All right…This one here is for all of the bs I took from Chris O’Leary about this guy…has nothing to do with stupid “inverted x, y or z’s” this is from an interview with Mark Prior in the Chicago Tribune, it wasn’t overwork (Dusty Bakers fault), it wasn’t Tom House, it wasn’t THE INVERTED W!!! It was 2 things, Marcus Giles and a collision on the base paths and a line drive that put a crush break on his pitching elbow…Chris…if you’re out there I’m sending a Bronx Cheer your way for starting an entire sub-set of incorrect pitcher training based on the false premise of the “inverted W”.
Great scoop, JD! On a side note, I was drafted by the Cubs in 2001, the same draft that Prior went #1 for us. Got to work next to him in Spring Training in 2002. One of the nicest guys ever. Hard worker. Sad to see his career got cut so short but glad he’s landed on his feet as the Padres’ minor league pitching coordinator.
Read this and thought of Chris and all the debates that went on and on and on over the years on here with him in regards to Prior.
Me too, my biggest issue was always, here is a guy, being made the poster child for “bad mechanics”, who was a winner, who literally was considered, if not the best, one of the very best pitchers in the league AND a decent person (Clemente Award runner up), who, for no other reason but that he had 2 unfortunate accidents has to wear this albatross around his neck because some “smart guy” looked at pictures and decided “hey…I can make a buck because I can market to peoples fears”…imo as reprehensible as it gets. It even bled over onto his manager who is sick to death of Mark Prior blame being dumped on him. Even presented with the evidence, this guy thought it was his vehicle to 1) Make a name for himself 2) Destroy or take down Tom Houses reputation as much as possible 3) Make money off this…so in all those years he never backed away from his unfair characterization of Mark…so we argued back and forth for nearly a decade.
As the father and pitching coach of a 14-year-old pitcher entering high school this month, I have for the past several years been studying pitching. I pitched myself in high school in a large city, but do not recall the expansive information and intensity of instruction available these days. I have studied this great site, of course, but also studied Dick Mills (RIP), Tom House, and sources all over the Internet, including, yes, Chris O’Leary. I have also on occasion taken my son to local pitching instructors, just to see what they have to offer. And that is the key word: “offer”. Everyone “offers” advice, and everyone is certain that their advice is true and correct, but all too often the advice we get is contradictory. Which means someone is right and someone is wrong. And so it is up to us parents and our kids to analyze all the offered advice and decide who is right and what is best, without being certain that what we decide is correct. It seems that we just don’t enjoy the certainty of, say, chemistry, where H2O is always water.
That said, I have read O’Leary’s views on the Inverted W, and am not sure where I stand on it. However, my understanding of O’Leary’s position is that the Inverted W is not itself problematic, but is problematic only if it causes a timing problem, that is, a late arm at foot plant. Maybe he can come here and clarify?
That is the evolution of a decade of being proven wrong in every instance. Chris was/is an insurance investigator, no baseball background so to speak. He began this fraud in around 2005, he based it on, “well they got hurt”, showing a few examples of pitchers in delivery where it appeared they had this “M” (Elbows above hands) in delivery…immediately jumping to the conclusion that “this” was the smoking gun!! And if only we could eliminate this presentation and have all kids just imitate all time greats, then all the arm injury would disappear. As absurd on it’s face as this is (With a tinge of truth…it is beneficial to understand how the highest tier of athletes deliver however with an understanding that each body is a different machine and should be coached in that way)…he began giving pitching instruction and providing medical diagnosis and remedy. I don’t begrudge anyone attempting to assist but he went way over the top, fancying himself an expert and then began to troll Tom House (Who actually does have bona fides) and stating that because House helped and coached Prior, that he was a teacher of “bad mechanics”. This was challenged by the likes of Mills (Very sorry to hear of his passing, we had many productive discussions) and Paul Nyman and “others” but O’Leary was an excellent marketeer and so it devolved into camps.
I disagree that “everyone is certain their advice is true and correct”, the very best are always looking for stuff that works and improves results, as evidenced for example, by House who has been heavily criticized by the community for “evolving over the years”. That was always my point, you can’t broad brush injury, you cannot produce a durable successful pitcher from a cookie cutter (Or it would have already been done). When I encounter “coaches” who act as if theirs is the “only right way”…it is the red flag which causes me to flee.
[quote=“jdfromfla, post:6, topic:19375”]
I disagree that “everyone is certain their advice is true and correct”[/quote]
Not everyone may be certain, but most are, and everyone at least believes their advice is correct, or they would not be giving it! My point was that whether those who give advice are certain they are correct, or only believe they are correct, the fact remains that “all too often the advice we get is contradictory”, meaning someone is right and someone is wrong, and so it is up to us parents and our kids to analyze the contradicting offered advice and decide which to accept. Case in point is the “Inverted W”: Chris O’Leary and others have a theory about it, which they believe to be correct, and Paul Nyman and others have a contradicting theory about it, which they too believe to be correct.
Except that his premise was obviously flawed because it was based on Prior and his mechs, did he extend and try to rationalize? Yep, but it doesn’t detract from the main point…his perspective was wrong…it took him about three years to decide it was really “timing” but never offered a “fix” for that just said “don’t do”.
I wasn’t trying to be contentious though in the advice part. My point is that humility is a trait to look for. A coach has the awesome responsibility of forming an athlete, sure they are going to fall back on things they’ve learned which provided success, the ones worth their salt will look to innovate, to make more efficient, knowing that others have had great success, they are constantly looking for innovation which gives an edge.
We’ve had some very interesting new blood come into the art, they know that baseball has been woefully behind in utilizing conditioning and strength (Steven Ellis for example…Kyle Boddy is another example) so the old school “my way or the highway” coaches are going the way of the Dodo. I apologize if it sounded smug…been a while since I’ve posted and likely I’ve lost a step in the communication bit of it.
I would like to see, but have not seen anywhere, a study of the mechanics of all MLB pitchers who have had Tommy John surgery in the past 10 years that shows: (1) what percent used the Inverted W with late timing; (2) what percent used the Inverted W without late timing; (3) what percent did not use the Inverted W but still had late timing; and (4) what percent neither used the Inverted W nor had late timing. This information would go a long way to support or dispel O’Leary’s theory about the Inverted W and late timing.
One thing I would like to add to this discussion concerns “bona fides” and whether a pitching “guru” has them or not. Personally, I was taught to pitch by my father, who was a pitcher himself in his own right. I pitched through high school in a large city and that was the end of that (foolishly I tried walking on at a major D1 and was promptly tossed aside). Many years later I started to carefully study pitching when my son started to play baseball and asked me to teach him how to pitch. I have since learned so much more about pitching than I ever knew. I have also learned that pitching “gurus” who have college or professional pitching experience can at times give bad advice.
Just this past season, a “former college pitcher” serving as an assistant coach on my son’s 14U team came to me because he wanted to change my son’s (very common) footwork, which was taught to my son by a former pro pitcher and used by Greg Maddux and many other MLB pitchers today. At the time my son was pitching lights out, and this ass of a coach couldn’t give me a reason for making the change other than on his college team some years back “It’s not what we did”. Huh? Of course I told him “No. Check out videos of Maddux”.
On the other side of the coin is a local pitching instructor who never played baseball in his life (he won a state basketball championship in high school). This guy instructed and coached his pitcher son from a very young age. The kid went D1 and was just drafted by MLB. Trust me, this local pitching instructor with a basketball background is an insufferable egomaniac who never let anyone beside himself instruct his son when it came to pitching. And yet the kid is now in the pros!
So basically, yeah, it’s neat if your pitching coach played college or pro ball. The downside is that their advice is not always good. Playing at the highest levels does not always translate to knowledge or ability to teach. And, when their advice is not good, it is harder to reject because, well, “He played pro ball!” So the fact that O’Leary played baseball all the way through Little League () means little to me. I am more interested in whether his theories hold water. I understanding some MLB teams and players have actually consulted him, so it appears at least some think his theories are worth a look.
What’s “late timing”?
Arm not up into around 90 degrees of ER at front foot strike.
[quote=“Roger, post:11, topic:19375, full:true”]
What’s “late timing”?
[/quote]According to O’Leary, late arm at foot plant …
I’m not debating Chris per say, I’ve done that with him. My post was yet again why was Mark hurt, it wasn’t Chris’ theory it was visible and very apparent injury. What he did do, was basically take a guy who never had injury, was a very dominant pitcher all through his time in the game and demonize his very good mechanics based on a lie. Not just demonizing him, stating that his mechs were the worst possible injury inducing mechanics ever and by extension, his coach Tom House was “teaching bad mechanics”…to me reprehensible because he used a lie to smear good people for his own enrichment.
So he was able to get “teams” to listen, why would that be a surprise (I suspect they’ve listened to looney er people in search of a fix for TJ)? He’s a good marketeer. It just doesn’t hold water though and so he jumped to hitting and got a MLB player to work with him there.
So what on Fernandez, the guy is one of the very best in the league…so gimme 20 kids with those mechs and maybe each will buy me a caddy…how stupid is it to point to a man making bazillions at the very top of the sport…how are you going to assign Maddux mechs to him? Take 10 mph off his fb and he is doing adult league smh.
I didn’t say anything about Fernandez. I was answering a question from Roger about what O’Leary means by late timing. That photo from O’Leary’s website I posted shows very clearly what O’Leary means. And that’s Nolan Ryan on the left, whose fastball was not 10 mph slower than Fernandez’s, but actually faster (100 mph +), but then that’s not O’Leary’s point. His point is that Ryan threw hard until 46 years of age without Tommy John, while Fernandez threw hard and had Tommy John at only 21, and O’Leary believes it has to do with the Inverted W and its late affect on timing. I don’t know if O’Leary’s right or wrong, just presenting what he says.
I’m confused as to why my original point isn’t addressed in your responses. If the entire premise of his claims are based on an outright fabrication (I.e. It was a collision and broken elbow NOT the dreaded mechs). Then the whole house falls. It is an incorrect approach, which we have seen taken to some pretty whacky extremes here, where kids literally become O’Leary disciples and go around just spamming up the joint with the “don’t do’s”. The waste of time trying to “correct” non-faulty mechs is wasteful and harmful to a kid who loves the art and is chasing his dreams, this is the only reason I mention it or bring it up
Furthermore, O’Leary has hurt a generation of pitchers who are being taught by their well-meaning parents to be in X position (still pic) or else they’ll get hurt. Robbing pitchers of athleticism and natural movement patterns. Not just a waste of time, but a destroyer of athleticism.
LOL. O’Leary has hurt a generation of pitchers? That’s absurd. Why don’t you name all these pitchers for us, tell us how each was hurt, and explain how O’Leary caused each one to be hurt? And while you’re at it, do tell us how the epidemic of Tommy John surgery came to be before anyone even heard of O’Leary?
South Paw, I’m not talking about injury to their arms. I’m talking about hurting them by lack of velocity development and robbing them of athleticism. As far as I know, he literally produced 0 pitchers that pitch at a high level (his highest level client was Segovia, who used to throw hard, came to him after being injured, and then Chris touted him as a client and he’s since been released… He just criticizes those who work with pitchers or those who actually play. It’s easier to be a critic.
He makes excuses when pitchers he says are “Safe” don’t pitch well or get injured. David Price (Red Sox broke him). Carlos Martinez end of last year (Cardinals broke him). Justin Verlander a few years back (I don’t like his lower half). Cliff Lee (I missed that little twist in his wrist). He can’t be wrong, because he doesn’t accept being wrong.
Said Strasburg would be done years ago. He’s not. Said Fernandez would be done. He’s not. Doesn’t like Arrieta. Picked Gio Gonzalez to get injured every year. Said Felix Hernandez would get hurt 10 years ago. Says Kershaw’s mechanics are needlessly complex. It goes on and on.
A dart thrown at a Major League Roster would be as accurate at predicting injuries.
This is Chris’ best evidence and it shows that Inverted W is not more injurious and that "bad’ timing is just barely worse than "good’ timing.
Inverted W study