Ruth and Ohtani work loads at age 23 one hundred years apart. Thursday, June 7, 2018
Babe Ruth and Shohie Ohtani: 100 years apart starting pitchers and batters in games when not pitching.
Few still think that pitchers back then were iron men. It's generally understood that old timers threw fewer pitches and that the pitches were less stressful on their arms. But the stark difference between Ruth and Ohtani and the fact that Ohtani is now on the disabled list and may require major season ending surgery leads to some common sense issues.
A right fielder may stand out there in chilly, even downright cold weather, for several innings and then suddenly throw the ball about 250 feet as hard as he can.
The third baseman may make multiple throws of more than 130 feet as hard as he can.
The catcher may come out of his crouch and fire the ball to second base as hard as he can, about 125 feet.
The catcher also makes about 150 throws each game that are the same distance as those thrown by his pitchers.
The sudden max effort throws are all done with no immediate warm up. Only the pitcher warms up at his own individual pace and doesn't throw as hard as he can until he is really ready.
Neither the number of throws nor the distance nor the effort of the throws seems to be what causes arm troubles. So what's left?
- a high number of throws as hard as possible
- non fastballs.
If pitchers threw as if they were playing catch, like the catcher returning the ball to the pitcher, the pitcher would probably not have arm trouble.
If the pitcher were forced to throw fewer pitches but as straight as he could, not as hard or as unusual, the pitcher would probably not have arm trouble.
How could this be achieved?
1. Start the count at 3-2.
2. Have a speed limit, say 90 miles per hour.
The speed limit is now feasible with each pitch timed. If the pitch exceeds the speed limit, it's a ball. The batter may swing at his own risk, like swinging at a pitch out of the strike zone.
A secondary benefit would be to greatly reduce the work load of the catcher:
- fewer pitches to catch
- hardly any "Bugs Bunny" pitches that bounce in the dirt
- fewer pitches at super velocity.
It might also mean that ball players could be pitchers.
Designated FIELDER! Pitchers are not ball players. Saturday, June 9, 2018
Oh, and the games would have much more action in much less time at a better pace.