Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling
Your smoking scenario is a perfect analogy to pitching. Some people can drink and smoke all their lives and still live to 85 years old. But it is still a proven fact that smoking is very dangerous to your health. You are much more likely to die a young, gruesomely painful death if you smoke than if you don't smoke. Perhaps that guy who made it to 85 while smoking would have made it to 100 if he had lived clean.
Similarly, there are a few rare guys like Nolan Ryan who can pitch all day every day for 27 years and never suffer an injury or see their effectiveness decline. But it is still a proven fact that pitching too much is very dangerous to your health and will hurt your level of effectiveness. Nolan Ryan had a career ERA+ of 112, which is good but not that much better than average (compare it to Mark Prior's 179 ERA+ in 2003 for example). Perhaps Nolan Ryan would have delivered a much better career ERA if he had not been overworked so severely.
Avoiding cigarettes is very likely to lead to a healthier, happier, longer life.
Avoiding overworking your pitching arm is very likely to lead to pitching more effectively, suffering fewer injuries and having a longer career.
Do you think pitching patterns leading to pitching health are as proven as studies done in smoking? If so, do you have any examples of such studies?
I know this sounds facetious but it isn't. I would like to read those studies. To me, the idea seems pretty obvious but I'm not sure that it has really played out as many believe it has.