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Thread: Nolan Ryan - Dinosaur

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Nolan Ryan - Dinosaur

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseb...terstitialskip

    Ryan, baseball's first million-dollar player, realizes the game has changed. Players are averaging nearly $3 million a year. The industry is generating nearly $7 billion. And agents are loathe to let their clients throw 300 innings.

    Still, Ryan is determined to change the pitching philosophy in Texas. He would love to confiscate every pitch counter used by coaches. It drives him batty when he watches pitchers being pulled from games because their pitch count hits 110 or 120.

    "We have to change this mindset," says Ryan. "Some of the guys have been on a pitch count since Little League. It should be tailored to the individual.

    "These pitchers have to realize what their capabilities are, and build up their stamina. I remember it used to be that 300 innings was the benchmark for an ace. If you were a starter, you were expected to pitch at least 250 innings. Now, you may have one guy go 200 innings on your whole staff.

    "That's why you see 12, 13 pitchers on every team.."

    Ryan expressed these sentiments to the Rangers front office and coaching staff. He may be a softy at heart and always a gentleman, but when the boss talks, you better listen.

    "He made suggestions along those lines about pitch counts," Rangers manager Ron Washington says. "So we're trying to keep them out there as long as they can. We have to be smart monitoring what they're doing, but if you got the horses, you can let them go a bit."

    There was a moderate difference in the first three weeks. The Rangers' rotation averaged 96.3 pitches per game and lasted 5.93 innings per start. A year ago, they averaged 81.2 pitches and 5.44 innings.

    Rangers ace Kevin Millwood became the first Ranger in nearly two years to throw a complete game. It was April 5 vs. the Los Angeles Angels, albeit an eight-inning effort in a 2-1 loss. The starters have thrown at least 100 pitches in eight games.

    "I love it," Millwood says. "It seems like they've let me go a little longer than I did in the past. I'm not going to jeopardize the game just to be a tough guy, but I can tell you when I'm tired and when I'm not.

    "But what (Ryan) did, I don't see anyone doing anything like that again."

    Ryan, who threw the fifth-most innings in baseball history, told the Rangers' executives and coaches how critical conditioning was to his career. He would not only routinely throw batting practice to his teammates, but would do wind sprints after each 10-minute interval, lasting about 30 minutes.

    "Obviously, he's got strong feelings about pitching," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels says, "and we were able to incorporate some of the things Nolan did into our farm system. We've encouraged a lot of our (minor league) managers and pitching coaches that they have the flexibility to let their pitchers go past 100 pitches. We're not going to call down there (and complain) as long as they're not putting the pitchers at risk. We're having our young pitchers throw live batting practice, too."

    So they're running wind sprints between BP sessions, too?

    "Uh, baby steps," Daniels says. "We don't want to shock these guys too much."

    Code:
    CAREER
    
    
    INNINGS PITCHED                 IP     
    1    Cy Young                 7356     
    2    Pud Galvin               5941.1   
    3    Walter Johnson           5914.2   
    4    Phil Niekro              5404.1   
    5    Nolan Ryan               5386     
    6    Gaylord Perry            5350.1   
    7    Don Sutton               5282.1   
    8    Warren Spahn             5245.2   
    9    Steve Carlton            5217.1   
    10   Grover C Alexander       5189

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  3. #2
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Nolan Ryan - Dinosaur

    I think Kremchek is contemplating opening up a branch office in Arlington.
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    GR8NESS WMR's Avatar
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    Re: Nolan Ryan - Dinosaur

    Funny article!!
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    Calipari is not, nor has he ever been accused or "caught", cheating. He himself turned in one of his players (Camby) for dealing with an agent to get one Final Four overturned. The other is all on the NCAA and Rose. (IF Rose cheated.)
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    Re: Nolan Ryan - Dinosaur

    Just like it is extreme to have pitchers throw 140 pitches a game like in the 60's and 70's....it's just the same to cut them off at 100.

    You have to find a way to have pitchers throw more innings and if need be more pitches...it is a case of finding out which ones can do it better than others.

    Harang can....Arroyo cannot. We found out about BA the hard way however.

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    Moderator RedlegJake's Avatar
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    Re: Nolan Ryan - Dinosaur

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Cloninger View Post
    Just like it is extreme to have pitchers throw 140 pitches a game like in the 60's and 70's....it's just the same to cut them off at 100.

    You have to find a way to have pitchers throw more innings and if need be more pitches...it is a case of finding out which ones can do it better than others.

    Harang can....Arroyo cannot. We found out about BA the hard way however.
    Money has ended the old way of sorting them out. The ones who couldn't ended up in the pen or done. I agree with Ryan, though, to a point. A flat edict of no more than a set number of pitches for all pitchers is dumb. Body type, mechanics, age, conditioning - all have a lot to do with it.

    For every Nolan Ryan, though, there are ten guys who threw a ton of pitches and saw their arm blow out prematurely, from Amos Rusie to Jim Maloney.

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    Smells Like Teen Spirit jmcclain19's Avatar
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    Re: Nolan Ryan - Dinosaur

    In the 60s & 70s - the Heyday of the Nolan Ryan Era, not only did the pitcher bat in both leagues, but the SS, the C, the CF and usually the 2B were slap happy offensive zeros who were only good glove men on most teams. So Nolan could count on taking three to five hitters off every turn of the order every night he was on the bump. Not even close to being the case today.

    Everytime I hear some media blowhard pining for the days of pitching yore where men were men I want to smack them and remind them of that simple fact.

    I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I'd bet cash money that the pitchers per at bat have gone way up in the last 10-15 years as well.

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    Re: Nolan Ryan - Dinosaur

    Quote Originally Posted by jmcclain19 View Post
    In the 60s & 70s - the Heyday of the Nolan Ryan Era, not only did the pitcher bat in both leagues, but the SS, the C, the CF and usually the 2B were slap happy offensive zeros who were only good glove men on most teams. So Nolan could count on taking three to five hitters off every turn of the order every night he was on the bump. Not even close to being the case today.

    Every time I hear some media blowhard pining for the days of pitching yore where men were men I want to smack them and remind them of that simple fact.

    I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I'd bet cash money that the pitchers per at bat have gone way up in the last 10-15 years as well.
    One thing that seems to slip into the background concerning the rise in pitching during that era is the introduction of newer parks that were strictly pitchers parks (Dodger Stadium, Candlestick, Busch, Astrodome, RFK, Oakland, Angels) each time a park like these showed up in the league hits disappeared and the pitching talents shown just a bit brighter. Another factor was the offenses slow reaction to the change in the game. On the heels of the 1950ís the game had become more and more station to station and the running game had stagnated and almost became extinct in some towns (though it showed its head every now and then here and there) the transition to the blended game of power and speed of the 1970ís evolved during the 1960ís and like most evolutionary treks it exhibited some periods that were fraught with pitfalls, in the case of baseball in the 1960ís itís the other side of the coin that hardly ever is spoken of, itís the laundry list of poor hitters that would make a mockery of the game we watch today if they strolled to the dish.

    In an era that didnít value speed on the base paths or on base percentage there were more than a few less than stellar players with the stick getting at bats against these legends.

    For every Koufax there was a Willie Davis, for every Marichal a Hal Lanier, in the span of 1963-1968 there were 36 regulars in MLB who had over 150 games played and a slugging percentage less than .400 and a on base percentage less than .300. in the years of 1953-1958 there were 4.

    The game had swung drastically to the other end of the spectrum in the years between 1953 and 1968, glove men with little on base skills or pop were all over the place, among them was perhaps the most wonderful outmaker of all, Hal Lanier.

    Lanier was a legacy player, son of Cardinal hurler Max Lanier. Hal was a sought after high school player who surprised most of baseball when he signed with the Giants. While hitting over .300 in the minor leagues in 1964 Lanier got the call, a swift fielding 2nd sacker Lanier hit a respectable .274 in 90 games in San Francisco, however his 5 walks in 401 plate appearances should have been a warning flag the size of Texas. The next season Hal played with an assortment of players at shortstop, but a mid season trade brought Dick Schofield over. Schofield had been the transition shortstop from Grote to Alley in Pittsburgh, when Alley was ready to take over full time the inept bat of Schofield was sent to San Francisco to fill out there shortstop problem.

    Together in San Francisco Schofield and Lanier teamed up for 997 trips to the plate that season, unfortunately for the Giants they made an out 758 times, thatís a robust 76% of the time they came to bat. Lanier honed that skill into an art form and no better was that displayed than in the 1967-1968 seasons. By then Lanier had been moved to shortstop, solving the Giantís lack of defense at the keystone position and also bettering the bat at second by default. Lanier came to the dish 1075 times in the 67-68 seasons and made an astonishing 871 outs, thatís an out 76% of the time he batted. Of the 212 hits that he had 16% were extra bases, none home runs.

    Lanierís 1968 season produced the worst secondary average (The formula is (TB-H+BB+SB)/AB) in the history of the modern game, with his 1969 and 1967 season taking slots 3 and 4.

    Meanwhile his teammate Juan Marichal was starting 64 games, piling up 528 innings pitched going 40-19 with a 2.56 era.

    Ying and Yang I guessÖ

    Code:
    YEAR  AVG  SLG  OBA  OPS
    1963 .246 .372 .309 .681
    1964 .250 .378 .313 .690
    1965 .246 .372 .311 .683
    1966 .249 .376 .310 .686
    1967 .242 .357 .306 .664
    1968 .237 .340 .299 .639
    TOT  .245 .366 .308 .674

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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Nolan Ryan - Dinosaur

    Nolan's assuming that every pitcher in their organization is going to work as hard as he did when he pitched. Some will, most won't. Anyone who has ever created anything from a computer program, to an experiment in a lab, to a recipie, to building a house knows that if you deviate in any way from the way the first successful product was made, there is a better than average chance you will get different results.

    When Nolan was pitching, he may have rode a stationary bike after his starts or he may have lifted weights. If some kid in AA decides to go out and chase some tail after his start instead of riding a bike or lifting weights like Nolan did, he may not be able to have the endurance that Nolan did and therefore his arm may not be able to handle the rigors of pitching that Ryan's arm did.
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    Re: Nolan Ryan - Dinosaur

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R View Post
    Nolan's assuming that every pitcher in their organization is going to work as hard as he did when he pitched. Some will, most won't. Anyone who has ever created anything from a computer program, to an experiment in a lab, to a recipie, to building a house knows that if you deviate in any way from the way the first successful product was made, there is a better than average chance you will get different results.

    When Nolan was pitching, he may have rode a stationary bike after his starts or he may have lifted weights. If some kid in AA decides to go out and chase some tail after his start instead of riding a bike or lifting weights like Nolan did, he may not be able to have the endurance that Nolan did and therefore his arm may not be able to handle the rigors of pitching that Ryan's arm did.
    I can't help but think that part of the problem with Ryan's logic is that there is no context with regard to the number of arm injuries. Do we have an idea as to the percentage of pitchers who made big league starts in his era who washed out because of arm injuries vs. now? I think the greats like Ryan and Steve Carlton were able to throw so many innings because they were freaks of nature. But for every Carlton and Ryan, I'm sure there were plenty of sore arms struggling in the minors trying to come back after catastrophic arm injuries. This was the era before Tommy John surgery. But you might not have heard about them as much because "out of sight, out of mind." Now, of course, we hear all the time about arm injuries because we're constantly reminded of them with all the pitchers making rehab starts and coming back from their second or third surgeries. Back in the early part of Ryan's career, you didn't even get one surgery. You either struggled to come back, learned to throw the knuckle ball, or simply retired to sell insurance or work the farm.
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    nothing more than a fan Always Red's Avatar
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    Re: Nolan Ryan - Dinosaur

    Quote Originally Posted by Yachtzee View Post
    I can't help but think that part of the problem with Ryan's logic is that there is no context with regard to the number of arm injuries. Do we have an idea as to the percentage of pitchers who made big league starts in his era who washed out because of arm injuries vs. now? I think the greats like Ryan and Steve Carlton were able to throw so many innings because they were freaks of nature. But for every Carlton and Ryan, I'm sure there were plenty of sore arms struggling in the minors trying to come back after catastrophic arm injuries. This was the era before Tommy John surgery. But you might not have heard about them as much because "out of sight, out of mind." Now, of course, we hear all the time about arm injuries because we're constantly reminded of them with all the pitchers making rehab starts and coming back from their second or third surgeries. Back in the early part of Ryan's career, you didn't even get one surgery. You either struggled to come back, learned to throw the knuckle ball, or simply retired to sell insurance or work the farm.
    That's why I agree with Ryan, to a certain extent. You're right that injuries were not well documented back then. There were also far less teams, and if you washed out- back to the farm with you and the next guy steps into your place. But, there's also no proof that limiting innings leads to less injury, and Ryan's big beef seems to be with an arbitrary cut-off number of pitches. He thinks (and I do too) that it needs to be individualized.

    Freaks? I don't think so.
    Just picking 1972, here are the NL and AL leaders for IP:

    Code:
    NL Innings
    Carlton-PHI	346.3
    Jenkins-CHC	289.3
    Niekro-ATL	282.3
    Gibson-STL	278.0
    Sutton-LAD	272.7
    
    
    AL Innings
    Wood-CHW	376.7
    Perry-CLE	342.7
    Lolich-DET	327.3
    Hunter-OAK	295.3
    Blyleven-MIN	287.3
    None of these guys flamed out early due to overuse; they all had at least 15 year careers.

    My hunch is that there are certainly pitchers today who could throw the same amount of innings as they did back in the stone ages of 1972, safely, and without injury. Certainly not everyone can do that, and pitch counts can help identify feebler arms that need more rest and coddling from the freaks who can throw a lot of effective innings.

    If I'm a GM, and I am paying $15-20 million dollars a year for a stud SP, I want to maximize his use; I want him on the mound as much as he can be. IF I can get 300 IP out of him instead of 220, safely, I do it every single time. There's just not enough data out there to define what "overuse" is, how many pitches/game and innings/year constitute abuse, and it most probably differs for every single pitcher.

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    Beer is good!! George Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Nolan Ryan - Dinosaur

    Sounds like Edinson Volquez got outta Dodge just in time!!
    "Boys, I'm one of those umpires that misses 'em every once in a while so if it's close, you'd better hit it." Cal Hubbard

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    Re: Nolan Ryan - Dinosaur

    Quote Originally Posted by Always Red View Post
    That's why I agree with Ryan, to a certain extent. You're right that injuries were not well documented back then. There were also far less teams, and if you washed out- back to the farm with you and the next guy steps into your place. But, there's also no proof that limiting innings leads to less injury, and Ryan's big beef seems to be with an arbitrary cut-off number of pitches. He thinks (and I do too) that it needs to be individualized.

    Freaks? I don't think so.
    Just picking 1972, here are the NL and AL leaders for IP:

    Code:
    NL Innings
    Carlton-PHI	346.3
    Jenkins-CHC	289.3
    Niekro-ATL	282.3
    Gibson-STL	278.0
    Sutton-LAD	272.7
    
    
    AL Innings
    Wood-CHW	376.7
    Perry-CLE	342.7
    Lolich-DET	327.3
    Hunter-OAK	295.3
    Blyleven-MIN	287.3
    None of these guys flamed out early due to overuse; they all had at least 15 year careers.

    My hunch is that there are certainly pitchers today who could throw the same amount of innings as they did back in the stone ages of 1972, safely, and without injury. Certainly not everyone can do that, and pitch counts can help identify feebler arms that need more rest and coddling from the freaks who can throw a lot of effective innings.

    If I'm a GM, and I am paying $15-20 million dollars a year for a stud SP, I want to maximize his use; I want him on the mound as much as he can be. IF I can get 300 IP out of him instead of 220, safely, I do it every single time. There's just not enough data out there to define what "overuse" is, how many pitches/game and innings/year constitute abuse, and it most probably differs for every single pitcher.
    I would say they were freaks in that they were able to pitch all those innings and not flame out. The problem with finding out who can throw 300 innings a year is that you're going to trash a lot of arms finding the few who can do it consistently. With the increased number of teams and the higher demand for pitching, most teams just aren't willing to use arm injuries to weed out the weak arms who can't throw 300 innings.
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    Re: Nolan Ryan - Dinosaur

    Quote Originally Posted by Always Red View Post
    That's why I agree with Ryan, to a certain extent. You're right that injuries were not well documented back then. There were also far less teams, and if you washed out- back to the farm with you and the next guy steps into your place. But, there's also no proof that limiting innings leads to less injury, and Ryan's big beef seems to be with an arbitrary cut-off number of pitches. He thinks (and I do too) that it needs to be individualized.

    Freaks? I don't think so.
    Just picking 1972, here are the NL and AL leaders for IP:

    Code:
    NL Innings
    Carlton-PHI	346.3
    Jenkins-CHC	289.3
    Niekro-ATL	282.3
    Gibson-STL	278.0
    Sutton-LAD	272.7
    
    
    AL Innings
    Wood-CHW	376.7
    Perry-CLE	342.7
    Lolich-DET	327.3
    Hunter-OAK	295.3
    Blyleven-MIN	287.3
    None of these guys flamed out early due to overuse; they all had at least 15 year careers.

    My hunch is that there are certainly pitchers today who could throw the same amount of innings as they did back in the stone ages of 1972, safely, and without injury. Certainly not everyone can do that, and pitch counts can help identify feebler arms that need more rest and coddling from the freaks who can throw a lot of effective innings.

    If I'm a GM, and I am paying $15-20 million dollars a year for a stud SP, I want to maximize his use; I want him on the mound as much as he can be. IF I can get 300 IP out of him instead of 220, safely, I do it every single time. There's just not enough data out there to define what "overuse" is, how many pitches/game and innings/year constitute abuse, and it most probably differs for every single pitcher.
    How bad of an idea would it be to see if Harang and Harang only could go on 3 days rest all the time. If he liked the idea I would try it.

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    Member Deepred05's Avatar
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    Re: Nolan Ryan - Dinosaur

    What year was the mound lowered? I wanna guess 1969. Two of those pitchers on that list were knuckleball pitchers too if I recall correctly.

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    Beer is good!! George Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Nolan Ryan - Dinosaur

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepred05 View Post
    What year was the mound lowered? I wanna guess 1969. Two of those pitchers on that list were knuckleball pitchers too if I recall correctly.
    In 1969, the mound was lowered from 15 to 10 inches and the strike zone expanded.
    "Boys, I'm one of those umpires that misses 'em every once in a while so if it's close, you'd better hit it." Cal Hubbard


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