This is my second blog.

My first blog chronicled my experiences over three years caring for my dad as he lived through and finally died from Alzheimer's. That is the book that is for sale.

This second blog kind of chronicles of life, what it is like to start your life over in your late 50's. After caretaking, you are damaged, file bankruptcy, and the world doesn't care what you did. After 8 months of unemployment, you wake each day knowing the world doesn't want you. Finally you do find a job, 5 weeks before homelessness, but doing what you did 30 years ago and getting paid what you did 30 years ago. So this is starting over.

The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.

Sunday, July 30, 2017


Okay, last one this weekend, I promise, I think.

Thinking, I love thinking.  Just staring at the ceiling and thinking on a topic or two and today is about baseball, but not what you might think.

See, I marvel when there is something happening today, that didn't use to happen yesterday or visa versa.  Nobody ever stops and asks why is this happening now and not happen in the past.

Like autism.  Autism was extremely rare back in the 50's, 60's and 70's.  Today it is scary common, but strange because it doesn't show at birth, it hits around 5ish. Why?  Well, there are the vaccines - boy if you ever want to get a doctor riled up mention vaccines and autism - but just a suggestion, wait until AFTER the prostate exam - will never make THAT mistake again.

Heard a coast to coast recently that some researcher discovered a correlation between autism and chronic fatigue, if the woman ever had issues with chronic fatigue, then later gave birth, the likelihood of the baby becoming autistic from the vaccines was very high.  They were suggesting you do with babies of mom's that had chronic fatigue what you do with babies of mom's who are HIV, they do some thing with the babies before they ever give a vaccine to prevent the body from getting screwed up by the vaccines.

But this is about baseball.

Saw a picture of Sonny Grey who the A's will probably trade today and there were two things that really bothered me.  First, he was about to land heel first while pitching, second the the way the arm is cocked.  (what I am referring to is this: stand up and pretend you are holding a joystick with the right arm, now just raise the elbow so the upper arm is parallel to the floor and the top of your forearm and hand are facing the ceiling, that is the position)

And the thinking started and by the time I was done watching videos it was 1am.

See, like autism in babies, pitchers today require Tommy John surgery like routine, even high school and college kids, why?

Go back and watch videos of pitching greats like Koufax, Gibson, Seaver, Ryan, Palmer, Perry, Vida Blue, Jenkins, etc and then watch videos of today's pitchers and you will see several differences in how the foot lands, how the front knee is bent but most importantly the arm motion.  With the exception of Ryan, who late in his career you can see this arm position, ironically also when he routinely had arm issues each year, you do not see the pitching arm cocking like this.

But somewhere around 2000, this became considered the proper mechanics for pitchers and quarterbacks too.  I remember when the Cubs drafted Mark Pryor and people raved about his mechanics being perfect or Steven Straussberg,  I think that is the pitcher on the Nats, this 'perfect' mechanics that seems to constantly produce elbow and shoulder problems.

Seriously, I was watching videos half the night of the great pitchers of the past and none of them had the mechanics that are stressed today.

But there is another factor in all this:  grip.

When I was a kid, I read EVERYTHING about pitching, if a great pitcher wrote a book about pitching, I read it.  Grips were simple, four seam fastball, two seem fastball, curve, slider, changeup; but the actual grip was pretty much the same, two fingers on top, thumb on bottom, just where the seams were place and hand angle at release; sliders were like throwing a football for example.

Now, holy smokes, there is this whole science of grips for making the ball do all sorts of things that only Gaylord Perry could do back in the 60's with spit or KY - yes, there is another use for KY Jell.

But here is the thing, when you try this grips just hold them for awhile and you notice the strain on the forearm and elbow and I think that is what is happening to pitchers today, the combination of this arm cocking thing with all these grip variations using different fingers with different pressure by different fingers and I think that is why so many elbows go pop goes the weasel.

I mean all those pitchers I mentioned earlier, they also pitched between 300 and 400  innings a year, completed over 20 games a year, and today 200 is considered iron man and nobody completes 10 games in a season, heck some teams don't have 10 complete games by the entire staff.

So why when athletes are so much better today than 50 years ago were pitchers so much tougher and better than pitchers are today?  Fergie won 20 games 6 straight seasons, Koufax could pitch a complete game and win with only his fastball, it's an oddity of sports, where by any quantitative measure, athletes today are far superior to athletes of the past, except when it comes to pitching a baseball, the old timers were far better, stronger, lasted longer than pitchers today.

Someone in baseball needs to take a look at this and re-evaluate what makes good mechanics.  Go back to the Mets of the late 60's with Seaver, Koosman and Ryan and watch their mechanics, none really had major arm problems until Ryan started getting them AFTER he changed his mechanics a little and brought that pitching arm in like I described above.

First pitching coach that does it will be called a genius, and so it goes.

Gaylord Perry was once asked what is good off season conditioning for pitchers and he said well, look around the league and name about a dozen pitchers and pointed out all grew up working on tobacco farms and now own tobacco farms so he'd have to say tobacco farming was probably the best conditioning for a pitcher.

Not that many tobacco farmers anymore in this country, are there.

Okay, I'll be quiet now, promise.