By Mathew Travaglia
Baseball is a game to be played for fun, to play along with friends. It’s a game that should bring happiness. But baseball doesn’t bring happiness to the field anymore. Baseball brings injuries, injuries that only surgeries can repair. Injuries that will leave you to die.
Now picture this, you play Major League Baseball and you’re a pitcher for your favorite team. You’re doing fantastic until you get hurt and you can’t play anymore. Wouldn’t that be upsetting?
An assistant GM said, “Pitchers that have an elbow or a shoulder injury, a lot of the times, they’re never the same after a injury.” Injuries will always happen; it’s just a matter of how well you keep yourself to stay away from injuries. Naotaka Mamizuka is a doctor that specializes in ligaments in the arm, he states that almost 20 kids were diagnosed with Tommy John. It states, “Mamizuka diagnosed injuries in 19 of them. Almost all suffered damage to the ulnar collateral ligament, a triangular band of tissue that connects the upper and lower arms. In some cases the ligament was torn, requiring the procedure known as Tommy John surgery, common to be done to Major League Pitchers.”(NY Times) Now that our world is advancing, teenagers are taking this risk too. Young pitchers feel a need to throw breaking balls like curve balls, sliders and more. But what they need is to watch their arm. Breaking balls should not be thrown until 14 or older.
Off-speed pitches are not supposed to be thrown until you have hit puberty, until your muscles have started to grow and your body had started to grow. In an article written by NBS News it states, “Today, surgery is common place among adult players in the Majors. But in the last five years there’s been a huge change up. Now many patients are under 17 years old.” The Tommy John Surgery is a surgery that removes a tendon from your arm and creates a whole to keep both ligaments together. The surgery is horrific and that kids under the age of 17 are having this surgery is mortifying. Kids should not have to suffer through this. NBC News also states, “ You basically should not throw a breaking ball, any type of breaking ball, including a slider, until you shave.” This means that no pitch, other than a fastball, should be thrown until you have gone through puberty.
Pitchers’ arms are like ticking bombs, you never know when they’re going to explode. Children’s arms have been prone to baseball related injuries more often now than ever. They have been “exploding” more often. This is because of the straining they put on their arms every time they go out onto the mound. New York Times states, “Baseball has evolved into a year-round sport. Options are bountiful: school teams, multiple travel teams and indoor training centers.” They have been straining their arm on that mound because of what Major League pitchers are throwing.
Now that kids are finding a way to become better and better, pitchers want other pitches to try and get players out. But what they need is to stop.
Those pitches can wait, your arm can’t.
photo credit: ccknothole.com