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(Yahoo)   One of the country's top teen pitchers: He's got an 80-mph fast ball and has been featured by ESPN. Naturally, his team cuts him. Oh sure, he has no legs, but still   (news.yahoo.com) divider line
    More: Stupid, ESPN, pitcher  
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2926 clicks; posted to Sports » on 14 Feb 2011 at 12:40 AM (10 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2011-02-13 6:19:13 PM  
came here to say:

"Holy crip he's a crapple"
 
2011-02-13 6:24:10 PM  
We want a pitcher! Not a leg-stump itcher!
 
2011-02-13 6:53:51 PM  

archichris: came here to say:

"Holy crip he's a crapple"


Should have known I'd have long been beaten to the punch on that one.
 
2011-02-13 9:03:50 PM  
He's got an 80-mph fast ball and has been featured by ESPN

Me thinks it was more for "He ain't got no legs" than a dime a dozen fastball.
 
2011-02-13 9:35:28 PM  

bighasbeen: He's got an 80-mph fast ball and has been featured by ESPN

Me thinks it was more for "He ain't got no legs" than a dime a dozen fastball.


Agreed. My high school team had three pitchers with 85-mph fastballs. One guy was even faster, but got cut because he couldn't keep off drugs. Now this kid is trying to guilt-trip the school and coach into keeping him on the team
 
2011-02-13 10:03:06 PM  
It's cause he lollygaged the ball around the infield, and in and out of the dugout.
 
2011-02-13 10:12:01 PM  
What good is a pitcher that won't get his ass over and cover first?
 
2011-02-13 11:01:01 PM  
Jim Abbott frowns on their shenanigans.
 
2011-02-13 11:03:45 PM  
Am I the only one who pictured him on the pitcher's mound in a wheelchair?
 
2011-02-13 11:13:29 PM  
No comment on the lousy fauxhawk? No one?

/and he'll get his chance if he's really that farking good
//h.s. is not the only opportunity to play baseball
///and he'd better master the knuckler if he really wants to get to the big leagues
//80 mph is supposed to impress me?
/sure, if he were 12
 
2011-02-13 11:58:59 PM  
I know that runners without legs have been barred from competing because their prosthetic legs give them an advantage over runners with their real legs, since the synthetic legs bounce back more quickly. Since much of the force acting on a ball comes from compression in the legs, I wonder if the mechanical legs give him a similar advantage.
 
2011-02-14 12:06:13 AM  
Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: , I wonder if the mechanical legs give him a similar advantage

Nah, the legs this guy has are different from what the runners have, so there's not much they'd be doing that would help. And anyways given the mechanics of pitching we're a bit far away from legs that would actually give some advantage.
 
2011-02-14 12:27:30 AM  

WhyteRaven74: Nah, the legs this guy has are different from what the runners have, so there's not much they'd be doing that would help. And anyways given the mechanics of pitching we're a bit far away from legs that would actually give some advantage.


Gotcha. Thanks for explaining.
 
2011-02-14 12:38:43 AM  
Magic legs.
 
2011-02-14 12:47:59 AM  

Stoj: Magic legs.


But they aren't really magic -- he had the ability inside him the whole time!
 
2011-02-14 12:55:17 AM  
The mom seems to want a free ride to being rich. That's what it seems like to me.
 
2011-02-14 12:55:48 AM  

lerry: Am I the only one who pictured him on the pitcher's mound in a wheelchair?


Nope, I was right there with you.


/aisle seat please
 
2011-02-14 12:57:31 AM  
Well he's already got a nice build, maybe he should go into body building. . .

. . .and learn to build some damned legs.

 
2011-02-14 1:02:21 AM  
His teammates can flip him upside down so he can hold their beer. He ain't got no legs, but they love him just the same.
 
2011-02-14 1:07:59 AM  
I understand why the coaches cut him. If he's a little slow and can't field a bunt, or cover first, he's going to wind up farking over his team. I know he says it's never been a problem in the past, but this is high school, not little league. High school varsity is where they start seperating out the wheat from the chaff. That's where I got cut out of baseball. I played until high school, and was a decent shortstop. I wasn't good enough for the varsity team though. No hard feelings, I did other things. This kid will too.
 
2011-02-14 1:10:52 AM  

thefireandpassion: The mom seems to want a free ride to being rich. That's what it seems like to me.


Agreed, there was something in the tone of her voice that set off the snowflake alarm.

I saw the kid pitching, walking, doing pushups, etc. However, I did not see him running. If he can't cover a bunt, then find another position.
 
2011-02-14 1:20:16 AM  
L'il Bruder insprired
 
2011-02-14 1:33:17 AM  
top pitcher? 80mph from a righty won't get you anything except a spot on the community college team. you need to be 88+ to get a sniff as a pitcher for the minors out of high school as a righty, and thats only if they think they can get you up to 92-93 with a better workout routine and easy mechanical changes.
 
2011-02-14 1:46:48 AM  
bhcompy: 80mph from a righty won't get you anything except a spot on the community college team.

Greg Maddux's fastest ever fast ball was barely faster than what some high school kids throw. Didn't exactly keep him from being the best pitcher of his generation and one of the top ten best ever.
 
2011-02-14 1:55:37 AM  

WhyteRaven74: bhcompy: 80mph from a righty won't get you anything except a spot on the community college team.

Greg Maddux's fastest ever fast ball was barely faster than what some high school kids throw. Didn't exactly keep him from being the best pitcher of his generation and one of the top ten best ever.


Smoltz, Glavine, Avery, and Maddux pretty much sums up my childhood. Oh the memories.
 
2011-02-14 1:56:35 AM  

WhyteRaven74: Greg Maddux's fastest ever fast ball was barely faster than what some high school kids throw. Didn't exactly keep him from being the best pitcher of his generation and one of the top ten best ever.


Greg Maddux is such an incredible outlier and exception to the rule, though.
 
2011-02-14 2:02:16 AM  

WhyteRaven74: bhcompy: 80mph from a righty won't get you anything except a spot on the community college team.

Greg Maddux's fastest ever fast ball was barely faster than what some high school kids throw. Didn't exactly keep him from being the best pitcher of his generation and one of the top ten best ever.


Greg Maddux and other righty soft-tossers are aberrations for the modern game. I wish that scouts would pay more attention to soft-tossers like Maddux, Byrd, and Wakefield, but they won't. Keep in mind that Maddux didn't receive any college scholarship offers but was a student of a former scout and his older brother was drafted which gave him an in professionally, Byrd pitched his way through a college WS, and Wakefield converted from 1B.

The real world of today's game is that even indie league teams won't try you out as a righty unless you're in the high 80s, and even then it's probably on open tryout day unless you've made a name for yourself. This kid can probably make it on an indie league team because of the sideshow factor when he would otherwise be ignored.
 
2011-02-14 2:23:59 AM  

MattyFridays: thefireandpassion: The mom seems to want a free ride to being rich. That's what it seems like to me.

Agreed, there was something in the tone of her voice that set off the snowflake alarm.

I saw the kid pitching, walking, doing pushups, etc. However, I did not see him running. If he can't cover a bunt, then find another position.


Well to be fair the kid is special. I'm astounded that he hasn't let his disability get the best of him. Does she have a right to say her son is special? Yes. Does she have a right to be so self-entitled? Fark no.
 
2011-02-14 3:34:14 AM  

devildog123: High school varsity is where they start separating out the wheat from the chaff. That's where I got cut out of baseball. I played until high school, and was a decent shortstop. I wasn't good enough for the varsity team though. No hard feelings, I did other things. This kid will too.


This.

I played center and left and had a cannon arm, could hit the top fastball to the fence, but those junky curves, I always bit on the high-low curves and looked like a circus clown. Given a year I could have worked through it, but I wasn't given the year. Since I got cut from varsity it was either spend another year in the rec league or move on.
 
2011-02-14 4:12:37 AM  
ElwoodCuse: Greg Maddux is such an incredible outlier and exception to the rule, though.

Only owing to what people want. There's no reason there shouldn't be a ton of pitchers who don't throw hard. They're not likely to get hurt or wear down as the season goes on. Thing is people have decided that fastballs in the high 90s is the way to go. And then never seem to notice how many pitchers are getting hurt.
 
2011-02-14 5:19:47 AM  

WhyteRaven74: Only owing to what people want.


Tommy John FTW!
 
2011-02-14 6:06:07 AM  

WhyteRaven74: ElwoodCuse: Greg Maddux is such an incredible outlier and exception to the rule, though.

Only owing to what people want. There's no reason there shouldn't be a ton of pitchers who don't throw hard. They're not likely to get hurt or wear down as the season goes on. Thing is people have decided that fastballs in the high 90s is the way to go. And then never seem to notice how many pitchers are getting hurt.


Early in Maddux's career he was a 91-93 MPH guy. His best seasons he hovered around the 88-90 range. The reason you don't see a bunch of soft tossers being drafted is because the lack of an overpowering fastball does not encapsulate what Maddux did. He didn't develop all that nasty movement and location until he was a few years into his major league career. The type of pitcher Maddux was is all due to an insane amount of moxy and intelligence, and that isn't something that you can project on a 16 or 17 year old when you are scouting him.

If you are drafting a high school kid, you are drafting on physical potential. What is the point of drafting say, Cliff Lee, when he is not going to become effective for 10 years? Those are the type of guys your minor league scouts keep an eye on and have thrown into trades or pick up via free agency. You don't waste a high draft pick on a decade long project. Your 1st-3rd round picks are guys you think are going to help you within 4 years.

The other thing with those fireballers is that it is possible to adapt their pitching style if they start to lose velocity. That's why pitching coaches get paid lots of money to look bad in a uniform. Lincecum is a pitcher who is looking at that transition coming up pretty soon. True, there is no guarantee that a power pitcher will be able to adapt. But there is no guarantee that a high schooler who tops out at 85 would be able to gain the savvy to pitch in the majors either. You can't teach a kid who throws 85 to throw 91, but you can teach a kid who throws 95 to throw 91 to location.
 
2011-02-14 8:33:25 AM  

ElwoodCuse: WhyteRaven74: Greg Maddux's fastest ever fast ball was barely faster than what some high school kids throw. Didn't exactly keep him from being the best pitcher of his generation and one of the top ten best ever.

Greg Maddux is such an incredible outlier and exception to the rule, though.


Because Greg Maddux had the control of god. He could take a baseball and put it through a 3 1/8th inch diameter hole at 60 feet. The scouts thought they could fix the velocity. And remember, Maddux was *STILL* throwing in the low 90's when he came up.
 
2011-02-14 8:40:41 AM  
Suck it up, kid; Michael Jordan got cut from his high school team when he was a sophomore, too, and he didn't turn out too bad.

Too slow to field a bunt? Get a pair of these:
upload.wikimedia.orgView Full Size

Problem solved.

/and Mom, it's pronounced "fibula", not "fibbia"
 
2011-02-14 8:43:51 AM  
It's f*cking highschool ball. Why bother cutting anyone in the first place? It's not like they are on scholarship. Just burry him in the bullpen and keep him around for the good publicity.
 
2011-02-14 8:45:38 AM  

WhyteRaven74: ElwoodCuse: Greg Maddux is such an incredible outlier and exception to the rule, though.

Only owing to what people want. There's no reason there shouldn't be a ton of pitchers who don't throw hard. They're not likely to get hurt or wear down as the season goes on. Thing is people have decided that fastballs in the high 90s is the way to go. And then never seem to notice how many pitchers are getting hurt.


No, it is because if you can't throw mid 90's, your going to get eaten alive unless your an extreme exception. A change up needs to look exactly like a fastball to be effective. If you are throwing a change in the high 70's and a fastball in the mid 80's, there isn't enough speed differential to throw a batters timing. Any slower and the changeup starts looking different out of the pitchers hand.

Pitchers are getting hurt more for 2 reasons.

First, in the age bracket of 12-18 year olds, these kids are learning to throw curve balls and then going out and throwing 30 or 40 a game. The damage they do is long term and only shows up later. Until your into your 20's, you shouldn't be throwing more than a handful of breaking pitches a day.

Second, the professional leagues has gotten into such situational pitching that you are expected to pitch as hard as possible to every single batter. That means that pitchers that would soak up 40-50 innings without throwing their hardest 30 years ago. That's an additional 200+ innings from your starters. That's gone these days. The result? The death of the complete game. More injuries. And with the competitive nature of the leagues, and free agency, pitchers will pitch through minor injuries because they don't want to lose their spot, or that free-agent paycheck, or whatever. That results in pitchers compensating on their motions for the injury which just exacerbates the problem. The only way to fix that is to shut pitchers down, but when we're all glorifying Curt Schilling for being out their in October with blood pouring through his uniform, it's kind of hard to tell that to kids.

If you want to fix this, you need to fix the way the majors and minors treat their pitchers. Nolan Ryan figured it out with the Rangers staff last year. Maybe it will catch on.
 
2011-02-14 8:50:05 AM  

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: I know that runners without legs have been barred from competing because their prosthetic legs give them an advantage over runners with their real legs, since the synthetic legs bounce back more quickly. Since much of the force acting on a ball comes from compression in the legs, I wonder if the mechanical legs give him a similar advantage.


I've heard that argument, but prosthetic leg runners haven't broken any records. I think there are probably some disadvantages to, you know, missing a leg.
 
2011-02-14 9:09:31 AM  
To be fair, someone else cut him first.
 
2011-02-14 9:18:26 AM  
Maybe the school just felt he just didn't have a leg-up on the competition?
 
2011-02-14 9:21:09 AM  

tiggerfan: WhyteRaven74: ElwoodCuse: Greg Maddux is such an incredible outlier and exception to the rule, though.

Only owing to what people want. There's no reason there shouldn't be a ton of pitchers who don't throw hard. They're not likely to get hurt or wear down as the season goes on. Thing is people have decided that fastballs in the high 90s is the way to go. And then never seem to notice how many pitchers are getting hurt.

No, it is because if you can't throw mid 90's, your going to get eaten alive unless your an extreme exception. A change up needs to look exactly like a fastball to be effective. If you are throwing a change in the high 70's and a fastball in the mid 80's, there isn't enough speed differential to throw a batters timing. Any slower and the changeup starts looking different out of the pitchers hand.

Pitchers are getting hurt more for 2 reasons.

First, in the age bracket of 12-18 year olds, these kids are learning to throw curve balls and then going out and throwing 30 or 40 a game. The damage they do is long term and only shows up later. Until your into your 20's, you shouldn't be throwing more than a handful of breaking pitches a day.

Second, the professional leagues has gotten into such situational pitching that you are expected to pitch as hard as possible to every single batter. That means that pitchers that would soak up 40-50 innings without throwing their hardest 30 years ago. That's an additional 200+ innings from your starters. That's gone these days. The result? The death of the complete game. More injuries. And with the competitive nature of the leagues, and free agency, pitchers will pitch through minor injuries because they don't want to lose their spot, or that free-agent paycheck, or whatever. That results in pitchers compensating on their motions for the injury which just exacerbates the problem. The only way to fix that is to shut pitchers down, but when we're all glorifying Curt Schilling for being out their in October with blood pouring through his uniform, it's kind of hard to tell that to kids.

If you want to fix this, you need to fix the way the majors and minors treat their pitchers. Nolan Ryan figured it out with the Rangers staff last year. Maybe it will catch on.


I coached little league for 7 years and my son still farked up his shoulder pitching. When he was pitching for me, I limited him to 2 curve balls per inning (total of 12 for a game). If he threw more than that he got yanked. It made him develop a good change-up and his 2 and 4 seam fastball. He had a great 12-6 curve that he threw for strikes (usually when the batter had 2 strikes on him).

So what happens his freshman year? He farks up his shoulder probably from throwing too many (pressure from coaches, who knows), doesn't tell me (though it was apparent that his mechanics were whacked after he messed it up), didn't pitch his sophomore year, and he didn't have surgery on it until the end of his sophomore season. Fortunately for him, he can hit the ball better than he can throw it and it wasn't a SLAP tear...just some torn cartilage and bursitis. He's back 100% and not pitching anymore.

You are correct, we really need to eliminate the curve ball until the pitchers mature physically.

Additionally, it's worse than you think. What college scouts are looking for is right-handers throwing in the low 90's and lefties in the mid-to-high 80's. D1 schools won't take a look at pitchers that can pick the corners with many different pitches though slower. Groundballs aren't sexy, strikeouts are.
 
2011-02-14 9:46:07 AM  
He's got a very mediocre fast ball, does he have any other pitches? He's got shiatty form and unless he starts using his lower body he's going to throw out his arm in no time.

And yes he can't field a bunt, backup the catcher on a throw from the outfield, etc. A big part of the game. I'm guessing that unless he hits one deep he's not getting down a 90 foot base path very well either.

It's nice that he used his desire to play to help him overcome a lot of issues in life. But at some point you get to a place where being competitive trumps being nice. This is that point.
 
2011-02-14 9:56:52 AM  
Regardless of his physical state, why is it that when a kid gets cut from a team, one of the priorities is to call a news station and go on the air about it? I know that this isn't always the case and I can't see this video at work, but I saw this kid and his mom on the news yesterday morning and it just sounds like sour grapes.
 
2011-02-14 10:23:41 AM  

DoBeDoBeDo: But at some point you get to a place where being competitive trumps being nice. This is that point.


Ah, yes. High School Sports, where victory trumps personal development every time. We don't send kids to high school in order to actualize themselves into full members of society, we send them there to notch victories.
 
2011-02-14 10:30:08 AM  
Most of your power in pitching comes from your legs. If he can throw 80 without them, he's a genetic freak. But, there's more to pitching than arm strength, as has been said several times in this thread.

Whoever the first judge was that started ruling on high school varsity athletics and/or performing arts decisions sucks.
 
2011-02-14 10:51:09 AM  

Lost Thought 00: DoBeDoBeDo: But at some point you get to a place where being competitive trumps being nice. This is that point.

Ah, yes. High School Sports, where victory trumps personal development every time. We don't send kids to high school in order to actualize themselves into full members of society, we send them there to notch victories.


Save the "personal development" crap for little league. THAT'S where you worry about hurt feelings and everybody getting a turn. By the time you're in high school you should be old enough to understand that things aren't always going your way.
 
2011-02-14 10:57:51 AM  
Im sorry but you cant just put him on the team because he is able to pitch at a mediocre speed. Throwing the ball is only 50% of what a pitcher has to do and he cant perfom the other 50% of his duties like covering home, covering first, fielding bunts, etc. There are other kids on the team that are better and thats the bottom line. You cant make the team worse just for the sake of having him on the team. I feel bad for him but its not fair to give him a spot on the team when other kids are better.

He was in ESPN because he plays baseball with no legs, not because he was good. Bryce Harper was featured in HS because he was GOOD.
 
2011-02-14 11:46:37 AM  

Lost Thought 00: DoBeDoBeDo: But at some point you get to a place where being competitive trumps being nice. This is that point.

Ah, yes. High School Sports, where victory trumps personal development every time. We don't send kids to high school in order to actualize themselves into full members of society, we send them there to notch victories.


Finding out that you're not good enough to do whatever you want is probably the most important lesson you get from sports. Kids need to learn how to lose and accept disappointment.

/it's shocking how many people are still bitter about high school
 
2011-02-14 11:57:55 AM  

slayer199: tiggerfan: WhyteRaven74: ElwoodCuse: Greg Maddux is such an incredible outlier and exception to the rule, though.

Only owing to what people want. There's no reason there shouldn't be a ton of pitchers who don't throw hard. They're not likely to get hurt or wear down as the season goes on. Thing is people have decided that fastballs in the high 90s is the way to go. And then never seem to notice how many pitchers are getting hurt.

No, it is because if you can't throw mid 90's, your going to get eaten alive unless your an extreme exception. A change up needs to look exactly like a fastball to be effective. If you are throwing a change in the high 70's and a fastball in the mid 80's, there isn't enough speed differential to throw a batters timing. Any slower and the changeup starts looking different out of the pitchers hand.

Pitchers are getting hurt more for 2 reasons.

First, in the age bracket of 12-18 year olds, these kids are learning to throw curve balls and then going out and throwing 30 or 40 a game. The damage they do is long term and only shows up later. Until your into your 20's, you shouldn't be throwing more than a handful of breaking pitches a day.

Second, the professional leagues has gotten into such situational pitching that you are expected to pitch as hard as possible to every single batter. That means that pitchers that would soak up 40-50 innings without throwing their hardest 30 years ago. That's an additional 200+ innings from your starters. That's gone these days. The result? The death of the complete game. More injuries. And with the competitive nature of the leagues, and free agency, pitchers will pitch through minor injuries because they don't want to lose their spot, or that free-agent paycheck, or whatever. That results in pitchers compensating on their motions for the injury which just exacerbates the problem. The only way to fix that is to shut pitchers down, but when we're all glorifying Curt Schilling for being out their in October with blood pouring through his uniform, it's kind of hard to tell that to kids.

If you want to fix this, you need to fix the way the majors and minors treat their pitchers. Nolan Ryan figured it out with the Rangers staff last year. Maybe it will catch on.

I coached little league for 7 years and my son still farked up his shoulder pitching. When he was pitching for me, I limited him to 2 curve balls per inning (total of 12 for a game). If he threw more than that he got yanked. It made him develop a good change-up and his 2 and 4 seam fastball. He had a great 12-6 curve that he threw for strikes (usually when the batter had 2 strikes on him).

So what happens his freshman year? He farks up his shoulder probably from throwing too many (pressure from coaches, who knows), doesn't tell me (though it was apparent that his mechanics were whacked after he messed it up), didn't pitch his sophomore year, and he didn't have surgery on it until the end of his sophomore season. Fortunately for him, he can hit the ball better than he can throw it and it wasn't a SLAP tear...just some torn cartilage and bursitis. He's back 100% and not pitching anymore.

You are correct, we really need to eliminate the curve ball until the pitchers mature physically.

Additionally, it's worse than you think. What college scouts are looking for is right-handers throwing in the low 90's and lefties in the mid-to-high 80's. D1 schools won't take a look at pitchers that can pick the corners with many different pitches though slower. Groundballs aren't sexy, strikeouts are.


You shouldn't throw a curveball(or slider) until you absolutely have to, and that shouldn't be at least until late high school. Fastball/change(or split/fork/whatever that doesn't tweak your elbow) really is the best combination in baseball. Master that with a power fastball and no scout is going to ignore you
 
2011-02-14 12:04:25 PM  

Lost Thought 00:
Ah, yes. High School Sports, where victory trumps personal development every time. We don't send kids to high school in order to actualize themselves into full members of society, we send them there to notch victories.


Because there's nobody on that team that might be in line to get a scholarship because they're good players.

Should this kid's self esteem be put in front of the kid who can't afford to go to college without a scholarship?
 
2011-02-14 12:07:16 PM  

Lost Thought 00: Ah, yes. High School Sports, where victory trumps personal development every time. We don't send kids to high school in order to actualize themselves into full members of society, we send them there to notch victories.


Yup, high school is about where we now set the bar for deciding to make winning and losing matter. It used to be back when we were 6 or 7, but now they've changed that.

Also, high school is usually when you start running into roster limits. You only have a certain number of slots, and this is where colleges start looking at players for scholarships. If you let this guy on the team, and he isn't as good as some other kid who didn't make the team because there wasn't space on the roster, that kid might be screwed out of a scholarship that could pay for his college.
 
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