I was stunned but also vindicated that the NY Times
Magazine ran a feature length article today which
focused on the confusion at LL Baseball regarding
suggested pitch counts for kids 13-and-under.
On one hand, Steve Kallas and I have been pounding
this point for literally years – that Dr. James Andrews,
the world’s most famous orthopedic surgeon, has
said that kids in LL should rest for 4 days after throwing
75 pitches. LL Baseball took this recommendation,
and turned it over to the LL coaches who, being
eager to win, dismissed the good doctor’s expert
advice, and went with 3 days of rest. Even worse,
the Times reported — as Steve Kallas has reported
and written about for years – that in the LL World
Series, the days of rest are cut back to two!
So, hats off to the Times — glad to see that they have come to
the same startling conclusions that we have on the
Sports Edge. True, it’s a few years late, but better
late than never.
And while I’m on my soapbox, let me just add this
about pitch counts, which seems to be the campaign of Dr. Fleisig (an
associate of Dr. Andrews). Fleisig says it’s not curve
balls that damage young arms, it’s too many pitches.
Well, Dr. Fleisig, why don’t you make this point to
Steve Keener, the CEO of LL Baseball? And bear this
in mind: it’s not how many pitches you throw – it’s
making sure that the mechanics are well taught. Seems to
that LL Baseball should be doing their best to teach
kids (and their coaches) how to pitch properly. That
would cut down dramatically on injured arms. And
just remind kids not to start throwing benders and
sliders until they’re in high school.