- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
THE ARMS RACE
Today, with a handful of minor leagues and many playing abbreviated schedules while carrying swollen rosters (up to 40 men), the opportunity for a pitcher to develop fully before being called up to the big leagues (where expansion demands many more hurlers) is sadly curtailed.
In my day as a professional (1947-50) there were 59 minor leagues, all playing full schedules and carrying normal player complements. The typical club would have seven pitchers for a 140-or 148-game schedule. There was ample work for all hands. No pitcher would be called on to work more innings in one season of intense big-league competition than he had in two or three seasons of minor league ball.
Dick Groat once said that he regretted having had no minor league experience because he was deprived of the opportunity of learning how to play every day before reaching the major leagues. Substitute "learn to pitch every four days over a full season" in Groat's statement and the key to permanently damaged pitching arms will be as apparent as should be its underlying cause—a culture and economy that allow little room for minor league baseball.
•The author of The Fine Art of Baseball, among other writings, Lew Watts speaks with authority about pitching and sore arms. After his release from the Navy he was a minor league pitcher for four seasons until bursitis ended a promising career.—ED.
These young men who devote their talents to baseball and who have much to offer are finding their worthy expectations being dashed by an early unfortunate experience, all of which makes the game appear as a thankless taskmaster. America's national pastime was never intended to appear in that light. Yet, on the page following Mulvoy's piece, we see Joe Namath, whose ailing knees receive all of football management's loving care, despite a high salary, and whose ego is even boosted by mink (Jet-Age Slow Brummell). Maybe these young deserving pitchers are in the wrong profession?
THE RAMS AND MRS. RYAN
In the August 9 preseason game between the Cleveland Browns and the Los Angeles Rams, the Ram comeback was indeed inspired by an Eddie Meador interception, but not of a Ryan pass. Frank Ryan was watching the proceedings from the sidelines, as I trust Alfred Wright was also.