Dr. Mike Marshall's Pitching Coach Services

The Reasons Why We Should Ignore Dr. John Francis D'Acquisto.

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About the Author

John Francis D'Acquisto (born December 24, 1951 in San Diego, California), is a former Major League Baseball player who pitched for six teams in his ten year career that spanned from 1973 to 1982.

D'Acquisto was named National League Rookie Pitcher of the Year in 1974 when he went 12-14 with a 3.77 ERA for the fifth-place Giants, but he missed most of the next season after elbow surgery.


     (In the year after he was named the National League Rookie of the Year, I wonder whether Mr. D’Acquisto understands why he needed surgery on his pitching elbow the season.)

In any five-year period, there are forty guys who are claimed by somebody to be as fast as Walter Johnson, or as fast as Bob Feller, or as fast as Nolan Ryan, as fast as whomever the standard is at the moment.   People made the same exact sort of comments about Pete Broberg that they did about David Clyde. We have the same kind of quotes about Gary Gentry, claiming he was as fast as Ryan.   The fastest known radar reading from that era, other than Nolan Ryan, was for John D'Acquisto according to: The Mighty Fastball By Bill James, The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers.

On June 11th of 2004, John D'Acquisto was awarded his Doctor of Science degree from Rochville University in Exercise Science and Physiology.   He also was awarded the "Award of Excellence" in Exercise Science and a Distinction in Advanced Exercise Physiology.   John is now the Regional Director for Sorganics specializing in Ocean Extract Organic Fertilizers from the Sea.


(I commend Dr. D’Acquisto for returning to college and earning a doctoral degree thirty years after he was named the National League Rookie of the Year.

     However, if he is biomechanically comparing my baseball pitching motion with Bill Peterson’s baseball pitching motion, then why is he now the Regional Director for Sorganics, specializing in Ocean Extract Organic Fertilizers from the Sea?)

NL Rookie of the Year (The Sporting News) 1974
NL Rookie Pitcher of the Year 1974
San Diego Hot Stove League Player of the Year 1974


     (Unfortunately, he does not appear to have pitched well after his surgery.)

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Comparing the Unconventional Marshall Pitching Motion to a Refined Conventional Pitching Motion That Incorporates Linear and Angular Applied Techniques
By:  John D’Acquisto, Ph.D.
February 26, 2009

Introduction

This report compares and contrasts two different baseball pitching motions as related to their athletic fitness levels.  To clarify, these pitching motions will henceforth be referred to as the "Unconventional Marshall Motion" and "Refined Conventional Motion."  As demonstrated by the case subject, biomechanical hallmarks of each motion and their applied techniques will be detailed in later sections.  Scientific biomechanical study of baseball pitching poses some significant challenges.


     (When scientifically evaluating variables, researchers should take care to not show their prejudices.  By referring to the ‘Marshall’ baseball pitching motion’ as unconventional, Dr. D’Acquisto displays his prejudice for all to see.  He should have compared the ‘Marshall’ baseball pitching motion with the ‘traditional’ baseball pitching motion.)

The fastest human athletic activity known, elite level pitching arm accelerations take place in less than two hundredths of a second.  Recording body segments moving at these speeds requires equipment that operates at micro-second levels...tools like high speed video, high speed film and, more recently, motion sensors.

     (While all this is true, it fails to examine the anatomical aspect of the baseball pitching motion.  All this equipment provides are numbers. Therefore, the results are only as valuable as the programmer of the program.  Without a detailed explanation of what and how the programmed measured, we cannot evaluate the value of the results.  I remind everybody that, upon close examination of what and how the American Sports Medicine Program evaluated the ‘Marshall’ and ‘traditional’ baseball pitching motion proved to be without any value, not even providing the basic acceleration graph.)

Although no two athletes perform the baseball pitching motion in exactly the same way there are commonalities in deliveries.  Researching a more efficient and anatomically sound way to throw is difficult because the sample size is always one:  one pitcher.  This study is unique because it is the focus of a professional caliber athlete who has learned two distinct ways to throw.

     (At least, even though every conclusion that they made was wrong, the American Sports Medicine Institute investigation evaluated four ‘Marshall’ baseball pitchers.)

The study subject is a 23 year-old male, 6'-4, 215-pound, left-handed pitcher, previously drafted by a Major League Baseball club in 2003.  From June 2004 to May 2007 the subject participated in three years of intensive physical training while learning an alternate mechanic under the direct guidance and supervision of Dr. Mike Marshall.

     (Unfortunately, the subject, Patrick Howe, is an incompetent performer of the ‘Marshall’ baseball pitching motion.  Therefore, any further comparison of how Mr. Howe performed the ‘Marshall’ baseball pitching motion fails the fairness requirement.)

In the eighteen months prior to this study, the subject reports experiencing significant pain in the left anterior shoulder.  Medical evaluation revealed signs of partial shoulder dislocation that correlates with the subject’s training experience.  Portions of this study were designed specifically to identify stressors in the Unconventional Marshall Pitching Motion that might have contributed to anterior shoulder pain.

     (When I daily routinely asked Mr. Howe and all other pitchers I was training whether they were experiencing any pitching discomfort, Mr. Howe never complained about ant partial shoulder dislocation problem.&nbnsp At no time during Mr. Howe’s training with me was Mr. Howe unable to train.  Therefore, whatever problem Mr. Howe presently has is a result of changing his pitching motion at the insistence of his father, Bill Peterson.)

Methodology & Scientific Assumptions

When analyzing the pitching motion and assessing the value of a model for the perfect pitching motion there are individual-specific issues that need to be assessed for each pitcher; they are like fingerprints and each is unique.  Due to variances of an individual’s skeletal and muscular structure his pitching technique bears a unique biomechanical signature.


     (Unnecessary rhetoric that contributes nothing to the discussion.)

It is suggested that assessments be made on each individual, focusing on the overall stress conduit relative to their physical ability to perform, repeat, and maintain the specific movements of their technique.  To say that there is a perfect model for pitching is a misnomer and should be viewed as such.

     (Unnecessary rhetoric that contributes nothing to the discussion.)

There have been cases of longevity among pitchers and their pitching motions over the years.  Most of the case subjects have physically trained their bodies to accept specific amounts of stress at certain points of the kinetic chain sequence.  The repetitive movements specific to their motion are very consistent and maintain that consistency throughout their career, thus decreasing the chance of mistake or injury.

     (Unnecessary rhetoric that contributes nothing to the discussion.)

In this study we are examining the consistencies, durability potential, stress factors, kinetic chain sequences and overall injury parameters that would present potential injury or decreased longevity to the subject athlete, as compared between the Refined Conventional Motion and the Unconventional Marshall Pitching Motion.

     (We will see.)

The study collected objective data utilizing 3D-motion tracking sensors strategically placed on key body segments to extract biomechanical information necessary for comparative analysis.

     (This means that Dr. D’Acquisto taped shiny balls on various body locations.  Now, he needs to list these locations and what measurements they provided.)

This analysis was not designed to provide an indication of the subject’s ability to perform a given task (though some insights about inherent ability were gained).  Rather it is a measure of the relative efficiency of the ability of the two motions to efficiently transfer energy from one body segment to the other and the fitness levels needed to perform each motion as demonstrated by the subject.

     (Dr. D’Acquisto says that the analysis measured the relative efficiency of the two motions to effectively transfer energy from one body segment to another and the fitness required for Mr. Howe to perform the ‘Marshall’ and ‘traditional’ baseball pitching motions.

     To me, that means that Dr. D’Acquisto will provide the velocity of the baseball at the end of the activity of each body segment; that is, the pitching leg, the glove leg, the hips, the shoulders, the glove arm, the pitching upper arm, the pitching forearm, the pitching wrist, the pitching hand and the pitching fingers.)

All objective data was obtained using the E-Factor motion capture system developed by JZZ Technologies, Inc., systematized in part through analysis of elite athletes using data gathered from nine years of studies.

     (To determine whether the equipment is capable of providing reliable information is always a question.  This does not provide the method that Dr. D’Acquisto used to determine the repeatability of the equipment to provide accurate data.  More importantly, it does not provide the locations of the shiny balls and the data that they supposedly provided.  That Dr. D’Acquisto has used the same criteria for nine years does not mean that he has provided accurate data.  With some standard calibration technique, he needs to explain how he verifies the data.)

Fitness levels (muscle strength relative to specific actions or motions) and relative ideals used in the study were derived from anatomically correct kinetic chaining sequences.

     (Dr. D’Acquisto needs to explain how he determined anatomically correct kinetic chaining sequences.  But first, he needs to define the requirements for a correct kinetic chain for baseball pitching.  For example, if one segment in the anatomical sequence fails to provide force that accelerates the baseball, does that mean that the force application technique does not satisfy the requirements to be a correct kinetic chain?)

Ideal sequencing was determined in part through longevity of the subjects from past studies and from existing Torque Stand studies involving over 48,000 test cases.

     (That Dr. D’Acquisto and others have repeated this procedure forty-eight thousand times does not mean that they have determined the proper sequencing of the body parts for baseball pitching.  Dr. D’Acquisto needs to explain what he believes is that correct kinetic chain for baseball pitching.)

Using integrated system software, fitness levels were evaluated on the basis of the sum of muscle torques developed by main muscle groups under static conditions (ISI - isometric strength indicator).

     (This means that Dr. D’Acquisto had Patrick Howe apply force to a strain gauge.  Unfortunately, force that athletes can apply isometrically to strain gauges in non-specific position does not relate well to how they apply force in sport activities.  Therefore, I would consider this information as a waste of time.)

Measurements were based in part on previous studies using an isometric muscle torque stand (local make), which enabled the direct measuring of torques for flexors and extensors of elbow, shoulder, knee and hip joints and flexors and extensors of trunk. Angle positions for all joints were 90 deg (with 180 deg meaning full extension) with the exception of shoulder joint (45 deg).  The stand enabled each group of muscles to be measured with simultaneous elimination of the influence of any other forces on the result [Jaszczuk et al.1987].

     (See what I mean. With regard to baseball pitching, these measurements have no meaning.)

Kinematic anatomical sequencing was examined by recording and comparing Maximum Rotational Speeds and Progressive Speed Gains for each major body segment, measured in degrees per second.

     (In degrees per second, Dr. D’Acquisto says that he measured maximum rotational speeds and progressive speed gains for each major body segment.  Why did not Dr. D’Acquisto simply tell us that he measured these variables for the hips and shoulders?  Why do we have to guess what he means by major body segments?)

Directional speeds in the X, Y, and Z planes were measured.

     (For what did Dr. D’Acquisto measure these directional speeds? Did he measure the directional speeds of the baseball, the center of mass, the pitching hand, the glove leg foot and so on?

     When Dr. D’Acquisto says that he measured the directional speeds in the X, Y and Z planes, he means that he measured how fast something moved toward home plate, the X plane, side-to-side, the Y axis and upward, the Z plane.

     I want to see the acceleration graph for the baseball in the X plane.  That is the only statistic that matters. We need to see how fast Mr. Howe accelerated the baseball when he lifted his glove leg, strided seventy to ninety percent of his standing height, forwardly rotated his hips, forwardly rotated his shoulders and when he released his pitches.  Who cares about anything else?)

Hand speeds, relative tempo, posture at stance, posture at balance point, posture at hand break, posture at toe touch, posture at delivery and posture at finish were all derived from the data.

     (I don’t care about hand speeds. I want to know the baseball velocity.  I don’t care about tempo, whatever Dr. D’Acquisto thinks that is, I want to know the baseball velocity.  I don’t care about Mr. Howe’s posture when his glove foot lands, when he releases the baseball or after he recovers from throwing the baseball, I want to know about the baseball velocity.)

The biomechanical structures were analyzed and then mathematically assessed to determine the efficiency of the two specific pitching motions.

     (The acceleration graph of the baseball determines the efficiency of how Mr.  Howe applied force to the baseball, not biomechanical structure, whatever Dr. D’Acquisto thinks that those are.)

The diagram below shows the coordinate system used by the E-Factor analysis software used in this study.  The axes shown are used to determine spatial position as well as orientation.

     (Who cares?  We are not evaluating how well dogs prance around at a dog show.  We want to know: What is the best way for baseball pitchers to apply force to their pitches?)

All movements are recorded using sensors placed on the body that are constantly monitored by an electromagnetic global reference frame surrounding the athlete.

     (Yeah, you have eight video cameras that record where the shiny balls are at any moment.  Did you put a shiny ball on the baseball? Did you put a shiny ball on the back of the tip of the middle finger of the pitching hand?  When calculating the acceleration graph, these are the only shiny balls that matter.)

Unconventional Marshall Motion: Hand Speeds

The graph and chart below depicts the subject’s hand speed during the trial from stance to finish.  The red line represents the hand speed towards or away from the target (X-Axis).  The green line represents hand speed laterally across the body (Y-Axis).  The blue line represents hand speed up or down (Z-Axis).  The yellow line represents overall hand speed and is calculated based on all three vectors (X-, Y-, and Z-Axes).


     (With regard to the acceleration graph, the only plane that matters is the X axis toward home plate.  However, I would like to know how much force Mr. Howe wasted moving the baseball in the side-to-side axis.

     Unfortunately, because Mr. Howe either could not or would not learn how to raise his pitching upper arm to vertically beside his head, I know that he had way too much side-to-side force application.

     With my baseball pitching motion, as viewed from above, my baseball pitchers drive the baseball as close to straight toward home plate as they possibly can. Mr. Howe never did.)

Overall Hand Speed Efficiency: 25.4%

Direction Max (MPH) Min (MPH) At Delivery (MPH) Res. At Delivery (%)
X Direction 46.62 -10.05 +35.33 76.1
Y Direction 9.88 -22.75 -20.97 -45.1
Z Direction 21.15 -28.36 -21.67 -46.7
Resultant 47.02 0.07 +46.45 n/a

In the table above:

X Direction defines movement toward and away from the target.  Positive values indicate hand speed toward the target.  Negative values indicate hand speed away from the target.

Y Direction defines movement toward and away from the body laterally.  Positive values indicate lateral hand speed away from the body.  Negative values indicate lateral hand speed toward the body.

Z Direction defines movement up and down. Positive values indicate hand• speed upwards.  Negative values indicated hand speed downwards.

Overall hand speed efficiency is an indicator of both accuracy and biomechanical efficiency.  The higher the score the more likely any given pitch will be delivered to the target.  Higher scores also predict less fatigue and less injury risk.

The subject’s overall hand speed efficiency of 25.4%, using the Unconventional Marshall Motion, places him at risk for both substantial fatigue and injury and predicts that he will have difficulty in throwing strikes with this delivery.


     (Because Mr. Howe cannot or will not perform my baseball pitching motion correctly, who cares about what these measurements say?  This entire study is a waste of time.  That Dr. D’Acquisto does not understand that shows that he has no idea of how to conduct real research.

     Whatever risk Mr. Howe faces, by not performing my baseball pitching motion as I taught him, he caused for himself.)

Unconventional Marshall Motion:  Body Posture at Toe Touch

Toe touch is defined as the moment when the stride foot lands and weight has transferred in a straight line towards the target.


     (Dr. D’Acquisto is telling us how he believes that baseball pitchers should move the center of mass forward.  Unfortunately, he does not tell us whether he believes that baseball pitchers should reverse rotate their hips beyond second base or whether baseball pitchers should move their glove foot forward seventy to ninety percent of their standing height.  However, he does say that baseball pitchers should move their glove foot straight toward the target.  Does that mean straight toward home plate from where the glove foot starts or the pitching foot contacts the pitching rubber?)

Simultaneously the pitcher should initiate forward movement of the throwing arm and rotation of the pelvis and upper body.

     (Again, Dr. D’Acquisto is unclear.  Dr. D’Acquisto said that baseball pitchers should immediately begin to rotate their pitching upper arm forwardly.  How can baseball pitchers rotate their pitching upper arm forwardly before they rotate their hips and shoulders forwardly?  At least, he should have said ‘initiate rotation movement of their hips, shoulders and pitching arm forwardly in that order.

     Because Dr. D’Acquisto said that baseball pitchers should initiate all three at the same time, does he not believe in separating the forward rotation of the hips and shoulders?)

Posture at toe touch is vital if a pitcher is to be in a strong, athletic position where upper and lower body can work together to transfer energy efficiently.

     (When the glove foot of baseball pitchers lands, what posture does Dr. D’Acquisto believe is a strong, athletic position where the upper and lower body can work together to transfer energy efficiently?

     Dr. D’Acquisto needs to describe that posture and explain why he believes that it is a strong, athletic position where upper and lower body can work together to transfer energy efficiently.  Further, from what to what does Dr. D’Acquisto believe that baseball pitchers transfer energy?

     To transfer force from their body and pitching arm to the baseball, I teach my baseball pitchers that, when the glove foot lands, they should stand tall and powerfully rotate the pitching arm side of their body forward through release.

     If Dr. D’Acquisto believes that, when their glove foot lands, baseball pitchers should bend forward at their waist, then I strongly disagree.  Unfortunately, because Dr. D’Acquisto fails or refuses to describe what he means, we should ignore whatever he says.)

Overall Efficiency of Body Posture At Toe Touch: 51.2%
Body Segment Subject Posture Ideal Posture Difference
Pelvis Rotation: 35.60 Open 45.00 Open 9.60 Closed
Spine Rotation: 19.91 Closed 15.00 Closed 4.91 Closed
Upper Body Rotation: 15.63 Open 30.00 Open 14.37 Closed
Head Rotation: 70.31 Open 75.00 Open 4.69 Closed
Trail Foot Rotation: 84.20 Closed 35.00 Open 119.20 Closed
Lead Foot Rotation: 94.93 Open 80.00 Open 14.93 Open
Pelvis Forward-Backward Bend: 0.77 Forward 2.00 Forward 1.23 Backward
Spine Forward-Backward Bend: 0.51 Forward 6.00 Forward 5.49 Backward
Torso Forward-Backward Bend: 0.86 Forward 8.00 Forward 7.14 Backward
Head Forward-Backward Bend: 3.71 Forward 10.00 Forward 6.29 Backward
Trail Foot Dorsi-Plantar Flexion: 69.28 Up 25.00 Up 44.28 Up
Lead Foot Dorsi-Plantar Flexion: 6.22 Up 0.00 Up 6.22 Up
Pelvis Side Bend: 1.10 Lead 3.00 Lead 1.90 Trail
Spine Side Bend: 9.00 Trail 5.00 Trail 4.00 Trail
Torso Side Bend: 7.70 Trail 2.00 Trail 5.70 Trail
Head Side Bend: 27.50 Lead 5.00 Trail 32.50 Trail
Trail Foot Pronation-Supination: 5.52 Outward 20.00 Inward 25.52 Outward
Lead Foot Pronation-Supination: 9.38 Inward 0.00 Outward 9.38 Inward
(Note: All measurements in degrees; Data taken from frame 743)


     (Is Dr. D’Acquisto serious with all these measurements?  Even if Dr. D’Acquisto clearly explained how the computer program determined every one of these measurements, they mean nothing.  The only measurement of any value is the acceleration graph of the baseball.  Keep it simple.)

Unconventional Marshall Motion: Body Posture At Ball Release

Delivery or release point is defined as the instant in which the pitcher’s hand is furthest from the body in the direction of the target while the middle finger is still in contact with the ball.  Every athlete must reach this point immediately at ball release.


     (I define the ‘Release Point’ as the moment the baseball leaves the tip of the middle finger.  The instant in which the pitcher’s hand is furthest from the body in the direction of the target has nothing to do with ‘Release Point.’  That would be the end of the deceleration phase.)

Overall Efficiency of Body Posture At Ball Release: 26.8%
Body Segment Subject Posture Ideal* Posture Difference
Pelvis Rotation: 122.64 Open 90.00 Open 32.64 Open
Spine Rotation: 0.69 Closed 0.00 Open 0.69 Open
Upper Body Rotation: 138.62 Open 90.00 Open 48.62 Open
Head Rotation: 140.72 Open 90.00 Open 50.72 Open
Trail Foot Rotation: 209.78 Closed 80.00 Open 289.78 Closed
Lead Foot Rotation: 93.24 Open 80.00 Open 13.24 Open
Pelvis Forward-Backward Bend: 15.72 Forward 10.00 Forward 5.72 Forward
Spine Forward-Backward Bend: 24.50 Forward 15.00 Forward 5.72 Forward
Torso Forward-Backward Bend: 38.89 Forward 25.00 Forward 13.89 Forward
Head Forward-Backward Bend: 26.14 Forward 2.00 Forward 24.14 Forward
Trail Foot Dorsi-Plantar Flexion: 42.16 Upward 85.00 Upward 42.84 Downward
Lead Foot Dorsi-Plantar Flexion: 9.00 Upward 0.00 Upward 9.00 Upward
Pelvis Side Bend: 2.43 Trail 0.00 Trail 2.43 Trail
Spine Side Bend: 48.94 Lead 10.00 Trail 58.94 Trail
Torso Side Bend: 44.38 Lead 10.00 Trail 54.38 Lead
Head Side Bend: 26.98 Lead 0.00 Trail 27.98 Lead
Trail Foot Pronation-Supination: 2.04 Outward 7.00 Inward 9.04 Outward
Lead Foot Pronation-Supination: 34.52 Inward 0.00 Outward 34.52 Inward
(Note: All measurements in degrees; Data taken from frame 805)


     (Unless Dr. D’Acquisto can explain why anybody should care about each of these measurements, he needs to stop with the mind-dulling repetition of worthless tables and numbers.  I do not care about whether, in frame 805, Mr. Howe’s the trail foot dorsi or plantar flexes.  Where is the acceleration graph for the baseball?)

Note that in the subject’s graphs and charts derived from the E-Factor system the word IDEAL is used.  This is not based on a conceptualized model, but rather a computation of all of the analysis done in the past of subjects who scored high with respect to overall fitness to their specific athletic endeavor.

     (Boy, I am glad that Dr. D’Acquisto explained that ‘IDEAL’ is not based on a conceptual model, but on how somebody subjectively evaluated past subjects.  I assume that, like Dr. Glenn Fleisig with his Elite group of baseball pitchers, he selected those ‘traditional’ baseball pitchers with the highest release velocity.

     When will these biomechanists understand that release velocity does not mean perfect force application  Release velocity indicates percent of fast-twitch muscle fibers.  They need to search for the best, injury-free way for baseball pitchers to apply force to their pitches.)

It was noted that the subject’s linear movement reaches peak approximately 0.3 seconds prior to ball release and his rotational momentum reaches peak at ball release.

     (That Mr. Howe moved the center of mass of his body forward at his peak velocity three tenths of a second prior to when he released his pitch shows that Mr. Howe stopped moving the center of mass of his body forward.  This means that, contrary to my instructions, Mr. Howe did not use his pitching foot to drive or his glove foot to pull the center of mass of his body forward.  However, from striding seventy to ninety percent of their standing height, all ‘traditional’ baseball pitchers similarly stop the center of mass of their body from moving forward.

     However, that Mr. Howe rotated his hips and shoulders through release shows that he stood tall and rotated.  Because ‘traditional’ baseball pitchers stride so far that they cannot continue to move the center of mass of their body forward, ‘traditional’ baseball pitchers have to bend forward at their waist.  Obviously, ‘traditional’ baseball pitchers do not rotate their shoulders through release.)

This indicates a pre-release linear braking motion of the body.  This action will place higher stress on the anterior of the shoulder joint as it positions itself for energy transfer to the elbow, wrist and hand.

     (Mr. Howe’s inability to perform the body action that I teach is unfortunate.  However, that he was able to rotate his body forward through release is good.  Mr. Howe performed that skill far better than ‘traditional’ baseball pitchers do.)

The following chart and robotic representation of the subject addresses the relative positions of shoulders vs. hips at ball release using the Unconventional Marshall Motion.

It is noted that at ball release the subject’s shoulders are only 17 degrees forward of his hips.  This indicates poor utilization of trunk rotational torque in the delivery of the pitch.


     (To determine whether Mr. Howe rotated his shoulders seventeen degrees farther forward than his hips is good or bad, we need to know how far in front of the pitching rubber Mr. Howe rotated his hips forward.

     That is, if Mr. Howe rotated his hips seventy-three degrees forward of the front of the pitching rubber, then, to have rotated his shoulders seventeen more degrees would mean that Mr. Howe pointed his acromial line at home plate.  Then, Mr. Howe would have been able to drive his pitching arm down his acromial line straight at home plate.

     When Dr. D’Acquisto provides table after table of irrelevant information about the position of various body parts, why does Dr. D’Acquisto fail to report this critical information?  Does Dr. D’Acquisto not understand how important from where to where baseball pitcher rotate their hips forward or does that information not help his negative comments?

     Now, we enter the endless, meaningless tables that Biomechanists use without explaining how they gather the data.  For some reasons, Biomechanists believe lots and lots of numbers make them look smart.  To me, it makes them look desperate.)

Also see enlarged version of the robotic representation below.
Date of Test: 14 January 2008
Location: Mountain Pointe


     (This means that, in January 2008, Dr. D’Acquisto conducted this biomechanical analysis of Mr. Howe.  Then, on February 26, 2009, Dr. D’Acquisto published this report in this venue.)

Three-dimensional motion tracking sensors were strategically placed on key body segments to extract data. Breakdown of efficiency scores follows.

Higher scores represent a more biomechanically efficient motion.

Efficiency Summary
Hand
Speed: 58.3%
Temp: 66.5%
Posture at Stance: 51.9%
Posture at Balance: 44.1%
Point
Posture at Hand Break: 44.3%
Posture at Toe Touch: 37.8%
Posture at Delivery: 28.1%
Posture at Finish: 31.0%


     (To interest me in this list of numbers, Dr. D’Acquisto would not only need to explain how he collected each number, he would have to convince me that they somehow explain how Mr. Howe needs to apply force better.)

The graph and charts in this section depict the relative speeds and sequencing of the subject’s left side joints, prior to and at ball release.  Efficient ballistic athletic events will follow a sequential delivery and forward passage of peak joint linear velocities from the ground up through the wrist and hand.

The graph below represents the trial kinematic sequence from address to finish.  The red line represents rotational speed of the pelvis.  The green line represents rotational speed of the upper body.  The blue line represents rotational speed of the arm.  The yellow line represents rotational speed of the hand.


     (Sorry, Dr. D’Acquisto, while the pretty colors are nice, they failed to convince me that they somehow explain how Mr. Hower needs to apply force better.

Max Rotational Speed (degrees/sec)
Segment Subject Ideal
Pelvis: 619.96 500.00
Upper Body: 868.52 850.00
Arm: 5905.61 5000.00
Hand: 4391.86 7000.00
Progressive Speed Gains (degrees/sec)
Segment Subject Ideal
Pelvis to UBody: 248.56 350.00
UBody to Arm: 5037.10 4150.00
Arm to Hand: -1513.95 2000.00
Kinematic Sequence
Ideal Kinematic Sequence: Pelvis, Torso, Arm, Hand
Subject Kinematic Sequence: Pelvis, Torso, Hand, Arm

Each body segment in the kinematic sequence must transfer energy efficiently to the next segment.  Power created, beginning with the feet, is transferred through the legs, pelvis, torso and arms to be delivered at the hand or sports implement.  Each segment adds its distinct energy increase to total power.


     (Finally, Dr. D’Acquisto defined the requirements of Kinetic Chain.  Basically, the Kinetic Chain is the same as the Conservation of Momentum.  That is, when the object of interest starts moving in the desired direction of action, all body segments contribute to the acceleration of the object of interest.  I will agree with that.

     Now, Dr. D’Acquisto needs to show us how the feet initiated the movement of the baseball toward home plate.  Then, how the legs accelerated the baseball.  Then, how the pelvis accelerated of the baseball.  Then, how the torso accelerated the baseball. And lastly, how the arms accelerated the baseball.)

It is important that energy increases transfer smoothly and in proper sequence.  Correct sequencing allows for a biomechanically fluid motion that contributes more power, explosiveness and efficiency while reducing workload and risk of injury.  Abrupt gains or losses from one segment to the next can be indicative of potential problem areas or specific injury risks.

     (I agree that, once started, the baseball should uniformly accelerate through release.  I agree that, if the baseball does not uniformly accelerate through release, then baseball pitchers are not smoothly and in proper body segment sequence transferring force to the baseball.

     However, Dr. D’Acquisto fails to acknowledge that, with the ‘traditional’ baseball pitching motion, when the glove foot lands, the baseball is either standing still or moving backward.  This means that the feet and legs have not contributed anything to the acceleration of the baseball toward home plate.

     Note to Dr. D’Acquisto:

     Stop writing tables and tables of numbers, show us the high-speed film.      We can see how Mr. Howe is accelerating the baseball.  We do not need your numbers.

     High-speed film will also show that, with his ‘traditional’ baseball pitching motion, Mr. Howe does not use his Triceps Brachii muscle to extend his pitching elbow.  This violates Dr. D’Acquisto’s requirement of involving every body segment in the proper sequence.  With no muscle in the pitching elbow joint concentrically contracting, the pitching elbow is not accelerating the baseball.)

Refined Conventional Motion: Hand Speeds

     (Oh boy, now we get to see the numbers that Dr. D’Acquisto found for Bill Peterson’s baseball pitching motion.)

The graph below represents subject hand speed during the trial from stance to finish.  The red line represents the hand speed towards or away from the target (X-Axis).  The green line represents hand speed laterally across the body (Y-Axis).  The blue line represents hand speed up or down (Z-Axis).  The yellow line represents overall hand speed and is calculated based on all three vectors (X-, Y-, and Z-Axes).

Overall Hand Speed Efficiency: 58.3%
Direction Max (MPH) Min (MPH) At Delivery (MPH) Res. At Delivery (%)
X Direction: 60.28 -18.73 47.38 97.2
Y Direction: 13.14 -21.76 -10.56 -21.7
Z Direction: 22.65 -31.18 -4.32 -8.9
Resultant: 62.04 0.06 48.73 n/a

In the table above:

X Direction defines movement toward and away from the target.  Positive• values indicate hand speed toward the target.  Negative values indicate hand speed away from the target.

Y Direction defines movement toward and away from the body laterally.•  Positive values indicate lateral hand speed away from the body.  Negative values indicate lateral hand speed toward the body.

Z Direction defines movement up and down. Positive values indicate hand• speed upwards.  Negative values indicated hand speed downwards.

Overall hand speed efficiency is an indicator of both accuracy and biomechanical efficiency.&nbdp The higher the score the more likely any given pitch will be delivered to the target.%nbsp Higher scores also predict less fatigue and less injury risk.

The subjects overall hand speed efficiency of 58.3%, using the Refined Conventional Motion, places him at risk for fatigue yet lowers the risk of injury as compared to the Unconventional Marshall Motion.'


     (We need go no farther.  With these incredible tables and colored lines, Dr. D’Acquisto has convinced me.  The overall hand speed efficiency of 58.3% was all I needed to see.)

Toe touch is defined as the moment when the stride foot lands and weight has transferred in a straight line towards the target.  Simultaneously the pitcher should initiate forward movement of the throwing arm and rotation of the pelvis and upper body.

Posture at toe touch is vital if a pitcher is to be in a strong, athletic position where upper and lower body can work together to transfer energy efficiently.

Overall Efficiency of Body Posture At Toe Touch: 37.8%
Body Segment Subject Posture Ideal Posture Difference
Pelvis Rotation: 51.06 Open 45.00 Open 6.06 Open
Spine Rotation: 33.93 Closed 15.0 Closed 18.93 Closed
Upper Body Rotation: 17.01 Open 30.00 Open 12.99 Closed
Head Rotation: 75.66 Open 75.00 Open 0.66 Open
Trail Foot Rotation: 84.48 Open 35.00 Open 49.48 Open
Lead Foot Rotation: 93.90 Open 80.00 Open 13.90 Open
Pelvis Forward-Backward Bend: 2.52 Backward 2.00 Forward 4.52 Backward
Spine Forward-Backward Bend: 7.10 Backward 6.00 Forward 13.10 Backward
Torso Forward-Backward Bend: 7.66 Backward 8.00 Forward 15.66 Backward
Head Forward-Backward Bend: 2.67 Forward 10.00 Forward 7.33 Backward
Trail Foot Dorsi-Plantar Flexion: 66.68 Up 25.00 Up 41.68 Up
Lead Foot Dorsi-Plantar Flexion: 7.65 Up 0.00 Up 7.65 Up
Pelvis Side Bend: 2.82 Trail 3.00 Lead 5.82 Trail
Spine Side Bend: 7.84 Lead 5.00 Trail 12.84 Lead
Torso Side Bend: 4.09 Lead 2.00 Trail 6.09 Lead
Head Side Bend: 37.71 Lead 5.00 Trail 42.71 Lead
Trail Foot Pronation-Supination: 4.78 Outward 20.00 Inward 24.78 Outward
Lead Foot Pronation-Supination: 18.34 Outward 0.00 Outward 18.34 Outward
Note: All measurements in degrees; Data taken from frame 664


     (Please stop.  When I compare this table with the table Mr. Howe achieved with my baseball pitching motion, I am convinced that I wasted all those years earning my doctoral degree and researching baseball pitching.  Instead, I should have simply read everything that I wrote, plagiarized the information and pretended to be knowledgable.)

Refined Conventional Motion: Body Posture At Ball Release Delivery or release point is defined as the instant in which the pitcher’s hand is furthest from the body in the direction of the target while the middle finger is still in contact with the ball.  Every athlete must reach this point immediately at ball release.

Overall Efficiency of Body Posture At Delivery: 28.1%
Body Segment Subject Posture Ideal Posture Difference
Pelvis Rotation: 118.98 Open 90.00 Open 28.98 Open
Spine Rotation: 6.83 Closed 0.00 Open 6.83 Closed
Upper Body Rotation: 134.46 Open 90.00 Open 44.46 Open
Head Rotation: 134.09 Open 90.00 Open 44.09 Open
Trail Foot Rotation: 150.00 Open 80.00 Open 70.00 Open
Lead Foot Rotation: 93.38 Open 80.00 Open 13.38 Open
Pelvis Forward-Backward Bend: 21.48 Forward 10.00 Forward 11.48 Forward
Spine Forward-Backward Bend: 20.31 Forward 15.00 Forward 5.31 Forward
Torso Forward-Backward Bend: 40.73 Forward 25.00 Forward 15.73 Forward
Head Forward-Backward Bend: 17.18 Forward 2.00 Forward 15.18 Forward
Trail Foot Dorsi-Plantar Flexion: 57.13 Upward 85.00 Upward 27.87 Down
Lead Foot Dorsi-Plantar Flexion: 10.48 Upward 0.00 Upward 10.48 Upward
Pelvis Side Bend: 4.32 Trail 0.00 Trail 4.32 Trail
Spine Side Bend: 47.97 Lead 10.00 Trail 57.97 Lead
Torso Side Bend: 41.91 Lead 10.00 Trail 51.91 Lead
Head Side Bend: 24.37 Lead 0.00 Trail 24.37 Lead
Trail Foot Pronation-Supination: 4.61 Outward 7.00 Inward 11.61 Outward
Lead Foot Pronation-Supination: 4.55 Inward 0.00 Outward 4.55 Inward
Note: All measurements in degrees; Data taken from frame 706


     (Please stop.  I am convinced.  Bill Peterson is a genius.  I cannot believe how I wasted my life.)

The following chart and robotic representation of the subject addresses the relative positions of shoulders vs. hips at ball release using the Refined Conventional Motion.'

Within a reasonable degree of scientific probability, the subject’s Unconventional Marshall Motion pitching technique was contributing to an acute overuse syndrome of the anterior left shoulder.


     (Within a reasonable degree of scientific probability?  What the hell is that?  I have not read one sentence of science.  Now, Dr. D’Acquisto says that he has a reasonable degree of scientific probability that my baseball pitching motion contributes to Mr. Howe’s overuse syndrome of anterior left shoulder.

     Does it make any difference that Mr. Howe is not doing what I teach.  Instead, he is doing what Bill Peterson teaches.  And, what the hell is an overuse syndrome?  Is that the cause of every injury that baseball pitchers suffer?  If so, then how did I pitch three hundred and eighty-seven innings of closing relief pitching in one hundred and ninety-two games in 1973 and 1974 without any discomfort?  That sounds to me like overuse.)

     Dr. D’Acquisto concluded that my baseball pitching motion contributed to an acute overuse syndrome of the front of his pitching shoulder.  When baseball pitchers use their Pectoralis Major muscle to pull their pitching upper arm forward and across the front of their body, they injure the front of their pitching shoulder.

     I teach my baseball pitchers to use their Latissimus Dorsi muscle to drive their pitching upper arm forward.  That Mr. Howe either cannot or refuses to do as I teach is his problem.

     However, all ‘traditional’ baseball pitchers use their Pectoralis Major muscle to pull their pitching upper arm forward and across the front of their body.  That is why ‘traditional’ baseball pitchers injure the front of their pitching shoulder.)

When using the Refined Conventional Motion it was determined that the subject’s point of release was more consistent as well as his ability to throw the ball to spots accurately without pain in the anterior left shoulder capsule.

     (Interestingly, Dr. D’Acquisto failed to say whether Bill Peterson’s baseball pitching motion contributes to an acute overuse syndrome of the front of Mr. Howe’s pitching shoulder?  I know that Bill Peterson’ baseball pitching motion uses the Pectoralis Major muscle to pull the pitching upper arm forward and across the front of the body.

     Nevertheless, Dr. D’Acquisto concluded that Bill Peterson’s version of the ‘traditional’ baseball pitching motion enabled Mr. Howe to more consistently and accurately throw baseballs without anterior pitching shoulder capsule pain.

     Do you suppose that, knowing that his father, Bill Peterson, was paying for this evaluation and wanted to discredit my baseball pitching motion, Mr. Howe tried as hard as he could to throw strikes with my baseball pitching motion?*nbsp Do you think that Mr. Howe had a conflict of interest?  That alone makes this ‘research’ worthless.

     The endless tables and rhetoric without visual evidence mean nothing. Besides, we have already established that Mr. Howe either fails or refuses to properly perform my baseball pitching motion.  In addition, a sample size of one means nothing.  This is all a waste of time.)

The subject, after 3 days of training with the Refined Conventional Motion, was adjusting to his new pitching style.  He was pain free and pitching at 100% effort, although feeling that he is only applying 85% of his effort.

     (Are you kidding me?  In three days, Mr. Howe mastered Bill Peterson’s baseball pitching motion.  Further, because Mr. Howe said that he felt that he was applying eighty-five percent of his effort, Dr. D’Acquisto included this worthless, non-scientific comment in his report.)

During the Refined Conventional Motion assessment, the motion direction of player's center of gravity is consistent with the direction of ball flight, so it has an initial velocity before release.

     (Dr. D’Acquisto says that Mr. Howe moved the center of mass of his body straight toward home plate.  Good.  That is precisely what I teach my baseball pitchers to do.&nbdsp With the ‘traditional’ baseball pitching motion, baseball pitchers stride ‘closed.’  This means that they move the center of mass of their body to the pitching arm side of straight toward home plate.  It is nice that Mr. Howe did for his father’s baseball pitching motion what he could not do for my baseball pitching motion.

     Dr. D’Acquisto also says that, because Mr. Howe moves the center of mass of his body straight toward home plate, the baseball has an initial velocity before release.

     First, before release, all baseballs have an initial velocity.  That has nothing to do with whether baseball pitchers move the center of their body straight toward home plate.

     Second, the only way for baseball pitchers to move the baseball forward when they move the center of mass of their body forward is to pendulum swing the baseball to driveline height to arrive at the same time that their glove foot lands.  That is what I taught Mr. Howe to do.  It is nice that Mr. Howe did for his father’s baseball pitching motion what he could not do for my baseball pitching motion.

     ‘Traditional’ baseball pitchers start the center of mass of their body forward at the same time that they start to take the baseball backward.  Therefore, unless Mr. Howe used my baseball pitching motion, he could not have moved the baseball forward at the same time that he moved the center of mass of his body forward.)

The results of strength assessments (both under static and dynamic conditions) cannot be directly compared to others results because the unconventional measurements procedure was applied.

     (What is the unconventional measurements procedure?  In all the tables and meaningless rhetoric, did Dr. D’Acquisto explain this and I missed it?)

Overall hand speed efficiency is an indicator of both accuracy and biomechanical efficiency.  The higher the score the more likely any given pitch will be delivered to the target.  Higher scores also predict less fatigue and less injury risk.

The subjects overall hand speed efficiency of 25.4%, using the Unconventional Marshall Motion, places him at risk for both substantial fatigue and injury and predicts that he will have difficulty in throwing strikes with this delivery.

When tested using the Refined Conventional Motion, the hand speed efficiencies were 58.3%, which is a considerable improvement from the Marshall Pitching Motion, yet will require a specific training regimen to minimize fatigue.


     (Dr. D’Acquisto draws outlandings conclusions from meaningless tables and numbers.) Comparative Accuracy & Efficiencies Summary

Data obtained from this study lead to the conclusion that the Refined Conventional Motion is: 1) more accurate, and 2) more efficient, when compared to the Unconventional Marshall Motion.


     (Given the purpose of this meaningless, worthless charade, this is another surprising Dr. D’Acquisto conclusion.)

As demonstrated by the subject it was found that considerably lower hand speed efficiencies were generated in the Unconventional Marshall Motion as compared to the Refined Conventional Motion.

Based on data compiled for both accuracy and efficiency the subject’s hand speed generated by the Unconventional Marshall Motion was 25.4 % and the hand speed generated by the Refined Conventional Motion was 58.3%.

Accuracy in the pitching motion references the proportional number of times that the pitcher is likely to deliver pitches to the strike zone.

Objectively comparing the Refined Conventional Motion to the Unconventional Marshall Motion it was found that the test subject was more likely to be inconsistent in delivering pitches to the strike zone when utilizing the Unconventional Marshall Motion based on inconsistencies in delivery repeatability as measured by relative efficiencies and variations in driveline displacement.


     (Objectively comparing!  Nothing about this study is objective.  What was Mr. Howe’s motivation to throw strikes with my baseball pitching motion, especially since he either cannot or will not use my baseball pitching motion?  What was Dr. D’Acquisto’s motivation for doing this study?)

Prior to release, using the Unconventional Marshall Motion, a significant disconnect of the sequential energy transfer was noted, disrupting the kinematic sequencing from the arm to the wrist.

     (Dr. D’Acquisto does not understand the Kinetic Chain.

     If Mr. Howe correctly used my baseball pitching motion, then he would have used his legs to initiate the forward movement of the baseball and he would have used his pitching elbow to accelerate the baseball.

     With Bill Peterson’s baseball pitching motion, Mr. Howe did not use his legs to accelerate the baseball or his pitching elbow to accelerate the baseball.

     Make copies of the video of Mr. Howe performing Bill Peterson’s baseball pitching motion and my baseball pitching motion available for all to watch.  We can determine for ourselves what Mr. Howe did and did not do.)

Also noted is a major 7.5 inch shift of the Center of Gravity to the right side lead leg position.  This shift (along with the arm lagging significantly behind torso rotation) places significant stress on the shoulder capsule and was noted to correspondingly decelerate the arm, wrist and hand.&nbnsp Ultimately this would result in lower velocity of the baseball.

     (Dr. D’Acquisto says that, because Mr. Howe’s pitching upper arm lags significantly behind his torso rotation, he places significant stress on the pitching shoulder capsule. Dr. D’Acquisto is absolutely correct.

     That is why I teach my baseball pitchers to pendulum swing their pitching upper arm to driveline height to arrive at the same time that their glove foot lands and immediately raise their pitching upper arm to vertically beside their head.

     Unfortunately, Mr. Howe either cannot or will not immediately raise his pitching upper arm to vertically beside his head.  When he does my Slingshot and Loaded Slingshot glove and pitching arm actions drills, he does have this pitching upper arm vertically beside his head.

     However, his father, Bill Peterson believes that Mr. Howe should use his Pectoralis Major muscle to pull his pitching upper arm forward and across the front of this body.  Therefore, Mr. Howe does not immediately raise his pitching upper arm to vertically beside his head.

     Unfortunately, Dr. D’Acquisto only looks at numbers.  If he knew anything about anatomy, then he would know better than to say:

“Also noted is a major 7.5 inch shift of the Center of Gravity to the right side lead leg position.  This shift (along with the arm lagging significantly behind torso rotation) places significant stress on the shoulder capsule and was noted to correspondingly decelerate the arm, wrist and hand . Ultimately this would result in lower velocity of the baseball.”

     The ‘major’ seven and one-half shift in the center of mass to the glove side of the line from the pitching foot straight forward to which Dr. D’Acquisto referred, I call a ‘Drop Step.’

     First, with my Maxline pitches, I teach my baseball pitchers to step forty-five degrees to the glove side of the line from their pitching foot straight forward.  I definitely want my baseball pitchers to move the center of mass of their body about two feet to their glove side.

     With their pitching foot on the three and one-half inches of the glove arm side of the pitching rubber, if they release the baseball directly over their pitching foot, then the baseball starts toward home plate on the glove arm side of home plate.  This allows their pitches to move seventeen inches to the pitching arm side of home plate and still be in the strike zone.

     However, if my baseball pitchers move the center of mass of their body two feet to the glove arm side of the pitching rubber, then my baseball pitchers will have over forty inches of toward home plate movement on their Maxline pitches and still be in the strike zone.

     With their Maxline pitches moving this dramatically away from the glove arm side batters, my baseball pitchers have a great advantage against glove arm side baseball batters.  To be successful at the highest levels of baseball, baseball pitchers must dominate glove arm side batter.

     Second, when baseball pitchers pendulum swing their pitching arm to driveline height to arrive at the same time that their glove foot lands and immediately raise their pitching upper arm to vertically beside their head, which ‘locks’ the Humerus bone with the Glenoid Fossa, they are able to rotate their acromial line forward without any stress on the front of their pitching shoulder.

     The only reason why Mr. Howe’s pitching upper arm would lag behind the rotation of his shoulder forward is because Mr. Howe failed to ‘lock’ his pitching upper arm with his shoulders.  You see, his father, Bill Peterson believes that the Pectoralis Major muscle is more important than the Latissimus Dorsi muscle.

     Therefore, he teaches his son, Patrick Howe, to keep his pitching upper arm horizontal.  As a result, Mr. Howe has to pull his pitching upper arm forward and across the front of his body.

     When Mr. Howe arrives at my Baseball Pitching Research/Training Center, he dropped his pitching upper arm below horizontal and pulled his pitching upper arm forward.  I immediately asked Mr. Howe whether he has suffered an injury to the front of his pitching shoulder.  He said that he had not.  Then, I told him that, to protect the front of his pitching shoulder, he had to learn how to immediately raise his pitching upper arm to vertically beside his head.

     During his last couple of months training with me, because Mr. Howe continued to relapse into dropping his pitching upper arm below the line across the top of his shoulders.  I told Mr. Howe that I wanted him to practice on my Wrong Foot Slingshot drill, which starts with the pitching upper arm vertically beside the head and my Wrong Foot Loaded Slingshot drill, where my baseball pitchers start in my ‘Ready’ position and immediately raise their pitching upper arm to vertically beside their head.

     As luck would have it, it was during this time that the HBO Real Sport Show videotaped my guys at my Baseball Pitching Research/Training Center.  One clip that they used in their show was of Mr. Howe using my Wrong Foot Slingshot drill to throw his fifteen pound ball.  When Bryant Gumble asked Mr. Howe whether throwing a fifteen ball hurt, Mr. Howe said no.

     Unfortunately, a few days later, Mr. Howe stopped practicing these drills.  When I asked him why he stopped practicing the drills that I asked him to do, he said that his father told him to stop.  Obviously, Mr. Howe also returned to dropping his pitching upper arm below the line across the top of his shoulders.

     Therefore, whatever problem Mr. Howe developed with the front of his pitching shoulder was of his own making.)

At the point of ball release, using the Unconventional Marshall Motion, the subject’s Pelvis Rotation was 119.93 degrees per second and the Head Side Bend was -27.21 degrees per second and the overall Upper Body Bend was -48.61 degrees per second indicating significant lateral displacement of the body before, during, and after release.

This inefficiency correlates with lowered release velocities as torsion force is directed laterally away from the target rather than towards it.


     (With my ‘Drop Step,’ my baseball pitchers step forty-five degrees to the glove side of the line from their pitching foot straight forward. When their glove foot lands, they push off their glove foot and drive the center of mass of their body straight forward.  Therefore, contrary to Dr. D’Acquisto uninformed statement, my baseball pitchers do not direct their force laterally away from home plate, but two feet to the glove side of home plate.)

Unconventional Marshall Motion: Analysis Summary
Date of Test: 14 January 2008
Location: Mountain Pointe

Three-dimensional motion tracking sensors were strategically placed on key body segments to extract data.  Breakdown of efficiency scores follows. Higher scores represent a more biomechanically efficient motion.


     (Oh boy, more incomprehensible numbers for which Dr. D’Acquisto has not explained how the computer derived them and why we should care.)

Efficiency Summary
Hand
Speed: 25.4%
Temp: 69.3%
Posture at Stance: 64.2%
Posture at Balance Point: 55.1% Posture at Hand Break: 53.3%
Posture at Toe Touch: 51.2%
Posture at Delivery: 25.8%
Posture at Finish: 31.8%

Unconventional Marshall Motion: Rotational Speeds and Progressive Speed Gains

The graph and charts in this section depict the relative speeds and sequencing of the subject’s left side joints, prior to and at ball release.

Efficient ballistic athletic events will follow a sequential delivery and forward passage of peak joint linear velocities from the ground up through the wrist and hand.

The graph below represents the trial kinematic sequence from address to finish.  The red line represents rotational speed of the pelvis.  The green line represents rotational speed of the upper body.  The blue line represents rotational speed of the arm.  The yellow line represents rotational speed of the hand.

Max Rotational Speed (degrees/sec)
Segment Subject Ideal
Pelvis 570.27 500.00
Upper Body 822.90 850.00
Arm 5197.09 5000.00
Hand 3248.23 7000.00
Progressive Speed Gains (degrees/sec)
Segment Subject Ideal
Pelvis to UBody 570.27 350.00
UBody to Arm 822.90 4150.00
Arm to Hand 5197.09 2000.00
Kinematic Sequence
Ideal Kinematic Sequence: Pelvis, Torso, Arm, Hand
Subject Kinematic Sequence: Pelvis, Torso, Hand, Arm

It is notable that the subject peaks his linear hip, shoulder, elbow and wrist velocities in proper sequence, but there is a significant drop in peak velocities at the elbow and wrist joints approximately 0.4 seconds before ball release.


     (I am sorry, but all these tables and numbers are so mind-dulling and boring that I have to stop telling you how meaningless they are.  Let’s move on.)

Each body segment in the kinematic sequence must transfer energy efficiently to the next segment.  Power created, beginning with the feet, is transferred through the legs, pelvis, torso and arms to be delivered at the hand or sports implement.  Each segment adds its distinct energy increase to total power.

It is important that energy increases transfer smoothly and in proper sequence.  Correct sequencing allows for a biomechanically fluid motion that contributes more power, explosiveness and efficiency while reducing workload and risk of injury.  Abrupt gains or losses from one segment to the next can be indicative of potential problem areas or specific injury risks.

Recommendations

From a biomechanical prospective, to minimize shoulder stress in this subject’s pitching technique, it was recommended that he strive to relax his shoulder and utilize better control of trunk torque in the delivery of forces from the ground through the hand.


     (How do baseball pitchers relax their pitching shoulders when they are trying to apply as much force as they can to the baseball?  How does Dr. D’Acquisto teach baseball pitchers to better control their trunk torque from the ground through the pitching hand?  Dr. D’Acquisto needs to be specific.  These meaningless generalities do not mean anything.)

He (Mr. Howe) should delay ball release somewhat until his torso is in a more forward flexed posture and the upper arm segment is oriented more towards a parallel ground position.  This will shift the stress point away from the anterior shoulder capsule.  The additional body stretch and torque will eventually translate to higher kinetic energy and faster ball delivery.

     (How does Dr. D’Acquisto teach baseball pitcher to delay when they release their pitches until they bend their upper body forward at their waist? Would not they then throw the baseball into the dirt?

     How does bending forward at their waist farther lessen the stress to the front of their pitching shoulder?  It seems to me that having to hold onto the baseball longer would increase the stress to the front of the pitching shoulder.

     What is additional body stretch?  Does Dr. D’Acquisto believe that bending forward at the waist farther stretches the body? ing forward at the waist farther destroys the intervertebral disk between the fifth Lumbar vertebrae and the first Sacral vertebrae. oes not ‘stretch’ anything.

     Lastly, bending forward at the waist farther does not translate to higher kinetic energy and increased release velocity. Bending forward at the waist not only injures the lower back, but it also causes the rate of acceleration to decrease, not increase.

     If Dr. D’Acquisto generated the acceleration graph for the X-axis from the first moment the baseball moved toward home plate to release, then Dr. D’Acquisto would know this. ead, he makes table after table of meaningless numbers from which he makes ridiculous comments.)

It was stressed that changing his pitching style from the Unconventional Motion to a more revised Conventional Motion will adversely effect his accuracy and ball delivery ability until he re-adjusts his body coordination.

     (It was Bill Peterson’s revise ‘traditional’ baseball pitching motion that injured the front of Mr. Howe’s pitching shoulder. rtunately, Dr. D’Acquisto does not know enough about baseball pitching to understand this. D’Acquisto does not know that he does not know.  Therefore, ignore him.)

It will be necessary for him to work on total body flexibility in order to achieve the new desired ball release position.

     (Dr. D’Acquisto fails to define ‘flexibility,’ but, if Mr. Howe could cross his legs behind his head, with Bill Peterson’s baseball pitching motion, he will never pitch without pain or find any new desired baseball release position.)

Discussion

The subject’s basic form is good in demonstrating both motions, but there is room for improvement in all aspects of his delivery.

He is noted to have a pre-mature braking action of forward momentum causing him to release the ball in an upright posture that places the burden of shoulder capsule stress in the anterior compartment.


     (If Mr. Howe stopped the center of mass of his body from moving forward prior to release, then he was using the ‘traditional’ baseball pitching motion, not my baseball pitching motion.)

This release posture was verified by examining the relatively close positioning of shoulders vs. hips and left shoulder vs. center of gravity.

     (What does that mean?  Did Mr. Howe rotate his shoulders and hips forward at the same time?  Did Mr. Howe have the center of mass of his body under his left shoulder?)

Additionally, using the glove-side arm to generate downward planar tilt to the shoulder line before torso rotation occurs appears to be a significant solution both in theory and in practice.

     (To what problem is tilting the line across the top of the shoulders to the glove side of the body a significant solution?)

Narrowing the rotational axis of shoulder/torso rotation as viewed from overhead provides a more linear Z vector.

     (Is Dr. D’Acquisto saying that, to rotate their shoulders forward faster, baseball pitchers should stand tall and rotate?)

In theory, this could minimize the impact of destructive centrifugal forces.

     (The only thing that minimizes the destructive horizontal centripetal forces is for baseball pitcher to not take their pitching arm laterally behind their body and to immediately raise their pitching upper arm to vertically beside their head.  Standing tall and rotating the shoulders enables baseball pitchers to increase the velocity of the pitching upper arm prior to release.  It does not do anything about horizontal centripetal force.)

Although there is some centrifugal force generated it appears likely that an athlete can control this with a more vertical forearm through release, initiated in part by action of the pronator teres and pronator quadratus.

     (Only with my baseball pitching motion are baseball pitcher able to achieve vertical pitching forearms at release.  The Pronator Quadratus has nothing do to with vertical pitching forearms.

     However, because of the concurrent pitching elbow flexion action, when baseball pitchers use their Pronator Teres muscle to powerfully pronate their pitching forearm, they can separate the longitudinal axis of the pitching forearm from the longitudinal axis of the pitching upper arm.

     It is nice to see that Dr. D’Acquisto recognizes the value of the research that I did back in 1967.)

Many researchers who have investigated an overhand throw have indicated that muscle strength is a very important factor influencing throwing velocity.

     (The two variables that contribute to release velocity are the force application technique and the fast-twitch muscle fiber percentage, not muscle strength.)

1. Pauwels 1978.
2. Pedegana et al.1982, Amin et al.1985, Pawlowski and Perrin 1989, Renne et al.1990/
3. Wooden et al.1992, Bartlet et al.1993, Eliasz 1993, Marczinka 1993].

In this work, statistical analysis has shown that the muscle strength of trunk flexors is one of the most significant velocity determinants in analyzed throws (this variable is in all presented equations).

Abdominal muscles (rectus abdominis, external and internal oblique muscles) serve as the primary trunk flexors.


     (So, like Dr. Glenn Fleisig, Dr. D’Acquisto believes that, despite the hundreds of thousand of pitching injuries that it has caused, the ‘traditional’ baseball pitching motion is the proper way for baseball pitchers to apply force to their pitches.

     Therefore, like Dr. Glenn Fleisig, Dr. D’Acquisto is searching for the best way for baseball pitchers to apply force to their pitches, he is reporting on the ‘traditional’ baseball pitching motion.&mnbsp As a result, like Dr. Glenn Fleisig, Dr. D’Acquisto will continue to destroy pitching arms.

     Remember, for the past twenty years, Dr. Glenn Fleisig and Dr. James Andrews have partnered to present three-day annual seminars on how to eliminate pitching injuries.  And, the result has been a seven fold increase in pitching injuries.  It is time to stop listening to them.  They have no idea that they do not know what they are doing.  Ignore them and Dr. D’Acquisto.)

These muscles, acting together, are involved in forward bending but trunk rotation is caused by one-side shortening action of external and internal oblique muscles.

Both types of motions can be observed during throwing, before release.

1. Atwater 1980, Joris et al.1985, Eliasz 1993, Marczinka 1993.

The investigation has some practical applications.  There are two significant possibilities to improve throwing velocity, likely in all pitching techniques:

(1) by developing strength of specific abdominal muscles, and
(2) by improving speed of external and internal rotation at shoulder joint.


     (Because bending forward at the waist requires that baseball pitcher stop moving the center of mass of their body from moving forward through release, bending forward at the waist does not increase release velocity.

     However, with my baseball pitching motion, while continuing to move the center of mass of their body forward through release, my baseball pitchers stand tall and rotate, which does enable my baseball pitcher to continue to increase the rate of acceleration through release.)

Joris et al.1985, Eliasz 1993].

It also appears that using the glove side arm to keep the front shoulder closed by adding a linear/angular refinement to the conventional pitching motion can reduce stress on the anterior throwing shoulder.


     (The reason why ‘traditional’ baseball pitching coaches teach their baseball pitchers to keep their front shoulder closed is because when their glove foot lands, their baseball pitchers use their Pectoralis Major muscle to pull their pitching upper arm forward while their pitching forearm is still moving backward.

     Therefore, if they were to rotate their shoulders forward, they would severely stress the front of their pitching shoulder.      However, with my baseball pitching motion, because, by immediately raising their pitching upper arm to vertically beside their head, my baseball pitchers ‘lock’ their Humerus bone with the Glenoid Fossa, they do not stress the front of their pitching shoulder.)

These statements need further practical verification in the training process.

     (I have had over forty years of practical verification of my baseball pitching motion.  With too little, Dr. D’Acquisto has arrived at the dance forty years too late.)

Modern technological application of biomechanical principles can be an extremely useful problem-solving tool for sports medicine professionals.

     (Yes. And the modern technological application is the ability to watch high-speed film as see what muscles are operating across every joint, not tables of unverifiable numbers.)

The clinician must be prepared to make judgments based on objective data when addressing the issue of returning the injured athlete to his or her sport.

     (Making judgments implies guessing.  I have eliminated pitching injuries for over forty years.  I do not guess, I know that I know how to eliminate pitching injuries.)

Often adjustments can be made in athletic technique to de-stress the injured body part, either on a temporary or permanent basis.

In the case presented here, permanent change was necessary to allow this athlete to fully return to his sport and pursue his dream.

Discussion With The Subject:

Dissecting Problematic Unconventional Marshall Motion Teaching Cues.

Because of the controversial nature of the pitching motion Dr. Marshall has devised, it was interesting to compare specific teaching cues he utilizes with the objectively measured results they produced in the subject’s technique.

Marshall Instructional Cues:


     (This is great.  Instead of hiding behind tables and unverifiable numbers, by disagreeing with what I teach, Dr. D’Acquisto is going to tell use what he believes the best baseball pitching motion is.  I wonder whether he will agree with Dr. Fleisig that the ‘traditional’ baseball pitching motion that has destroyed hundreds of thousands of pitching arm, including his own, is the best baseball pitching motion?)

01. Point the glove arm straight at home plate.

The shoulder line and torso, as found using the JZZ system, is open 30-45º to the driveline beginning at toe touch, minimizing the total available pelvis and torso rotation.

As demonstrated this leads to loss of hand speed and contributes substantially to release inconsistency.  With this technique premature release of the leading side opens the shoulders very early and initiates complete rotational movement of the shoulders and takes away from angular rotation of the shoulders within the linear plane to the target.


     (Sir Isaac Newton’s first law of motion, the Law of Inertia requires that, from the first moment that the baseball moves toward home plate through when baseball pitchers release their pitches, baseball pitchers apply force straight toward home plate.

     Sir Isaac Newton’s third law of motion, the Law of Reaction requires that, from the first moment that the baseball moves toward home plate through when baseball pitchers release the baseball, baseball pitchers apply force as much force as possible toward second base.

     Therefore, baseball pitchers must move the center of mass of their body straight forward.  To do this, they have to apply force with their pitching arm side leg, glove arm and glove arm side leg straight backward toward second base.

     To achieve greater oppositely-directed force, baseball pitchers must use their glove arm to apply force straight backward toward second base.  To do this, when their pitching arm arrives at driveline height, they must have their glove arm pointing at home plate from which they can move their glove arm straight backward toward second base.

     To where does Dr. D’Acquisto recommend that baseball pitchers should point their glove arm?  How does Dr. D’Acquisto recommend that baseball pitchers utilize their glove arm?

     Since Dr. D’Acquisto believes that pointing the glove arm at home plate “opens the shoulders very early and initiates complete rotational movement of the shoulders and takes away from angular rotation of the shoulders within the linear plane to the target,” Dr. D’Acquisto must believe that baseball pitcher should point their glove arm well behind the pitching arm side batters.

     If this is true, then Dr. D’Acquisto wants baseball pitchers to pull their glove arm diagonally backward.  If Dr. D’Acquisto also wants baseball pitchers to take their pitching upper arm laterally behind their body, then he will destroy the anterior aspect of the Labrum.  I call this action, ‘Scapular Loading.’  It is very, very dangerous.)

02. Walk forward off the mound.

At toe touch the pelvic line, as taught by Dr. Marshall and as demonstrated by the subject, is open at stride 30-45º to the driveline, robbing power and minimizing total rotation before release.


     (First, I do not teach my baseball pitchers to land on their toes.  Instead, with my Torque pitches, I teach them to land on the heel of their glove foot, roll across the full length of their glove foot, come up onto their glove toes and push back toward second base.

     With my Maxline pitchers, to enable my baseball pitchers to rotate the acromial line, which is the line through the middle of their shoulders as seen from above, forward to point at home plate, I teach my baseball pitchers to ‘Drop Step’ at a forty-five degree angle to the glove arm side of their body.

     Then, when they push off the pitching rubber with their pitching arm side foot, I teach them to drive their pitching knee at the same forty-five degree angle toward their glove knee.

     Therefore, contrary to Dr. D’Acquisto’s misguided statement that my baseball pitching motion minimizes total rotation before release, it greatly increases the ability of my baseball pitcher to rotate the entire pitching arm side of their body forward.

     Because Dr. D’Acquisto does not want baseball pitchers to stride to the glove arm side of the line straight forward of where their pitching foot is on the pitching rubber, he must want them to either step straight forward or to the pitching arm side of the line straight forward of where the pitching foot is on the pitching rubber.

     If, as Dr. D’Acquisto said, he wants them to land on the toes of their glove foot, then they will stop the forward movement of the center of mass of their body.  This action prevents baseball pitchers from rotating their shoulders forward through release.  Instead, they have to bend forward at their waist.

     Therefore, Dr. D’Acquisto not only wants baseball pitchers to destroy the intervertebral disk between their fifth lumbar and first sacral vertebrae, he also wants them to accelerate their pitches at decreasing rates before they release their pitches.)

To compensate for this, Dr. Marshall teaches a 'drop stride' for specific pitches.  It was observed that with this technique the subject’s center of mass deflects laterally sideways.  Biomechanically, this was shown to be very inefficient and very inconsistent.  It was observed that the drop step regains degrees of pelvic rotation, yet at release the torso still has not made up the difference and the arm lags behind leading to a disconnected linear-rotational-linear kinematic sequence.

     (Contradicting himself, Dr. D’Acquisto now admits that my ‘Drop Step’ enables my baseball pitchers to rotate their hips farther forward.

     I am not sure what Dr. D’Acquisto means when he says, “yet at release, the torso still has not made up the difference.”  If my ‘Drop Step’ enables baseball pitchers to rotate their shoulders farther forward, then what difference is he talking about?  My baseball pitchers release their pitches with their shoulders well forward of where ‘traditional’ baseball pitchers rotate their shoulders forward, which is about perpendicular to the driveline toward home plate.

     Unfortunately, Dr. D’Acquisto fails to understand the Mr. Howe’s pitching upper arm problem is of his father’s making, not mine.  If Mr. Howe immediately raises his pitching upper arm to vertically beside his head, then he would ‘lock’ his pitching upper arm with his shoulders and use his Latissimus Dorsi muscle to powerfully drive his pitching upper arm forward and inwardly rotate his pitching upper arm through release.

     I doubt that Dr. D’Acquisto understands the difference between using the Pectoralis Major muscle to pull the pitching upper arm forward and using the Latissimus Dorsi muscle to drive the pitching upper arm forward and inwardly rotate the pitching upper arm.)

03. Rotate the hips; drive them through and then push off the stride foot.

It was observed and measured that this cue disrupts the subject’s timing and disconnects kinematic sequencing.  This kinetic disconnect, where the body rotates too fast, too soon, measurably diminishes hand speeds and resultant ball velocities.


     (Did Dr. D’Acquisto just say that when baseball pitchers rotate their body forward too fast, they decrease release velocity?  That is strange.  One of the few things that Dr. Fleisig has said with which I agree is that the faster that baseball pitchers can rotate their body, the higher the release velocities that they achieve.

     Is Dr. D’Acquisto saying that he wants baseball pitchers to stop rotating their body forward as fast as they can?

     To enable my baseball pitchers to rotate the entire pitching arm side of their body forward as far as they can, I teach my baseball pitchers to push off the pitching rubber with their pitching foot as powerfully as they can and immediately drive their pitching knee forward as powerfully as they can toward their glove knee.

The throwing arm and shoulder is also noted to lag far behind torso rotation and demonstrates great likelihood of causing a serious anterior shoulder problem.  For an athlete with long levers like the study subject this is particularly problematic.

     (Let’s get this right.  Mr. Howe’s throwing arm and shoulder lagged behind his torso rotation.  That is a population sample of one.  is meaningless.  favor to his father, Bill Peterson, Mr. Howe wanted to get the result he got.  Dr. D’Acquisto does not conduct research, he gives his clients what they want to hear.)

04. Punch the throwing hand at the target.

It was observed that this technique disconnects the kinetic chain, resulting in hand-first movement instead of arm-first movement.  It was also observed and documented that when the hand leads this severely limits hand speed and resultant velocity.


     (When I teach my baseball pitchers to ‘punch their pitching hand straight toward home plate, I am teaching them to satisfy Sir Isaac Newton’s first law, the Law of Inertia.  This means that I want my baseball pitchers to increase their acceleration graph for the X-plane.

     It is impossible for baseball pitchers to do what Dr. D’Acquisto said that Mr. Howe did.  That is, drive their pitching hand in front of their pitching elbow.  Did Dr. D’Acquisto watch the two hundred and fifty frames per second video that he took of Mr. Howe?  If he did, then he would see that Mr. Howe did not drive his pitching hand in front of his pitching elbow.)

05. Force couple the glove and throwing hands and lean back at release.

It was observed that the subject’s lead shoulder opens very early in the kinematic sequence, resulting in part from premature backward movement of the glove arm.  This action of the glove arm and glove-side torso is observed to contribute significant stress to the anterior throwing arm shoulder.  It was also observed that this simultaneously exaggerates torso tilt, displacing the subject’s center of gravity laterally, and also contributes to pre-mature braking of forward movement.

The torsional bending observed in this technique significantly displaces the head as a counterbalance and places significant stress on the neck and lower back.


     (From what Dr. D’Acquisto wrote, it is clear the Dr. D’Acquisto does not understand what force-coupling means.  To force-couple, athletes simultaneously apply parallel and oppositely-directed forces on either side of a fulcrum.

     With baseball pitching, the middle of the width of the shoulders is the fulcrum, where, on the glove side of the fulcrum, the glove arm applies force straight backward toward second base and, on the pitching arm side of the fulcrum, the pitching arm applies force straight forward toward home plate.  In this way, the two forces accelerate the baseball forward.

     Dr. D’Acquisto continues to beat the dead horse that Mr. Howe failed to raise his pitching upper arm to driveline height and blames me for Mr. Howe doing what his father, Bill Peterson, told his son to do.  Bill Peterson believes that baseball pitchers should use their Pectoralis Major muscles to pull their pitching upper arm forward.)

06. Driveline for the ball just above the ear.

This teaching cue was demonstrated to be inaccurate in part because of the significant upward force applied to the ball hand in the Z-axis.  For the forearm to approach vertical at ball release (highly desirable for spinning the ball in innovative ways), the minimum driveline is well above the head.  If the body rotates far enough, as Dr. Marshall describes, with the forearm driving vertical (the upper arm then must to be close to horizontal with very minimal torso tilt) the resultant force is simply a driving forearm arc.  This technique and driveline is not linear as described by Dr. Marshall.


     (I teach my baseball pitchers to pendulum swing their pitching hand to driveline height, which I describe as the height of the pitching arm side ear.  To what height does Dr. D’Acquisto want baseball pitchers to raise their pitching hand?

     I agree with Dr. D’Acquisto that baseball pitchers should have their pitching forearm vertical at release.  I also agree that, when baseball pitchers have their pitching forearm vertical or inside of vertical at release, they have to apply force upwardly through release.

     However, this does not make my initial recommendation that baseball pitcher should pendulum swing their pitching hand to the height of their pitching ear wrong.  Because centripetal imperative forces the pitching forearm to move forward at the same height as the pitching elbow end of their pitching upper arm, to avoid vertical movement of their pitching hand, baseball pitchers need to start the forward movement of the baseball at the height at which baseball pitchers move the elbow end of their pitching upper arm forward.  That is, the height of their pitching arm side ear.

     When I teach my baseball pitchers to drive the baseball straight forward toward home plate, I also say, ‘as seen from above.’  I fully understand that, when they actively extend their pitching elbow, my baseball pitchers drive the baseball vertically upward.  How else are they going to have their pitching forearm vertical at release?  As seen from above, the driveline that my baseball pitchers use is definitely linear or as linear as they are able to do it.

     Unless they lean the line across the top of their shoulder dramatically to their glove side, which Dr. D’Acquisto condemns, ‘traditional’ baseball pitchers do not get their pitching forearms any where near vertical at release.  Instead, by using their Pectoralis Major muscle to pull their pitching upper arm forward, most ‘traditional’ baseball pitchers never get their pitching forearms above forty-five degrees short of vertical.

     It seems that Dr. D’Acquisto either has no idea what he is talking about or he will say whatever his clients want him to say.  In either event, ignore him.

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