The medical experts need to produce a medical study that shows the direct correlation between curveballs and youth pitcher injuries. To hear Dr. Kremchek talk about how obvious it is....you would think that it would be like proving that ice melts at a certain temperature. Case closed. Ban the curveball.
I have no love for Little League and their commercialization and profiting of the world series. If you want to see the world series, go to Williamsport. But to demonize Little League and youth coaches and parents without the definitive evidence in hand to prove that a certain single activity is dangerous to the health of kids arms......that's irresponsible also. It is easy to make a generalization about these things but they happen one kid at a time, each with his own myriad of circumstances that caused the problem.
Once again, the fact is no study has been undertaken and completed that proves to a scientific certainty that the mere throwing of a curveball is injurious to a youth arm.
Overuse? Now that has been shown.
Let's say we do ban the curveball....wouldn't the next argument be well at what age is it safe? Because the last time I checked.....tommy john is being done on high school age, college age and adult MLB pitchers. Maybe NOBODY should be allowed to throw a curveball EVER!
I mean it's just crazy. The kids can tune into ESPN at any time and see pitcher's throwing all kinds of cutters, sliders, curveballs........of course they are going to throw them. Maybe ESPN should be required to put a warning label on their telecasts. "Warning: Throwing breaking balls at a young age is dangerous and can cause arm injury that can lead to premature termination of an otherwise successful Major League or Collegiate career."
These kids are completely incapable of handling the overuse and fatigue they are forced into with year round competitive baseball and pitching. The elbow and shoulder are the weak links in their bodies. They need a break from baseball. The three sport athlete is on the endangered species list. There are too many organized leagues and too much glorification of the college scholarship or "draft prospect". Money and fame. Your money, their fame.
How about college winter camps......"fundraisers". These kids do not have their arms in shape to throw all day long in mid winter but they got signed up and parents paid and they need to get seen early so they go. Showcase? Multiple showcases. Tournaments? Oh yeah......
It's just craziness. If I wanted to develop a program to ruin a kids arm, I'd adopt the current youth baseball paradigm in the United States.
In my opinion, the curveball is just the scapegoat. It's the Cubs fan's "Bartman". It's easy to blame the evil curveball. Lay your hands on it....transfer all the sins of youth baseball on it....curse at it on the way out of town and throw it over a cliff. Kill the scapegoat. Ban the curveball. And then go on about your business just like you did before.