FanDuel - WFBC

August 11, 2014

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 10 comments

13-Year-Old Girl Pitches Shutout To Send Team To LLWS

This is wrong, and from what I read in that article, someone should be ashamed for letting her do that.

Oh, I have no problem with a girl pitching on a LL team. That's perfect fine and really shouldn't be that big of a deal nowadays.

The problem I have specifically is that someone is letting her throw a curve ball at age 13. That's how you mess up an elbow/arm at that age. It should be nothing but fastballs and changeups, so there is as little strain on her arm as possible (outside of the generally unnatural pitching motion).

posted by grum@work at 11:41 AM on August 11

Does the same concern apply for girls when there's no adult future for them throwing fast pitch?

posted by rcade at 01:29 PM on August 11

Does the same concern apply for girls when there's no adult future for them throwing fast pitch?

Well, there is the rest of her childhood pitching career (13->18), and maybe she'll want to play catch with her own children in the future. We tend to write off those kind of elbow injuries because professionals go under the knife (at the expense of the team) to fix them. Who is to say that if she damages her elbow that she'll be able to get that kind of surgery.

posted by grum@work at 02:58 PM on August 11

Yeah, but even if she moves on, she'll most likely be moving to softball, which has a completely different motion and significantly less strain on the arm.

posted by Bonkers at 03:30 PM on August 11

... maybe she'll want to play catch with her own children in the future.

I've never heard that too-young pitchers throwing anything but fastballs ruin their arms for ordinary activities later in life. I thought they just put any future career in the sport in jeopardy.

posted by rcade at 05:53 PM on August 11

I guess that depends on the measure of 'ordinary activities'. But I get what you're saying.

I wonder if she fully understands that the potential damage to her arm may restrict movement as it applies to her favorite sport - basketball. LLWS dominance or future WNBA? Can a 13-year-old make that decision?

Or, she was convinced everything would be okay, because her coach really wants to win.

posted by BoKnows at 06:50 PM on August 11

The problem I have specifically is that someone is letting her throw a curve ball at age 13. That's how you mess up an elbow/arm at that age.

I heard this growing up from about 8 until 13 (when my pitching career ended), and once I was older I realized the weekend coaches that preached this knew very little about baseball. It was just something repeated and accepted because it was so often repeated and accepted, similar to the using only 10 percent of your brain myth.

It seems even when studies don't support the results we have a hard time believing it might not be true:

Like a pitcher and a catcher disagreeing on pitch selection, the opposing sides in the debate could not be more closely allied. Dr. James Andrews, the orthopedic surgeon to many athletes, is a founder of the American Sports Medicine Institute and has written with Fleisig some of the studies that have failed to prove that curveballs are hazardous to young arms. It has not stopped Andrews from challenging the results.

And I'm not saying curveballs can't be dangerous. But I'm betting that arm fatigue, especially on young arms, is much more dangerous than pitch selection (and maybe even more so when throwing curveballs).

posted by justgary at 07:31 PM on August 11

Denver Bronco cheerleaders 1980

posted by tommytrump at 08:09 PM on August 11

I hope them tweeting that picture is not what pushed him over the edge.

oh god, I'm so sorry

posted by hincandenza at 08:39 PM on August 11

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