the outhouse to the penthouse."


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     I always say that the best baseball pitching coach situation any baseball pitcher can have is the father/son baseball pitching coach tandem.

     I think of you as one of my hardest-wroking, most-talented baseball pitchers.

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251.  Since I received this e mail from you, I feel there has been a big step forward in understanding your motion.  However, a question about pushing off the rubber.

Tom Seaver got away with driving off the rubber because he was low to the ground.  However, when you stand tall in the saddle driving off the rubber is a no no.  Correct?

In order to drive when standing tall in the saddle, you must drive off the front foot, the landing foot.

Question about elbows align on an acromical line.

There are pitchers that are aligned with their elbows in front of their chest, some with their elbow even with their chest and some align behind their chest.

It seems that all the copycats of your pendulum swing align their elbows in front of their chest.  This is the most unnatural movement of the 3.  Am I being illusional here?


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     I want my baseball pitchers to 'walk' forward off the pitching rubber with their glove leg.  Then, when their glove foot lands, I want my baseball pitchers to explosively drive their pitching knee forward.

     If they are throwing a Maxline pitch, then, when they step, I want them to step at a forty-five degree angle to their glove side, such that, when they explosively drive their pitching knee forward, they drive it at a forty-five degree angle toward their glove knee.

     If they are throwing a Torque pitch, then, when they step, I want them to step on the line between where their pitching foot is on the pitching rubber straight forward, such that, when they explosively drive their pitching knee forward, they drive it toward the glove side of home plate.

     The critical element in my crow-hop pitching rhythm is that my baseball pitchers forwardly rotate over their glove foot, not reverse rotate over their pitching foot.  When they forwardly rotate over their glove foot, they not only release their pitches closer to home plate, but they also continue to increase the rate of acceleration through release.

     Because 'traditional' baseball pitchers pull their pitching arms forward, they cannot raise their pitching upper arm any higher than parallel with the line across the top of their shoulders.  However, with my baseball pitching motion, my baseball pitchers are able to raise their pitching upper arm to nearly vertically beside their head.

     With their pitching upper arm to nearly vertically beside their head, my baseball pitchers are able to have their pitching forearm vertical at release.  This means, that, where the pitching arms of 'traditional' baseball pitchers are horizontal depending on the amount that they lean to their glove side, my baseball pitchers have their pitching arm vertical at release.

     Because, after their forwardly rotate their hips, shoulder and pitching upper arm to point at home plate, my baseball pitchers are able to use their pitching elbow as a fulcrum around which they explosively accelerate their pitching forearm, wrist, hand, fingers and baseball toward home plate.

     Because 'traditional' baseball pitchers pull their pitching arm forward, they can never point their pitching elbow at home plate and, thereby, they can never separate the action of their pitching forearm from their pitching upper arm.

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252.  I must first say, I never liked it when you and your Dodgers rolled into Pittsburgh and would beat us.  Lifelong Pirate fan here, even though recently, it has been tough watching them.

Ok, now that the past is behind us.  I am a big fan, and probably growing bigger, and bigger.  I saw you on the HBO special with Bryant Gumbel.  Enlightened, inspired, pick an adjective.  It was an epiphany.

I currently coach and teach pitching, mainly because I can see my ten year old grow and pitch correctly.  I only agreed to teach it and learn about it with this premise in mind:  KEEP THE ATHLETE HEALTHY.  I have refused clients on the basis that I have told parents, and their son's that they are not ready.  Hand size, physical attributes, etc.  If I will not teach them, they go down the road and find someone who will.  A form of supply and demand.

My son wants to learn to pitch.  I do not push it.  I have a steady clientele of about 200 athletes from Florida to Massachusetts.  My son has small hands, so he compensates mightily to hold and deliver the ball, that's why I really do not push it that much.

I was a catcher, blind one, could not hit, but did play two years in junior college.  I was constantly seeing young men, and coaches overwork the pitchers; running them through the grinder, time and time again.  I know this does not surprise you in the least.  I see it with my son's team.  Five or six of the young boys(9 and 10 age group) playing extended baseball seasons with virtually little or no break.  They play about 70 to 80 games a year.  Correct me if I am wrong, but that is more than college ball and not all that many short of the pros.

  I see these young kids shaking their arms and elbows, in the classic motion between pitches.  Yet they soldier on, it sickens me.  The coaches, pushy parents tell the kid to straighten up, press on, blah blah blah.  I want to tackle them.

I would like to one day chat with you, and get over to your facility.  This epidemic in youth baseball, is on the rise, and it's tragic.


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     The purpose of youth baseball programs should be to properly teach and train the athletes to be able to play baseball correctly when they are in high school, not win baseball games.  In my Special Reports file, I have provided a paper called, 'Guidelines for Children's Sports' that explains how we should work with youngsters.

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253.  I found this article in the March 31, 2002 Tampa Tribune.

Commissioners Ought To Be Pitching Mike Marshall A Fresh Start
By TOM JACKSON

ZEPHYRHILLS:  What Mike Marshall wants to talk about most is baseball.  More specifically, what he wants to talk about is pitching, not only because it is his area of expertise, but also because taking the mound always has been a source of joy.

He even revels in the moments of his career that went wrong.  A fastball he tried to stick under Joe Rudi's elbows, for instance, that turned into a World Series-clinching home run for Oakland in 1974 ignites a rueful smile.  "If I'd had another pitch, I'd have thrown it," Marshall says, "but it was the best pitch for that situation I had."

This memory, as distinct today as the fateful crack of Rudi's bat nearly 28 years ago, is why young pitchers graduate from Dr. Mike Marshall's Pitching Service with more pitches than a catcher can call without removing his mitt:  two fastballs, curve, slider, sinker and a devilish screwball.

Marshall had only about half of those but still managed to work in 106 games in 1974 (out of 162 played), a Major League record.  A pitcher working 106 games is like running a marathon a day for five months, so you know he has endurance.

Which is why, nearly three years after Pasco County ordered Marshall to stop teaching kids to pitch in his back yard - a fairly un-American demand - and a year after the matter seemed settled, the fight endures.

At best, Marshall has been treated shabbily, both by county agencies and by county commissioners;  at worst, he has been the target of arrogant abuse.  No one from the county, except for a couple of code enforcement officers, ever came to inspect Marshall's workouts when they were going on behind his house, at the corner of Vinson Avenue and Plum Street in unincorporated southwest Zephyrhills, despite the fact that the controversy was high-profile and emotionally charged.

"Sometimes things look better or worse on paper than they really are," says Karla Owens, the former county attorney who represents Marshall.  Three assistant county attorneys have been on the case; not one has come out for an inspection.  "They should go and see what he's doing; they'd realize there's no noise."

Why that remains important, even after Marshall relocated his teaching facility down the street, onto commercially zoned property a block off U.S. 301, is that the sides are crafting and amending a settlement agreement designed to end hostilities.  It was noise and misbehavior, but noise primarily, that incited Marshall's neighbors in the first place.

Integral to the Marshall plan - a carefully plotted 40-week regime - is the daily heaving of a heavy steel ball against padded wooden rebound walls, punctuated by grunting and thumping.

Carpenters are noisier.  Roofers, too.  Want to get a rise out of Marshall?  Tell him lawn mowers, which produce 10 times the decibels of his hard-working prospects, are OK, but pitching workouts aren't.  "I just shoulda cranked up a lawn mower every morning, parked it by the fence and had it drown out everything else," Marshall says.

The county, further, never established Marshall was running a school - implying an exchange of money for services rendered - or a business of any sort.  Instruction always has been free, although some prospects rented portions of furnished duplexes owned by Marshall, and now by his stepfather.

In short, the county's enthusiastic harassment of Marshall ought not to have approached the heights it did because the allegations it relied on were shot through with misinformation.  Therefore, the county's settlement offer ought to be exceedingly generous and gentle.

Marshall is merely hoping for a fresh start.  Never mind that he was cited for operating a mining operation - you couldn't make this stuff up - when he brought in dirt to create slopes for pitching mounds.  The old chucker just laughs, past anger for county machinery that extracts glee from chewing up newly arrived entrepreneurs and humanitarians alike.

After all that has passed, Marshall says he hopes to see a fair settlement agreement that will reward his good-faith effort - a $35,000 investment in recreating a training park between the two duplexes purchased by his stepfather - with the removal of a six-figure lien against his nearby house.

Owens has told Marshall to be prepared to pay some of the county's legal fees.  He says he won't like it, but he'll spend another $500 (added to the $20,000 he's already invested in lawyers) to make the county go away.  Well.  Joe Richards, shepherding the agreement for the county, says the figure he has in mind recommending to county commissioners is between $5,000 and $10,000.

"We've got a lot of hours wrapped up in this," Richards says.  Right.  Largely self-inflicted hours spent in hot pursuit of a teacher who turns high school throwers into college-scholarship craftsmen.

Your Tax Dollars At Work

Last May, St. Mary's of Texas won the Division II National Collegiate Athletic Association World Series with a staff of pitchers trained by Marshall.  For 40 weeks, they served under Marshall's tutelage.  Then they went and won a national championship.

"That's my salvation," Marshall says.

Remember the old parable about teaching a man to fish? Marshall teaches 18-year-olds how to drop a 3-2 curve over the inside corner of the plate.  Do that enough, they put you in the Hall of Fame.  He turns potential car mechanics into walking college scholarships, gratis.

A guy like that you don't persecute.  You schedule a banquet for him.  You call out the county's best to rhapsodize testimonials.

Instead, the county has acted like a bunch of Giants fans who found the old Dodger alone in an alley.  You'd think he'd brushed back John Gallagher and threw behind Pat Mulieri's head.  Shame on the lot of them.

A new baseball season, fresh and full of possibility, is about to begin.  County commissioners should see the timing as a hint.


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     Wow.  How did you find this?  I vaguely remember when Mr. Jackson visited my Baseball Pitching Research/Training Center.

     It all started when several of my former college baseball pitchers asked me to continue to train them and I volunteered to do it for free.  As they say, no good deed goes unpunished.  To settle the matter, I contributed one thousand dollars to the county's recreation department.

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254.  I talked to a young catcher yesterday who I would guess is about 14 biological years old.  He caught 4 games over the past weekend.  I would guess he will catch at least two 7 inning games every weekend for the next 2.5 months.  He told me his arm felt fine but his knees were killing him.

He said the pain was throughout his whole knees.  I gather the PT that he sees told him the pain was a result of tightness in his lower leg.  He was doing some kind of "stretching" for this as well as some squatting with weights.  He also told me he had some tightness issues in his quadriceps muscle of his right leg.

While doing some research into when the growth plates in the knees close, I came across Osgood-Schlatter lesions.  You have often mentioned this condition in your letters.  This appears to be a classic case.

My research seemed to indicate that the growth plate for the tibial tuberosity closes around the same time as the wrist growth plates.  I believe this would be around 19 years old.

1.  Do you think this young man is suffering from Osgood Schlatter syndrome?

  2.  Is the Tibial Tuberosity the only growth plate in the knee?  At what biological age would you say this growth plate closes?

3.  I suggested he stop the squatting and perhaps pedal a stationary bike for a mile instead.  He goes to his PT twice a week.  I know you would not approve of the squatting but do you think pedaling a stationary bike would offer any benefit?

4.  Do you think the discomfort on the quads has anything to do with his knee issues?  I believe I read that the quadriceps tendon attaches to the Tibial Tuberosity.

5.  Assuming this young man continues to tough it out, (he loves baseball), what kinds of problems will he face down the road?


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01.  Whether the medial epicondyle or the tibial tuberosity, Osgood Schlatter's disease applies to every ossification center where muscles attach.  Youth baseball catchers severely stress their tibial tuberosity.

02.  In the knee, the tibial tuberosity is the most susceptible to injury.

03.  Not only should he stop squatting to catch, he should use the knee wedges that catchers use to lessen the stress on the tibial tuberosity.

04.  The common tendon of the quadriceps muscle group, that is the Rectus Femoris, Vastus Lateralis, Vastus Intermedialis and Vastus Medialis muscles, does attach to the tibial tuberosity.  Therefore, the discomfort in the tibial tuberosity does relate to these muscles.

05.  Every time that he squats, for the rest of his life, his knees will ache.

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255.  I found the following articles in the NewsBank (America's Newspapers) website that is part of the Cleveland Public Library.

Even though I didn't see the HBO program, I was aware of your frustration and find it even more understandable.  I don't think I've read the sports pages once in the last week without seeing one of the following phrases: "strained elbow"; "coming off Tommy John surgery"; "will miss his next start"; or some other maddening tale.

If you are planning on attending the annual SABR convention in Cleveland (6/26-29), I will be there.


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     I should have paid closer attention to these articles.  But, what happens is that some reporter will telephone me about my opinion of the epidemic of pitching injuries and I never see the article.  As before, I will include these articles in my Articles file.

     If SABR invites me to their Cleveland convention, then I will be there.

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256.  Can submarine pitchers use your motion?  He had Tommy John's surgery when he was 16 and feels less strain on his arm pitching submarine.

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      No.  With my baseball pitching motion, your son will eliminate all unnecessary stress on his pitching arm and he will be able to throw non-fastball pitches that dramatically break straight downward.

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257.  I am a private instructor, who has been studying your findings.  I wonder if stress would be worn on other body parts with your science of throwing?  Plus, I have my players working the motion with the other hand.

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     With my baseball pitching motion, baseball pitchers eliminate all unnecessary stress on their entire body and place the necessary stress on the parts of the body fully capable of withstanding that stress without acutely or chronically caused injuries.

     Baseball pitchers have enough to do to master the proper force application with their dominant arm.  You are wasting their time training their non-dominant arm to throw.

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258.  My daughter (18 years old with a college softball scholarship) has a groin pull due to pitching.  It began last year, and she had many treatments, but it definitely affected her summer pitching schedule.  She did not pitch during the winter, so had lots of time to heal the pull.

This past week, she pitched a double header (12 innings) on Saturday, and then pitched 5 innings on Monday.  She told us she started feeling pain (after the fact) on Saturday but her pitching speed looked good.

Last night (Tuesday), she had significantly less speed and pitched 4 innings before stopping due to the pull being aggravated.

What do you advise?  I suspect this is an injury that won't get better and she is in the middle of her softball season, she won't stop pitching.  What treatments can we do for the pain?  (other than the normal ice after, heat before, ibuprofane, did some pt treatments)

Will a cortisone shot help?

I'm not sure what mechanic she developed that created the groin pull.

Any advice would be appreciated.


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     The Adductor Brevis muscle is the groin muscle that your daughter injured.  To prevent injury to the Adductor Brevis, your daughter should point her pitching toe at home plate and, rather than turn her pitching foot to parallel with the pitching rubber, she should push off the pitching rubber like she is sprinting.

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259.  Here are some more articles.

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     As will I, my readers will have lots to read in my Articles file.

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260.  I'm at 7.5 months of training and am in a competitive season.  I train every day: now reduced to 24x15 lbs WW and 24x8 lbs IB.  I never was a pitcher.  I started your program to be able to throw again as a 2B/SS/3B or OF after a couple of surgeries.   My original goal was to be able to compete again, as a fielder, at or near the same level I had prior to injuries.

At 4 months into training, my arm felt remarkably healthy and strong; way beyond my wildest expectations.  Along the way, there were many discomforts and still are.  (I'll get to that in a minute)  But, by-and-large, I'm healthy and strong.

At the 4 month mark, I decided I'd give pitching a shot.  So, that became my primary focus, with fielding-type throwing a secondary practice priority.  I had pretty well mastered the fastballs and maxline curve.  I initially competed well despite bouts of overthrowing and rushing.  I've settled that down somewhat through kinesthetic awareness related to the timing of acceleration AND the awareness that this problem had NOT occurred prior to competition during self-practice.

But, until I better master the motion, mind and spins, I've decided to limit competitive pitching until such time that I'm confident I'll do well.  In short, I'm not ready to pitch but need SOME competition to sharpen the sword.  In the meantime, I'm enjoying my time on the field and at bat.  It is WONDERFUL to throw all day long, hard, without pain or WORRY.  So, original goal met.  That's huge.  I throw from the field with your arm action:  pendulum swing (truncated), palm out, lock, pronate through the vertical in a straight drive line.

Questions:

1.  I'm still getting discomfort in the back of my shoulder.  I don't believe it is the supraspinatus or infraspinatus and is clearly not the subscap.  It is not in the far-back of the shoulder indicating teres major.  It's not below the armpit indicating teres minor.  It is generalized in the middle-back part of the shoulder.  It has been there for months to greater or lesser degrees.  Sometimes it gets so bad that I have to stop throwing or greatly reduce intensity.  Then, later that same day when throwing, it may be gone altogether or greatly reduced; even at full intensity.  It is intermittent.  Some day's there is minor discomfort, other days major, other days none at all.  Rarely has it been significantly debilitating, but has been so on 2 occasions over the past week.  I will keep training daily.  It does NOT surface during WW or IB training, and I'm quite sure my arm path does not have injurious flaws.

What could it be?  What can I expect?  What should I do that I'm not doing already?


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     The discomfort is in the middle-back part of the shoulder.  That sounds like the Rhomboid Major and Minor.  These muscles decelerate the Scapula and return it toward the vertebral column.  As always, I recommend that you continue to train at whatever intensity enables you to train every day.

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261.  With the recent election to the Baseball HOF of Goose Gossage, more attention is focused on relief pitchers.  I hope voters take a closer look at your career, as you opened the door for those who came after.

You were one of the most dominant relief pitchers of the 1970's decade.  I checked your statistics at baseballreference.com, and it has box scores for every game you pitched, and your statistics vs. every batter you faced.  In general, you did very well against Hall of Famers and stars of the day, and your durability was remarkable.

Questions:

1.  In consideration of such factors as hitting backgrounds for batters, pitching mound comfort, wind/weather variables, and so forth, what parks did you enjoy pitching in, and for what reasons?

2.  What parks did you least like pitching in, and for what reasons?

3.  How often did you call your own pitches, and were there times you relied on your catcher?

4.  Did any manager ever insist on calling your pitches for you?

5.  I always thought the way the Twins owner Griffith treated you was very unfair, and kind of cost you a season or two, cutting your career short unnecessarily.

6.  When you played with the Dodgers, did you ever visit Vince's Gym in Studio City, run by Vince Gironda?  He had some amazing bodybuilding ideas.

7.  You were one of the earliest proponents of weight training, among the first.  Did you take weights along with you on the road to train?

8.  Were you aware of steroids at that time?

9.  I read an interview with Tom House and he was quoted as saying they were around in that era, but I don't remember any mention of it, and no one looked overly big or unnatural to me, as I recall.

10.  Are there any supplements/vitamins that are important to take--vitamins, minerals, etc, or can those benefits be derived from natural foods alone.

11.  Also, I read an old article in Sports Stars about you, and your thoughts on the over-inflated importance of athletes and signing autographs.  It kind of dawned on me how accurate you were/are.

12.  You spoke of how difficult it was in life, and how hard the common man works, like garbage men, and I know this is true as my brother has been one for many, many years.

13.  The only autograph I have ever seen of yours is on a few baseball cards and souvenir baseballs I have with the rubber stamp.  Was it required in your contract to provide a signature for those, or was the signature taken from your contract?

14.  Also, did you ever endorse a baseball glove or Sports Illustrated poster, and if not, what was the reason?  I don't remember any tie-ins for your career, though I have a Dodger Stadium giveaway poster with you pitching.  It would have been very unusual for you not to endorse anything and cash in on your Cy Young fame.  Was there pressure to?

I hope you return to Upstate N.Y. again in the future.  Unfortunately, I was unable to make your Cooperstown appearance.  Thank you for taking time to answer my questions.  Your willingness to share your knowledge and to take time with people is very uncommon and commendable.


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01.  Any time I had the opportunity to pitch, I enjoyed pitching in that park.

the pitches I wanted to throw.

04.  In one game, Gene Mauch tried calling my pitches.  After he called me into a bases loaded jam, he went to the drinking fountain and hid.

05.  That I won the Fireman of the Year Award in 1979 and the Twins released me in early June 1980 shows that they treated me unfairly.  That, after the 1981 strike ended, I had a 2.60 earned run average in 1981 for pitching 44 innings in 22 games in August and September shows that I could have pitched well for several more years.

06.  I have my own training program.  I would never go to a gym.

07.  I did my wrist weight and iron ball workouts every day of the year, at home and on the road.

08.  I cannot remember in what year that I took Advanced Neuroendocrinology, but adrenocorticotropic hormones (ACTH) include anabolic steroids.  What I learned was that it is life-threatening to mess with the endocrine system.

09.  On the Jim Rome show, Tom House admitted to using steroids in 1977.  I never knew of anybody using steroids.

10.  I have never use supplements or vitamins.

11.  Have you read 'Ball Four?'  If you have, then you know that few major league baseball players are worthy.

12.  I appreciate the moms and dads that raise families of quality children.

13.  To satisfy the serious autograph collectors, I signed several hundred baseballs, baseball cards and photographs for sports memorabilia seller, Bill Corcoran.  You can contact him at (813)972-8175.

14.  I had a Rawlings glove contract, but I never received a glove with my autograph on it.  To my knowledge, I never had any poster.  Nobody ever asked me to endorse anything.

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262.  I need some tips on using my lower half of my body.  I don't understand how to exactly use them.  Do I push off or roll off the mound with my back leg?

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     I teach my baseball pitchers to use their legs in the same manner as when they do the crow-hop throwing body action for their long tosses.

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263.  I am a college student and a big baseball fan.  I read this article about Jeff Sparks and Joe Williams, both of whom pitch using your methods.  Apparently, the umps thought the two pitchers were committing balks.

http://www.thelineupcard.com/2008/04/its_all_his_fault.php

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It's all his fault
Jim Seip (April 17, 2008 07:01 PM)

York's scrimmage had an odd exchange in the ninth inning.

Usually these games are so laid back it's difficult to decide which team really has the better squad.

But by the ninth inning of Thursday's scrimmage Bridgeport's, Jeff Sparks was yelling at the York bench to come out on the field if they had a problem with him.

It's all Dr. Mike Marshall's fault.

Marshall is a former major league pitcher, who won the Cy Young Award in 1974.  (By the way, he should not be confused with the former Dodgers slugger with the same name who dated Belinda Carlisle and went on to manage in the Northern League.)  This Marshall earned a PhD in kinesiology from Michigan State and now teaches pitching mechanics to eliminate injuries.

He has a healthy ego.  His Web site includes the declaration that he can eliminate "all" pitching injuries.  Well, at least he's trying to help guys avoid the knife -- right?  "I also know the mechanical flaws in the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion that decrease release velocity, release consistency and the variety and quality of pitches pitchers can throw and how to correct these mechanical flaws."

Marshall teaches a non-traditional delivery in which the pitcher stands with his shoulders squared to the front of the plate.  They straddle the pitching rubber, one foot in front and one foot in back but both toes are pointed toward the plate.  It looks like a modified wind-up.  And it places an emphasis on coming over the top.  But it looks very different than the traditional stretch that most relievers use.

So in the ninth inning, with members of the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs gathered behind the backstop, Bridgeport's Jeff Sparks began pitching in this style.  Players didn't know what to think.  Many had never seen it before.  A couple laughed.  And perhaps that irritated him.

Because moments later when he appeared to balk, the one umpire working the game began talking to him.  And Sparks -- in not so many words -- told him to mind his own business.

And then Sparks made a fool of himself.

He kept yakking.  And yakking.  A player on the Revolution bench said (in cleaned-up language for publication):  "Please sir, quit talking and throw that beautiful object in your hand."  Another player, who will also remain nameless, offered his take:  "Throw that beautiful ball."

At which point Sparks challenged players from York to come out on this beautiful field if they didn't like the way he was pitching.

Huh?  In the first game of spring training?!?  Are you kidding me?!?  Who gets that angry this early in the year?!?

Apparently Sparks does.

The umpire stepped in, warned the York bench and Sparks to cool it and the inning ended without incident.

The ump then had to talk to Bridgeport pitcher Joe Williams -- another Marshall disciple -- in the 10th inning, because he was not coming to a set position before delivering the ball to the plate.

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Have you heard anything about this??


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     Jeff never mentioned anything about this to me.  But, I suspect that Jeff was telling the loud mouths on the opposing team to get a bat, stand in the batters box and then yell at him.  That is what I used to do.

     However, Joe did tell me that an umpire told him that he could not have his hands together in front of his body before he assumed the set position.

     Joe told me that he tried to explain that he was not in the set position, that he had his glove foot on the ground one step behind the pitching rubber, but the umpire insisted.

     The rule regarding whether baseball pitchers are in the wind-up or set position is simple.  When baseball pitchers have their glove foot on the pitching rubber or behind it, they are in the wind-up position.  When baseball pitchers have their glove foot on the ground in front of the pitching rubber, they are in the set position.

     Therefore, Joe was in the wind-up position and the umpire was wrong.

     If Joe had had his glove foot on the ground in front of the pitching rubber, then the umpire would have been correct in requiring that Joe not have his hands together in front of his body while he took his sign.  Base runners need to see when baseball pitchers in the set position are ready to pitch.

     However, because Joe was in the wind-up position, while he took his sign, he could have his hands together in front of his body.

     With regard to Jeff's situation:  It sounds as though the players for the opposing team were razzing him about his pitching motion and Jeff gave it back to them.  To shut them up, he could have simply hit the first batter.  It is to his credit that he did not do that.  Therefore, as the article says, the umpire acted appropriately and the game continued without incident.

     Clearly, the opposing players do not understand that when 'traditional' baseball pitchers turn their pitching foot to parallel with the pitching rubber, lift their glove leg, reverse rotate on their pitching leg and stride seventy to ninety percent of their standing height, they do absolutely nothing to accelerate the baseball and, with sufficient repetitions, will irreversibly injure their pitching hip, pitching knee and the L5-S1 inter-vertebral disk.

     If understanding what causes 'traditional' baseball pitchers to injure their body as well as their pitching arm is all my fault, then I gladly accept the blame.  I do know what causes all pitching injuries.  That this reporter credits me with a healthy ego because I know what I am talking about shows that he does not understand the difference between me and 'traditional' baseball pitchign coaches.  I can prove what I say is true.  They cannot.

     That 'traditional' baseball pitching coaches tell their baseball pitchers repeatedly injure themselves with the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion is all their fault.  I will not accept the blame for either the refusal of the 'traditional' baseball pitching coaches or their baseball pitcher to change what has to be changed.

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264.  Why don't they contact Mike Marshall?

Plans for Joba stir pitched battle
By ANTHONY McCARRON
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER
Thursday, April 24th 2008

The great Joba debate this week has reopened long-standing arguments in baseball over the handling of young pitchers.  How much is too much for a young arm and how much is not enough to develop the pitcher?  Or is whether a pitcher survives and thrives solely because of luck and genetics?

Some former pitchers and managers believe today's young guns are babied by pitch counts and that a few aspirin might be better for them than a battery of MRIs.  Others, such as Yankee GM Brian Cashman, say that getting promising young pitchers to the majors is the easy part - the hard part is making sure they stay healthy.

"The game has changed," Cashman says.  "Strike zones have shrunk.  Pitches per inning have increased and continue to increase, so it's taking pitchers more to get through an inning.

"It's just harder to maintain high-end starting pitching."

In general, pitchers get hurt more often than position players, according to Rick Wilton, who runs a Web site called the Baseball Injury Report.  Last year, 404 different players landed on the disabled list and 237 (58.7%) were pitchers.  Those pitchers spent more than 65% of the total days spent on the DL, Wilton said.

And that, in part, is why the Yankees are being so careful with Joba Chamberlain, regardless of Hank Steinbrenner's eagerness to see the 22-year-old with the triple-digit fastball shift from the bullpen to the rotation.  Chamberlain has an innings limit this season - the Yankees won't specify it, but it's believed to be around 150 - so he started the season in the bullpen.  With the Yankees' young starters - Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy, struggling - Steinbrenner noted the Yanks could use Chamberlain in the rotation now.

But the Yankees say they will stick to their plan of moving him there later this season.  They won't reveal their plans to prepare him for that assignment or their timetable.

Are the Yankees doing it the right way?  Should a 22-year-old with a strong arm be able to withstand such a switch?  Some young pitchers flourish - Detroit's Justin Verlander so far has been durable - but others are vulnerable, such as Minnesota's Francisco Liriano, still attempting to come back from the injury that knocked him out for of all of 2007.

One baseball executive, who requested anonymity because he was discussing another team's player, said the Yankees should be careful about shifting Chamberlain.

"To me, it's very difficult to take a relief pitcher and make him a starter during the season," the executive says.  "That's the easiest way to hurt somebody's arm.  You have to build him up in spring training or as a long man in the pen, not as a short guy.

"How are they going to get Joba extended unless they send him down to the minors?  You can make a reliever out of somebody in a week, but a starter?  That's why you have spring training."

Even an old-school ex-manager such as Chuck Tanner, who believes today's pitchers would be healthier if they threw more between starts and weren't constrained by pitch counts, says it's risky to move Chamberlain immediately.

"I've been reading about the big kid with the Yankees," says Tanner, who managed for 18 years and is now an adviser to the Pirates, the team he managed from 1977 to 1985.  "They can't switch him until they build him up. Cashman is doing the right thing."

Questions about moving Chamberlain might be moot if the game were different today, but now every organization has a pitching program in place and games are charted down to pitch type.  Years ago, pitchers simply pitched until they were ineffective.

Jim Kaat, who pitched in the majors for 25 years and is a former analyst on Yankee broadcasts, says the first time he remembered hearing about pitch counts was during the 1960s, when Rube Walker was the Met pitching coach and the team had a bevy of young prospects.

"We were on a performance count, not a pitch count," Kaat says.  "And a pitch count would've hurt my development."  Ex-Florida manager Jack McKeon, who years ago managed Kaat in the minors, once took the lefty around the Marlins' clubhouse to introduce him to the starters and said, "If I handled them the way I managed you, I'd get fired," Kaat recalls.

Ron Darling, the SNY analyst and former Met, says that starters are "the only athletes in the world who are undertrained.  I believe today's athletes are better trained than when I played, bigger, stronger.  So you have these tanks who want to be tanks and you treat them like Mini-Coopers.

"Pitch counts are absurd.  That stuff has been conjured up by the powers that be and there's no place for it in baseball."

Under such limits, pitchers don't learn to pitch deep into games or how to get out of their own jams, some say.

"Mentally, you're training them to look over their shoulder for the next guy to bail them out and then you have the 12th- or 13th-best pitcher on your team coming in for important outs in the sixth inning," Darling says.  "That doesn't make any sense."

Kaat says he and Cashman have had discussions about handling pitchers and Kaat would kiddingly ask, "What organization is going to have the guts to go down to the lower minors and have a four-man rotation and forget about counting pitches and let them figure out how to pitch?

"I think a lot of them want to," Kaat adds, "it's a combination of agents, the money in the game today and fear."

Says Cashman:  "It's not the same game.  People have to recognize that.  No one has all the answers.  That's what's great about baseball."


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     With regard to eliminating all pitching injuries and training baseball pitchers to become Monster baseball pitchers, I have all the answers.  For those who have taken the time to listen, I have proven that I know what I say I know.

     I am sure that Mr. Cashman and Mr. Steinbrenner have email addresses with the Yankees.  Somebody should tell them that I know exactly how they should train their young baseball pitchers to eliminate pitching injuries and pitch day after day without discomfort.  I will do it for free and never tell anybody that we talked.

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265.  What rest interval do you recommend between sprints for athletes practicing your three/two base running and speed development exercise?  I have heard some track coaches counsel as many as six units of rest for each unit of work, saying that anything less trains endurance, not speed.

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     Those track coaches are correct.  My way of handling that is to put six base runners together at home plate and second base.  Then, I have the next runner start when the previous runner finishes.  That way, they get to recover by walking back to their starting position while the other five guys run.

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266.  I saw your '08 Q&A posting of one of my earlier emails and in your response you wondered aloud if you should consult with your do-it-yourself pitchers for a couple of days at a time.  I think you must.

To be certain that those of us who want an improvement over the status quo are giving ourselves the opportunity to reap the benefits of your system, we need to be correct in our application of your techniques.   Quite honestly, even having a family vested in medicine and having been a biology major, your program was difficult for me to understand and follow.

Now, well into our third year of training, my eleven year old understands the drills, understands the injurious flaws of the traditional motion and (I believe) he gets most of the motion down correctly.  If, however, we could have picked your brain in person two years ago we would have saved ourselves considerable frustration.   I never would have let Scott abandon the program because of the complexity or lack of instant gratification, but I think there are many that do, unfortunately.

On to the update:  While he was pitching today, I noticed his elbow dropped and was out of lock as he was rotating, getting his acromial line from home-to-second and reaching back towards second.  This is one of the few times I've seen him do this and I think it accompanies fatigue and it also corresponds to his GS hand not coming up high enough.  So, after he threw the pitch, I mentioned it to him and he threw the next pitch paying particular attention to it.

What happened is this:  He pointed the GS hand right at me (thumb down) and reached ALL the way back like during a proper loaded slingshot and then threw the same pitch, with the same effort, but significantly faster.  I believe he is finally leaning away at the trunk far enough (he used to hit his head with his pitching hand, staying inside the elbow) to allow a straight driveline.  He simply extended the driveline to full length, applied force towards home for a longer interval and correspondingly, achieved more velocity at release.  We'll see what your film shows - I hope I'm right.

Lastly, he hasn't had much movement on the ML fastball after those ones that had dramatic movement that one day.  His Torque fastball finally showed movement today.  I don't know the velocity of the pitch, and the movement was only in the 1-4" range to my right (as I caught), but it was late and sharp.  We are very pleased about that as well.


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     I have no doubt that if I watched every baseball pitcher who is practicing my drills, then I could make suggestions that would enhance their learning experience.  However, that is not possible. Nevertheless, if they learn how to perfectly practice my drills, such as you helped your son to do, then they will eliminate pitching injuries and learn how to throw the pitches I teach far better than they would ever do either with a 'traditional' baseball pitching coach or left to themselves.

     I will always believe that the Dad and son combination is the best baseball pitching coach youth baseball pitchers could ever have.

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267.  You say, "When, from my 'Ready' position, my baseball pitchers raise their pitching elbow up to driveline height, they 'lock' their pitching upper arm with their shoulders.  Anatomically, they outwardly rotate the head of their Humerus bone in its Glenoid Fossa.  This action secures the Humerus bone in front of the acromial line."

Does this mean that doing the pendulum swing, palm up out of the glove, to driveline height and turning the hand outward (by supinating the forearm slightly) does not lock the elbow.  BUT, if I turned the lower arm and the humerus slightly, together, in order to achieve the "palm out" aspect of the loaded arm, THEN we are locked at the elbow?


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     My 'Ready' position, that is, the position from which I want baseball pitchers to start their acceleration through release is when baseball pitchers have their pitching hand at driveline height with the palm of their pitching hand facing away from their body.

     To 'lock' their pitching upper arm with their shoulder, from my 'Ready' position, baseball pitchers have to immediately raise their pitching upper arm to driveline height, such that their pitching upper arm points as vertically as possible beside their head and their pitching forearm points as close to at home plate as possible.

     I believe that, when they demonstrate my drills with their wrist weight exercises, my baseball pitchers show this position with their Wrong Foot body action; Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drill.

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268.  Are the often heard diagnosis' of "internal impingement" and/or "shoulder impingement" accurate and correct?  Or, like "GIRD", are they inaccurate fabrications?

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     No, they are more of their goofy diagnoses that allows them to do unnecessary surgeries.

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269.  I sit here like a child waiting for opening day as 2 of your prize students Jeff Sparks and Joe Williams await their debuts with the Bridgeport Bluefish tonight.  I am hopeful that all of their hard work will pay off because the best publicity you can have is the success of your students.  I look forward to following the games and their progress to become the best injury free pitchers that they can be.

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     Neither Jeff nor Joe made the team.

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270.  I have read and re-read your response to 2008 Question 130 in order to try and understand what you are requesting. In your response to the second question, you stated:

"When I watched the first young man who, from my 'Ready' position, immediately raised his pitching upper arm vertically upward to beside his head and forwardly rotated his body to point his pitching upper arm at home plate before he drove his pitching hand straight at home plate, why he was able to do this and he said, because I have faith in what you say to do."

This puzzles me.  If the upper arm is raised vertically next to the head (I'm assuming the upper arm near your ear) will this not raise the driveline considerably?  Will it not make the driveline a sine wave?  In your Pitching Instruction Video, there are little notes for your pitchers to "fix this" where the driveline bumps up.  Will raising the arm vertically beside the head not create this bump?

  I know I am missing something here.  Could you please explain this a little more clearly, or would it be possible to put a video of this on your website prior to your pitchers completing their training - a sort of 'in progress' video?


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     When my baseball pitchers raise their pitching elbow to driveline height, they eliminate that downward movement of the baseball that causes the steep upward movement through release.  Also, to maximally separate the longitudinal axes of the pitching forearm and upper arm (hopefully about a forty degree separation), I tell them to powerfully pronate their pitching forearm.

     If they do this, then they will have their pitching forearm slightly inside of vertical at release.  As a result, they will achieve as straight of a side view driveline as they can achieve.

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271.  There are physical mistakes such as a shortstop booting a ground ball.  Then there are mental mistakes.  My question concerns how you would deal with mental mistakes at the varsity high school level and above.  For example, you have a runner on second with no outs and no steal or bunt called.  The batter hits the ball directly at the shortstop on the ground.  The runner on second takes off for second and gets thrown out at third base.

As a coach what would you do the first time it happened and what would you do if the same player did it again?


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     Before every game, the head baseball coach should go over every play in the preceding game and explain how he wants his players to execute every play.  Then, the third base coach should remind base runners on second base of what they should do if a ground ball is hit in front of him.

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272.  I am a big believer in your pitching motion, but one thing I noticed is that you do not teach your pitchers any change-ups.  I was wondering what your theory is behind that.

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     Straight change-ups are ten miles per hour slower fastballs.  My Maxline Fastball Sinker and Torque Fastball Slider are ten miles per hour slower pitches that look like fastballs until they move.

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273.  In your online baseball manual you state:

"Increased football weights increase throwing arm resistances and decrease throwing arm velocities.  Throwing footballs sixty miles per hour does not train pitchers to throw ninety-five miles per hour fastballs."

If the weight of footballs slow down the arm, then why does throwing 6#--12# iron balls help increase velocity?  Or do I assume something that is not correct/


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     Because footballs weigh more than baseballs, baseball pitchers cannot throw footballs as hard as they throw baseballs.

     Doing my wrist weight exercises, my iron ball throws and football throws do not increase the release velocity of baseballs.  To do that, baseball pitchers have to develop a motor unit contraction and relaxation sequence with shorter rest intervals.  However, my wrist weight, iron ball and football drills teach the proper driveline for the baseball throws and increase bone density, strengthen the attachments of the pitching muscles and strengthen the attachments of the pitching ligaments.

     The only way that baseball pitcher can achieve their genetic maximum release velocity is to perfect their driveline and maximally stress their bones, ligament and tendons in highly competitive baseball games.

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274.  Another one bites the dust!

The third paragraph from the bottom virtually screams out for your help, but then you're talking about people who (ahem) already know what they're doing.

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Smoltz goes on DL with shoulder problem, return uncertain

WASHINGTON:  Atlanta pitcher John Smoltz went on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with an ailing right shoulder, though the Braves were told he can get over the problem without surgery.

Smoltz was examined in Birmingham, Ala., by Dr. James Andrews, who diagnosed a severely inflamed biceps tendon and inflammation of the rotator cuff in the right shoulder.  The 40-year-old pitcher went on the DL retroactive to Monday.

Andrews injected Smoltz's shoulder for the inflammation and prescribed rest and rehabilitation until he is pain free, the team said.  The Braves aren't sure when Smoltz will return.

Smoltz left the team after lasting only four innings in a start at New York on Sunday.  He gave up seven hits and four runs in the 6-3 loss to the Mets.

Smoltz's right shoulder has been a concern since spring training.  He started the season on the disabled list with tightness in the back of the shoulder.

After being activated, Smoltz went 3-1 with an 0.78 ERA in his first four starts, also becoming the 16th pitcher in baseball history to reach 3,000 strikeouts.  He's the only pitcher with at least 200 wins and 150 saves.

But Smoltz had trouble delivering his pitches in New York, prompting him to seek out Andrews' advice.  The diagnosis was made after the pitcher had an MRI exam and a CT scan.

This is Smoltz's 11th stint on the disabled list.  Most of his problems have stemmed from a troublesome right elbow, which has required four operations, but he's been slowed the last two years by shoulder troubles.


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     As I keep telling my readers, I do not know why, but it appears that I am the only person who knows how to eliminate pitching injuries.  And, it does not include injections and rest.

     With every pitch that they throw, 'traditional' baseball pitchers are destroying their pitching arm.

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275.  Your speed-up preliminary sprint training has worked marvelously over the past two weeks.  We are almost done with your recommended 20 day interval leading up to 3/2 training, with no injuries, steadily increasing leg speed and close, daily monitoring of discomfort.

I am have watched with interest as highly paid, professional baseball training staffs have been unable to accomplish, with all their money and equipment, what one amateur with nothing but a rundown soccer field has been able to accomplish all by himself.

1.  A few days ago, the All-Star shortstop of the Colorado Rockies removed himself from a game with an injury to the back leg muscles that connect to the ischial tuberosity.  I understand from news stories that he is a devotee of stretching and his trainers believe a more disciplined regimen of same will cure him.

2.  More recently, the future Hall of Fame third baseman of the New York Yankees went on the disabled list with a strain or other injury to the muscles in the front of the upper leg.  He costs his team about $326,000 a week in salary.  They plan to use various forms of cold/hot therapy and electronic voodoo on his injured leg.

It is apparent to me from highlights (or, lowlights, if you will) of these injuries that they were caused by improperly trained motor unit sequencing.

Speedups cost nothing and take little time to perform.  At $326,000 a week, it's scrubbing a space flight because no one bothered to wash the windshield.


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     Like with Sir Isaac Newton's third law of motion for baseball pitchers, I have not been successful getting people to understand that stretching causes muscle injuries.  Last year, the Yankees fired a quack trainer who stretched legs and they suffered muscle injuries.

     A couple of years ago, the Center of Disease Control released a report that supports my position.  If you check question 200 in my 2004 Question/Answer file, then you will find it.  I will also place that article in my Special Reports file.

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276.  Your answer to my question about changing the motor unit contraction and relaxation sequence to throw harder brings up another question:  How do you develop a different motor unit contraction and relaxation sequence?

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     The same way that musicians get to Carnegie Hall, practice.  In this case, after they complete my Adult training program, they need to competitively pitch against high-quality baseball batters.

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277.  In post #104 you stated:

"For college baseball coaches, when their baseball pitchers start the fall season of their Freshman year, college baseball coaches should have them complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program."

If they start the program in the beginning of the fall season, will they be able to pitch competitively(45-60) pitches one time per week as required for intra-squad games/practices?


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     No.  But, if they learn the skills well enough, then they might be able to contribute in the spring.

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278.  I thought that the 2-seam Maxline fastball and Maxline fastball sinker were different pitches.

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     In every way possible, they are different pitches.

     My two-seam Maxline Fastball is the same as my four-seam Maxline Fastball, but with the baseball rotated ninety degrees.

     My two-seam Maxline Fastball Sinker spirals toward home plate, such that the big circle of friction is on the top, front of the baseball.

     Typically, when baseball pitchers try to throw my Maxline True Screwball, with regard to the rotation of the baseball, they actually throw a four-seam Maxline Fastball Sinker.

     The danger in throwing two-seam pitches comes from the two-seam Torque Fastball Slider, where baseball pitchers supinate their pitching forearm and pull their pitching upper arm across the front of their body.  This is why, until they master pronating the release of my Maxline Pronation Curve, I do not want baseball pitchers throwing my two-seam Torque Fastball Slider.

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279.  The beat (depressingly) goes on.

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Texas Rangers' rotation in mound of trouble
Thursday, May 1, 2008
By EVAN GRANT / The Dallas Morning News

ARLINGTON, TX:  Pretty soon, the Texas Rangers might have two starting rotations.  One on the active roster and one on the disabled list.

The list of pitchers on the DL will grow to three by this weekend, when Jason Jennings joins Kason Gabbard and Luis Mendoza.  Jennings left Tuesday's game with forearm soreness.  He was examined Wednesday by team orthopedist Dr. Keith Meister, who concluded the soreness was part of Jennings' recovery from last year's flexor tendon surgery and not a new injury.

Jennings is 0-5 with an 8.56 ERA.  He has not won since June 24, two months before he had surgery.  "We're going to put him on the DL and give him a little more time to let his arm recover," general manager Jon Daniels said.  "We don't think he'll be down very long."


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     Gee, I never would have expected that he would injure the same area that he injured before.  Oh yeah, he is still using the same baseball pitching motion.  Nevermind.

     But hey, you heard the general manager, "We're going to put him on the DL and give him a little more time to let his arm recover," general manager Jon Daniels said.  "We don't think he'll be down very long."

     After surgery last year, all this young man needs is a little more rest.  The GM has everything under control.

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280.  How can someone get invited to your camp to learn and train under you?

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      At sixty-five years old, I no longer accept new students.  However, students are free to use all my materials to train themselves and I will consider short visits to verify their training.

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281.  If a person were to just move their pinky finger over and over, the stress of repetitive motion would lead to some problems.  So, in any motion wouldn't there be some level of risk?  And it could be a case of teaching the lesser of the evils.

I was also curious to whether the movement of the baseball is restricted by your findings?

I am not trying to argue you, but just finding all possible information.


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     I suppose that, so as to not wear out their bones, we should teach all recently born babies to never move with any intensity.  Fortunately, research shows that, when we move with intensity, we actually strengthen our bones.  But, I get your point.

     I agree that the best that we can do is to eliminate as much of the unnecessary stress in baseball pitching.  Since I do not believe that baseball pitching is evil, I would not agree that my baseball pitching motion is the lesser of the evils.  My baseball pitching motion eliminates unnecessary stress.

     I do not understand what you mean by 'whether the movement of the baseball is restricted by my findings.'  My baseball pitching motion enables baseball pitchers to throw a wide variety of high quality dramatically moving baseball pitches.  Have you not watched the video I have provided that shows the exceptional movement my baseball pitchers achieve?

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282.  I was just wondering if you think Phil Hughes' injury is likely a result of what you talk about in your video; that is, the downward force pitchers use to throw breaking-type pitches and the stress it creates on the ribs.

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     Unless someone punched him in the ribs during a bar fight.

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283.  I respect your work.  My father pitched in college.  I pitched thru high school.  I had an outstanding left arm and injured my shoulder probably with a combination of overuse and falling into poor mechanics.

I work with my 10yr old son and other youth pitchers.  I go to college pitching camps.  I’ve beta tested Tom House’s NPA online course.  I’ve seen Ron Wolforth’s Combat Pitcher series.  I use video quite a bit with V1 Pro software to analyze pitching motions.  I’ve got pro and college samples to compare and show my son and his teammates.

I love baseball.  I’m willing to learn.  I admit that I don’t know much.  I’m excited about getting a reply from you.  If I can learn something so that I can teach my son to pitch without injury, that’s great.

I heard about you from Paul Reddick’s interview a few years ago, when I subscribed to his club.  I heard the recent HBO real sports show on a pod cast.  I have been to your website and looked at Jeff Sparks in MLB, which is impressive.  Recently, when I played the interview and watched other high-speed film from your 2007 analysis of various pitchers.

I came up with two observations and a couple of questions:

You speak on the interview with Paul that your center of mass should move straight forward.  You talk about a power walk, as if sprinting from the blocks, down the driveline, that your center of mass should be at the same level.

You use the “rocket and propellant” example that the force applied to the rocket is equal to the force of the propellant coming out the back.  You explain that, with your method, there are three ways to generate oppositely directed force, the pitching foot, the glove arm, and the glove leg.  Another point that you mention is the driveline.  The longer and straighter the force is applied, the better the acceleration.

I agree with the principles.  However, what I see doesn’t match with what you describe.  When I look at your 2007 pitcher video, I see that:

1)  Although they throw downhill, their center of mass raises up just before and through delivery of the baseball.

2)  I see all the pitchers straighten their landing foot and apply force to stop the forward movement.  They straighten their landing leg and their knee moves back toward the rubber, slowing or stopping the center of mass.

3)  I see the pitchers get their throwing arm in a driveline before their front landing foot hits.

4)  But, the driveline of their throwing is actually “uphill” on the video taken from the side.  Look at their hand in the beginning (below the fence) and at release (above the fence well into the trees in the background).

I think that the leg causes the mass to go up and their release to go up and not extend closer toward the catcher.  Because they stop and don’t bend or soften that front leg and push toward the rubber, they release the ball high and not in a straight line.

5)  I see a few of them rotate and hop to avoid throwing uphill.  But, they are not applying force to the rear with a soft front leg either; they are stiffing it, stopping it, backing it up, and then rotating around it, so not so hurt themselves.  If you look specifically at their landing knee, it stiffens and goes back behind their landing foot.

6)  Many of the pitchers have a loop their arm motion, or misdirection in their driveline.  So, even though they start with good intentions, they are not applying a straight-line force like your law of physics example.

When I see Joel Zummaya from a stretch, I see something similar to Jeff Sparks in the MLB video.  Jeff starts not straight the catcher, but at a 45 degree angle.  Both position their foot and pitching knee to drive in a straight line and throw with the slope in a pretty straight line with the arm.

I’d love to get a copy of your pitchers in an .avi file, so I could compare to MLB pros in slow motion and draw or trace arcs of their arm, center of mass and the baseball.

Curious what you think about my observations.


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     Maybe, your son will be the first to perform my baseball pitching motion perfectly.

     Your observations are correct.  For whatever reasons, my baseball pitchers have not mastered the skills of the baseball pitching motion that I teach.  That means that they are not yet the best baseball pitchers that they can be.  Every shortcoming that you mentioned is a remnant from their 'traditional' baseball pitching motion days.

     It is not easy for them to remove ten and more years of throwing with the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.  When they do, they will move closer to becoming the best, injury-free, highly-skilled baseball pitchers that they can be.  Until then, we will just have to be satisfied that they can throw a wide variety of pitches with significantly more quality than the best 'traditional' baseball pitcher.

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284.  I've been poring over your Q & A files as much as possible.  I noticed in 2002 there is a rash of emails concerning someone who stole your material.  Upon further inspection, the keywords "Flex-T position" and references to Japanese pitchers strongly indicate the person is none other than Tom House.  I'd like to know if that's accurate.

I look forward to seeing how Joe competes for Bridgeport this year, even though we don't have the best working relationship.


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     Tom and all the other self-proclaimed, but not properly educated, baseball pitching coach gurus steal my stuff.  The problem is that they steal only some of my stuff.  I wish that they would steal everything that I teach.

     Wait, that is not entirely true.  I want my Maxline Pronation Curve to be mine.

     Therefore, I want Tom to stop claiming that he has developed a new way to throw curves.  He calls it, his karate chop curve.  But, it is my curve.

     On legal advice from before I came on-line, I copyrighted my book and videos.  Therefore, while I would not go after anybody for anything else I teach, I might go after Tom for stealing how to pronate the release of the curve.

     Where I thought that Tommy John would allow Jeff the time he needed to complete his EMT course and Joe enough time to get his game together, I found that our friendship is one-sided.  When he needed answers to how to recover from his problems, I always responded to his needs and helped in any way that I could for as many times and as long as he needed my help.

     I am not sure that there are any independent league teams who will allow my guys the opportunity that they need.

     Next year, I have a quality guy starting his college career with my former assistant baseball coach.  While whether his genetics are sufficient for professional baseball or not, I expect him to have a great college career.

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285.  I have been interested in improving pitching for a while, and am convinced (duh!) that this is the way to go.

I watched your video, Research Begins, for the first time today, and ask a question:  Most 'traditional' pitchers only pronate their arm while throwing a screwball.  Everybody thought that pronating caused quite a few injuries.  For example, Carl Hubbell walked with his forearm turned out from the amount of screwballs he threw.

Am I wrong, or is there more to this?


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     When I pitched major league baseball, the palm of my pitching hand also tended to pronate when I walked.  I do not believe that that is an injury.  Instead, that is the appropriate physiological adjustment from powerful pitching forearm pronation.

     When baseball pitchers pronate the releases of their pitches, they prevent the loss of the extension and flexion ranges of motion in their pitching arm and deceleration injuries in the back of their pitching shoulder.  However;

01.  If they take the baseball back with the palm of their pitching hand on top of the baseball, then they can still rupture their Ulnar Collateral Ligament.

02.  If they do not get their pitching hand to driveline height before their glove foot lands, then they can still injure the attachment of their Subscapularis muscle to the lesser tuberosity on the front of the Humerus bone of their pitching upper arm.

03.  If they turn their pitching foot to parallel with the pitching rubber, then they can still injure the lateral articulation between the Femur and Tibia bones of their pitching knee.

04.  If they reverse rotate over their pitching foot, then they can still injure the acetabulum of their pitching hip.

05.  If they stride seventy to ninety percent of their standing height, then they can still injure the L5-S1 intervertebral disk.

06.  If they stride closed, then they can still injure the front of their pitching shoulder.

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286.  In referencing an earlier post ('08, 244), I have a question about the pitch speed disparities.  You said:

01.  My two-seam Maxline Fastball is the fastest pitch.
02.  My four-seam Maxline Fastball and my two-seam Torque Fastball are close behind.
03.  My four-seam Torque Fastball is close behind.
04.  My two-seam Maxline Fastball Sinker and two-seam Torque Fastball Slider are approximately ten miles per hour slower than their two-seam fastball counterparts.
05.  My four-seam Maxline True Screwball and four-seam Maxline Pronation Curve are approximately twenty miles per hour slower than their two-seam fastball counterparts.

My son is not a hard thrower and only rarely hits fifty with his fastballs (either).  This last week, however, he hit 51 mph three times over about 20 pitches with his Maxline (twice) and Torque (once) fastballs.  Why then, does he often get 49-50mph on his Maxline Screwball and Maxline Pronation Curve?   As best I can tell (w/o film) his screwball and curveballs are being gripped, released and spun properly.


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     When baseball pitchers apply force to their fastballs, they direct that force through the center of the baseball.  Therefore, they achieve their highest release velocity.

     When baseball pitchers apply force to their curves and screwball, they direct that force to the edge of the baseball.  Therefore, they convert some horizontal velocity to spin velocity.

     To achieve the release velocities that you mentioned, your son must be directing the force to one-quarter of the baseball when he throws his fastballs, curves and screwballs.

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287.  Isn't Joe pitching for Bridgeport, or was he released?

Anyway, I completely understand regarding your Maxline Pronation Curve.  Though I haven't met any Tom House disciple who teaches the pronated release of the curveball, I'm not surprised to hear it.


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     Joe pitched one inning in four of the six exhibition games he attended.  In those four appearances, he gave up no runs on one hit.  Despite his performance, Tommy John said that he had other guys he wanted to pitch for him.

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288.  I guess general running form, fielding ground balls, starting and stopping both side to side and forward/backward.  Your questions caught me off guard.  I had thought of it as more of a general thing, but your question implies that I should be thinking more specifically.

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     To be of value, all training must be specific.

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289.  I didn't expect such and agreeable answer with regard to the observations.  I agree that the observation of flaws are found and possibly remnants of traditional throwing mechanics.  There are so many flaws with the traditional pitching motion that are possible for a pitcher to pickup, or retain.  There are lots of ways to get hurt.

You mention that they haven't yet mastered the motion.  Usually when I'm trying to teach something and the student doesn't get it, I experiment with another method, until they get it.  Or get part of it.

Driving in the car with my son, I thought about a hitting aid that's become popular called a zip-n-hit.  It's a ball with a hole, that's threaded with two thin nylon ropes.  You attach one end of the ropes to a tree or fence and propel the ball toward the fence by quickly spreading the ropes apart.  I was thinking, to practice a straight throwing driveline. Could you not attach the zip-n-hit two poles at the angle fitting the pitching angle toward home plate, and repeat a straight throwing driveline, filming it, until it becomes "natural"?

You mention that they pitch with "significantly more quality than the best tradition pitcher", so I'm curious about how you measure things like accuracy, repeatability, velocity, late movement, release closer to home plate.  The proof is in the results.

So I'm wondering if you have any stats, before/after comparisons, or film with quantifiable results (radar gun, accuracy chart, etc).  Until I see that, or the pitchers doing exactly what you describe in the phone interview, then it's hard to commit time to it, other than a passing fascination with something new with potential, and something different.


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     To measure whether my baseball pitchers throw baseball pitches of 'significantly more quality than the best 'traditional' baseball pitcher' is simple.  You compare the best of each type of baseball pitch that 'traditional' baseball pitchers can throw with the best of each type of baseball pitch that my baseball pitchers can throw.

     Because release velocity is a variable over which no baseball pitcher can dictate, to determine the quality of baseball pitchers, we evaluate the quality of the movement of the pitches.  In my analysis of my 2007 baseball pitchers, I provide rear view real time video of the six types of baseball pitches that we throw.  When we consider the entire package of baseball pitches, my baseball pitchers clearly throw significantly better quality pitches.

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290.  It's been a while.  I hope all is well with you and your baseball training site.  I've quite finished my research and am in the writing stage of those findings, which I feel you would like and approve of.

I saw your gig on HBO sports and thought you were clear, honest and concise.  You presented scientific facts from your camp's experience and did not appear kooky at all, which is the image MLB likes to portray of you.

The motion you teach does seem somewhat awkward and very different from what we are used to, yet makes sense.  My question to you is:  If they (MLB pitching coaches) adopted just one or two of your suggested changes, could that reduce injuries, or does it have to be a completed circuit?

I really like the reduced effort in windup and direct face to plate approach and pronation is okay too, but throwing off the opposite foot is a hard sell.  I'm not questioning your scientific reasoning and trial success of it, it just seems as though you'd be trying to teach me to write with my left hand, after 60 years with the other hand.

The other question I had involves an observation by me and other old timers when attending ball games.  The players no longer take infield practice and do very little stretching.  Spring training looks like no training as in the past.  Players seem to be dogging their sprints, don't work very hard, nor very long.  Have you noticed this and was there a significant change while you where playing?  Could you put an approximate date on this reduction if you agree at all that this had occurred?

The reason I ask, is that it's just not pitchers who are suffering high rates of injuries.  It's quite ridiculous.  Are there any other factors, such as heavy weights or bulking up, that could produce this higher rate of DL's?

Without going into great detail, my research is quite iconoclastic also, in that it proves that MLB GM's do not understand balance, therefore error 90% of the time in assessing their team's improvement needs and are helpless in acquiring the right stuff.  I have only utter disdain for their ignorance because it is coupled with the BS of arrogance, and of course the old boy's club syndrome with it's repetition of unilateral failed practices and results.

All teams now carry 12 pitchers, some 13 and one 14.  Most games show 4-6 relievers to get through the 6-9th innings.  How ludicrous!.  Like your work, I just don't criticize, I show them what has worked in an all too forgotten past.  I would love to send you just a few excerpts from my work, if you care or have the time.


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     The 'traditional' baseball pitching motion has injurious flaws and mechanical flaws.  I could list them all again here, but I am sure that my regular readers are tired of reading them.

     I prefer to eliminate all flaws, but, if for some aesthetic reason, some people would like to keep some, then they can do what they want.

     By the way, applying force toward second base with the glove foot satisfies Sir Isaac Newton's third law of motion.  Maybe we could get him to rescind that one little law that is meaningless unless one is a rocket scientist.

     As I made clear in the HBO show, I have met my scientific obligation.  Unless they want, baseball pitchers do not have to injure themselves.  I will give my video and book one final edit and leave the parents and baseball pitchers to decide what they want to do.

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291.  I noticed in your latest Q and A's there are a lot of questions about your driveline height position and rightfully.  So, unless you show a artist drawing or show Jeff sparks or one of your students in a still picture of your PERFECT driveline height position, then all of us will still be guessing as to the correct way to finish your pendulum swing.  This is the foundation of your delivery and, if it is unclear to 99% of your readers, then perhaps this is why we can't convince our critics that your research is 2nd to none.

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     While I do not share your level of concern for my readers not understanding the driveline of my baseball pitching motion, I will do everything that I can to make sure that everybody understands where it is.

     The latest conversation resulted from my statement that, finally, this year, my baseball pitchers are doing what I asked them to do.  For whatever reason, before this year, from my 'Ready' position, my baseball pitchers did not immediately raise their pitching elbow to driveline height.  Now, I have one doing a great job and others trying their best.

     As usual, at the end of their training this year, I will take high-speed film and video of their baseball pitching motions, put them together and show my readers how they are doing.  This year, I expect to be able to come close to showing my perfect baseball pitching motion with the driveline I teach.

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292.  Okay.  Let's compare notes.  You are former MLB pitcher, a Cy Young award winner, have doctorate degree in human physiology.  During walk-on tryouts at a D1 school, even though I struck out the player they kept with 3 pitches (twice), I failed to walk on to that D1 college baseball team.  (I already had a 4-year scholarship, so I simply tried out because I loved the game).  I also have only a BS in Political Science (finding engineering very difficult after getting through 4 calculus courses, physics and chemistry).

So lets say, I take leap of faith here.

Late yesterday, I got my pitching tarp out of the garage.  I tried a few dozen pitches in the traditional motion and a few dozen your way.  Pitching your way, I was really making the tarp "pop" and felt less arm stress.  I was trying to 1) get my arm in the right driveline position, 2) trying to keep my COG moving forward at the same angle and height, 3) trying to release the ball as far out front as possible, switching my shoulders quickly and 4) Trying to apply force in 3 ways (throwing foot, landing foot, glove arm).

Here are my results and feel for your pitching motion:  Getting the arm up to driveline height and keeping the COG constantly moving forward was easy.  Experimenting with foot position on the rubber, I found that 45 degrees to the driveline worked best, allowing me to get my glove shoulder and hip in line with home plate.  So that was another accomplishment.

The most difficult thing was trying to apply force toward the rubber with the landing foot while throwing and switching my shoulders.  I'm not sure if I ever was able to accomplish it.  I think I was able to at least not push back against my forward motion.

To increase my momentum without messing up my rhythm, I found that trying to feel like I was on a rail between the rubber and home plate worked as a throwing thought.  I took a rocker step straight back with this feeling, then forward.  I tried to keep it all in sync, with a smooth rotation of hips and shoulders.  I experimented with the length of my stride and found that I had to shorten it somewhat.  Remarkably, I was throwing pretty hard.  I only have a glove radar device, so I'm going to have to keep experimenting and borrow a radar gun.

Please read further.

I have another important observation:  The front foot action reminds me of my college days when I took Shotokan karate for 4 years.  When I first started, my teacher, a Statistics professor with degrees from Cal Tech and Yale explained that my front attack at first would be much less powerful than a regular boxing punch, but with time, it would become exponentially more powerful as the coordination increased.

My teacher taught a former Olympic boxer, so please don't think this was a pay-as-you-go novice karate dojo.  This was serious training.  He practiced every day for 30 years before I met him.  Every day for 1 hour and my teacher did not tolerate playing around.

Today, I had an epiphany to comparing footwork of the "traditional" pitching motion and your pitching motion to karate footwork.  I now see that the traditional pitching motion looks like a counter-attack (reverse punch) and your motion is described more like the karate front-attack.

Let's forget about the baseball and arms for a second.

The full front attach (your motion) is longer and more powerful than a reverse punch (traditional motion).  The counter attack (reverse punch) is much shorter; the back foot starts at 90 degrees to the driveline; and the COG tracks forward and you end up in a lunge position, similar to the traditional pitching motion.

The reverse punch back foot pushes, you glide forward, and the punch is delivered with rotation of the torso, but is restricted by the landing foot, so it's shorter, still powerful, but compact, as a counter punch should be.  The front attack, on the other hand, is a longer motion that begins with the back foot starting at 45 degrees to the driveline.

The front foot is straight; you start in a lunge position.  The punch itself (the rotation) is delivered AFTER the COG passes the front foot.  This reminds me of how you describe your pitching motion (not what I see on video yet though).  In the front attack, when the COG passes the front foot, the front foot rotates 45 degrees to continue the drive forward, and the rotation and drive occur at the same time.  All this occurs in a straight line.  It's what gives it so much power.  The COG stays in a constant height, what you say must happen in a good pitching motion.  Timing of the transition past the front foot is critical.

It is the toughest part to master of the front attack.  It's been around for longer than baseball - a thousand years maybe.  I can remember practicing this transition over and over hundreds... probably thousands of times.  The key differences to your motion are that 1) there is no walk-up...you start in a lunge position and finish in one (with the opposite foot is forward), and 2) you throw a punch from the hip, not a baseball, from shoulder height.

Footwork is very similar.  Pulling hand is the same.  In karate, both motions co-exist; both have their different purposes.  Baseball could be the same.  Shortstops aren't going to change, but perhaps the pitcher should.

So, coming full circle.

I think the most difficult part of the motion is the footwork of the landing foot (left foot for a right handed pitcher) and the timing of when to apply the force.  For someone like myself interested in learning the best way to teach my year old son, where do you suggest I start when/if I try to teach him this method?


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     I recommend that, when your year old son shows an interest in learning how to throw baseballs, you start by having him complete my 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program every year until he is biologically sixteen years old.

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293.  The couple of times I have seen your guys do Javelin throws, they simply get into the loaded slingshot position and let it rip.

I know you say that this is successful in helping to prevent looping.  Do your guys do or have you tried any type of windup body action with the javelins.  A critical element to me in your pitching motion is going from the loaded slingshot position to the slingshot position with the forearm the full length behind toward second base.  I was curious if doing any type of windup body action with the javelin would be helpful.


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     I have my baseball pitchers use the four foot plastic javelins with all except my Pseudo-Traditional Wind-Up competitive baseball pitching motion.

     For those baseball pitchers who allow their pitching hand to float laterally behind their body or loop behind their head, to use the javelin with my Drop Out Wind-Up competitive baseball is very helpful.

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294.  Here is a story about one of your players from 1996 that you may want to add to the articles section of your Web site.  I'm curious, what happened to this particular pupil?

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THE ARM THAT ROARED IS BACK; MIKE MARSHALL PEDDLES PITCHING POWER TO PHILS THESE DAYS.
Phil Sheridan. Philadelphia Inquirer.
Philadelphia, Pa.: Feb 23, 1996.
Copyright Philadelphia Newspapers Inc. 1996

Mike Marshall, the pitching guru who came in from the cold, doesn't want to name names.  After all, if you knew the identity of some of the pitchers he's worked with, he'd have to kill you.

OK, that's probably a little melodramatic.  But Marshall does sign a non-disclosure agreement with the pitchers who hire him to teach his unconventional approach.

The reason for all the cloak-and-dagger stuff?  Marshall's theories are a fastball in the ribs of baseball orthodoxy.  Instead of treating the pitcher's arm as a precious piece of bone china, Marshall treats it as the bone and muscle that it is.

Marshall, a one-time Cy Young Award winner, was at the Carpenter Complex this week because Mike Walker, a right-hander trying to win a job in the Phillies' bullpen, broke the code of silence and told people he'd worked with Marshall this winter.

"Mike Walker is the only one of the pitchers I've had who ever told anyone," Marshall said.  "That's because he was a free agent, not under contract to anyone.  The players who are under contract to teams, we don't talk about them."

Walker, 29, pitched for the Cubs last season.  He had a good year, his 1-3 record offset by an earned run average of 3.22.

"Anyone with those numbers would think he had a pretty good season," Walker said.  "But the Cubs said they weren't happy with my pitches, that you can't go on numbers alone.  I evaluated myself and saw there was some room for improvement."

So Walker made a decision.  He paid the fee - "I don't come cheap," Marshall said - and spent every day working with Marshall at his place in Zephyrhills, Fla.

"I had to throw the last 25 years of my pitching life away," Walker said. "I spoke to my wife.  We have three kids.  We decided to take the chance."

And to admit it.  Walker figured he had nothing to lose.  At the least, teams might be impressed by his commitment.  He signed a minor-league contract with the Phillies in January.

"I was afraid of going to an organization that would say, 'You have to do it our way,' " Walker said.  "Before I signed, I let the Phillies know who I worked with.  Jim Fregosi played against Mike and Johnny Podres played with him.  They were open-minded.  As long as they didn't think I was doing anything to hurt myself, it would be fine."

Marshall has been studying the anatomy and kinesiology of pitching for the better part of three decades.

"I've trained academically to understand pitching," said Marshall, 53.  "Contrary to what a lot of people say, the human arm is not a fragile thing.  Pitching is not an unnatural movement.  You just have to have the scientific knowledge.  If the guy who saw that bread mold didn't know what he was looking at, we wouldn't have penicillin."

Marshall told of a pitching coach who noticed his injured pitchers all throwing the same way and made a point of changing all of his pitchers' deliveries.  "But the injured pitchers were throwing in a way that relieved the stress on their arm," Marshall said.  "If you don't know what you're doing, you're going to hurt somebody."

Marshall's pitchers throw.  A lot.  And then they throw some more.  And when that's finished, they throw again.  They throw every day, sometimes more than 300 pitches a day.  Yesterday, Walker threw for the 130th consecutive day.

"The last 10 spring trainings," Walker said, "my arm got sore after the first few days.  Every time.  I expected at least a little of the usual soreness.  But there's not a damn thing there."

Marshall pitched more than 200 innings - out of the bullpen, mind you - in 1974, the year he won the Cy Young Award for the Dodgers.  He threw every day, even pitching batting practice occasionally.

"Everything I do, I've tested on myself," Marshall said.  "People thought I pitched so much because I was a physical freak.  But I was a coach before I was a major-league pitcher.  I was coaching me.  I wish I had a better athlete than this 5-8 1/2-inch guy to work with.  I got all I could out of myself.  Now I get to work with better athletes and I know a hell of a lot more, too.

"Every guy that signs on with me, I promise him two things.  One, that he will never again have a pitching-arm injury, and two, that he will increase his release velocity by 5 miles per hour."

Marshall advocates what he calls "broader-based pitch selection."  In Walker's case, he added a curveball and taught him to throw his fastball to both sides of the plate.  Walker's strongest pitch was his sinker.  Marshall worked with him to improve it.  He's also teaching Walker to throw a screwball, although that probably won't be ready for use this season.

"Mike is bringing a lot more to the game than he brought last year," Marshall said.  "And he had a good year last year.  I expect him to do very well this season."

Best of all, Walker brings those things to the game every single day.

"I don't think there's a manager in baseball who wouldn't want a guy like that in the bullpen," Walker said.

Marshall said he would drop by Clearwater to see Walker throw in a game or two.  After that, Walker will be on his own, applying what he has learned.  And next off-season, he will go back to Zephyrhills for the second year of Marshall's program.

"Tennis players have their own coaches," Marshall said.  "Golfers have their own coaches.  It makes sense for baseball pitchers to have someone who knows them just as well.  The pitching coaches have a lot of people to worry about and they need an off-season, too.  I'm the coach in that off-season."

Just don't tell anyone.


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     This is another article that I have never read.

     Of course, the real reason that I agree to not tell anybody what professional baseball pitchers I am training is for their protection, not mine.  They do not want the teams for whom they are working to know that I am training them.  They come to me to get the help that their teams are not providing.

     I met Mike Walker through my work with Rudy Seanez.  Rudy Seanez and Mike Walker pitched together in the Cleveland Indians minor league system.  When Rudy asked me to help him, he called Mike to join him.

     Mike was an extremely gifted baseball pitcher stuck with a terrible 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.  As he said in the article, after training with me for about 130 days, he could throw as hard as he wanted every day without discomfort.  Unfortunately, that short time period did not give him sufficient time to master his pitches.  Therefore, rather than give him minor league time to get his game together, the Phillies released him out of spring training.

     However, he later signed a triple-A contract with the Reds where he set a triple-A record for appearances.  In the end, his age and family obligations convinced him to leave professional baseball.

     The Cubs released him after the 1995 season because his velocity had dropped to 84 miles per hour.  After training that one off-season with me, he threw 94 miles per hour.  If we had worked together longer or when he was younger, then he could have become an outstanding professional baseball pitcher.

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295.  Here is an article from your nearby home town newspaper.  Why don't the Tampa Bay Rays contact you?

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For Pitchers, Arm Injuries Are An Occupational Hazard
By MARC LANCASTER
The Tampa Tribune
Published: May 6, 2008

TORONTO, Ontario:  Edward G. McFarland of Johns Hopkins University's sports medicine department remembers a brief debate he once had during a meeting of his peers.

It is accepted among sports medicine professionals that the human arm was not designed to withstand the stresses involved in throwing a baseball over and over again, a statement McFarland, a specialist in shoulder and elbow injuries, made at the meeting in question.

But someone else spoke up in disagreement, putting forth the theory that the arm probably evolved to throw a spear, so wouldn't that be somewhat similar?

Well, perhaps.

"But if you're throwing a spear 120 times in two hours," McFarland said, "you probably have a problem."

No one has to explain to the Rays how fragile pitchers' arms can be.  Already this season, Tampa Bay has seen two of its top three starters spend time on the disabled list - Scott Kazmir missing a month with a left elbow strain and Matt Garza more than two weeks with radial nerve irritation.  Both of them are healthy now, but key relievers Al Reyes and Gary Glover currently are on the DL with shoulder problems.

It can be a never-ending cycle, but that's no surprise to those tasked with keeping pitchers healthy and on the field.  They know that the exertion involved in throwing a baseball even once at 90 mph is staggering, and many marvel that more pitchers don't break down more often.

James Andrews, the orthopedist whose name has become as familiar to some sports fans over the years as the athletes he treats, has studied the mechanics of pitching in detail.  He and his team at the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, Ala., have found that the arm has to rotate through 7,500 degrees per second to throw a baseball that fast.

"That's the fastest human motion known in sports, supposedly," said Andrews, who also serves as the Rays' medical director.  "It's equal to the arm going in 20 complete revolutions, all the way around in a circle - 20 revolutions in one second. And then even beyond that it's equal to how fast the tires are going to make a car go approximately 90 miles per hour."

That force is felt mostly at the joints that support the arm: the shoulder and the elbow.  And force is the operative word.

"At the time of ball release, it's like there's a force essentially pulling your arm off of your body," McFarland said.  "It's really kind of amazing."

It's also unnatural to the various muscles, tendons and ligaments around the shoulder and elbow.  With repetition over time, they begin to fatigue and, eventually, tear.  At the greatest risk are the labrum and rotator cuff in the shoulder and the ulnar collateral ligament in the elbow - body parts that have become part of baseball's everyday lexicon in recent years.

There are ways to manage the strain, most notably by using the proper mechanics when pitching, and ensuring the arm gets an adequate amount of rest.  Even so, some damage inevitably is done.  Doctors and trainers who work regularly with baseball players will tell you an MRI exam of any major-league pitcher's shoulder or elbow probably will reveal abnormalities.

It's simply the price of doing business for high-level pitchers, said Timothy Kremchek, a Cincinnati-based orthopedist who serves as medical director for the Reds and is a consultant to the Washington Nationals.

"There's a lot of people that believe, and I do, too, that you only have so many pitches in your body in your career," Kremchek said.

For some pitchers, that reservoir dries up quickly.  But those who make it all the way up the ladder, pitching into their late 20s and 30s at the major-league level, aren't simply the most talented, according to doctors.  They're the ones whose bodies have been able to adapt to the challenges of doing the job.  More than one expert invokes Charles Darwin, characterizing the weeding-out process as a survival of the fittest.

Throwing a baseball is a developmental activity, and the stabilizers in the shoulder and elbow grow stronger over time with proper conditioning and throwing.

"It's a gradual process to develop that strength," Andrews said, "and it's a process of elimination, the ones that make it."

The elder statesman of the Rays' pitching staff, closer Troy Percival, certainly would qualify as a survivor.  For a decade, he was one of the most dominant relievers in the game, firing in pitch after pitch at 95-100 mph.  Early in his career, he said, he would think about the potential for injury as something that could keep him from realizing his goal of playing the game for a long time.  It finally caught up with him, a torn muscle in his arm apparently ending his career in 2005.

When Percival decided to mount a comeback last year, though, he took a different approach.  He already has accomplished so much, he has decided to "take injury completely out of play" by putting it out of his mind altogether.  His basic philosophy now is simply to pitch as long as his arm will allow.

"That's all you can do," Percival said.  "If you start worrying about injuries, you've got too many outside interests coming in when you're trying to pitch out there.  If you're trying to stay healthy when you throw your pitches, it's not going to do you any good.  You've just got to make sure you do the work you're supposed to do to stay healthy, and then when you take the mound, it's clear your mind and go."

At some point, a player's body will tell him it's time to quit.  He may break down completely.  Or, he may deteriorate over time to the point that he simply can't get people out anymore - perhaps because the accumulated trauma to his arm makes him unable to get the command or velocity he used to have.

For those not ready to give it up, surgery can offer a reprieve.  But there are no guarantees and rarely are such solutions permanent.

"If you have a guy who's 70 years old and he tears his rotator cuff and you fix it, he's going to stress the tendon a little bit, he may get tendinitis every now and then or irritated," McFarland said.  "But baseball players, if you fix their rotator cuff, they're going right back to the same old thing that tore it in the first place."

Reporter Marc Lancaster can be reached at (813) 259-7227 or mlancaster@tampatrib.com.


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     I emailed Mr. Lancaster that these orthopedic surgeons do not understand why the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion destroys pitching arms, but I do.  Therefore, I understand how to eliminate all pitching injuries.

     Unfortunately, he has not returned my email and why should he?  He is only writing what everybody misbelieves is the truth.  That is why nobody ever does anything about pitching injuries.  They believe that nothing can be done.

     Ever since Tampa received a major league baseball team, I have attempted to meet with them about how to eliminate pitching injuries.  They have made is very clear that they do not value my ideas.

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296.  Here is another article you may want to add to your Web site.

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A concern about injuries and an interest in the theories of Mike Marshall converge as ...
St. Cloud Times (MN) - April 18, 2005
Author: St. Cloud Times Metro, Tom Elliott, Staff
CHS tries a different way to pitch

St. Cloud Cathedral junior Glenn Carnahan works through his usual range of pitching motions with a 10-pound wrist weight attached to his arm during practice Thursday at Whitney Park.  The team's pitchers are using the weights and six-pound shot puts to help strengthen their arms in an effort to decrease pitching injuries.

Crusaders follow unique ways of former major leaguer
By Tom Elliott
telliott@stcloudtimes.com

Seeking an analogy to explain his team's unique approach to pitching, St. Cloud Cathedral head coach Bob Karn talks about high jumper Dick Fosbury.

Fosbury won the gold medal in the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games.  In doing so, he turned the sport of high jumping ... well, not upside down, but definitely on its back.

Before Fosbury, high jumpers tried to skip over the high bar.  Fosbury went head first, kicking his legs up high and landing on his back in the landing pit.

"Until somebody tries it, it's not going to be accepted or well known," Karn said.

Karn's attempting the same thing in baseball, using a pitching philosophy espoused by former major leaguer Mike Marshall.  Karn is the only high school baseball coach in the country implementing the unique training method, according to Marshall.

"I think Coach Karn is interested in protecting and improving his pitchers," Marshall responded in an e-mail.  "I was not aware of any high school or college coaches implementing my pitching motion.

"I do not know of one person who trained one high school pitcher to use my pitching my motion."

Years of study

Marshall, who has a doctorate in philosophy from Michigan State and is an expert in kinesiology and how it relates to pitching, believes conventional wisdom on pitching mechanics are dead wrong.

His Web site, drmikemarshall.com, goes into highly technical and advanced discussion on pitching motions.  To the average person, the explanation is complex and confusing.

Marshall bases his principals on Newton's Law of Physics.  Every pitch should end with the pitcher's thumb pointed to the ground, whether it's a fastball, screwball, curveball, slider or change-up.  When throwing, a pitcher should pronate, or rotate the hand and forearm so that the palm faces down.

Most pitchers are taught to supinate, which is unnatural and leads to preventable injuries, Marshall says.

The other key point of the motion is to finish the delivery with the driving leg in front of the kicking leg.  For a right-hander, that means the right leg lands in front of the left leg.

"At first, I was doubtful," said Cathedral senior Peter Burg, a left-handed pitcher.  "But then I saw the results.

"The ball has a lot of movement.  There's maybe a little less velocity and it was real awkward at first, but you get used to it.  Once I incorporated it into my natural motion, it started to feel pretty good."

Karn decided to implement Marshall's system last season.  Having viewed Marshall's videotapes and exchanging e-mails with the former Cy Young Award winner, Karn decided to have all his players use the system of practicing the unique delivery.  Pitchers use wrist weights and weighted balls.

Karn attended a one-day clinic put on by Marshall while he was an adjunct professor at St. Cloud State, where he taught from 1980-82.

"For years, I said to myself, 'I can't let go of this,'" Karn said.  "I talked to doctors, experts and gave it a lot of thought.  This is what I must do."

Little following

Why few programs follow Marshall's system, despite its well-respected scientific research, may have something to do with Marshall.

Extremely intelligent, he had his Ph.D. while still pitching in the major leagues.  While gifted, he had trouble with management in most of his stops in the majors, which included time with the Detroit Tigers, Seattle Pilots, Houston Astros, Montreal Expos, Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves, Texas Rangers, Minnesota Twins and New York Mets.

He was originally drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies as a shortstop, but converted to pitching.

He won the National League Cy Young Award in 1974, setting a major league record for pitching appearances that still stands, 106.  He's arguably the best stopper in Expos, Dodgers and Twins history, at least until Eric Gagne and Rick Aguilera came around.

But his thoughts on major league baseball are largely negative, saying coaching at the level is mostly a good old boys network and not based on rational thought or instruction.

It's why he's considered an outcast.  Marshall also says that most youth and high school coaches aren't paying attention.

"I think that youth and high school coaches are too lazy to put their effort into learning how to use my pitching motion," Marshall said in an e-mail to the Times.  "However, I have the responsibility to make it easier for them.

"I spend every day working on doing just that."

Area coaches contacted for this story say they either know little about Marshall, or aren't all that interested in what he has to say, relying on more well-known pitching experts like former Texas Rangers pitching coach Tom House.  House is widely criticized and dismissed by Marshall.

"No, I'm not that interested," said veteran Melrose baseball coach Ken Picha, who said he saw Marshall speak while he was at St. Cloud State.  "To me, no matter how you do it, and there is more than one way to do a lot of things in baseball, there are two important things.

"Whatever the system is, you've got to believe in it yourself.  And, after that, you have to make sure your kids believe in it."

That seems to be what's happening at Cathedral, Picha said.

"I have nothing but the utmost respect for Bob and his program," Picha said.  "I know he must believe in it if he's teaching it."

Jerome Nemanich, who led Sartell to the state Class AAA tournament last year, said he is not a follower of Marshall's pitching techniques, but there might be something to it.

"Cathedral's success pretty much speaks for itself," Nemanich said.

Both say learning the game at an early age and playing it often determine future success as anything else.

"I know that virtually all the coaches in the area are very ethical and highly concerned about protecting pitchers' arms," Karn said.

But, Karn's trying something different.

"I don't know much about him (Marshall), except that he played for the Twins and some other teams," said long-time Sauk Centre coach Charlie Warring.  "I'm pretty confident in the pitching program we use here.

"We have Scott Bergman, the girl's basketball coach here, who pitched at South Dakota State.  He does an excellent job with the kids.  I kind of turn it over to him."

Unique theories

Like virtually all coaches in the area, Marshall believes throwing curveballs should be forbidden until at least high school age.

Unlike most, however, Marshall doesn't believe children should pitch until well past puberty.  Karn adheres to that belief.  As director of St. Cloud's summer baseball program, coaches pitch from age 6-13.

That's not the case in the immensely popular Waite Park Babe Ruth program, where children start pitching at age 9.

There are strict guidelines:  No more than two innings at one time, no more than four innings per week.  Most coaches don't use the limit.

It puts Charlie Burg in a unique situation.  Burg is an assistant coach at Cathedral for Karn.  He also is on the board of directors for the Waite Park Babe Ruth program.

His son Peter pitched in the program, which would go against Marshall's and Karn's preachings.

"Bob knows what he's talking about, but he is unique," Burg said.  "It (throwing before age 14) is always a gamble.

"You really have to monitor it.  Even the travel teams are pretty strict.  In tournaments, its three innings a game and six innings overall."

Last year was the first Cathedral's pitchers used the system entirely.  The year ended with a fifth straight berth in the state Class AA tournament.  There were no pitching injuries.  Cathedral figures to be one of the state's Class AA powers again.

"If I had not discovered his (Marshall's) Web site, I might have gone to my grave not knowing if there was a better way to monitor pitching arms," Karn said.  "I believe it's the best approach."

People thought Fosbury, the former Oregon All-American, was crazy.  Then he set the world high jump record.  It's virtually impossible to find someone using a scissors kick style today in track and field.

Karn believes the same thing will hold true someday in baseball with Marshall's system.

"I think the jury's still out," Charlie Burg said.  "But there's no doubt it's working for Cathedral."


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     You found another article that I never read.

     I find it interesting that the article quoted me as saying that throwing curveballs should be forbidden until at least high school age.  While I have concerns about high school baseball pitchers throwing sliders, I have no problem with them throwing my Maxline Pronation Curve.

     Horray for Coach Karn!

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297.  I have a question regarding Mark Littel.  I believe you will know who he is.  If not, he played in the big leagues for many years with the Royals and the Cardinals as a reliever.  I also think he was a pitching coach in the Dodgers organization in the early 90's.  I met him in 04 while I was in the Brewer organization where I believe he still coaches.

I am wondering if he ever approached you in regards to your pitching style.  The reason I ask is because I have been getting lessons from Lon Fulmer out here in Southern California and have really started to understand your way of pitching.  So with this new understanding from Lon and your videos, I really started remembering what Mark Littel was trying to say about protecting a pitching arm and it was very similar to what you have pitchers do.

As I recall Mark wanted the pitching hand "inside of vertical" even though he never said those words.  He just explained it as "this is how your arm is supposed to travel" never really giving a correct definition, but the form he was showing us at the time was correct.  He also make similar statements about the how the shoulder is supposed to stay locked in with the chest and in theory not really move.  I know this is kind of hard to explain in an email and if I was there standing next you I could explain it better.

However, back to my point, In Littel's words what he showed us was similar to your pitching style.  That is why I was wondering if he ever approached or made contact with you in any way.


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     I believe that you are correct in that Mr. Littel pitched after I was out of major league baseball.  To my knowledge, I have never met Mr. Littel.  However, I came online in 1999 and he could have accessed my materials.  Everything that I have is on my website for everybody to read and watch without charge.

     I have met Mr. Fulmer and believe that he is doing a fine job.

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298.  Back on February 12, 2008, I sent you the following email.

My son is a left-handed pitcher in high school (age 17).  He started throwing curve ball in eighth grade.  His elbow is starting to get sore when he throws now.  Any suggestions for exercises, diet or technique?

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You answered, "At biological sixteen years old, I recommend that youth baseball pitchers complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.  You can find that program in my FREE Baseball Pitcher Interval-Training Programs file.  To learn how to teach your son how to properly perform the drills that I use to teach the skills of my baseball pitching motion, you need to watch my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video that you can find in my FREE Baseball Pitching Instructional Video file.

So, there you have it.  Everything that you need to take care of your son's baseball pitching needs is free on my website.

--------------------------------------------------

Unfortunately, we ignored your advice.  As a result, my son tore his Ulnar Collateral Ligament.  The MRI confirmed the tear and he is looking at Tommy John surgery.  We have a doctor near us who trained under Dr. Frank Jobe (who did the first surgery in 1974).  We were wondering if you knew anyone in our area who does this?  Do you have a rehab program?


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     I am sorry to learn of your son's severe baseball pitching injury.  If, when you emailed me before about your son's elbow getting sore, he had completed my 120-Day program, then he would have learned what he had to do to prevent rupturing his Ulnar Collateral Ligament.

     Last September, I spoke at a seminar held at Michigan State University where I listened to Dr. Kyle Anderson from William Beaumont Hospital speak.  I believe that he is the orthopedic surgeon for the Detroit Lions football team.  I thought that his ideas on how to repair the rupture of the Ulnar Collateral Ligament were very good.

     However, like all orthopedic surgeons I have met, he has no idea what baseball pitchers do that cause the injuries and certainly no idea what they have to do to eliminate injuries.  Therefore, after the surgery, to rehabilitate your son, I still recommend that your son complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

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299.  I have been working on your force-coupling batting technique daily for about six months now.  I don't always get 96 swings a day, but it is usually close to that.  Yours is a clearly superior method.

That was not immediately evident.  It took months of one arm swings with a light bat and lead arm overload wrist weight exercises to develop the strength necessary to perform the swing with a regulation bat and get any decent results.

But the strength has come.  Slowly, but it has come.  The force-coupling move has gotten easier and easier.  The barrel is moving fast now and the ball jumping.  There is more time to hit.

I would take an important lesson from this:  insufficient strength can lead to poor technique.

If your upper arms, forearms, wrists and hands aren't strong enough to manipulate the bat in the proper manner, hitters will improperly compensate, using body actions and heaving motions in a vain attempt to create speed.  You know, hip rotation is the mantra now in mainstream batting instruction.  I know from your teachings that hip rotation is a component to your swing.

But the key is the force-coupling action of the arms, as you have said many, many times.  I don't understand why people want to create speed and power by rotating the hips when rotating the barrel is far easier, more powerful and supplies a much larger margin for error.

Dr. Marshall, would you share with us a few words on general batting strategy?

01.  Did you teach your college hitters to guess, calculate, or sit on one specific pitch?

02.  How did you teach your men to analyze pitchers?  Did you classify them as fastball pitchers, breaking ball pitchers, etc.?  How did you teach your hitters to use that info once you had the opposing pitchers pegged?

03.  Many of us are playing in low-level amateur leagues with umpiring that varies in its quality.  It can be tough sometimes to get a walk because they are being paid by the game and anything close is a strike.  What do you tell hitters in these situations?

04.  Also, if you were the batting coach or manager of a professional baseball team, would you institute a ground ball hitting, bunting, line drive and running game on offense as you did in college?

05.  Why does that style of play appear to be limited to amateur ball these days?  Is it that the skill and range of professional infielders cuts off the grounders and bunts that go for hits in college?


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01.  I taught my college baseball batters that they are part of a team that has to work together to score runs.  Unless all succeed, none succeed.  Each baseball batter has a job to do.  As the game progress, the jobs to accomplish changes.

     The general team batting strategy that I teach is to get base runners on third base with less than two outs.  Then, whenever they have base runners on third base with less than one out, to get those base runners across home plate as quickly as possible.

02.  When my college baseball pitchers pitched, I wrote down every pitch that they threw to every batter and had them verify what I recorded immediately after the inning.  When my college baseball batters batted, I had my assistant coach write down every pitch that the opposing baseball pitcher threw to them and had the batters verify what he recorded immediately after the At Bat.

     Therefore, we quickly learned what pitch sequences every baseball pitcher we faced preferred in what situations.

     Before my baseball batters went to the batters box, I would tell them what their job was.  Then, from the opposing baseball pitcher's pitch sequence chart, I would tell them what pitch sequence they should expect.

03.  I told my baseball batters that what umpires called pitches was irrelevant.  Miscalled pitches did not change what their job was or their ability to accomplish their job.

04.  To beat baseball pitchers at any level, baseball batters have to make them work as hard as they can for every out that they get.  One easy out ruins an inning.  There are times in games, although infrequent, when it is proper for baseball batters to sit on a pitch and try to hit it out of the ball park.  But, for the most part, that is a losing strategy.

     Baseball batters have to find many ways to get free ninety feet.  Walks and steals give free ninety feet.  When not walking or stealing, I love low line drives between infielders that skip once in the infield dirt on their way to the outfield.  I call them, instant hits.  Instant hits enable base runners to get free ninety feet.  Unless baseball batters hit baseballs upward, run and hits give free ninety feet.

05.  In professional baseball, home run hitters get paid.

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300.  I have another article for you.

MARSHALL IS ALIVE AND WELL AT SAINT LEO COLLEGE
THE ORLANDO SENTINEL - August 21, 1986
Author: By Brian Schmitz of The Sentinel Staff

When Mike Marshall was the most recognizable relief pitcher in baseball, he grew long sideburns that curved into his mustache.  He wasn't terribly fond of looking like a village blacksmith, but the facial hair served a purpose during the season.

It was a disguise, of sorts.  Marshall would shave the mustache and trim the sideburns when the season ended so he could blend into the everyday world.  It worked, much to his satisfaction.  "I'm not a gregarious person. I don't like crowds," he said.  "I leave that stuff to Steve Garvey."

If it is seclusion Marshall, 43, covets after retirement as a big- leaguer, he has come to the right place.  As the baseball coach at Saint Leo College, he can walk the pastoral campus of this tiny Catholic school north of Tampa without being noticed, without reliving those years when he was the most efficient -- and most eccentric -- reliever in the game.

Using his major-league career as a resume -- Cy Young Award winner in 1974, all-time single-season leader in games pitched, games finished and innings worked in relief -- Marshall surely could have landed a job as a pitching coach on a major-league team.

But he decided against it because he knew he never would be able to coach his way.  During an often stormy 14-year career it was his unbending dedication to personal convictions that got him into more jams than he ever experienced on the mound.  He was branded as a rebel in the eyes of management, an irreverent troublemaker.

Marshall still believes he was blackballed from baseball for his visible role as a union leader in 1980.

When St. Leo Athletic Director Norm Kaye became interested in hiring Marshall in 1984, he heard some unflattering remarks.  "I had one sports editor from Minneapolis call me and say, 'Do you know what your doing?' " Kaye said.  "People would tell me, 'Mike's a little different. He could be disruptive.' "

  "I think it was just fear and jealousy on a lot of people's parts.  People were afraid he would upset apple carts.  But Ted Williams was different, too.  I heard a lot of stories about Mike.  Like he told the Dodgers they would play better if they changed their sleep patterns and watched their biorhythms."

Marshall also argued with a manager over wearing short-sleeved shirts rather than long sleeves, giving an explanation about better blood flow, often greeted the press with a stony silence, refused to ride the same bus with those who smoked, requested a water bed in the hotels his team stayed at, was once arrested for trespassing at Michigan State, his alma mater, for playing baseball in an area reserved for tennis.  He easily could have avoided a conflict, but it was the principle of the thing.

"Mike's an easy guy to get along with," Kaye said.  "I mean, here's a Cy Young winner who works on his own field, digging holes to lay pipes for a sprinkler system.  He organized a simulated baseball game for our faculty and boosters where we draft our players.  It brought everybody together.

"I really believe Mike was misunderstood."

  He could have been misunderstood because of a combination of things:  a 5-year struggle through seven minor-league outposts before making the majors in 1970, a battle with a nagging back problem and a search-and-destroy demeanor on the mound that carried over to his personality.

Sitting in his office at Saint Leo, Marshall hardly looks like a menacing malcontent or a man who once was booed on a fan appreciation night.  This is a father who can't spank his children and a coach who has a no-cut policy on his team because he can't bear to turn away a player.

Marshall has a note he wrote taped to his office door at Saint Leo.  It reads:  "Malcontents gossip about people.  Buffoons brag about possessions.  Visionairies discuss life."

Marshall is short, stocky and balding, direct but cordial to visitors.  "I wasn't like the common man," he said.  "The common man couldn't pitch those innings.  Pitching was never life or death with me, but you have to motivate yourself as a relief pitcher up to a certain state.

"I guess with me the biggest word that comes out is arrogance.  But it was confidence, really.  A reliever has to go in there thinking nobody can hit him.  He has to keep that intensity up.  You have to be so mentally tough.  I was never afraid of a batter, an umpire.  I never gave in to the situation."

Never.  In 1976, Marshall's union activism paved the way for free agency in baseball.  Four years later he was a pivotal figure in campaigning for more benefits in the Major League Players Association.  Marshall's last year was in 1981.  He says he could have pitched longer, but baseball "wanted me out.  My union activities put me in bad favor with the teams.  I could still pitch.  They blackballed me."

Minnesota Twins Vice President Howard Fox said the Twins released Marshall not because of his union stand but because, "He wasn't pitching effectively.  I'm not going to say anything more except that Mike Marshall is still Mike Marshall."

So Marshall's return to the majors, even as a coach never may have materialized, whether he wanted it to or not.  "As a major-league pitching coach, you're basically a caretaker," said Marshall, who is in his third year as Saint Leo's coach.  "You can't bring in your own style of pitching. I would have to have an impact."

He knew he never could be satisfied because baseball, by nature, is a game dominated by traditionalists.  Marshall is outspoken and far on the other end of the spectrum, which explains why he loves coaching the college game and despises today's pastime.  "I don't watch major-league baseball.  It's too boring," he said.  "They're so predictable.  There's no innovation.  It's so Neanderthal."

"There is no integration between the pitcher and the defensive players.  The pitcher throws the ball as hard as he can and sits there like a dummy.  Today's players are so self-centered.  It's me-first baseball."

Marshall more than once blamed infielders for being in the wrong position when he threw a certain pitch.  He insists that his games at Saint Leo are different, that his players are being taught the nuances of baseball.  "My games aren't boring.  There is a lot of strategy.  I try to do them right.  Baseball can be an incredibly exciting, like a game of chess if you play it right," he said.

Translation:  if it's played Marshall's way.

He doesn't feel many of the pitchers today in the majors do it right or at least the way he did it.  "Since I don't pay much attention to the game, I can't really comment on pitchers.  But Fernando Valenzuela uses precisely the strategy I used, mixing pitches, throwing the screwball, using his fielders," he said.

Marshall's uncanny durability revolutionized the game, saving starters their arms and managers their jobs.  He was at his best pitching four or five times a week and holds the NL single-season record for most consecutive games pitched (13).

Marshall became the first relief pitcher to win the Cy Young Award in 1974.  He set single-season, major-league records with the Los Angeles Dodgers for games pitched (106) and innings worked (208).  He finished 15-12, with a 2.42 earned-run average.  No one then or now has come close to matching Iron Mike's pace in the NL.  Kent Tekulve is second to Marshall in games pitched, with 94 in 1979.  That year, Marshall, playing for the Twins, set the AL record for games pitched (89, 141 innings).

In 14 seasons, he pitched in 723 games (he started 24) and 1,386 innings.  His record was 97-112, with a 3.14 ERA.  His 178 saves rank ninth on the all-time list.

"Pitchers don't have the physical stamina I did, for one thing," he said.  "Nobody could pitch with the frequency I could."

Marshall relates his success as a pitcher to his knowledge of kinesiology, the study of body movement.  He obtained his doctorate in 1978 after attending Michigan State during the off-season, and he teaches several classes at Saint Leo.  He is trying to impress upon his pitchers the importance of body mechanics in the throwing motion.

"We haven't had a sore arm since I've been here, and our pitchers can throw every day," said Marshall, who has helped fellow pitcher Tommy John, former quarterback Fran Tarkenton and tennis player Stan Smith work out their arm problems as well as little-leaguers in neighboring towns.  "The baseball team is my laboratory.  You get some resistance from the kids at first, but once they see the positive affects, they like it."

And take it from Kaye of Saint Leo:  "Once you see Mike Marshall at work, you've got to like what you see.  I hope we never lose the guy.  Hopefully nobody will be able to find him out here."


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     And, all I wanted to do was teach major Physical Education courses and coach baseball at Saint Leo College for forty years.

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301.  My younger son currently a junior in HS has done very well in all phases of baseball.  Thanks so much for all that you've done to educate us both on your pitching and batting mechanics.  Now, with college around the corner, I would like to know what college coaches you know of, would truly not try to change his pitching mechanics.  Thanks again for all you do.

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     My former assistant coach, John Maley, is the pitching coach at Incarnate Word University in San Antonio, TX.  To receive a baseball scholarship, in addition to being good, your son will need to score high on his SAT and ACT scores or become emancipated for one year before he wants to start college.  He will do a great job for your son.  It would also help if I could watch your son.

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302.  I grew up in West Texas around Lubbock.  I noticed you coached at West Texas and was wondering if you had any thoughts on Larry Hays and Frank Anderson (Now with OK St) as pitching coaches.  Both are successful, but I have been studying their injury rates.  In 2007, Anderson's pitchers had four surgeries.

I have studied both to some degree, but was wondering your thoughts on their mechanics and philosophy since you coached close to them.  Maybe you have insight into their teaching and history.

I am not a paid pitching coach, but consider myself fairly knowledgeable after many years of baseball.  We share some of the same concepts even though I never saw your style until recently.  We actually reached some of the same conclusions even though we studied the game separately.

1.  Open glove side foot. etc.

I try to achieve the same end you do from a wind up, but incorporate a circle in the wind up to avoid binding the shoulder.

The questions I have about your style are: how do you field being turned sideways and how do you pitch from the stretch?  I was wondering how your method affects this part of the game.


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     I have no idea who those guys are.  However, I would stay away from any baseball pitching coach whose pitchers require one surgery a year, four is ridiculous.

     Unless baseball pitchers pendulum swing their pitching hand to driveline height before their glove foot lands, they cannot step to the glove arm side of the line between their glove foot and home plate.  In my Pseudo-Traditional Wind-Up, I have my baseball pitchers raise both arms over their heads.  Even though, with my Drop Out Wind-Up, they simply drop the baseball out of their glove, the do not bind up their pitching shoulder, whatever that means.

     Because their pitching foot lands in line with their glove foot, my baseball pitchers can move forward to field bunts much faster, protect their heads against line drives and field hard hit ground balls to their glove side far better than 'traditional' baseball pitchers.  That leaves only hard hit ground balls to their pitching arm side for the opposite mid-infielder to catch against pitching arm side batters.

     My right-handed baseball pitchers never pitch from the set position as defined by their glove foot being on the ground in front of their pitching rubber.  Then, after they raise both hands upward to shoulder height, they can decide whether to step toward first base and throw or toward home plate and throw.

     When base runners has sufficient running speed to steal bases, my left-handed baseball pitchers put their glove foot on the ground in front of the pitching rubber.  Then, after they raise both hands upward to shoulder height, they can decide whether to step toward first base and throw or home plate and throw.

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303.  The article below concerns two local high school pitchers, but doesn't give a lot of detail about their regimen.

On an unrelated note:  I've noticed a number of pitchers being sidelined with thigh and groin injuries this season.  Any idea how to eliminate those?

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Bill Tilton
BTilton@News-Herald.com
05/10/2008

Points of concern--Arm problems are an issue for pitchers at all levels; here's what the area's top prospects do to prevent such injuries

With loads of natural ability, proven consistency and big-game productivity, it is no accident Riverside senior Andrew Brown and Mentor senior Ryan Lavery each earned a baseball scholarship from the University of Akron.

There is one other thing two of the area's best pitchers have in common besides being future Zips.  Despite the wear and tear of over 10 years of taking the mound from little league through high school, and with countless pitches thrown, neither Brown nor Lavery has suffered a serious or even lingering arm injury.  That is no accident, either.

"There are days when I feel better than others, but knock on wood, I've never had an major injury or even felt dead arm," said Lavery, who hasn't lost a varsity game since 2006.  "I just try to build up my strength in the offseason and then keep it going once the season starts.  There are a lot of things we do here at Mentor before the season starts and on our off days to keep our arms fresh and healthy."

Keeping their arms fresh and healthy is not just a means to an end for Brown and Lavery - in this case a college education and a chance to play Division I baseball.  It has become a routine.  A way of life.  Second nature.  So important is the condition of their shoulder, elbow and arm that they really don't know any other way.  But it's somewhat surprising to hear the pair of News-Herald varsity all-stars talk about the health of the other parts of their body as being equally critical to their success and to prevent injury.

"I'm big on long toss, and I think that is a good way to keep your arm in good shape, but you have to work your core and your legs have to be strong," Brown said.  "All my pitching and my push comes from my legs.  If you look at a guy like Bartolo Colon, his thighs are huge. He gets so much power from his legs.  The thighs, the calves are so important.  You can't just go out and throw wildly using just your arm.  You have to use your whole body.  I'm not 6-4, 225 pounds, so that's what I try to do."

So far, so good for the Beavers' talented right-hander.  And to Brown's point about the importance of using the core, the legs and the abdomen to maximize effectiveness and minimize arm damage, Lavery made a very insightful comment.  "There's so much that goes on when you're throw a pitch, and mechanics are so important, the arm is really just along for the ride," the 2007 News-Herald Player of the Year said.  An interesting ride at that.

Pre-hab vs. re-hab

Offseason workout plans and individual exercises are absolutely critical to the health of a high school pitcher.  What a pitcher does before the start of the season is as almost as important as what he does during the season.  Akron coach Pat Bangtson, who spent five years in the Twins organization and served as the pitching coach at Ohio State from 1992-2005 before taking over the Zips, stresses the offseason workout at the high school or college level.

"Don't show up for the season to get in shape, show up already in shape," Bangtson said.  "No pitcher is going to be ready to go nine innings right away, but they should be in some decent physical shape.  A preseason program that involves running and lifting and some lightweight arm exercises is a good place to start."

Lake Erie College pitching coach Jeff Hartmann, who spent 32 years as a high school pitching coach between Euclid and Perry, agreed with Bangtson that the season is not the time to try to get into shape.  Hartmann believes each individual is different and has to be treated as such, but one thing all pitchers should be when they preseason workouts start in January or February is be physically prepared to get to work.

"The biggest thing with arm care is in the offseason, you build strength and during the season, you maintain it," Hartmann said.  "It's real important for these guys to establish a strength program and do some throwing to be ready.  But also, they have to realize they can't come in the first month, get out to 60 feet, 6 inches and start throwing.  There is nothing wrong with starting out throwing from 25 feet and gradually building up to getting on the mound."

Double duty

Many of the top prep pitchers are also important everyday position players when they aren't on the mound.  That does not allow the same rest or bounce-back time that a pitcher would get in college or even at the minor-league or major-league level.  For example, the day after Brown pitched six strong innings and struck out 11 South batters in a crucial PAC win this past week, he went 4-for-4 and played the field in Riverside's win over Madison.

"I don't mind playing the outfield and making those long throws, but playing the field and batting can get tiring sometimes, especially for me because if I am on base I like to try to steal as much as possible," Brown said.  "So, when you're doing that, the first thing to get tired is your legs, and that is horrible for a pitcher to have tired legs."

Hartmann said specialization at the college level when a pitcher doesn't have to worry about anything but pitching does help, and he recognizes that most of the top pitchers at the high school level aren't going to be sitting on the bench when it's not their turn to take the hill.  That limits crucial recovery time.  However, Hartmann said all pitchers can benefit health-wise from throwing fundamentals, mechanics and proper form.  Some of which can be taught without actually throwing a pitch.

"We do a lot of mirror work and we do some videotaping because some kids have never even seen what their form or their delivery looks like," Hartmann said.  "We like the kids to have use proper mechanics, put their arm in the right slot, use their core, their legs to drive and throw downhill.  No matter what age or ability a kid is at, there are simple, undeniable facts of pitching that can help these players from breaking down or suffering a major injury.

"As coaches, it is not about what these players can do for you, it's what you can do for the players.  Helping them prevent injuries and elongating their careers is really critical."

Longer careers

According to safeusa.com, pitchers most commonly suffer overuse injuries in their elbows or shoulders.  As many as 45 percent of pitchers under age 12 have chronic elbow pain, and among high school pitchers, the percentage rises to 58 percent.  Hartmann and Bangtson agree that young kids should not be taught to throw a curveball.  The wear and tear on the elbow and arm could be irreparable later in their pitching lives.

"I have a 6-year old and a 10-year old who are into baseball, so I certainly wouldn't encourage kids at the younger ages to throw breaking balls or sliders or curves until their physical maturation takes place," Bangtson said.  "It is especially important at the younger levels because if you're not throwing it properly, it puts unwanted stress on the arm.  They should learn to throw fastballs and there will be more time later to throw some stuff with action.  Especially because bad habits are hard to break."

Lavery said he didn't even learn how to throw a curveball until he got to Mentor.  To this day, he said his best pitch is the changeup - which many coaches believe is the most effective pitch in baseball if a player can master it.  The Cardinals lefty is not nearly as overpowering as Brown - who has topped out at 93 mph on the radar gun - but Lavery's accuracy with whatever pitch he throws makes him at times unhittable and always keeps his team in the game.

"Ryan's not a thrower, he's a pitcher and he is good at what he does because he can put the ball pretty much wherever he wants and wherever I ask him to put it," Mentor pitching coach Wayne Reynolds said.

Many of the pregame exercises, bullpen routines and off-day rituals the Cardinals pitchers do now under Reynolds' watchful eye are things that Lavery said he uses year-round and hopes to continue utilizing at Akron.  Both Lavery and Brown talked about the importance of getting loose before games, icing their arms afterward, running to get rid of lactic acid in between starts and keeping fresh by throwing most of the year, but also shutting it down for short periods of time to give the arm a complete break is a welcome respite.

Lifting light weights in the offseason and using a medicine ball to strengthen the core is encouraged by most coaches.

Brown credited his dad, Carl, and his brother, also Carl, with starting him off on the right track as a pitcher at an early age and helping him understand the importance of taking care of the arm.  He has always been conscious of the stress that comes along with throwing 80 to 110 pitches in a game, and knows there are no guaranteed ways to prevent an injury.  But there are plenty of preventative methods to increase the chances of staying healthy.

"I heard about this kid who had Tommy John surgery when he was 16 and it was just very surprising to me," Brown said.  "I don't want to imagine life after baseball, so I am working very hard in the offseason and during the year to keep my arm in good shape."


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     You are absolutely correct.  From this article, other than practicing the crow-hop throwing rhythm with their long tosses, I have no idea how these baseball pitchers apply force to their pitches or train.  At their young ages, I am very concerned with the amount of off-season training that they do.

     They talk a lot about their legs and core, even saying that their pitching arm only goes along for the ride.  They do not understand that, after their legs apply their force, the baseball is not even moving toward home plate.  This means that, with the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, the actions of the pitching and glove legs do not contribute to the kinetic chain for accelerating the baseball through release.

     My readers know that I recommend that, between ten and sixteen biological years old, I recommend that, during every off-season just before their season begins, youth baseball pitchers complete my 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program.  This is to insure that they maintain and improve their force application technique, not overly stress the bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles that contribute to accelerating the baseball through release.

     My readers also know that I recommend that, from biological sixteen to nineteen years old, I recommend that, during every off-season just before their season begins, high school baseball pitchers complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.  Again, this is to insure that they maintain and improve their force application technique, not overly stress the bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles that contribute to accelerate the baseball through release.

     Lastly, my readers also know that I recommend that, after they complete their high school eligibility, adult baseball pitchers complete my 724-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.  I understand that this requires baseball pitchers to delay starting their college careers for two years.  However, the additional technique training and strength training will enable these baseball pitchers to show how good they are from the moment that they step on campus.  They will be so good and strong that they can insulate themselves from the 'traditional' college baseball pitching coaches who will do everything that they can to change them.

     In addition, I do not believe that those who go directly to college without working jobs and taking care of themselves on their own for a couple of years respect the college opportunity.  I know that paying my own way through college helped me to respect the college opportunity.  I never skipped a class or was not fully prepared for an exam.

     'Traditional' baseball pitchers injure their Adductor Brevis muscle (groin) when they try to stride as far as their can.

     Other than pulling a quad (Rectus Femoris) muscle from running fast without the necessary fitness and/or motor unit contraction and relaxation sequence, I have no idea why baseball pitchers would injure their thigh muscles.

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304.  My son is a left-handed college pitcher, who throws 87 to 90 mph.  For the last month or so, he has been complaining about a sore bicep and now it seems to have moved to his elbow.  I know it mechanics, but I’m not sure what to tell him and the coaches simply don’t want to hear about his sore arm, especially at this stage of the year with only two weeks left.  Yes, the campus doctor advised him not to throw for two weeks and take antibiotics, not an option, his team is in the hunt and he’s the set up guy.
I know you’re the expert and thought I would see if there is anything he can change that might bring instant relief?


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     What your son believes is his Biceps Brachii is probably his Brachialis muscle.  The cause of the unnecessary stress to his Brachialis muscle is that he takes his pitching arm laterally behind his body toward third base.  To prevent this unnecessary stress, he needs to take his pitching arm back toward second base.

     I am going to assume that the discomfort in his pitching elbow is on the inside of his pitching elbow.  If so, then the cause of the unnecessary stress to the inside of his pitching elbow is that he takes the baseball out of his glove with his pitching hand on top of the baseball.  To prevent this unnecessary stress, he needs to take the baseball out of his glove with his hand under the baseball.

     To learn more, you and he need to watch the sections of my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video that I have on my website for all to watch without charge.

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305.  My son will turn 16 this month and he's been pitching since he was 10.  He's always had good velocity for his size (currently 80-83) so I've kept him pitching even though he struggles with control.  He was moved up to varsity this year on his high school team since they were so enamored with his velocity.  He again struggled with control, although he had periods of 3 or 4 good innings.  He also had periods of 3 or 4 walks in row.  I've sent him to several camps in the past including specialized pitching camps.  He's currently going to a pitching coach every other week and will be playing on travel ball tourney team  in a few weeks.  Do you think there is any hope of improvement?  Any suggestions?

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     If you watch my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, then you will understand that the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion has numerous injurious and mechanical flaws that make it impossible for baseball pitchers to not injure themselves and to consistently release their pitches properly.

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306.  The age old question:  What age can kids throw curves?  What about the one-knuckle curve?

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     If you are asking me, at what biological age should youth baseball pitchers start to learn the 'traditional' supination curve ball, then, I would answer that, the 'traditional' supination curve ball is not safe to throw at any age.

     However, if you are asking me, at what biological age should youth baseball pitchers start to learn my Maxline Pronation Curve, then I would say eight biological years old.  Nevertheless, I would strongly recommend that, until they are biologically thirteen years old, they do not pitch competitively.

     This means that, beginning as early as biologically eight years old, I recommend that, every year until they are biologically sixteen years old, youth baseball pitchers complete my 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program.

     Although it is safer than the 'traditional' supination curve ball, I would never teach any baseball pitcher of any age how to throw the one-knuckle curve.

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307.  We need to curb this nonsense about scap loading before another victim falls prey to its evil.  Here is the link to an article in Hardball Times in which the author extols its virtues when discussing Dodger farmhand Clayton Kershaw's mechanics:

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/is-clayton-kershaw-worth-the-hype/

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The author writes:  "Kershaw has excellent arm action. He maintains a slight bend in his throwing arm after hand break and you can see how he loads his arm not toward second base, but horizontally toward third base.  This is what is called "scap loading."  Here is a better view of the chain of events:  (video imbedded)

Kershaw loads his shoulder horizontally, as if he is trying to touch the middle point of his back with his elbow.  This creates tension in all the elastic muscles of the shoulder and if done efficiently, the shoulder unloads fury toward home plate because you have these muscles being stretched and ready to be unloaded forward.  For a more detailed description of scap loading, see this Matt Cain article.

In the last frame, you have three ovals highlighting his arm position, the direction his torso is facing, and the direction his lower body is facing.  This is the separation between Kershaw's shoulder/torso/hips; this separation helps Kershaw uncoil his upper body into release.

Why is this important?

This sequence of events help Kershaw produce mid-90s heat.  The scap load and the separation between his torso and hips allow his arm to travel a longer distance in the same amount of time as a pitcher who does not scap load.  This means better arm speed.

Better arm speed = higher velocity.

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He says "excellent arm action" then describes ways in which he violates all the principles you espouse in true excellent arm action.  What can we do to stop this madness?


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     Unfortunately, these pitching coach wannabes have no idea of the ramifications from what they ask baseball pitchers to do.  When baseball pitchers take their pitching elbow behind their acromial line, which is what Scapular Loading does, they put tremendous stress on the front of the pitching shoulder.  Then, just like with 'Reverse Pitching Forearm Bounce,' it is only a matter of time before they suffer a serious pitching injury.

     What this challenged sees as a greater distance in the same time period is side-to-side force that does not contribute to release velocity.  Only the force that baseball pitchers apply toward home plate contributes to release velocity.  Side-to-side force only contributes to injury.

     When Brent Strom was the minor league pitching coach for the Washington Nationals, he invited Paul Nyman to spring training, where he was able to convince several baseball pitchers that 'Scapular Loading' would increase their release velocity.  As I understand the story, as a result of the Nyman experiment, those baseball pitchers injured the front of their pitching shoulder and Brent Strom lost his job.

     But, because no bad deed goes unrewarded, Brent Strom jumped from the Nyman ship and decided that my pitching arm action and my Maxline Pronation Curve were his ticket back into professional baseball.  Now, he teaches my stuff to baseball pitchers in the Cardinals organization.

     If I thought that Mr. Strom had made an informed decision, then I might be pleased.  However, after years of injuring baseball pitchers with Tom House's nonsense, he jumped ship to Nyman.  Therefore, I suspect that he, like fleas jump from a dead dog for the sake of survival, has come to my stuff because I was the only guy left standing.  My only hope is that he does not so terribly bastardize my stuff that he destroys it as he has everything else he has done.

     My pitching arm action and Maxline Pronation Curve are very powerful, but, without doing my interval-training program and by adding reverse pitching hip rotation, he can make it almost impossible for baseball pitchers to reap the benefits.  I am also not sure that he is able to recognize my pronation releases from the 'traditional' curve ball supination releases.

     To directly answer your question about what we can do to stop this madness:  In our buyer beware free enterprise system, when the buyers, that is, the general managers of major league teams, do not have the essentials, that is, sufficient scientific knowledge about baseball pitching, to separate the nonsense from the real, we have to wait for the injuries to teach them which is which.

     Instead of me, the Cardinals tried the American Sports Medicine Institute, in the form of Jeremy Loftice, for a couple of years, only to increase the number of pitching injuries that their baseball pitchers suffered.  Now, again instead of me, they are trying Brent Strom.

    My stuff is so good that, even in his inexperienced hands, the baseball pitchers should avoid pitching arm injuries, but the side-to-side forces that reverse rotating on their pitching leg cause can still injure their pitching hip, pitching knee and lower back as well as significantly decrease release velocity, release consistency and pitch quality.

     And, I am getting too old to wait for the Cardinals to learn that just eliminating pitching arm injuries is not good enough.

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308.  I am very interested in learning some of the techniques you have developed.  I recently heard an interview you did on the radio.  Where you spoke at length about changing your pitching fundamentals so your arm would not break down after pitching long innings.

I was a little league phenom when I was young.  I had a dominating fastball literally blowed away everyone I faced.  My father worked with me very hard from the time I was very young and we threw about 65 pitches every other day for about 7-8 years.  I threw a perfect inning when I was ten.  The interesting thing about that was my father had told me before that half inning to go in there and blow them away with nine straight pitches.  He said if I did he would give me ten dollars.  Well, ten dollars was a lot of money to me back then so I focused real hard and just threw the ball as hard as I could.  It always seamed the harder I threw the more accurate I was.

Anyway, I am a 32 year old now and I am very serious about throwing again.  Also, I have a son on the way and when he is old enough, I would like to be able to show him a way to throw so that he never has any arm troubles.  I know this may sound less exciting to you then if I was a high school phenom looking to change some things in my fundamentals to be able to have a better major league career.

But let me make myself perfectly clear with my intentions:  I am in the process of getting myself in shape and doing exercises to strengthen my arm.  I am fully committed to arm training and regaining my old velocity and accuracy.  I have never had an arm injury before.  And I don't plan on it.  I know that outside of being a very successful major league pitcher, you are also a Doctor with a lot of knowledge of kinesiology.

Absolutely any information that I could learn from you would be highly appreciated.


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     On my website, www.drmikemarshall.com, without charge, I have provided my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video for visitors to watch, my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, Question/Answer files and other text files for visitors to read and my Baseball Pitchers Training Programs for visitors to copy and complete.  If, after you have learned all what these material have to teach, you have any questions, please email them to me.

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309.  My son is 12 years old and has played baseball since he was five.  He has been practicing your techniques and has been very successful with them.  My husband and I really believe in this style and would like to bring him to your camp for additional training.  Do you work with children this young?

If so, could you send us the information to register.  My son is very excited and very serious about learning more about your techniques.  He is pretty accurate, but needs work on speed and breaking balls.  We feel if he can get a good grasp on this while he is young, he will excel.  We won't let him work with any other pitching coach since they do not teach this style.  We are hoping you will be able to.


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     At sixty-five years old, I no longer take students of any age.  However, I can see the need in spot checks of how baseball pitchers working with their parents or on their own.  Therefore, I will try to find back to back days where I will evaluate baseball pitchers of all ages.

     I have no idea whether you are the only people interested in doing this or there are hundreds of others.  Therefore, to start, I will respond individually to requests.

     I do have one parent who wants me to high-speed film their son.  That is another service that I am willing to provide baseball pitchers of all ages.  If readers look at the High-Speed Film and Video Analysis of Dr. Marshall's 2007 Baseball Pitchers, then you will see the DVD finished product that I will provide.

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310.  From the Money & Talent Down the Drain Department.

Prior takes step back in rehab: Shoulder discomfort during throwing session prompts MRI
By Jon Greenberg / Special to MLB.com

CHICAGO -- After suffering a previously reported setback in his rehab program this weekend, pitcher Mark Prior was scheduled for an MRI on his right shoulder Monday, Padres manager Bud Black said.

"Mark was throwing on the side, getting ready for batting practice, a couple days ago and felt quite a bit of discomfort in his shoulder, and he shut down his throwing session and came back to San Diego," Black said.

chance Prior will take that familiar trip to Birmingham, Ala., on Wednesday, to see Dr. James Andrews, who performed arthoscopic surgery on his nettlesome shoulder on April 24, 2007.  Prior was shut down for eight days in April because of soreness.

"Mark had been on a nice path," Black said.  "He had to take a step back a couple weeks ago, but I think you can probably deem this a setback for sure."

The Padres signed the oft-injured 27-year-old to a one-year deal a day after Christmas knowing he would take some time to recover from the surgery.  He threw off a mound for the first time in late March, and there hadn't been a firm timetable for his return.


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     It breaks my heart.  If he would stop going to people who have absolutely no idea how to eliminate pitching injuries, then he could end this madness.  However, I appear to be the only person who knows how to eliminate pitching injuries.

     The article did not say whether the injury was to the front or back of his pitching shoulder.  I am absolutely positive that I can teach him how to eliminate injury to the front of his pitching shoulder.  Whether he can fix an injury to the back of his pitching shoulder depends on what Dr. Andrews did back there.  If he 'shrunk' the capsule, then Mr. Pryor is in trouble.

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311.  Here is more information on Mark Prior's 2007 surgery.

From ESPN.COM (4/27/07)

According to a team statement, Dr. Andrews performed a debridement of Prior's rotator cuff and repaired labral and capsular injuries in the shoulder.

"It stayed in the arthroscopic stage.  But, I think he had some touch up work in a lot of places," Hendry said.  "But at the same time there didn't seem to be anything so significant that it would require more than the scope.  It didn't have to be opened up and have extensive surgery."


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     Labral and capsular surgeries are the back of the pitching shoulder injuries from which few baseball pitchers can completely recover, even when they change how they apply force.  It appears that these surgeries limit the outward range of motion of their pitching upper arm.

     When will the orthopedic surgeons understand that, to prevent the reaccurance of these injuries, baseball pitchers have to change how they apply force to their pitches?

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312.  Is it all right for players under 14 biological years of age to complete your training programs year round?  I ask this as separate from competitive pitching where your guideline limits are very clear.  Even more specifically, should the wrist weight exercises be done year round or should kids take a break from all training?

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     The biological ages of thirteen through fifteen appear to be the years when youth baseball pitchers are most susceptible to the worst of the growth plate injuries.

     To become whatever adult Monster baseball pitchers that their genetics and motor skill acquisition ability enable them to become, I recommend that:

01.  Every year from whenever youth baseball pitchers begin completing my 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Programs until they are biologically sixteen years old, they repeat completing my 60-Day program.

     During these years, they should pitch one time through the lineup twice a week for two consecutive months.  During the other eight months of the year, they should participate in other sport and recreational activities.

02.  Every year from when they are biologically sixteen years old until they become biologically nineteen years old, high school baseball pitchers complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

     During these years, they should pitch twice through the lineup twice a week or three times through the lineup once a week and once through the lineup once a week for four consecutive months.  During the other four months of the year, they should participate in other sport and recreational activities.

03.  When adult baseball pitcher become biologically nineteen years old, before they start college baseball or a professional career, they should complete my 724-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program, work a job, save money and learn how to live responsibly on their own, even if they live at home.

     During the years thereafter until they no longer pitch competitively, they should pitch three times through the lineup twice a week.  During their off-seasons, they should complete my 72-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Thirty Pound Wrist Weight and Fifteen Pound Iron Ball Recoil Interval-Training Cycles.

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313.  Are the Wrist Weight exercises potentially harmful if done year round?

I thought I'd heard you say that doing an exercise every day had long term benefits and that you lost the gains when you stopped.  I clearly understood that competitive pitching or even throwing every day when you're young would be stressful/harmful, but I guess I thought the WW exercises fell into a different category.


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     The purposes of training differ for youth baseball pitchers and adults.  For youth baseball pitchers, the primary purpose of training is skill development.  For adult baseball pitchers, the primary purpose is physiological development.

     When we rigorously interval-train youth baseball pitchers, we alter the normal growth and development of the growth plates in the pitching elbow.  That causes premature closure and worse.

    When we rigorously interval-train adults, we make them stronger and stronger.

     Whether we use wrist weights, iron balls or baseball throws, we have to take care not to do harm.

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314.  I just received this MRI report and I'm hoping you can help us understand what is going on.

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Radiology Report
MRI arthrogram right elbow
CLINICAL INFORMATION: Fracture.

FINDINGS:

There is a subacute fracture from the medial epicondyle, with minimal remaining marrow edema.  No evidence for an acute fracture.  There is a small focus of cartilage irregularity along the olecranon, reference sagittal T2 image 13.  Remainder of the cartilage appears intact.  No convincing intra-articular body is identified.  The radial collateral ligament as well as the lateral ulnar collateral ligament are intact.

There has likely been a prior tear of the ulnar collateral ligament with some scar formation.  There is remaining partial ulnar collateral tear from the ulna with a small amount of fluid tracking between the ligament and the ulna.  This is best appreciated on coronal T2 image 12.

-------------------------------------------------

My wife just left the office where the doctor told her my daughter may require Tommy John surgery and is very upset.

This injury occurred from a trampoline accident where she over rotated while performing a flip and stuck her arm out to prevent her from landing on her face.  She heard a loud pop when she braced her fall.

The injury occurred December 24, 2007 and they diagnosed her with a medial epicondyle fracture and she was in a cast for 5-6 weeks.  Since the cast was removed, she has been in physical therapy where they have been trying to get her arm to straighten out the last 10-15 degrees.

After about 6 weeks or more in PT we decided to take her back to the doctor for another X-ray.  What appeared to be a large bone chip showed up which lead to her having an MRI last week.  The doctor mentioned that if she continues to play softball the throwing could cause bone chips and then arthritis.


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     Your daughter was born in November 1994.  This means that she is chronologically thirteen and one-half years old.  Therefore, she has open growth plates in her elbows.  When she braced her fall from the trampoline, she fractured the ossification center for her medial epicondyle and tore her Ulnar Collateral Ligament.

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315.  When your students perform drill with the plastic javelins, what do they throw them at?  Also, do they throw pretending to throw a maxline or torque fastball or one of your other pitches you teach.  What drill works best?  Wrong foot loaded slingshot?

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     When my students throw the four foot plastic javelin, I have them use all four drills and throw only Maxline Fastballs.  They throw them into an extra sturdy plastic tarp.  This drill is especially helpful for students with grabs and loops.

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316.  It is over a year since I talked about fulcrums.  I immediately understood the fulcrum in hitting which you described as the area between the hands on the bat.

It took me almost a year to fully understand the fulcrum in pitching which you described was the area between the ends of each shoulder.

Also, you said that there are 2 fulcrums on each movements.  So now that I understand and can apply the 1st fulcrum, I am ready for your explanation of the 2nd fulcrum.  I assume it relates to the lower half of the body, because the other 2 you described applied to the top half of the body.


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     With my baseball pitching motion, my baseball pitchers stand tall and rotate.  This means that, while their pitching arm moves toward home plate, their glove arm moves back toward second base.  Therefore, the axis of the rotation of their shoulders is a fulcrum around which their glove and pitching arm rotate.

     With my baseball pitching motion, my baseball pitchers pendulum swing their pitching arm downward, backward and upward to driveline height, such that their pitching hand arrives at driveline height at the same time that their glove foot lands.

     Then, as my baseball pitchers push off the pitching rubber with their pitching foot, they immediately raise their pitching elbow to driveline height.

     As they drive their pitching knee toward their glove knee and pull with their glove foot, they move the center of mass of their body toward home plate.

f their body moves in front of their glove foot, they pull their glove forearm straight backward toward second base and, with my Maxline pitches, they forwardly rotate on their glove foot to point their pitching elbow at home plate.

     When they have forwardly rotated their shoulders, such that they have moved their pitching arm as far forward toward home plate at them can, they powerfully extend their pitching elbow, probate their pitching forearm and inwardly rotate their pitching shoulder.  Therefore, the pitching elbow becomes the fulcrum around which their pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers rotate.

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317.  For better or worse, my just turned 13, 5' 11" son has done the 5-lb WW exercises for the last year virtually every day; gradually over the time working up to 72 reps.  He has not done any other exercises, just play baseball as a position player during the warm months (basketball in the winter) and not pitched or really even practiced pitching.  We simply focused on your mechanics when we played catch.

He has had no pain and just in the last month or so started to throw hard because he has pitched about 7 innings in the past month (with good results).  He throws your 4 basic pitches.  He even did the WW exercises after pitching hoping to work out the lactic acid.  He also throws an "easy" 20 right after pitching or just does the motion to "cool down".

I thought (obviously erroneously) that I was doing the right thing to help prevent injury.  At this point, he has 5 months of baseball left before winter and will be predominately a position player.

In terms of the WW's, should he reduce the reps or weight or stop altogether while he finishes the season?


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     I doubt that five pound wrist weight exercises negatively affected the growth plates of your thirteen year old son.  However, throwing iron balls and baseballs every day at or near maximum intensity would.

     At thirteen years old, I prefer that he does my 60-Day program and pitch one time through the lineup twice a week for two consecutive months and spend the other eight months learning other sport and recreational skills.

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318.  This morning's paper had a list of all players currently on the Disabled List.  I counted 96 pitchers.  I then went online to see what type of injuries they had, focusing mainly on those with shoulder/labrum/rotator cuff injuries and those with elbow maladies.  While the list may have included some players who have since returned to the active roster, here are the dreary numbers:

Shoulder/Labrum/Rotator Cuff: 36 injuries
Elbow: 29 injuries

As mentioned, I didn't include such things as groin strains and a pair each of oblique injuries and intercostal strains.  Texas has a pitcher who suffers from "thoracic outlet syndrome?

This is, obviously, a very rough study of the problem, but when you consider that 2/3 (at least) of the pitchers on the list can prevent further recurrences by changing their delivery, it's shocking that no one has contacted you.

Finally, you might be interested to know that St. Louis currently has seven pitchers on the list (one being Jason Isringhausen's lacerated hand.)  Of the remaining six, five of the six have had shoulder/rotator cuff or elbow surgery, with another suffering from elbow inflammation.

I'm focusing on the Cardinals since their pitching coach, Dave Duncan, made this quote last year:  "Mike Marshall's a joke," Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan says bluntly.  "That's my comment on him."  Duncan, a former Major League catcher, doesn't bother to say a word more.


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     I know how simple it would be to eliminate their injuries.  For the sake of my sanity, I try to not get inside the heads of those in professional baseball that show no concern for their baseball pitchers' pain and suffering.

     However, I believe that the orthopedic surgeons are the problem.  They keep telling general managers that baseball pitching is such an intense activity that they have to expect injuries.  These guys have never researched pitching injuries.  For them to say anything about pitching injuries is disingenuous.

     The situation with the St. Louis Cardinals is the most perplexing of all the teams.  Even though their owner has mandated that his pitching development people eliminate pitching injuries and train highly-skilled major league baseball pitchers, they seem to have more injuries with no solutions

     I don't hear Mulder or Carpenter laughing.  The joke is that those in charge in St. Louis know that I know, but, for reasons unknown to me, they chose to go in different directions.

     In 2006, instead of me, they chose to go with Jeremy Loftice of the American Sports Medicine Institute.  Obviously, that failed.

     This spring 2008, instead of me, they chose to go with Brent Strom, who, after getting fired my the Washington Nationals for letting Paul Nyman use his 'Scapular Loading' theory on their pitchers and injuring the front of their pitching shoulders, has decided to use my pitching arm action and Maxline Pronation Curve.

     Why would anybody chose someone who steals ideas from someone else?  There is no way that Brent Strom understands what I teach or how to teach it.

     In the final analysis, the owner is not holding the people he has hired to meet his mandates accountable.  I feel sorry for his unnecessarily injured baseball pitchers.

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319.  I have two questions:

First, my sons are ten and twelve years old.  They both play little league and pitch.  Do you recommend that they don't pitch competitively at this age?

Second, do you teach your methods to children at this age?  If so, if we can't make it to your research center, what would be the alternative?


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     I recommend that visitors watch and read my materials and coach their youth baseball pitchers how to perform my baseball pitching motion.

     On my website, www.drmikemarshall.com, without charge, I have provided my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video and other video files for visitors to watch, my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, Question/Answer files and other text files for visitors to read and my Baseball Pitchers Training Programs for visitors to copy and complete.

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320.  Your pendulum swing intrigues me.  I assumed for the past years that it is a pendulum swing like on a grandfather clock, one smooth swing, however the pendulum of Tom House and the rest of the gurus, have a double pendulum swing.

If the glove hand does not match perfectly to the double pendulum of the throwing hand, then they are off balance throughout their entire motion.  So, with your one pendulum swing, there is perfect balance throughout your motion?


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     The pitching arm pendulum swings downward, backward and upward to driveline height in one smooth, continuous movement.  At the same time, the glove arm pendulum swings downward, forward and upward to shoulder height in one smooth, continuous movement.  They should arrive at their appointed positions at the same time that their glove foot lands.

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321.  Do you have any problem with me comparing the pendulum swing of a grandfather clock to the pendulum swing of your pitching motion?  It is not an exact comparison, but it is the closest motion I can use to get your point of view across to the average non-scientific mind that I butt heads with these days.

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    No objections.  When the pitching arm remains extended and swings from its shoulder, it resembles the pendulum of a grandfather clock.  The only difference is that, during the final one-quarter of the swing, the upper arm of the pitching arm outwardly rotates.

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322.  Very, very, very, very, very good.  This is the best explanation you returned to me ever.  It is so simplistic, a blind man could understand it.

For example, some people who copy your motion take the elbow to driveline height at the end of the pendulum swing and some other people who copy your motion keep the arms and elbows in front of their bodies on the pendulum swing.  I understood the axis like a skater spinning, but did not even have a clue about the elbow being the fulcrum for the hand and fingers.

These last two emails give me a much clearer picture of what you are talking about.  When I bring up the pitching clip of Jeff Sparks that you filmed at your house last January, I see it in a completely different way.


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     This year, I will have much better examples of the pitching elbow pointing toward home plate and acting as a fulcrum for the pitching forearm, wrist, hand and fingers.  After decades of asking my baseball pitchers to immediately raise their pitching elbow to driveline height, one of this year's baseball pitchers actually did as I asked.  As a result of his clear increase in release velocity and consistency, the others started to do the same.  I expect to take high-speed film we need in August.

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323.  You wrote, "This spring 2008, instead of me, they chose to go with Brent Strom, who, after getting fired my the Washington Nationals for letting Paul Nyman use his 'Scapular Loading' theory on their pitchers and injuring the front of their pitching shoulders, has decided to use my pitching arm action and Maxline Pronation Curve."

I'd say the Cardinals are setting you up for failure.

When Brent Strom inevitably fails, the Cardinals will feel that they can legitimately and with clear conscious point out that they tried the Marshall techniques at the highest level and have found them to be utterly ineffective, potentially dangerous and entirely calamitous to the pitching staff.  They will think that they have exposed you for the charlatan that others have said that you are and your days of fleecing naive parents and children of ONE HUNDRED DOLLAR (ala Dr. Evil) bills will be over, once and for all.

However, in truth, you have educated a generation of parents and their children that is slowly, but inexorably taking its place in the stands and on the mounds at Little League parks, high school stadiums and colleges across the country.  These kids will provide the proof that you are right and you will receive the redemption you deserve.

Yesterday, my son threw a Maxline Pronated Curve that broke for the first time.  It had a LATE break of about 2 inches.  It was at eye level, so I could see it well.  I set up to catch it in the pocket and, instead, it bruised the base of my index finger.  He did it three more times after that, so I'm really hoping he's got the grip and release pretty close to what we want.  Unfortunately, he is still throwing all four pitches at about 50 mph.

I'm going to wait on examining the fastball grips as you suggested until next year.  After he pitches for you he'll be finished until December.


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     I do not believe that they are trying to set me up for failure.  I believe that they simply do not believe in all that I teach.

     Therefore, I doubt that Mr. Strom will use my Wrong Foot Slingshot, Wrong Foot Loaded Slingshot, Wrong Foot Pendulum Swing, Pseudo-Traditional Wind-Up and Drop Out Wind-Up drills to complete my wrist weight and iron ball exercises and I doubt that Mr. Strom will use my lid and appropriately-sized football drills to teach the release of Maxline Pronation Curve and my appropriately-sized footballs drills to teach the releases of my Maxline True Screwball, Maxline Fastball and Torque Fastball.  Therefore, you will be correct; he will fail to show how powerful my baseball pitching motion and interval-training program are.

     Nevertheless, if he teaches them how to pronate their releases and pendulum swing their pitching arm to driveline height before their glove foot lands, and then he will eliminate pitching arm injuries due to improper force application techniques.

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324.  I seem to be tracking well.  My recent bout with back shoulder pain is subsiding.  Not gone yet, but no longer pain, just discomfort.  I am able to throw max effort again.  Still training, of course.

I recently read in your Q & A:  "Labral and capsular surgeries are the back of the pitching shoulder injuries from which few baseball pitchers can completely recover, even when they change how they apply force.  It appears that these surgeries limit the outward range of motion of their pitching upper arm."

I had a labral surgery.  Clearly have lost external rotation as a result.  BUT, I'm throwing low 80's now vs. mid-80's before injury/surgery.  I believe I can and will get back to mid-80's with more training and better force application.  My sense is that improved force application and the use of larger muscles will compensate (or overcome) what I lack in ER.  That seems to be the case so far.  To even hit 80 was beyond my expectations until I started training.

1.   Would you agree, or do you believe the loss of external rotation will cap me where I'm at?

2.  When I pitch, I do NOT receive any funny looks.  Your motion is not unlike what BP pitchers do (momentum and body-wise): they just step/walk forward and throw.  When I pitch, I believe onlookers think I'm merely reducing the motion to its most basic elements.  I know I'm doing things right after 9 months of conscientious training.

So my question is this:   WHY is your motion perceived as 'radical'?  I see nothing radical about it.  The arm path, although revolutionary in its removal of injurious flaws, does not look 'strange'.  The body motion is clearly different from traditional, but I've seen many idiosyncratic motions over the years.  Regardless, your motion is akin to the crow-hop throw of the outfielder and/or the BP pitcher's simple approach (I know there is much more to your motion).   No one views those motions as odd.  I don't understand all the rhetoric.  No one's said anything to me.


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     It is critically important that baseball pitchers powerfully pronate the releases of all their pitches.  When they powerfully pronate their pitching forearm, they learn how to powerfully inwardly rotate their pitching upper arm.  Therefore, to achieve their maximum release velocity, baseball pitchers need to lay their pitching forearm horizontally behind their pitching elbow, such that, when they powerfully inwardly rotate their pitching upper arm, they apply force over one hundred and eighty degrees.

     If you can do this, then, with my Recoil interval-training cycles and the proper use of your glove leg to accelerate the center of mass of your body forward through release, you will be able to achieve your genetic release velocity.

     Even though they will teach their baseball pitchers to use a 'slide step' in the set position to prevent base runners from stealing second base, 'traditional' baseball pitching coaches mistakenly believe that lifting the glove foot off the ground increases release velocity.  Therefore, when they see that my baseball pitchers do not lift their glove foot off the ground, they say that my baseball pitching motion is radical.

     Of course to do this, they have to ignore the fact that, after their baseball pitchers lift their glove foot off the ground and stride seventy to ninety percent of their standing height, the baseball is either stopped or moving backward.  This proves that lifting the glove foot and striding so far does absolutely nothing to accelerate the baseball.

     For the first time ever, some of my baseball pitchers are starting to use their glove leg to apply force toward second base and accelerate the center of mass of their body toward home plate until well after their release their pitches.  The improvement in release velocity is visually obvious.

     They are also finally getting what I mean when I tell them to throw my Torque pitches with the same pitching arm action as when they one-hand chest pass a basketball.  As a result of the combination of the proper use of their glove leg and their pitching arm action, they are releasing the baseball much closer to home plate with much more pitching shoulder power behind it.  Again, the improvement in release velocity is visually obvious.

     I find my baseball pitching motion visually powerful and pleasing.  I see no reason why baseball pitchers should lift their glove leg to shoulder height or reverse rotate their hips to turn their back toward home plate.  Neither action does anything to increase release velocity or consistency.

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325.  When you pitched, how did you handle your training; off-season vs. in-season and game-day vs. non-game days?  Also, what did you do immediately after pitching?  I know you didn’t ice.

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     In the off-season, I had my own facilities and did my training much as you see I have my kids train.  During spring training and the competitive season, I did my wrist weight exercises just before I went to bed, my iron ball throws after my morning jog and my baseball throws during batting practice before our games.

     After the games, I washed my pitching arm and took it home with me.

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326.  This is Charlie.

I haven't written in a while, so I thought I'd drop a line.  The past two outings I have had have been great improvements.

The first of these two outings was a week and a half ago.  I pitched 1 and 2/3 innings and I struck out 3, gave up 4 hits (on sloppy pitches), 1 earned run, BUT no walks.  Pretty decent outing.

The next outing was better, this was today.  I threw 4 innings, 17 batters (arm feels fine).  I struck out 4, gave up 1 hit, walked 3, and no earned runs.  Another good outing.

Still, I am not comfortable.  Still, I am rushing off the mound, but when I fix that, I throw good pitches.  So I continue to work as hard as I can.

Thanks for everything and I will keep you posted.  I have a game on Wednesday.  I also plan on coming down to the camp on June 8th.  I hope you will be there.  I'll talk to you soon.


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     Competitive baseball pitching is a very complex motor skill, especially with all the other variables such as base runners.  It takes a lot of practice to have the mound presence to deal with all the different game circumstances and pressures.

     Given your lack of past competitive pitching experiences, I believe that you are doing very well.

     While I am not accepting new students, I will teach out those with whom I have worked this past year.  Therefore, until they have completed my 724-Day program, although probably not every day, I expect to be sitting in my chair at my Baseball Pitching Research/Training Center for at least another year.

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327.  I'm assuming the repetitions and weight remained the same.  Was there any significance to the timing of the exercises?

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     During the season, my baseball pitchers do my maintenance program, which requires twenty-four wrist weight exercises, twenty-four iron ball throws and thirty-six baseball throws.

     I did my wrist weight exercises at night just before I went to bed because my wrist weights were always with me in my luggage.

     I did my iron ball throws in the morning after my jog because I was out where I could find somewhere to throw them.

     I threw my baseballs at the park because I could find someone to catch them and throw them back.

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328.  This is Charlie.

Thank you.  I feel that I am at a place in my pitching where I can gain some awesome experience.  I am going to get the chance to pitch every single game we play and they are all spaced out just the right amount of time.  So, as I get more mound presence, I will start to loosen up and throw how I do in practice and I will dominate hitters.


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     For someone who never pitched for their high school team or summer leagues, you have come a long way.  As you become more and more comfortable on the mound in game situations, it will become more and more easy to throw in games as you throw in practice.

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329.  I watch a lot of baseball because I have Direct TV and actually put myself to sleep watching the late games on the west coast.  These major league pitching coaches are definitely copying your arm swing.  However, instead of swinging in a clock like motion, they all go straight back from home to 2nd from 3 o'clock to 9 o'clock and thus they are always high in the strike zone and get plastered.

They just don't want to give you any credit and have to alter your motion and their results are always the same; terrible.


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     Even with their mechanically improper pendulum swing, they will not rupture their Ulnar Collateral Ligament.  But, as you noted, they make it more difficult to have release consistency.

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330.  This is Charlie, again.  I forgot to tell you, I got my first win which was the team's first and only win.

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     While the job of baseball pitchers is to prevent baseball batters from getting hits and scoring runs, it is nice to add a number to the win column.  However, when pitching, you must never think beyond the next pitch in the sequence that you have to throw to the batter you are challenging.

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331.  Here's an interview with a Phillies prospect, Josh Outman, who felt he had to change his motion because it was "different".  I think this validates your assertion that Major League executives are afraid of anything different to the point of overlooking a prospect because his motion looks 'funny.'

As far as highly-regarded pitching prospects go, Josh Outman isn’t particularly unique, but he used to be.  Philadelphia’s pick in the 10th round of the 2005 draft, the 23-year-old left-hander features a conventional pitching motion that has been completely retooled from the unorthodox and biomechanically-structured delivery he grew up with.  David talked to Outman about his old motion, and what the change to a more traditional pitching style has meant to his career.

David Laurila: How would you describe yourself as a pitcher?

Josh Outman: For lack of a better term, I’d call myself a power pitcher.  I like to go after guys with my fastball, although I’ve been trying to work in more breaking balls over the last year or so.  I’ve been doing a better job of throwing my changeup for strikes, and I also throw a curve and a slider.  My curve is more of a show me pitch right now, while my slider is more of an out pitch.  Velocity-wise, I’m between 90 and 94 with my fastball; my slider is around 83-86, and my curve is in the mid-70s.

DL: Your curveball reportedly went into your back pocket last year.  Why was that?

JO: At the end of last season we were focusing more on my slider, so I did get away from it somewhat.  I am throwing it again, though.  I’m more comfortable having both the slider and curve in my repertoire.

DL: You grew up utilizing a unique pitching motion, which was taught to you by your father, and you changed it prior to becoming eligible for the draft.  In an interview last year, you said that your old motion "wasn’t something that was projectable in the minds of Major League Baseball."  Can you elaborate on that?

JO: It was just something that fell outside of the previous profile for draftability so there was a concern that it would scare people off.  There are no pitching coaches who know it, or previous players who have used it, so I changed to a more conventional style to fit in better with people’s expectations of what a pitcher looks like.  With a guy like Dontrelle Willis, his motion is more of a variation on a theme.  Mine was its own unique theme.

DL: How would you describe the old motion?

JO: You would start from what would look like the stretch, your glove side facing the plate with the pitching hand in the glove.  The pitching arm would then go to where the humerus is vertical, or the pitching elbow facing the sky and the elbow at a 90-degree angle.  The glove would come up to where it appeared as though you were catching your glove-arm shoulder while bringing the glove elbow up high enough to conceal the baseball that is positioned almost behind your head.  Then, taking a walking step towards the plate you would deliver the pitch.  This isn't an easy thing to imagine, and the description is a vast over-simplification of the actual technicality of the motion, but if you ever saw it you would know what I was talking about.

DL: Phillies assistant general manager Mike Arbuckle was quoted as saying that you probably would have been drafted much lower had you not changed your motion, because people would have been afraid of the injury factor.  What are your thoughts on that?

JO: I think that was an assumption made under faulty information.  What I was taught actually took stress off of my arm, so there wasn’t full comprehension on how my motion worked.  Using a vertical arm position freed up my rotator cuff and enabled the use of the larger pectoral and abdominal muscle groups rather than the smaller deltoids and various other shoulder muscles.  It used my lats to slow my arm down rather than just the posterior deltoids, and because those are larger, stronger muscles that can withstand more force it took a large workload off of my shoulder muscles.  And eliminating the leg kick in lieu of a normal walking step, I was expending less energy to get the same production from my body, while sparing my throwing arm much of the wear and tear associated with pitching.

DL: Unconventionality aside, were there any disadvantages to the motion?

JO: What’s interesting is that it never really even came up.  Nobody was really interested if there was an actual downside.  People just thought that it didn’t look right and was therefore wrong and needed to be changed.  The answer to the question is no, I don’t think there were any disadvantages.

DL: Are there specific advantages, or disadvantages, with your current motion?

JO: The biggest disadvantage is the added stress and wear and tear that is put on my pitching arm.  The only real advantage at this point is that I am able to play baseball professionally using conventional mechanics.

DL: How difficult was the transition into a more conventional pitching motion, and were the biggest obstacles mental or physical?  Also, have you ever reached a total comfort level with it?

JO: The transition was the most difficult challenge I’ve ever faced in my baseball career.  The biggest obstacle of the switch was, and still is, physical.  It has been an ongoing struggle to gain control over my body using the conventional approach and only now, four years into the process, am I starting to settle in.

DL: While it’s comparably conventional, your current motion is often described as deceptive.  How would you describe your mechanics?

JO: Just like everyone else’s, so I think the deception comes from two separate causes.  The first being that I have a quick arm, something that was a direct result of the mechanics I used to use.  The second being that I am not very big, so I think that hitters don’t expect that kind of velocity from someone my size.  [Ed. Note: Outman is listed at 6'1" and 185 pounds.]

DL: You were recently moved from the starting rotation to the bullpen.  What reason were you given, and what impact will it have on you as a pitcher?

JO: The move was made to give me an opportunity to make it to the major leagues faster.  I think it will have a minimal but good impact on me as a pitcher.  I think it will give me a chance to be a more versatile pitcher and get experience in game situations that I have never really been in before.

DL: Looking at the big picture, what impact did moving away from your old pitching motion have on you--not mechanically and opportunity-wise, but from a mental standpoint?

JO: It was extremely frustrating.  I had to take steps backwards performance-wise, especially the first couple years.  It was aggravating becoming so wild after I never had any problems with walks through my first two years in junior college.  And competing in general became difficult early in the transition because I really didn't have much of an idea what I was doing mechanically.  Competing against hitters, and other pitchers, who had been using basically the same mechanics their whole lives and knew what they were doing in the batters’ box and on the mound, respectively, got to be very demoralizing when the success wasn't there like it had been.

DL: Can you foresee a scenario in which Josh Outman stands on the mound in a professional game and delivers a pitch with his old motion?

JO: Yes, I can.  It may not be in the near future, but at some point the time will be right.

David Laurila is an author of Baseball Prospectus.


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     I am well aware of Josh Outman.  Several years ago, I watched his motion and commented on it.  Basically, all he did was eliminate moving the baseball out of his glove to his 'Ready' position from which he accelerated the baseball toward home plate.  Therefore, he avoided rupturing his Ulnar Collateral Ligament and injuring the front of his pitching shoulder.  He still had 'Pitching Forearm Flyout' and he supinated the release of his curve.

     Unless he uses the pendulum swing that I teach, he has put rupturing his Ulnar Collateral Ligament and injuring the front of his pitching shoulder back in play.

     If I were his baseball pitching coach, then I would have also asked him to change his motion.  However, I would have high-speed filmed his baseball pitching motion before and after and explained what he would gain as a result of the change.  Of course, I would also teach him how to pronate the releases of all pitches.

     I find it very interesting that Mr. Outman commented on the advantage of having his pitching upper arm vertical.  However, unless he powerfully pronates his pitching forearm before, during and after he releases his pitches, his belief that he uses his Latissimus Dorsi to decelerate his pitching arm is wrong.

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332.  ... or they could contact Mike Marshall.

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Sore elbow and all, Peavy's pain worse than Padres' tired refrain
By Tim Sullivan SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE
May 19, 2008

Maybe it's time for a moratorium on the "K" count.  Maybe the way for the Padres to get maximum mileage out of Jake Peavy is to persuade him to forsake some strikeouts in favor of ground balls.

Maybe a little less exertion could mean a lot more longevity.

The National League's reigning Cy Young Award winner was consigned to the disabled list Monday night for the second time in his sparkling career, and that ache in his right elbow is more worrisome than the Home Team's hold on the worst record in baseball.

Peavy is still just 26 years old, freshly signed to a four-year contract extension that will be worth a minimum of $52 million.  He is the face of the franchise, the ace of the rotation, the one bona fide attraction on a ballclub apparently committed to a stagnation strategy.

At least until management stops foisting this feeble offense on its customers, and promotes phenom Chase Headley, Peavy is the guy the Padres can least afford to lose.

But with a delivery routinely described as "violent," an approach long on effort and short on efficiency and a problematical strikeout pitch in the slider, Peavy has hit the trifecta of risk factors for arm injuries.  When such low-stress tasks as turning doorknobs and squeezing contact lens solution became painful, Peavy feared he might be destined for the ligament replacement procedure known as Tommy John surgery.

Peavy has had far too much success to abruptly abandon what has worked so well, but maybe it's time for him to throttle back a little bit.  Maybe it's time for Peavy to mix in more change-ups and two-seam fastballs and reduce his dependency on those stress-laden breaking pitches.  Maybe it's time to follow the lead of Boston's Josh Beckett and start pitching more to contact for the sake of staying power.

"There's no question that Jake throws with a lot of effort," Padres manager Bud Black said before Monday night's 8-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.  "He turns it loose.  He's got a good delivery, he's got good arm action, stride direction.  He repeats his delivery.  But he puts a lot of effort in.  He throws hard."

Plus:  "Throwing a baseball overhand is an unnatural act."

Past the first day of spring training, Black said, some part of a pitcher's body is always ailing.  The act of throwing a baseball is inherently corrosive to joints poorly designed for that purpose.  The pitchers who last learn to manage their pain, to minimize their mechanical problems and to embrace the one-pitch out when circumstances do not demand a strikeout.

Though Jake Peavy has evolved considerably in these directions, his presence on the DL suggests a need for more aggressive action.  The trick lies in harnessing a power pitcher without stifling him.

"He's got a violent finish to his delivery," said Channel 4 analyst Bob Scanlan, himself a former major league pitcher.  "The way he finishes, he puts a lot of strain on his arm. But that's what makes Jake what he is.  He can have success throwing (fewer) sliders, but if you do that, you're taking the teeth away from the tiger."

Padres pitching coach Darren Balsley says Peavy has enough pitches in his repertoire to work from a more limited menu, and that he has done so on several occasions during his career because of discomfort or pitch-count considerations.  Yet Balsley also emphasized that Peavy's current elbow concerns are not attributable to any single pitch or some glaring mechanical flaw.

"In my opinion, he does nothing that puts more or extra stress on his arm than anybody else would," Balsley said. "  ... I can tell you this:  On the videotape -- and I've been with him for nine years -- he's solid.  His delivery is solid.  And actually it's better now than it was four or five years ago.  He's stronger now, also.

"His legs are stronger.  His body can absorb the shock better than it used to because he's added weight.  He's more consistent with his delivery.  He stays on line better than he used to.  A lot of that is repetitions and strength.  When you're a little bit stronger, and your legs are stronger, you can repeat better."

Not every injury can be diagnosed in advance.  Not every textbook motion is without trouble.  (See Prior, Mark).  Not every violent delivery arrives at an ugly end.

"There are guys you watch throwing and say, 'Oh, my God, my arm aches just from looking at him,'" said Padres broadcaster Mark Grant, "and they pitch 15 years in the big leagues.  It's a crapshoot."

Graham MacAree, a student of biostructural engineering, wrote an essay for "Hardball Review" arguing that elbow injuries are harder to predict than many baseball authorities acknowledge.

"About all we know," MacAree wrote, "is that ligaments can indeed suffer fatigue failure (which will be made manifest as a slow, growing tear), and that they suffer it significantly faster if the stresses that said ligament takes are out of plane with its fibril reinforcements."

The condition of Peavy's fibril reinforcements is unclear.  Suffice it to say, he's been sore.


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     With every injury to quality major league baseball pitchers, they trot out the same nonsense.  There was not a single intelligent comment in this article.  The worst comment of all was, "Throwing a baseball overhand is an unnatural act."

     Throwing a baseball overhand with the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion is injurious.  Throwing a baseball overhand with my baseball pitching motion is not only natural, it is the way the human body has evolved to throw.

     Needless to say, I can eliminate his pain and return him to better than he was.  However, I will not be sitting beside my telephone.

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333.  My son turns 9 on June 5th.  Should I have X-rays taken and sent to you?

In 10 games' he has pitched three innings.  No hits, 9 ks and one coach that wants to know more about how he learned to throw like he does.  I directed him to your web site.

He is starting to be able to feel when he has properly pendulum swung.  The results are evident to him in the pitch quality as well.  His most common mistake is turning his pitching arm foot especially when playing in the field.

We plan on completing your 60 day program when the season is over (mid-June).


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     To keep track of how the growth plates in the pitching elbow of their youth baseball pitcher, all parent should have X-rays taken of their glove and pitching elbows from mid-upper arm to mid-forearm from the front and side views and either send them to me or read them themselves from that section in my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video.

     When baseball position players or baseball pitchers turn their pitching foot to perpendicular to their target, they lose the ability to move their pitching leg forward, which prevents them from forwardly rotating their hips and shoulders.  Your son should forwardly rotate on his glove foot, rather than reverse rotate on his pitching foot.

     I recommend that you schedule my 60-Day program for midway between the end of this season and the start of next season.  Of course, I am not happy with your son pitching competitively before he is biologically thirteen years old.  To me, it is risking permanent damage for no good reason.

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334.  I'm grappling a bit with "use their glove leg to apply force toward second base and accelerate the center of mass of their body toward home plate until well after their release their pitches".  Is this the same mechanic as when we "thrust back" with our bodies as we're accelerating the forearm through release when doing IB throws?

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     When I ask my baseball pitchers to apply force toward second base with their glove leg, I am asking them to wait until they move the center of mass of their body in front of their glove foot before they extend their pitching elbow, pronate their pitching forearm and inwardly rotate their pitching shoulder.

     When I ask my baseball pitchers to 'lean back' with their upper body at the same time that they extend their pitching elbow, pronate their pitching forearm and inwardly rotate their pitching shoulder, they are only able to do this if they have moved the center of mass of their body in front of their glove foot, such that they can apply force toward second base with their glove leg.

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335.  You have said that you helped Tommy John recover from his UCL surgery.  His success subsequent to your influence is obvious.  GIVEN that success, why is he not a more vocal supporter of your training regimen and arm path, if not the entire motion?  As you know, endorsements from folks like TJ might forever tip the scale.

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     In private conversations, Tommy gives me full credit for his ability to win more games after he ruptured his Ulnar Collateral Ligament than before.  However, he knows that professional baseball does not want to hear about my pitching program and who butters his bread.  However, I did not believe that he would sabotage Jeff.  Nevertheless, I do not believe that his endorsement would make any difference.

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336.  The Little League season ended tonight and with it, until next year, my son's foray into the world of pitching.  Including tonight, he was able to pitch three innings over a three game period, spanning eight weeks.  Tonight, he took seven warm up pitches and then threw eleven pitches to retire the side - nine of them were strikes, including a MP Curve to strike one kid out.

We've been having to do some remedial work to get him to keep the toes of both feet pointing toward home plate.  Lately, he's been landing with the glove side foot closed and that has been stopping the forward momentum of his COG as well as causing him to be erratic with his control.

Tonight, he was walking right to the plate and he experienced the best control he's ever had (15 of 18 pitches for strikes - one was a changeup that got away and another was a torque fastball that went off the end of the catcher's glove).

This was a wonderful night for him and for me to watch.  He was free and easy with no pain, good velocity and excellent control.


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     You mean to tell me that, in terms of release consistency, it is not better for baseball pitchers to stride so far that they stop the forward movement of the center of mass of their body before they release their pitches.  Gee, I would have thought that the sudden jarring of the pitching shoulder that stopping the forward movement of the center of mass of the body causes would greatly improve release consistency.

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337.  Is this change or no change?

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Braves ace John Smoltz shows off new delivery
Charles Odum, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

ATLANTA  -  John Smoltz threw for the third straight day on Thursday and, despite some control problems while pitching from a different arm angle, may be moving closer to his return from the disabled list.

Smoltz, who threw side sessions Tuesday and Wednesday, attracted more attention on Thursday because he threw to hitters from the Turner Field mound before batting practice.

This was no ordinary throwing session. Pitching coach Roger McDowell crouched behind the mound. General manager Frank Wren stood behind the batting cage as Smoltz threw to bullpen coach Eddie Perez.

Smoltz, who has been on the disabled list since April 29 with a sore shoulder, is trying to throw from a different angle - more from the side - to place less stress on the shoulder.

Braves hitters facing Smoltz were impressed.

"Filthy," said Greg Norton, when asked to describe Smoltz's pitches.  "I thought he threw real well.  Everybody was raving about the stuff that he had."

The 41-year-old Smoltz is 3-2 with a 2.00 ERA in five starts after opening the season on the disabled list.  He plans to pitch in relief when he comes back, and could quickly return to the closer's role he held from 2001-04, when he recorded 154 saves.

Smoltz was throwing hard Thursday, but some of his pitches were out of the strike zone.

"He's got a lot of movement," said manager Bobby Cox.  "It all comes down to location.  Smoltz has a knack, no matter what angle he's throwing from."

Smoltz, who said Tuesday he won't be providing regular updates to reporters, didn't have much to say Thursday.

A reporter suggested to Smoltz that he appeared to throw well.  A smiling Smoltz replied, "Then you can report that."

Cox said Wednesday Smoltz could be off the disabled list within 12 days, but there are no plans yet for Smoltz to pitch a minor league rehabilitation stint.

"I don't know.  We'll see how he feels," Cox said.


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     So, to correct for his pitching arm problems, John Smoltz is throwing from a different arm angle.  The article says that Mr. Smoltz is trying to correct shoulder problems.

     Nevertheless, when 'traditional' baseball pitchers throw from different pitching arm angles, all they do is change the angle of the line across the top of their shoulders.  That is, to throw from more over-the-top, they tilt the line across the top of their shoulders to their glove side.  Or, to throw from lower pitching arm angles, they tilt the line across the top of their shoulders to their pitching arm side.

     Therefore, for Mr. Smoltz to change the angle that he tilts the line across the top of his shoulders, like Bobby Cox said, only changes where he releases the baseball and makes control more difficult.  This adjustment does nothing to remove unnecessary stress from his distressed pitching arm.

     The actual way to remove the unnecessary stress that the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion places onthe front of the pitching shoulder is to have 'traditional' baseball pitchers learn how to pendulum swing their pitching arm up to driveline height to arrive at the same time that their glove foot lands.

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338.  From the it might be time for him to hang it up department.

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Brewers' Eric Gagne sidelined indefinitely by rotator cuff tendinitis
From the Associated Press

Milwaukee Brewers closer Eric Gagne was diagnosed Thursday with rotator cuff tendinitis and is sidelined indefinitely.

After being examined in Milwaukee by team physician William Raasch, Gagne received a cortisone injection and was told not to throw for three days.  After that, Gagne will be re-examined and will not throw again until his shoulder feels better.

The Brewers don't plan to put him on the disabled list.

Gagne, taken out of the closer's role briefly this month because of ineffectiveness, was lifted during the ninth inning of the Brewers' 7-2 win in Pittsburgh on Tuesday with shoulder stiffness.  He gave up Jason Bay's two-run homer, walked two and threw 26 pitches in his first appearance in a week.


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     The Eric Gagne article sounds fishy to me.  It says that Mr. Gagne is sidelined indefinitely with rotator cuff tendonitis.  But then, it says that they are not putting him on the Disabled List.

     This sounds as though Mr. Gagne is on a let-your-mind-rest-for-a-few days vacation, where he does not have to face the pressure of closing games and throws confidence building bullpens and batting practice.

     In his steroid-juiced days with the Dodgers, where the increased muscle mass increased his release velocity to the high ninety miles per hour, the stress of the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion on the bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles of his pitching arm eventually injured the inside of his pitching elbow, notably the fascia that holds the Ulnar Nerve in it groove behind the medial epicondyle of his pitching elbow.

     To fix this problem, someone correctly advised his to learn how to pendulum swing his pitching arm.  However, while this stopped the unnecessary stress on the inside of his pitching elbow, it did not make up for the loss of release velocity from having to stop taking steroids or the unnecessary stress on the front and back of his pitching shoulder.      To do this, Mr. Gagne has to also change some mechanical flaws that decrease the quality of his pitches and unnecessarily stresses the front and back of his pitching shoulder.

01.  He has to pendulum swing his pitching arm more toward second base,

02.  He has to pendulum swing his pitching hand to driveline height to arrive at the same time his glove foot lands and

03.  He has to powerfully pronate his pitching forearm before, during and after he releases all his pitches.

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339.  My son is 9 and is one of the hardest throwers in the league.  Would you recommend your program for young athletes of this age and what benefits would he see.  He also tends to have some control problems, but there seems to be no rhyme or reason to them.  One day all strikes, the next "wild thing".

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     Without knowing your son's biological age, we cannot know whether he is simple biologically advanced, that is, a biological twelve year old living in chronological nine year old's body or he has some genetic gifts for throwing baseballs hard.

     Whatever the case, rather than destroying the growth plates in his pitching arm, he should be learning the skills of baseball pitching that will eliminate pitching injuries and enable him to throw the wide variety of baseball pitches that the will need to succeed as a high school and adult baseball pitcher.

     For chronological nine years olds, I recommend that once a year until your son is biologically sixteen years old, he completes my 60-Day Youth Baseball Pitchers Motor Skill Acquisition Program.

     On my website, drmikemarshall.com, without charge, I have provided my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video and other video files for visitors to watch, my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, Question/Answer files and other text files of visitors to read and my Baseball Pitchers Training Programs for visitors to copy and complete.

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340.  I am a baseball fan that has a great interest in pitching mechanics and pitcher development.  I assume you get this question all the time, but if your teachings could completely eradicate injuries why do teams not employ your services?

I understand that Major League Baseball has always been extremely resistant to change, but it just seems odd that no team would even take a chance sending a pitcher with talent but consistent injuries (Mark Prior for example) to you to clean up his mechanics.

Additionally I was just curious as to which pitchers in the majors come closest to the mechanics you preach without your guidance and who has the worst?


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     Unfortunately, those who make the decisions in major league baseball dare not, for fear of losing their jobs, do anything different from what everybody else is doing.  The same goes for injured baseball pitchers.

     The major obstacle my baseball pitchers have faced in their attempts to use my baseball pitching motion is the reluctance of those in charge to allow them to compete.  Because they have no idea what causes baseball pitching injuries, when they see my baseball pitchers, they mistakenly believe that what we are doing will cause the injuries that the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion causes.

     Lastly, unfortunately, I have not found anybody associated with major league baseball with sufficient biomechanical and anatomical knowledge to understand what I teach.  The orthopedic surgeons do not understand.  The trainers do not understand.  And, the 'traditional' baseball pitching coaches do not understand.

     Nevertheless, over the past few years, more and more major league baseball pitchers are using major aspects of my baseball pitching motion.

     For example, where a few years ago, almost all major league baseball pitchers took the baseball out of their glove with their pitching hand on top of the baseball, now, when I watch the sport highlights shows, most major league baseball pitchers take the baseball out of their glove with their pitching hand under the baseball and pendulum swinging the baseball up to driveline height.

     This will eliminate injuries to the inside of the pitching elbow, especially rupturing the Ulnar Collateral Ligament and 'Tommy John' surgery.

     Next, if major league baseball pitchers would pendulum swing their pitching arm up to driveline height to arrive at the same time that their glove foot lands, then they would eliminate injuries to the front of their pitching shoulder.

     Lastly, if they would learn how to powerfully pronate their pitching forearm before, during and after release of all pitchers, then they would eliminate injuries to the back of their pitching elbow and the back of their pitching shoulders.

     While the above adjustments eliminate injuries to the pitching arm, to eliminate injuries to their lower back, pitching hip, pitching knee and glove knee, major league baseball pitchers have to stop raising their glove leg of the ground and reverse rotating on their pitching leg.  Instead, they need to learn how to step forward with their glove foot and forwardly rotate on their glove leg.

     Unfortunately, even biomechanists do not understand that raising the glove leg, not only does not add to the kinetic chain that enables baseball pitchers to apply more force to their pitches, but causes these injuries.

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341.  What do you think about this article.  From what I have read you say, Fleisig and Andrews do not understand that the problem is the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080519&content_id=2730887&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

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05/27/2008 10:00 AM ET
Andrews an educator and an operator
Noted surgeon wants to get word out on youth arm fatigue
By Ian Browne / MLB.com

BIRMINGHAM, AL:  As has been well-documented, Dr. James Andrews has been a star surgeon for star athletes.  So wouldn't you know that this same doctor spends much of his down time trying to prevent surgeries from occurring?

Upon opening his practice in Birmingham, Ala., in 1986, Andrews got the funds to launch his non-profit American Sports Medicine Institute, which has done countless educational studies and seminars.  Over the past few years, Andrews has been on a crusade to educate athletes -- particularly young baseball players -- on how to prevent injuries.

"Originally, I actually thought it was very odd that a guy who makes his money fixing with surgery is trying to prevent injury," said Glenn Fleisig, who serves as director of research for ASMI and has worked with Andrews for nearly 20 years.

"But I'll tell you my take on it.  On first thought, it's weird because you're trying to put yourself out of business essentially.  But on second thought, it's not really weird because essentially what he's trying to do is make baseball players healthier and one way is to fix them and one way is to prevent injuries.  It fits in the same philosophy, trying to make them healthier."

Andrews has become positively sickened by the number of youth baseball players he's had to operate on over the years.  And it's a trend that's getting worse.

Fleisig did a study in which he discovered that Andrews did 19 Tommy John surgeries on youth players from 1996-99, and then 86 from 2000-03.  It jumped again to 146 between 2004 and 2007.

"Baseball has always been considered a healthy sport," said Andrews.  "Kids can go play baseball and they don't get hurt.  Minimal injuries, not like football or hockey or soccer.  But it's getting to the point now where people are saying it's not a healthy sport and that's bad for baseball."

Armed by tell-tale data from Fleisig and his staff, Andrews has learned that the overuse of young pitchers is the blatant reason for their continual injuries.

"The big emphasis we're trying to do in this decade of the new millennium is trying to figure out how to prevent injuries in youth sports.  There's an epidemic of youth injuries in baseball that's just unbelievable," Andrews said.  "All these kids are getting hurt before they become baseball players.  If you have to have surgery in high school, you're not going to be a Roger Clemens in most cases.  The best pitchers in high school are the ones who are getting hurt because they're the ones who are getting used to win the championship."

Andrews has found that coaches and parents have both been overzealous about the amount of baseball their children are playing, particularly in warm-weather climates.

"They don't need to play year-round baseball, No. 1," said Andrews.  "No. 2, they need at least two, preferably three to four, months off each year to give your shoulder time to recover.  And not to do any kind of over-head throwing sport during those two, three, four months."

This isn't just Andrews voicing an opinion.  Through his researchers at ASMI, some most telling data has been formed.

A survey was done on pitchers between the ages of 16 and 20 and several questions were asked in terms of what types of pitches they threw, what age they started pitching, how many innings they threw, etc.  The one stat that stood out?  The pitchers who confessed to throwing a lot of pitches after the point of fatigue were the ones getting hurt.  By a landslide.

"We asked, 'Did you routinely stay in the game pitching after you were fatigued? Yes or no,' " said Fleisig.  "The people who said yes were 36 times more likely to be in our surgery group than our healthy group.  Not 36 percent, or not twice as often, thirty-six times as likely.  It's the strongest statistic.  We've been here 20 years.  That's the strongest statistical finding we've found in any study."

So now Andrews is hoping to get that word out.  He'd like to get Major League Baseball involved in backing those efforts.

"I'd like to get them interested in doing research on the prevention of injuries in youth baseball," said Andrews.  "The way to get them involved in that is that the doctors particularly, like I am, that are Major League Baseball medical directors or orthopedists, [we can show them] what we're seeing now.  When we look over all the different kids that are coming through the June Draft and we're looking at their medical records, it's escalating the percentage that have already had surgery in high school and college.

"What I'm saying is, if it keeps going like that, they're won't be anyone left to draft that hasn't already been operated on.  You have to start at the grass roots level."

In the meantime, Andrews will keep operating and keep educating, hoping that the former category decreases in volume.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com.  This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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     This is not a study of youth baseball pitchers.  Youth baseball pitchers are ten to fifteen years old with the growth plates in their pitching elbow still open.

     For this article, Dr. Fleisig and Dr. Andrews are talking about biological sixteen, seventeen and eighteen year old high school baseball pitchers with no open growth plates in their pitching elbow, but with open growth plates in their pitching shoulder and pitching wrist and biological nineteen and twenty year old adult baseball pitchers with not open growth plates in their pitching arm.  These are two entirely different groups that have nothing to do with youth baseball pitchers with open growth plates in their pitchign elbow, pitching shoulder and pitching wrist.

     With the biological sixteen, seventeen and eighteen year old high school baseball pitchers with the open growth plates in their pitching shoulder and pitching wrist, we have to have great concern for the two growth plates in their pitching shoulder.  With too much pitching, these growth plates can fatigue and fail.  That is why I recommend that, every year between when they become biologically sixteen years old and biologically nineteen years old, when the growth plates in their pitching shoulder mature, high school baseball pitchers complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program and pitch competitively for no more than four consecutive months per year.

     With the biological nineteen and twenty year old adult baseball pitchers with no open growth plates in their entire pitching arm, I recommend that they complete my 724-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.  Their job now is to make the bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles of their pitching arm capable of withstanding the maximum stress that my baseball pitching motion can generate.  These young men do not have to worry about growth plate fatigue.

     Dr. Fleisig surveyed chronological sixteen to twenty year old high school and adult baseball pitchers.  He asked them whether they had continued pitching after they felt fatigued.  He determined that those who answered 'yes' were thirty-six times more likely to have surgery than those who answered 'no.'

     Unfortunately, Dr. Fleisig did not assess their biological age.  Therefore, we do not know whether the growth plates in their pitching elbow had matured.  We also do not know the status of the growth plates in their pitching shoulder.  Therefore, we do not know whether what growth plates these pitchers could fatigue.

     Without knowing which growth plates were still open, Dr. Fleisig cannot determine whether they were high school baseball pitchers with open growth plates or adult baseball pitchers with no open growth plates.

     I also have great concern with survey research.  These high school and adult baseball pitchers are telling us their opinion.  I doubt that they can truly assess the status of their growth plates.  They were talking about body fatigue, not growth plate fatigue.  I have no idea how we can scientifically assess growth plate fatique.  This means that this survey study has no validity.  Dr. Fleisig and Dr. Andrews have based their conclusions on non-scientific opinions.

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342.  This is Charlie.

I started the game today.  The first pitch I threw a sinker that was dead in the middle of the strike zone and the batter bunted it down the third base line for a hit.  Then, I walked two batters to load the bases.

Nevertheless, I stuck in the game.  I was determined to get the next three batters out.  So, I struck out the fourth batter on a 0-2 curveball.  But, it bounced over the catchers head and one run scores leaving men on second and third.  Then, I walked the next batter bases loaded again.

The next batter hits a grounder to the third baseman and he throws a low throw to the catcher for the force out for another error.  I should have two outs, maybe even be out of the inning, but I only have one out and two runs have scored.

Then, I threw a maxline fastball straight down the pipe and he lined it to center field.  Since we only had 8 players, it ended up being a bases clearing triple.

I only got through a third of an inning.  That really kills my confidence when I can't get a play behind me.  Any advice?


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     Yours is not to wonder why.  That is baseball.  Sometimes, the defense lets you down.  But, that is not your concern.  The next pitch you throw is all you should ever think about.  Your job is to stop batters from getting hits.  You need to keep pitching the sequences.  Forget about whatever has happened and keep working.

     You should have suspected that the lead-off batter might bunt.  Therefore, you should have been ready to field the bunt and throw his out.  If you do not have this skill, then you need to practice it.

     The first pitch Maxline Fastball that you threw to the sixth batter was your biggest mistake.  You stopped pitching.  Because you did not want to walk another batter, you threw a first pitch fastball when the batter was looking for a first pitch fastball.

     When baseball pitchers are pitching sequences, because they will learn and get better, I don't mind walks.  But, when you cannot throw sequences without walking so many batters, you are not ready to pitch competitively.

     However, these are summer games.  Summer games should allow you to pitch sequences and walk batters.  Only with these opportunities will you learn how to pitch sequences and keep working when things are falling apart around you.

     Like in Peaceful Warrior, you have to stay in the moment, ignore what has already happened that you cannot change and do what you do when you do it right.  Remember what it felt like when you threw the best pitch of the pitch that you are about to throw and let it go.

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343.  It seems to me that this article says what you have been saying.  Have you talked with the Kansas City Royals?

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Copyright 2007 The Kansas City Star
July 15, 2007 Sunday
By Joe Posnanski

HEADLINE:  You can't always judge a pitcher by his fastball

"Sometimes, it seems like we forget what the point of all this is.  The radar gun never got anybody out."  Royals GM Dayton Moore

Today's question is this:  Have radar guns made baseball better or worse?  Along the way, we will also try to answer another question:  Is Rowdy Hardy a real prospect?

As you will see, the two questions are, more or less, the same.

A little radar history:  Earl Weaver was the first to use the radar gun to judge the speed of major-league pitches.  That was 1972.  Weaver, as you probably know, craved information, any kind of information, any edge he could muster.

Well, the radar gun gave him information.  Weaver was not so concerned about top speed - that is, he wasn't necessarily looking for pitchers who could throw 95 mph.  The Orioles, generally speaking, did not have hard throwers.  What Weaver wanted to know was how much of a gap there was between a guy's fastball and his off-speed stuff.

"If a guy has an 82-mph fastball, a 78-mph change-up won't do him any good," he wrote in Weaver on Strategy.  "That becomes nothing more than a fat fastball.  But if a guy has a 90-mph fastball and a 78-mph change, that will work because there's a big enough difference."

It took time (radar guns were - and are - expensive) but soon other clubs started using radar guns, too.  Here was hard information, something that is notoriously difficult to come by in baseball.  After a while, every baseball scout carried around his radar gun - some scouts even named theirs.  Now, pitching prospects have radar guns pointed at them even when they eat lunch.

Has it changed the game?  You bet.  Lots of ways.  Here's a scenario:  A scout calls the general manager and says, "I just saw this amazing pitching prospect here in Shasta, Calif.  The kid just gets people out."  Well, before radar guns, the general manager (assuming he trusted the scout) might say, "Sounds good, sign that kid."

Now?  The general manager will say:  "How hard does he throw?"

Speed limits:  There's a disagreement among baseball people when it comes to the speed of an "average" fastball in the major leagues.  Some say it is 88-90 mph.  Others say it is 89-91 mph.

You might be surprised how much of a difference that can make - the question of whether a 91-mph fastball is average or above average (and, for that matter, whether an 88-mph fastball is average or below).  It can affect how a team scouts and develops pitchers.  It can affect when (or whether) they will draft a pitcher.  One mph.

That's how important radar-gun readings have become.

Royals general manager Dayton Moore (who, incidentally, takes the middle road and believes that an average fastball is 89-90 mph) says the average speed of other major-league pitches is as follows:  Curveball:  "76 mph," Slider:  "79-82 mph," Change-up:  "Should be 12 to 15 mph slower than the fastball."

When asked how important it is for a scout or executive to know the radar-gun readings of every pitch a pitcher throws, Moore sighs.  "Important," he says.  "Real important."

A Rowdy introduction:  Rowdy Hardy is 6 feet 4, and he pitches left-handed.  He won 32 games in his career at Austin Peay - that was an Ohio Valley Conference record.  He signed with the Kansas City Royals for $1,000 last year.  He has never been drafted.

Hardy went to Idaho Falls, and he was selected the pitcher of the year.  He went 5-3 with a 2.80 ERA.  He walked just five people in more than 80 innings.

The Royals moved him up to Wilmington, their high Class-A team this season, and Hardy has been about as good as any pitcher in minor-league baseball.  He is 11-2 and has a 1.98 ERA - he leads the league in both stats.  He has given up 86 hits in 109 innings.  He has allowed one homer all year.  He has walked just 10 batters.  These are eye-popping numbers, the kind that tend to thrill general managers and make scouts buzz.

Only nobody's really buzzing about Rowdy Hardy.  Why not?  He mostly throws his fastball 82 mph.

A look back at slow-pitching Royals:  If you ask Royals all-time wins leader Paul Splittorff how hard he threw, he will tell you, point blank:  "I have absolutely no idea."  He only knows it wasn't all that hard.  It's astounding, looking back, how few of the best Royals pitchers in the team's heyday threw hard.

Larry Gura won 111 games for the Royals with a below-average fastball.  Al Fitzmorris is the Royals' all-time leader in winning percentage, and his self-scouting report is, "I couldn't break glass with my fastball."  Later, Charlie Leibrandt and Bud Black won a lot of games without imposing fastballs.

Dan Quisenberry is one of the great closers in baseball history, and he threw so slow that the first time some of his teammates saw him throwing in the bullpen, they said:  "There's no way he can get people out throwing that."  "Our fielders have to catch a lot of balls," Quiz told reporters, "or at least deflect them to someone who can."

How much different would Royals history have been had the radar gun been in vogue in the 1970s? It's an interesting question.  Larry Gura had no fear throwing his fastball, because he could throw it precisely where he wanted, and he knew he could get hitters out with it.  But his fastball was probably not even 85 mph.  In today's environment, would the Royals trade for a pitcher like Gura?

And if not, what does that say? Larry Gura is in the Royals Hall of Fame.

"We're evolving very rapidly in the major leagues," author and Boston Red Sox adviser Bill James says.  "But we're not evolving toward something better.  We're evolving toward something different.  Radar guns have caused teams to focus more attention on how hard a pitcher is throwing.  And there's no question that has worked to the detriment of finesse pitchers."

The Royals, like every other team, have spent a lot of energy and time since the 1994 strike trying to find hard throwers.  There's a long list of guys who have come and gone with their 92-plus-mph fastballs (Denny Bautista, Jay Witasick, Blake Stein, Mac Suzuki, Dan Reichert, Jeremy Affeldt, Jerry Spradlin, Jeff Austin, Ambiorix Burgos, et al).  Meanwhile, the only Royals pitcher to win more than 15 games in a season in that time frame is Paul Byrd.

Paul Byrd, like Al Fitzmorris before him, couldn't break glass.

Looking for life:  When Buck O'Neil was scouting, he used to watch as young scouts drew their radar guns like Wild West cowboys.  Buck used to shake his head.  It wasn't that he was opposed to the radar guns themselves.  He just thought too many people were watching the LED numbers when they should have been watching the game.

Buck said:  Young scouts point their guns, write down the numbers.  Are they watching, really watching?  I wonder if they're looking for life.  Because that's the secret, man.  Miles per hour, that don't mean nothing.  Does the fastball have life?  Does it move?  Does it dive?  Does it rise?  Bothers me.  Too many scouts nt watching for life.  Life passing them by. A hardy pitcher:  Rowdy Hardy doesn't pitch like the soft-tossing pitcher that he is.  That is:  He doesn't try to trick people.  He may not have an intimidating fastball, but he will throw it inside.  He challenges hitters.  He pitches with fearlessness, that bravado you see in the hardest throwers.

"He pitches exactly like a power pitcher," Royals director of player development J.J. Picollo says.  "He doesn't pitch soft and away, soft and away.  No.  He comes after guys.  He says, 'Here's my pitch, go ahead and try to hit it.'  He's not afraid of contact."

The Royals readily admit they are not sure what they have with Hardy.  Everyone conceded that if Hardy had even an average major-league fastball (whatever you want that number to be), he would be viewed as one of the top pitching prospects in baseball.  After all, he's thoroughly dominating High Class-A hitters.

But he does not have anything close to an average fastball, and so he was not even listed among the Royals top 30 prospects.  Nobody seems quite sure what the Royals have here.

"You're trained as a scout to look for guys who throw hard," Piccolo says.  "I mean, that's just bred in you.  You see a guy throw 95, and you think, 'This guy can help us.'  Then you see a guy who goes eight innings, gives up four hits, doesn't walk anybody, strikes out four, but he does it all without even an average fastball.  And you ask yourself, 'What did I just see here?'  Those are the toughest guys to evaluate."

So what do you do?  The Royals say the answer is simple:  Wait and see.  They plan to move Hardy up, level by level, until batters start hitting him.

"(Pitching coach) Bill Fischer told me something a long time ago," Moore says.  "He said, 'Believe what you see.'  I don't know what will happen with Rowdy.  But as long as he's getting people out, he will move up."

A novel idea:  Most people will concede that baseball's got a little thing called radar love.  The Royals are no exception.  Colt Griffin threw 100 mph.  The Royals gave him more than a million bucks.  But he couldn't pitch.  And he never learned.

"Sometimes, it seems like we forget what the point of all this is," Moore says.  "The radar gun never got anybody out."

This was in Piccolo's mind when he approached Moore with an idea - what if the Royals, in the lowest rungs of the minor leagues, did away with radar guns?  He suggested the Royals not clock their pitchers during the rookie league seasons.  Piccolo explained that this way those young pitchers would not even think about how hard they were throwing and might, instead, think about more important things like commanding their fastball and developing good change-ups.

Another advantage:  coaches and scouts might judge their pitchers on effectiveness rather than looking to see whether their fastball was up or down 1 or 2 mph.

Moore loved the idea.  The Royals are trying it.  There are no Royals radar guns now in Burlington, Iowa, or Idaho Falls, Idaho.  This is not to say the Royals are going away from radar readings - they still plan to clock their rookie league pitchers at the end of the season to see where they stand.  But it's at least one step away from radar-gun dependence.

"Look, in the end, pitchers with stuff will be more successful than pitchers without," Moore says.  "It's very useful to know how hard a pitcher throws, how long he can maintain his stuff through a game, how fast his change-up is compared to his fastball and all that. But the radar gun is just a tool."

He then said that baseball teams are supposed to use their tools.  The tools are not supposed to use baseball teams.

So what's the answer?:  Have radar guns made baseball better or worse?  The answer is a rather disappointing, "Both."  The game evolves.  The gun is a part of the game now - they will show mph readings on the scoreboard at just about every major-league park.  And it undoubtedly has helped teams find strong-armed pitchers who might have been overlooked or ignored.

Also, the gun has also prompted pitchers to overthrow - to light up the gun, as scouts say - which has probably caused injuries.  The gun has made teams leery and dismissive of soft-throwing pitchers who get people out.
Think of another Kansas City guy:  Mike Boddicker.  He threw so slow that Rod Carew once said, "My wife has me take out better garbage than Boddicker throws."  Boddicker won 134 games in the big leagues.
Where did the Mike Boddickers go?  Doesn't baseball want them back?

It will be fun to chart the progress of Rowdy Hardy.  One of the great things about Hardy is that he is, by all evidence, immune to the radar-gun allure.  He came to grips with his dawdling fastball a long time ago.  He believes in his heart that he can get people out.  Now all he needs is to get everybody to point their radar guns somewhere else - speeding cars, maybe - and notice that he is getting people out.

To reach Joe Posnanski, call 816-234-4361 or send e-mail to jposnanski@kcstar.com For previous columns, go to KansasCity.com.


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     I think that this is an incredible article.  Velocity is an excuse that 'traditional' baseball pitching coaches make for their inability to teach their baseball pitchers how to throw baseball pitches with 'life,' as Buck O'Neil correctly said.

     If Dayton Moore wants his baseball pitchers to have pitches with 'life,' then he should give me a call.  Not only do I injury-proof baseball pitchers, I teach them how to throw the wide variety of high-quality baseball pitches that they need to get all four types of major league batters out.

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344.  I need to know if I'm on the right track.  From my recent experience, your comments in the attached previous email (below) seem directly related to how well the elbow serves as a fulcrum.

Since training, my arm path has been:  palm under, pendulum swing, palm out at shoulder height, outward humerus rotation to lock, drive line height at front foot landing, lean, straight drive line with pronation before/during/after release.

Despite outstanding results, I did NOT have a sense that the elbow was sufficiently serving as a fulcrum when throwing baseballs.  That is, my baseball throwing did not sufficiently mimic my WW and IB throws during forearm acceleration.

To achieve a better elbow fulcrum/forearm acceleration and glove leg force application towards 2B, I added the following component to the above arm path:  "lean a bit more and try to get the upper arm as vertical as possible".

The results:

1.  More velocity (I think, but did not have radar to confirm)
2.  Better force application towards 2B with glove leg
3.  An even better straight drive line than before with naturally more pronounced pronation
4.  A natural tendency to "wait" before applying force

Does this make sense?  If my thinking is wrong, please advise.


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     In my Wrong Foot Slingshot drill, I have my baseball pitching stand with their pitching arm vertically beside their head with their pitching hand the full length of their pitching forearm behind and their pitching elbow pointing at home plate.

     To prepare to throw, I have my baseball pitchers step back with their pitching foot and reach as far as they can toward second base with their pitching hand.

     To move their body forward, on my Maxline pitches, I have my baseball pitchers step across their glove foot, such that they have forwardly rotated their acromial line to point directly at home plate.

     To drive the wrist weight, throw the iron ball, lid, football or baseball, I have my baseball pitchers drive their pitching elbow at home plate until their pitching elbow stops moving forward and, then, to drive their pitching hand straight at home plate, I have my baseball pitchers powerfully extend their pitching elbow, pronate their pitching forearm and inwardly rotate their pitching upper arm.

     When my baseball pitchers perform this drill, they use their pitching elbow as a fulcrum around which to accelerate their pitching forearm, wrist, hand, fingers and baseball. With their pitching foot landed in front of their body, they should experience a snap-back action with their pitching arm. This is the moment where the bullwhip analogy applies.

     With my Wind-Up body actions, because they do not have their pitching foot on the ground in front of their body, to achieve this snap-back action, my baseball pitchers have to use the push-back force of their glove leg in timing with the powerful pitching elbow extension, pitching forearm pronation and pitching upper arm inward rotation to lean back.

     This lean back enables my baseball pitchers to use their pitching elbow like the handle of the bullwhip to accelerate through release.

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345.  We've been debating the importance of a manager (mainly at the MLB level).  It seems to be a hot topic these days.  In your opinion, just how important is the manager during the course of a season?  How many games can you credit or discredit for winning or losing, a guestimation, of course.  How influential is his use or misuse of the pitching staff?

We tend to look at our current team as fundamentally weak.  Poor bunting, base stealing, base running skills.  Hit and runs aren't there.  We are a station to station team.  But our pitchers have acquired improved skills at holding runners.

Does development of players at the mlb level always come down to the players?


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     Managers should clearly identify the game strategy that he wants every member of his offensive team and defensive teams to follow with every At Bat in a game.  His offensive team should understand what he wants each batter and base runner to do with every At Bat in every offensive situation.  His defensive team should understand what he wants each pitcher and position player to do with every At Bat in every defensive situation.

     During my fourteen year major league career, only Gene Mauch and Walter Alston satisfied these requirements.  All my other managers would agree with what their teams did when they won and disagreed with what their teams did when the lost, even when the team did exactly the same things in both situations.  I felt that Gene and Walt won every game that the quality of their teams determined that their teams should win.

     The area where I believe all managers fail is teaching their baseball pitchers and position players the additional skills that they need to become better.  Of course, the type of skill development to which I refer requires the entirety of every off-season.

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346.  I understand all, thanks.  But, it is not a question of understanding, it's the challenge of execution.

Whereas before I would use my hand as the reference for straight arm path, I now use my elbow.  By some small mechanical cue, such as "get the bottom of the arm/elbow pointed at target" or simply "elbow fulcrum", I am able to achieve what you describe.  The difference in how I think affects when and how I accelerate.

With the hand as the center of focus, I may tend to accelerate early and lose arm speed.  With an elbow fulcrum cue, I tend to wait to accelerate, which gets all parts in the right position and seems to recruit more triceps power.  Before, I tried to achieve all that you describe via focus on my leg actions (pitching knee in et al).  That didn't work.  When I center on an elbow fulcrum action, such that I more closely emulate your wrong foot arm action seems to work,so far.

Questions:

1.  What mental approaches have helped your students "get it"?  I understand the mechanics, but need "boiler plate" coaching to connect understanding with execution.

2.  Despite many months of daily training and throwing, I am still learning ways to better perform the arm action/motion.  Is this what you meant when you said "you have not trained long enough or perfected your drive line well enough to achieve your genetic potential (or words to that effect)"?

In other words, does my recent discovery of improved velo/performance by better forearm acceleration around an elbow fulcrum indicate a natural evolution, or does it mean I'm dumb as dirt?


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01.  I tell my baseball pitchers that, when they throw my Maxline pitches, I want them to point their pitching elbow at home plate and try as hard as they can to rupture their Ulnar Collateral Ligament.  When they throw my Torque pitches, I tell my baseball pitchers to imagine that, when they drive their pitching hand straight toward home plate, they should use their pitching arm in the same way as when they throw a two-hand chest pass in basketball.

02.  As my baseball pitchers become stronger and more skilled, they continue to perfect their driveline, releases and force application.  I would say that all my baseball pitchers go through their individual natural evolution.  They and you only stop improving when they and you stop training.

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347.  Mets Pitching Injuries/Minaya's Philosophy

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Mets Pitching injuries in 2008

1.  Ambiorix Burgos Placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 21, recovering from August 2007 Tommy John surgery.

2.  Jason Vargas Placed on the 15-day disabled list on 3/23/08, retroactive to March 21, recovering from March 2008 left hip surgery.
3.  Duaner Sanchez Placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 27, due to right shoulder surgery.

4.  Orlando Hernandez Placed on the 15-day disabled list on 3/30/08, retroactive to March 29, due to right foot surgery.

5.  Pedro Martinez Placed on the 15-day disabled list on 4/2/08 with a left hamstring strain.

6.  Matt Wise Placed on the 15-day disabled list on 4/8/08, retroactive to April 2, with right forearm stiffness.

7.  Matt Wise Placed on the 15-day disabled list on 5/27/08 with right rotator cuff tendonitis.

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From the 6/18/07 article on Minaya in Sports Illustrated:

"...I don't care about players' color, religion, heritage or even sexual preference. I care about winning today. I'll go to sleep tonight thinking, how can we make this team better?"


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     Clearly, Mr. Minaya is only thinking about what baseball players can give instant help, not what pitching coach can help with a solution that takes time and effort.

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348.  As I’m sure you’ve received numerous correspondences in reaction to your segment on HBO’s “Real Sports”, I would like to add myself to the list.  I saw the segment and couldn’t help question how your philosophy and techniques may apply to the spiking motion of the volleyball player.

Arm-related injuries for volleyball are typically related to the shoulder.  I know of very few elbow injuries.  However, we are finding nerve damage, inflammation, etc. in many of our athletes.  I can’t help but think that there may be more specific mechanical adjustments or recommendations that could be made through our coaches to also reduce the problem.

Of course, there are differences between the pitching mechanics and that of attacking – most notably, that we don’t worry about curves, sliders, screwballs, etc., and we are mostly interested in fastballs generated through a combination of arm swing and wrist snap to speed and top spin.

Would you be willing to do an analysis of video of our players spiking to see if saw any potential problem areas?


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     I will be happy to analyze video of volleyball players spiking the volleyball.

     It does not surprise me that volleyball players experience more shoulder injuries than elbow.  In baseball, pitchers experience more elbow injuries than shoulder because they take their pitching arm so far laterally behind their body that they have as much as five to nine feet of sideways movement in their motion.  This unnecessary sideways movement destroys the pitching elbow.

     In volleyball, volleyball players do not need a pendulum swing and do not reverse rotate over a fixed striking arm side leg.  Therefore, they do not unnecessarily stress their striking elbow.  What volleyball strikers require is the most powerful shoulder action they can use, which is shoulder joint extension, not shoulder joint horizontal flexion.

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349.  I was wondering if you were aware of this technology, and if it would be helpful to quantifying:

1.  Shorter reaction time of batter to identify the pitch.
2.  Movement of the non-fastball pitches you teach.

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The baseball box score, bless its little numerical heart, is dead.  It lived a nice, long life — about 140 years — but it has outlived its usefulness.  Its archaic statistics, pilloried for years by serious statisticians, tell you only what players have done, not what they're capable of doing.  It's the past.

The future doesn't lie in newer, better statistics, however.  It isn't really grounded in numbers at all.  The future, like it or not, is in pictures.

Wall Street Journal:  WSJ.com

Since 2006, Major League Baseball Advanced Media LP, baseball's swashbuckling digital arm, has quietly spent approximately $4 million installing sensor cameras in major-league stadiums that can track and record the trajectory of every pitch.  The system, called Pitch f/x, made its public debut in the 2006 postseason.  This season it became operational in all 30 major-league parks.

It measures the "break," or off-line movement, of each pitch to an accuracy of within one inch, calculates the speed of the ball near its release point and at home plate and creates an image of the ball's arc that is visible on a computer screen.  Observers can view the results on mlb.com.

While nobody is sure what this means for baseball, it is generating a great deal of talk.  Earlier this month in San Francisco, Sportvision Inc., the sports-entertainment technology company that helped develop the system, hosted a Pitch f/x "summit."  By the end, the stats wonks, engineers and nine team representatives in attendance could barely contain themselves.  "It's tremendously exciting for people like me," said Mat Olkin, a Kansas City Royals consultant.

Keith Woolner, the manager of research and analysis for the Cleveland Indians, said the ability to capture such detailed measurements is "the next step" in baseball knowledge and strategy.

Since sportswriter Henry Chadwick ushered in the modern age of scorekeeping in the 1860s, the chief tool baseball analysts have used is the naked eye.  Statistics in the box score cover only what can be observed:  the number of runs the pitcher allowed, for example, or the doubles a hitter collected.  Even the advanced "Moneyball" statistics developed in recent years also rely on what can be seen and recorded by hand.

Pitch f/x starts baseball down the path of learning how players do things — which batter hits the ball the hardest, which shortstop has the quickest reflexes, what pitcher has the nastiest slider.  It showed, for instance, that St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright had one of baseball's most violent curve balls in 2007, with up to nine inches of vertical drop and more than seven inches of horizontal movement.

Perhaps consequently, Mr. Wainwright had an unusually high rate of swings-and-misses against his curve (38% versus a league average of a little more than 25%), according to a sampling of data by Harry Pavlidis, a baseball analyst who writes a prominent blog about the Chicago Cubs.

Nearly everyone at the conference believed such advancements in measuring fundamentals could finally bring a "why" to the "what" of box scores and stat sheets.  The same technology will spread to hitting and fielding, they say, and could be applied to other sports.

"Instead of saying, 'There's a hard smash to third base' we could say, 'That ball was hit 106 mph and the third baseman had a third of a second to react'" says Peter Jensen, a statistician and summit attendee who has written for the Hardball Times, a baseball analysis site.  "That adds some context that's been lacking so far."

The scene at the Pitch f/x summit was symbolic of baseball's increasing wonkiness.  The 52 attendees — some of them college professors — met to discuss how to improve the system and how to interpret its results.  Participants swapped theories about determining the coefficient of drag and made jokes about the difficulty analyzing Boston pitcher Tim Wakefield's knuckleball.

Nine major-league clubs sent representatives to the summit, including the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

It isn't clear how many teams are using the data — although some clearly are.  Before this season, Brian Bannister, a Kansas City Royals starting pitcher, noticed that when batters connected with his pitches and put them in play, about 27% became base hits — a figure far lower than the typical 30%.  Some analysts said Mr. Bannister was simply lucky.  But after checking the data from Pitch f/x, Mr. Bannister noticed batters who'd hit his curveball were much less successful than those who'd hit his fastball.  The upshot:  his most effective pitch may be a hittable curve.

Not everyone is infatuated with this technology — a fact that became clear during Pitch f/x's debut on 2006 postseason telecasts on FOX.  After its cameras clocked pitches from Detroit's Joel Zumaya at the unheard-of speed of 103 mph, some fans assumed it was broken.  Sportvision says the system was measuring the ball's speed at the release point rather than in mid-flight, as radar guns do.

"I think this stuff is helpful in a way," says retired manager Jack McKeon, who won the 2003 World Series title with the Florida Marlins, "but I still think you need to use your eyes."


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     I have high-speed filmed baseball pitchers for over forty years.  I love this stuff.  I have also statistically analyzed the pitch sequences that I used during my 1973 and 1974 seasons when I finished second and first in the Cy Young Award, so I love the sabermetrics stuff.  But, where all of this stuff fails is when we translate the data into action.

     We cannot wait for chance to miraculously provide us with athletes that display the characteristics that we find make them more successful than others.  Instead, when we define desirable skills, we have to learn how to train our athletes to perform these skills.

     Long ago, I learned that non-fastball pitches that looked like fastball pitches to batters, but that, late in their flight, make an unexpectedly quick/deceptive change in direction resulted in poorly struck pop-ups or ground balls, which easily became outs.  Therefore, I researched the aerodynamics of two and four seam rotating baseballs and learned how to throw these types of baseball pitches.

     To get some notion of what I mean, I direct readers to the first section of my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, where I demonstrate some of these pitches, the last section of my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video, where James Jeffrey Sparks demonstrates some of these pitches and the High-Speed Film Analysis of my 2007 Baseball Pitchers video, where several other baseball pitchers demonstrate unexpectedly quick/deceptive pitches.

     Unfortunately, 'traditional' baseball pitchers have no idea how to teach these types of pitches.  Therefore, they value only velocity.  I also admire velocity, but I know that, over the long haul, unexpected movement in a variety of unexpected directions works far better.

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350.  I had to refresh myself with the managers you mentioned.  Gene Mauch sounds like he demanded only the best.

Judging the role of a manager on certain teams has to be one of the toughest things to do.  How do you tell someone the manager got all, more, maybe only half, of the wins out of a team the team was capable of winning?

With the introduction of B. James into the baseball world, most of the saber community here seems to think a manager is only responsible for a lowly 2-3 games difference a season.

And what about development of the team?  Can a manager take a team, average at best, and develop them into an above average team, not in what they have achieved, but in their physical and mental skills also?

For example, a Mike Scioscia team may be considered a 'small ball' team, when in actuality, his team may be also called a complete team, skilled in most all aspects of offensive baseball.

Interesting discussion.  I had to include your input as I have done in the past.  As always I credit you and link to your site.  I would not think of doing anything less.

  Please feel free to add more.  I enjoy reading your analysis, as many, many do!


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     Mike Scioscia is an example of a manager with a clear offensive baseball philosophy.  It diversely disagrees with Earl Weaver's offensive baseball philosophy, but that does not matter.  Only after years of use will we, without regard for the quality of the players on the teams, be able to determine which philosophy enables teams to win more games.

     To me, the weakness in major league baseball is in the defensive philosophy they use.

     When I played for Gene Mauch, we worked very closely on blending my pitch sequencing strategy with defensive alignment.  In 1972, this philosophy worked to the tune that I gave up a home run only every 38 1/3 innings for a 1.78 earned run average.  From 1972 through 1981, even in years without Gene's help, I averaged giving up a home run every 20 1/3 innings.

     What do you think would happen if an entire major league pitching staff could do that?

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351.  As always, you make fans think and re-think their philosophies of the game.  Baseball is a mental game.

I, for one, have always enjoyed the defensive aspect of baseball.  Being a shortstop/2nd baseman, I was always checking the signs between catcher and pitcher, ready to adjust to pitchers adjustments of a hitter.

Being a Cleveland fan, the topic of managers is a hot one this season.  Here's a division that seems like it no one wants to win it.  The Indians went deep into the playoffs in 2007, and have high expectations this year.  Detroit has a roster full of All-Stars.  Yet these are the teams that have their managers the hottest, calling out their teams for lack of good play, and competing for cellar spots.

  Consistency.  How does one teach it?  I think the managers you mentioned earlier did find consistency with their pitching and defensive alignments, Scioscia with his use of the offense.  I tend to value consistency at or right at the top of importance.

I also read the bio's of the managers, and found them interesting.  As a side note, Mauch felt it was insulting to the players to have to motivate them, and Alston handled some clubhouse turmoil of his own, as is probably the case for most.

Mauch:  "I want everybody to feel he has a chance to get into a game when he comes to the ballpark," he said.  "I play guys when I want to so they'll be ready when I have to.  I don't consider myself a motivator of players.  I think it's an insult to a ballplayer to have to be motivated."

Consistency.  Keeping a player at the ready.

We're seeing daily lineup changes now here as more of a reason to shake things up.  Motivational?  To a degree I think, but after so many of them though I think it loses something.

Love the insights you bring to the discussion.  I think it does help make fans smarter, and to understand the game better.  I know it does for me.


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     I agree with Gene that every position player should come to the park every day knowing that he may get into the game.  This means that every position player understands the game circumstance in which Gene would want to use him and what he has to do to succeed in his job.

     It is possible for every position player to succeed in his job and the team still not score more runs than their opponents.  By succeeding in their job, I do not mean that every position player got a hit in every At Bat.  Their job changes with every At Bat.

     For example, lead-off batters of every inning have the responsibility to make the pitcher work to get them out.  This means that, unless lead-off batters get exactly the pitch he wants to hit in the first three pitches, such that he has a better than fifty percent chance of getting a hit, he should work the count for as many pitches as possible, make the pitcher throw strikes and swing only when the pitch is the pitch he wants or he has two strikes and has to swing if only to foul off the pitch to get another pitch.

     I told whomever lead off each inning, if you can get six or more pitches in this At Bat and do not swing at any non-strike pitches, then you have had a successful At Bat.

     I told my guys that, even if neither gets on base, if the two batters in every inning forced the pitcher to throw thirteen pitches, then we will eventually score runs.  If they could get thirteen pitches and one get on base, then we should score this inning.  And, if they could get thirteen pitches and both get on base, then we would break this game wide open with a crooked number in this inning.  And we could do this without any extra base hits.

     Because they took all the pressure off baseball pitchers by removing all base runners, I did not like home runs.  I preferred to keep pitchers concerned about when we were going to put base runners in motion.  Home runs make teams have to start the innings all over again.

     I wanted doubles and triples to come after we fatigued the pitcher and narrowed him down to having no room on the bases, such that, because we could correctly anticipate the pitches he would throw, we could put our base runners in motion.  By leaving base runners on second and third or, at least, on third, pitchers had to divide their attention and try to find some way to keep them from scoring.  The more they felt the pressure, the more they will fail.

     At the start of every inning, my offensive philosophy was to get a base runner to third base with less than two out.  Then, we needed to do whatever was necessary to immediately score that base runner.  To accomplish this, we needed to get free ninety feet.  This means that we either have to steal a base, run and safely hit a baseball or advance an extra ninety feet on a batted baseball.  If teams want to score runs, they cannot wait for lead-off doubles.

     This means that, unlike Gene Mauch, I hate sacrifice bunts.  I never want to just give away an out.  Instead, I prefer to run and hit.  But, to do this successfully, my baseball batters have to learn how to hit ground balls.  If, in my Special Reports file, you read about how I taught my position players to hit, then you will see that I put great value on the one-hop low line drive that skips on the infield dirt on its way to the outfield.  I call this batted balls, instant hits and I love them.  They give me a lot of free ninety feet.

     Therefore, instead of my position players just feeling as though they were going play in every game, I wanted them to take pride and feel successful when they contributed to the team's ability to score runs, whether the box score showed that they got any hits.

     In other words, I strongly believe that victory is in the quality of the competition, not the final score.  This means that if every batter does his job in every At Bat as best that he could, then the team will get the best result that it could have.  However, when batters care only about their individual statistics, such as lead-off batters swinging at the first pitch, teams suffer.

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352.  My son is a freshman college pitcher.  He was recruited as a SS, but he was converted mid season and was doing very well.  He had not pitched much before, but was told he had a high ceiling as a pitcher and that worked him in slow.  He is 6' 4", but thin (185 lbs.)  I am not a dad who has ever wished his son to pitch, but had to agree he looked good; 91- 92 MPH with good control of 4 pitches and solid mechanics.

After 18 innings over several weeks, he developed soreness.

Below was a summary of what the doctor found.  My son was told he just might not have the arm structure to pitch, which was a big blow to him due to what he has been hearing form coaches, scouts etc.  He was told to rehab it by rest, strengthening and conditioning until fall and then try to pitch.  If that does not work he should stick to infield play.  Needless to say, he was not happy to hear that.  He thinks he might need surgery and wonders if it will end up that way any way.

My question is:  Is surgery inevitable and is a low lying acromion something he may not be able to work around?

Radiologist report:

There is minimal fluid in the subacromial subdeltoid bursa likely representing bursitis.  There is no evidence of rotator cuff tear.  There is mild impingement due to low lying acromion.  There is an osteophyte along its undersurface.  Bone marrow demonstrates normal signal characteristics.  Biceps, supraspinatus, infraspinatus and somewhat calculi are subscapularis tendons are normal.  There is a complex tear involving the posterior glenoid labrum.  No other abnormalitites identified.


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     Forget about the low lying acromial process and the impingement of the bursa nonsense.

     Your son does not have solid mechanics.  His mechanics, not the structure of his pitching arm, caused his injury.  In his 'traditional' baseball pitching motion, your son takes his pitching elbow behind his acromial line, which means laterally behind his body.  This has injured the posterior glenoid labrum.

     If he were to learn how to pendulum swing his pitching arm straight back toward second base, then he would eliminate this unnecessary stress.  When they surgically start messing with the labrum and shrinking the capsule, they will destroy your son's pitching arm.

     On my website, drmikemarshall.com, without charge, I have provided my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video and other video files for visitors to watch, my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book, Question/Answer files and other text files of visitors to read and my Baseball Pitchers Training Programs for visitors to copy and complete.

     At nineteen biological years old, I recommend that adult baseball pitchers complete my 724-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.  Thereafter, for as long as they want to continue to pitch competitively, every off-season, I recommend that they repeat my 72-Day Thirty Pound Adult Baseball Pitchers Wrist Weight Recoil Interval-Training Program and my 72-Day Fifteen Pound Adult Baseball Pitchers Iron Ball Recoil Interval-Training Program.

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353.  How long before Joba Chamberlain blows out his arm?  When the average fan knows better than management, you know it's a stupid idea.

To a lesser extent, doesn't the return of Bartolo Colon seems iffy, even with the Red Sox' seemingly close attention to their pitchers arms?  His lack of training (i.e. overweight) seem destined to counteract the comeback efforts.

How do you answer the Mike Madduxes of the world who say that adapting your motion is impossible since every pitcher has a different delivery?


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     When I first watched Joba Chamberlain throw, I like a lot of what I saw.  However, since then, someone changed how he uses his pitching arm.  When I first saw him, he did not pull his pitching elbow across the front of his body and downward and he pronated the release of his curve.  By the time that the playoffs arrived, as shown by the wild pitches he threw with his breaking ball, he had changed to pulling his pitching elbow and supinating his breaking ball releases.  As a result, he not only lost control, but he lost effectiveness and he will injure the front of his pitching shoulder.

     Bartolo Colon has a very bad grab and looping action.  This means that he unnecessarily stresses the front of his pitching shoulder.  I am less concerned with his body weight as I am with the length of time that he did not train.  Rest leads to atrophy, not fitness.

     Mike Maddox does not understand that there is only one biomechanically and applied anatomically perfect way for the human body to perform every human movement.  Therefore, what he mistakenly celebrates as wide varieties of baseball pitching motions is actually wide varieties of biomechanical and applied anatomical flaws, many of which are injurious.

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354.  Have you seen this article?

Marshall makes his pitch
Daily Breeze (Torrance, CA) - April 7, 2008
Author: Leo Smith ; Staff Writer

Former Dodger pitcher Mike Marshall applauds efforts to protect the pitching arms of young baseball players.

He just doesn't think current attempts, which include limiting the number of pitches thrown based on a player's chronological age, have much validity.

The former Cy Young Award winner, who holds a Ph.D in kinesiology from Michigan State, has made a study of arm movments of pitchers and the potential damage the traditional pitching motion can cause.

"What we're doing to our young baseball pitchers is unforgiveable," said Marshall, from the Pitching Research and Training Center he operates in Florida. "To push this pitch count nonsense is just disgraceful."

Marshall, who holds the record for most innings pitched by a reliever in a single season, knows firsthand the wear and tear throwing can have on a pitching arm.

In Marshall's opinion, the "one size fits all" nature of limiting a ballplayer's pitches based on chronological age does little to protect the athlete.  He prefers to look at the biological age of a player.  That can be determined, he said, by a look at the skeletal development of the athletes.

"The first problem is that by just looking at young men we really don't know what the status is of their skeletal structure," he said.  "The first thing I think a parent should know for sure is what is their son's biological age.  The growth plates in the pitching elbow are one very good indicator."

The growth plates are the areas of growing tissue near the end of the humerus bone of the upper arm. X-rays of the arm can show the child's development.  If growth plates are still growing, too much stress from the traditional pitching motion can be damaging, Marshall said.

"The 'traditional' pitching motion is terrible, just absolutely injurious," Marshall said.

Marshall advises against having young pitchers pitch competitively until they're at least biologically 13 year old.

He'd rather they spend the time gaining the skills and developing the variety of pitches they need to pitch successfully while limiting stress on the arm.

And he doesn't want them just throwing fastballs.  "I want them to learn how to properly throw all the pitches that they will need as high school and adult pitchers, including my Maxline Pronation Curve and Maxline True Screwball." he said.

In addition to bringing pitchers along slowly, Marshall recommends they learn his baseball pitching motion that involves different arm and leg motions.


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     No, I had not seen this article.  I just pick up the telephone and answer the reporter's questions.

     Unfortunately, as always, the reporter did not get everything right.  Therefore, I took the liberty to make changes as I would have had he given me the opportunity.

     I greatly appreciated the opportunity to explain why pitch counts does not work when applied by chronological age.  However, even though they determined the pitch counts by speculation, not science, if they applied pitch counts by biological age, then they would have more meaning.

     Nevertheless, the real answer is to eliminate the 'traditional' baseball pitching motion and limit the duration of the season and the number of pitches youth baseball pitchers throw in each game.

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355.  Have you seen this article?

Bullpen stalwart Bell needs no relief from fatigue Peavy, Hoffman both call him MVP
San Diego Union-Tribune, The (CA) - February 21, 2008
Author: Tom Krasovic, STAFF WRITER

If Heath Bell wants to improve upon his 2007 season, he may have to retire every hitter he faces and buy fish tacos and soda for everyone at Petco Park.

And that still might not do it.

"Heath Bell was the best relief pitcher in baseball last year," Padres catcher Josh Bard said.

Just 12 months ago, Bell was a Mets castoff attempting to win a middle-relief job with the Padres.

Then he went out and pitched like a 21st-century Goose Gossage.

"He was our MVP," said Jake Peavy, who won the NL Cy Young award in a unanimous vote after the season.

"The MVP of our bullpen, by far," said all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman.

It's a wonder the Padres finished in third place in the West, what with Bell overpowering most hitters en route to a 2.02 ERA and 102 strikeouts over 93 1/3 innings.

Another marvel is that Bell's arm was still attached to his shoulder when the season ended.

Throwing fastballs clocked up to 98 mph and sliders that reached the high 80s, the burly right-hander pitched in 81 games, which placed him behind only Craig Lefferts' 83 outings in 1986 for most appearances by a Padres pitcher in a season.  Bell's pitch total (1,536) was the highest of any full-time NL reliever and nearly twice that of Hoffman (795).

Yet Bell still had enough left in the tank to post a 0.55 ERA over his final 13 games.

"He didn't show that he was wavering or showing any less stuff," manager Bud Black said.  "There were games where he might not have been as sharp as other times, but he never mentioned that his arm was sore or he was overly tired.  I don't think he was ever at the point where we were overtaxing him.

Actually, Bell's arm revolted, briefly.  It happened in the team's 163rd game, the 13-inning contest against the Rockies that would put Colorado into the playoffs.  After Bell returned to the Coors Field mound for the third time in the marathon, he threw his first warmup pitch into the dirt.  Then he spiked another one.

Bell, the son of a former Marine, said he then angrily instructed his right arm to do his bidding.  The arm cooperated, and Bell again dismissed the Rockies.

He had thrown 42 pitches, obtained eight outs and lowered his road ERA for the season to 1.46.

"But I wanted to keep pitching," Bell said.

In the dugout, he lobbied Black to send him out to pitch the 10th inning.  Black decided against it.

Now, the Padres will find out if there is a price to pay for Bell's success.  The 30-year-old wouldn't be the first pitcher to regress after shouldering a huge load.

"I think he's going to show some wear and tear," said a scout from the NL East.  "He's a big, strong guy, but if he gets heavy in the middle, it could make it harder on his shoulder, getting around and through.  He'll have to watch that."

Bell, 6-feet-2 and 244 pounds, reported to camp in good shape after doing projects such as bricklaying at his home in Florida. He said his arm feels good.  Black is also bullish.

"I don't foresee any problems," Black said.  "He finished the season very strong.  There was no decrease in stuff and he looks to be in great shape."

For inspiration, Bell has Mike Marshall , a bionic reliever in the 1970s who shouldered workloads that would overwhelm today's relievers.  In 1973, Marshall worked 179 innings, all in relief.  The next season he threw 208 1/3, again all in relief, and lowered his ERA from 2.66 to 2.42 and won the Cy Young Award.

Pitching coach Darren Balsley said Bell works extremely hard and should be one of the best eighth-inning specialists in the majors.  But Balsley said he probably will cut back Bell's pitching load in the Cactus League.

"He waited a little longer to pick up a baseball this offseason, and we're going to take it easy in spring training," Balsley said.  "Now, we'll have the option to ease up and give more rest between outings, if that's what he needs.  He could be a guy that if we want to give three days rest in spring training, we'll have the option of doing it."

Bell, for his part, wants the ball as often as possible.  If other relievers need a break in front of him, he said he'd be happy to pick up both the seventh and eighth innings.  He persuaded Black to send him to China next month, which will give Bell a few extra days of rest.

But once he is on the mound, exhibition or not, Bell will take the same approach that made him, at a salary only $5,500 above the major league minimum, a huge bargain.

"I'm still going to go after everybody," he said.


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     I had not seen this article.

     I wish this young man well.  However, I am worried about the sentence where he said that he waited longer this off-season to start getting ready for the season.

     I started preparing for the next season, the day after the last season ended.  Rest is atrophy, not fitness.

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356.  I am very much a fan of baseball in general and welcome changes to the mainstream approaches.

Although I welcome your new style of pitching, I must say your website is a "D-" at best.  I am a coach at the 10 year old level that is looking for newer approaches like yours.  But, I found it to be very confusing.  You should stop asking questions that you seem to think would be rhetorical and give us a simpler view.


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     Because I used questions to emphasize the critical aspects of each of my training drills, you found my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video confusing.  You are the first to dislike that teaching technique.

     What do you want me to do now? Should I redo the thousands of hours of work and take out the questions?  Or maybe, you could put a little more effort into learning what I am teaching.

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357.  I was just offering another viewpoint.  I have invested time in your website to the point I changed my throwing motion.  I've also forwarded the website address to other parents that looked at the site.  They found it a bit frustrating as well and just gave up on it.  I feel you are really onto something and I apologize for sounding a bit harsh, but I meant well.

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     I will continue to upgrade the sections of my Baseball Pitching Instructional Video and my Coaching Baseball Pitchers book and I will continue to offer them without charge.  As to whatever adjustments that you prefer that I make:  I am sorry, but you will have to do that work yourself.

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358.  Seriously, I am not trying to torture you with this endlessly depressing stuff, but this kid needs your help more than Mulder.  He's only 27 years old.

-------------------------------------------------

June 1, 2008
Padres righty Mark Prior to have shoulder surgery
By JOSH DUBOW
AP Sports Writer

San Diego Padres pitcher Mark Prior will undergo season-ending surgery on his injured right shoulder, the latest medical setback to a once-promising career.

Padres manager Bud Black announced the decision to operate before Sunday's game against the San Francisco Giants. Prior, one of the top young pitchers in the game for the Chicago Cubs just a few years ago, has not pitched in the majors since Aug. 10, 2006.

He had been trying to make a comeback with his hometown Padres this season, but his rehab process was shut down at extended spring training about two weeks ago when he had more soreness in the shoulder.  Prior, 27, had surgery on the same shoulder in April 2007 while with the Cubs.

"I can't imagine how frustrated he is," Black said.  "It looked like everything was on course.  Then to have this happen I'm sure is extremely frustrating.  I'm upset for him just because there was such confidence from him about how he felt."

The operation to repair the anterior capsule in Prior's shoulder will be performed at Scripps Clinic as early as this week by team orthopedics Dr. Heinz Hoenecke and Dr. Jan Fronek.

The Padres won't know when, or if, Prior will be able to pitch again until after the operation.

"I think that will be determined once they go in and see what they have to repair," Black said.

Prior began throwing in January and was slowly making progress in hopes of a return to the majors.  As recently as last month, the Padres still hoped Prior could make it back to the mound this season.  But he never made it far enough to appear in a game at any level.

"You never know until you really step up the intensity," Black said.  "And the fullest test of intensity is game action and he didn't get that far."

Prior, who is 42-29 with a 3.51 ERA in his injury-plagued career, last pitched in 2006 when he went 1-6 with a 7.21 ERA in nine games for the Cubs.  He was the second overall pick in the 2001 amateur draft out of Southern California and went 18-6 with a 2.43 ERA in 2003, finishing third in NL Cy Young Award balloting in his first full season in the majors.

But he has made only 57 starts since 2003 because of injuries to his shoulder, elbow, oblique and Achilles.


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     In 2007, after Dr. James Andrews did surgery on him, he had the American Sports Medicine Institute do yet another biomechanical evaluation of his baseball pitching motion and they declared him perfect again.  The American Sports Medicine Institute works closely with Tom House and his National Pitching Academy.

     Was it four years ago that, at the same time that Tom House declared in Collegiate Baseball News that Mr. Prior had the perfect baseball pitching motion, I warned the Cubs that Mr. Prior was on the downward spiral to oblivion?  By now, Mr. Prior could have completed my 724-Day program and been back in the major leagues pitching for two years.

     And, what about Will Carroll and his Saving Baseball Pitchers book?  Did not Mr. Carroll write extensively that Mr. Prior had the perfect baseball pitching motion?

     When will baseball people realize that these people have no idea what they are talking about?  If, instead of trying their nonsense over the past four years, Mr. Prior had visited me at my Baseball Pitchers Research/Training Center, then he would have learned what he had to do to become the best injury-free, highly-skilled baseball pitcher that he could be.

     This season-ending surgery will be his career-ending surgery.  When surgeons start talking about shrinking the anterior capsule, baseball pitchers are in big trouble.  However, Mr. Prior made the decision to follow the downward path to oblivion that Tom House, Will Carroll and the American Sports Medicine Institute lead all the baseball pitchers with whom they work down.  It is a shame.

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359.  Have you seen this video indicating that this is one of your pitchers?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hccgRol63A


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     Wow, what fun.  I even enjoyed the music.  Please everybody, go to this website and watch this video.

     This is Mike Farrenkopf.  At the time that they took this video, as a recent high school graduate, Mike had just completed my 280-Day Adult Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program.

As the text next to the video said:

February 06, 2008

"This pitcher learned this unique injury-free pitching motion from former Cy Young award winner Dr. Mike Marshall.  This video is from the summer of 2007.  Although this pitcher had enough movement to fool these batters, he was not fully ready with all of his pitches.  He has now been in training this off season and will compete again soon."

     Because Bill Peterson, Chris O'Leary and others have said that, when they pitched in the new collegiate league in Colorado last summer, my baseball pitchers did a bad job, I am glad that this video shows the truth.

     Even though, in addition to pitching, my baseball pitchers had to play three to four positions every game, Mike and my other baseball pitchers did a great job.  They won the league.  Whatever screw-up happened was due to the incompetence of Bill Peterson pretending to be a pitching coach, not them.

     Immediately after that summer season, Mike returned to Zephyrhills and completed the remainder of my wrist weight and iron ball recoil interval-training cycles.  Compared with this video, Mike is twice the pitcher he was then with nearly flawless Maxline and Torque body actions and command of the six basic adult baseball pitches that I teach.

     He will attend Incarnate Word University this coming school year to pitch for my former assistant baseball coach, John Maley.  We are expecting great fun.

     Just before Mike leaves Zephyrhills this August, I will take video and high-speed film and make another DVD of Mike throwing my pitches.  When I get it finished, like I did with my 2007 group, I will post it online for all to see a quality example of my baseball pitching motion and the outstanding movement of the baseball pitches that I teach my baseball pitchers to throw.

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360.  Getting on the bus for Fantasy Land, I was curious about what your plan of attack would be if some enlightened owner (an oxymoron, no doubt) decided he wanted to begin phasing in your efforts.  Obviously, getting the pitchers to buy in would be the key.  The successful ones most likely wouldn't see any value, given their track record.

However, if as expected, the transformation to injury-free pitchers began, there would be undoubtedly a rush for your services.  Are there enough of your disciples (i.e. Jeff Sparks) who could spread the word, or would it take an extended number of years to correctly teach current and upcoming players?

Finally, how successful could a knuckleballer be with your delivery?  Their throwing doesn't strain the arm either, and the best ones last into their 40's.


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     If some owner wanted to eliminate pitching injuries and have his pitchers learn a wide variety of high-quality pitches, then I would expect the same thing that happened at every college where I coached baseball.

     With professional baseball pitchers, I would first take video and high-speed film of every baseball pitcher in the organization and put together DVDs such as I have done in my High-Speed Film and Video Analysis of my 2007 Baseball Pitchers file.  Then, I would explain to the entire group the mechanical flaws that injure their pitching arms and body.  Lastly, with every baseball pitchers individually, I would go over their DVD and explain where I recognize potential problems.

     After this process, without regard for the individual differences between baseball pitchers, I would require all baseball pitchers to learn how to powerfully pronate the releases of all pitches and pendulum swing their pitching arm to driveline height to arrive at the same time that their glove foot lands.

     Powerfully pronating the release of all pitches eliminates injuries to the back of the pitching elbow and the back of their pitching shoulder.  Pendulum swinging the pitching arm to driveline height to arrive at the same time that their glove foot lands eliminates injuries to the inside of the pitching elbow and the front of the pitching shoulder.

     In my coaching experience, all professional baseball pitchers could easily master these minor adjustments during one off-season.  To facilitate their learning and to give them a stronger base level of strength specifically related to baseball pitching, I would have them complete my 120-Day High School Baseball Pitchers Interval-Training Program that uses ten pound wrist weights, a six pound iron ball, square bucket lids, a practice javelin, an appropriately-sized football and baseballs.

     As you correctly noted, the successful baseball pitchers would do the minimum amount of work to satisfy these two mechanical adjustments.

     However, because I will have baseball pitchers available to skillfully demonstrate skilled my drills, entire baseball pitching motion and the high-quality six adult baseball pitches that I teach, to catch up with and surpass the baseball pitchers ahead of them, the lesser skilled baseball pitchers will want to do more than the minimum requirement.

     After a few months, the previously successful baseball pitchers will see that the lesser successful baseball pitchers have significantly improved the quality of their game.  Worried that they might no longer be the more successful baseball pitchers, the successful baseball pitchers will join the harder working group and everybody becomes better.

     If I am working for one major league organization, then I have more assistant baseball pitching coaches than I can use.  However, if you mean that I will need more Marshall baseball pitching coaches to teach collegiate, high school and youth baseball pitchers, then I would gladly offer Certification Clinics in which interested coaches could learn how to teach my baseball pitching motion and interval-training programs.

     Because my drivelines are straight and long, knuckleball pitchers will increase their ability to replicate their releases with greater release velocity.

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361.  Here is an article about Mark Prior.  What do you think?

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Prior has shoulder tear, will have season-ending surgery again
By Tom Krasovic
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
June 1, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO -- Mark Prior's season is over before it got started.  Prior will have surgery this week to repair a tear in the anterior capsule of his right (pitching) shoulder.

It is Prior's second season-ending shoulder surgery in two years, but after doctors briefed him, the 27-year-old vowed to pitch again, said his agent, John Boggs.

"He is determined to come back," Boggs said Sunday.  "Has he given up?  Hell, no.  This surgery is indicative of his desire to get back on the mound."

Prior sat out last season to recover from shoulder surgery done by Dr. James Andrews of Birmingham, Ala., in April 2007.  In December, Prior declined a bigger offer from the Astros and chose the Padres for $1 million.

The Padres, drawing on reports from Andrews and their doctors, said Prior would pitch for them this month, barring a setback.

Prior threw off the mound every fifth day in spring training and made 200-foot, flat-ground throws in early April.  But six pitches into a mound session in April, he was shut down.  He never pitched in a game at any level.

"You never know until you really step up the intensity," manager Bud Black said.  "And the fullest test of intensity is game action, and he didn't get that far."

After an MRI exam, Andrews diagnosed a capsule tear and prescribed rest.  Prior opted against the greater uncertainty of rehabilitation and consented to another surgery, which Padres doctors will perform.

"For Mark, I can't imagine how frustrated he is," Black said.

In 2007, Andrews repaired Prior's labrum and rotator cuff as part of a lengthy procedure.

Prior is a San Diego native who pitched for University of San Diego High School and USC.  The Cubs drafted him second overall in 2001 and Boggs negotiated a $10.5 million major league contract that grew to $13.85 million based on escalators, still the largest draft-related deal.  In 2003, Prior went 18-6 with a 2.43 ERA and helped the Cubs make the playoffs.  But, injuries have limited the right-hander to 57 starts in the past five years.


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     The three important sentences in this article are:

01.  In 2007, Andrews repaired Prior's labrum and rotator cuff as part of a lengthy procedure.

     The reason why 'traditional' baseball pitchers injure the labrum and the attachment of the Subscapularis muscle to the front of their pitching shoulder is because they take their pitching elbow behind their acromial line and pull their pitching arm diagonally across the front of their body.  Surgeons can repair labrums all day long, but, if the injured baseball pitchers do not stop these injurious flaws, then they will re-injure their labrums and Subscapularis attachments.

02.  Prior sat out last season to recover from shoulder surgery done by Dr. James Andrews of Birmingham, Ala., in April 2007.

     The best way to recover from surgery is to train the injured area to not only remove the injurious flaws, but to also increase the involved tissues to withstand the appropriate stress of baseball pitching.  By doing nothing, the involved tissues atrophied and became more susceptible to injury.

03.  The Padres, drawing on reports from Andrews and their doctors, said Prior would pitch for them this month, barring a setback.

     Clearly, Dr. Andrews is a fine surgeon, but he is a terrible Kinesiologist, Exercise Physiologist and Motor Skill Acquisitionist. This means that:

01.  he does not understand why baseball pitching injuries happen and what to do to eliminate them,

02.  he does not understand how to properly train baseball pitchers to withstand the appropriate stresses of base