LTP Smackdown - O'Leary vs. Nyman


#1

I see that Paul Nyman (aka coachxj) has started to weigh on in these forums, and to criticize what I’m saying. Rather than hijacking threads with our disagreements, I thought it might be best if we took those conversations into a different arena.

Thus this thread.

To stir the pot, let me throw out a few things.

Issue 1: While Dr. Mike Marshall has some unsupportable ideas, some of what he says is quite interesting. Paul has admitted as much in the past by speaking positively of Dr. Marshall.

Issue 2: There is a relationship between pitching mechanics and injuries. Pitchers who fall into the Billy Wagner, Joel Zumaya, and Aaron Heilman school are at a greater risk of shoulder problems, especially if they are moved into starting toles.

Issue 3: There is such a thing as ideal pitching mechanics. People like Greg Maddux, Nolan Ryan, and Rogers Clemens have it. People like Billy Wagner, Mark Prior, and Kerry Wood, do not.

Issue 4: While it’s not possible to eliminate pitching injuries, it is possible to reduce the likelihood that they will occur. This is possible because pitching injuries do not happen at random. Instead, there are patterns that can be detected and that predict which pitchers are more likely to be injured than others.


#2

Why not let the board “learn” from the discussion?


#3

Believe me, I want the discussion to happen, just in a more appropriate place.

IOW, I don’t want to hijack the thread.


#4

[quote=“Chris O’Leary”]Believe me, I want the discussion to happen, just in a more appropriate place.

IOW, I don’t want to hijack the thread.[/quote]Sure. I can appreciate that. It happens a lot. So, why not use this thread, or another new one?


#5

hey chris or anybody else who knows a bit more about pitching then i do, does arching your back is good or bad for you velocitywise and injury wise.

I’m talking about don sutton like. I like to arch my back a lot because i feel that it helps me generate more power and helps me keep my eyes on the target which so helps me getting some control. thanks


#6

[quote=“4pie”]hey chris or anybody else who knows a bit more about pitching then i do, does arching your back is good or bad for you velocitywise and injury wise.

I’m talking about don sutton like. I like to arch my back a lot because i feel that it helps me generate more power and helps me keep my eyes on the target which so helps me getting some control. thanks[/quote]

I don’t think it’s such a great idea to purposely arch your back. First of all, it won’t keep your eyes level on the target. Secondly, by arching back, your shoulders will roll backward and probably cause your front side to open up too soon – which could put undue stress on your throwing shoulder and cause you to throw across your body.


#7

[quote=“joejanish”][quote=“4pie”]hey chris or anybody else who knows a bit more about pitching then i do, does arching your back is good or bad for you velocitywise and injury wise.

I’m talking about don sutton like. I like to arch my back a lot because i feel that it helps me generate more power and helps me keep my eyes on the target which so helps me getting some control. thanks[/quote]

I don’t think it’s such a great idea to purposely arch your back. First of all, it won’t keep your eyes level on the target. Secondly, by arching back, your shoulders will roll backward and probably cause your front side to open up too soon – which could put undue stress on your throwing shoulder and cause you to throw across your body.[/quote]

i can totally understand what yuou mean but look at don sutton throwing i just realize it looks a lot like my mechanics an i don’t think he throws across is body. it might depends on when you start arching it. if you go there http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/mlb/baseballs_best/mlb_bb_gamepage.jsp?story_page=bb_75as_071575 and look at the 5 inning or just look at this pitcutre you might understand what i mean by arching my back.


#8

[quote=“Chris O’Leary”]I see that Paul Nyman (aka coachxj) has started to weigh on in these forums, and to criticize what I’m saying. Rather than hijacking threads with our disagreements, I thought it might be best if we took those conversations into a different arena.

Thus this thread.

To stir the pot, let me throw out a few things.

Issue 1: While Dr. Mike Marshall has some unsupportable ideas, some of what he says is quite interesting. Paul has admitted as much in the past by speaking positively of Dr. Marshall. Yes, Training baseball pitchers.

Issue 2: There is a relationship between pitching mechanics and injuries. Pitchers who fall into the Billy Wagner, Joel Zumaya, and Aaron Heilman school are at a greater risk of shoulder problems, especially if they are moved into starting toles. EXACTLEY what injuries Chris BE SPECIFIC not just a “shoulder injury” or “elbow injury” exactley what?

Issue 3: There is such a thing as ideal pitching mechanics. People like Greg Maddux, Nolan Ryan, and Rogers Clemens have it. People like Billy Wagner, Mark Prior, and Kerry Wood, do not. REally? please go further and describe EXACTLEY what the difference is!

Issue 4: While it’s not possible to eliminate pitching injuries, it is possible to reduce the likelihood that they will occur. This is possible because pitching injuries do not happen at random. Instead, there are patterns that can be detected and that predict which pitchers are more likely to be injured than others.[/quote]MORE useless drivel! Pitching injuries DO happen at random if they didnt there would be less injuries out there. Believe it or not Chris there are people out there that actually know a little more than you in regards to throwing a baseball and if it was possible to eliminate or forecast injury it would have been done a very long time ago. Believe it or not there have been a few guys that are just a little bit keener than yourself that have been working on this for years and years. Somehow you got it all figured out to the point that you actually believe what your dreaming! Now that is priceless! By the way you have no business stepping into a debate arena with Paul. Do it anyway though Im ALWAYS up for a good laugh, in fact this could be right up there with the video of you throwing smoke or was that you blowing smoke?? At any rate go ahead and challenge Paul to a real live pitching mechanics debate! Hopefully he will stoop to your level for a while. All I know for a fact is when he done with you you will be so small that you could play handball of a curb! Aint nothing better than learning something while having a little fun, at least you will provide that for me, so thanks in that regard!! Now go get em tiger!!!


#9

I did not intend to make any more posts here (at least for the time being) but chinmusic’s post(s) were so entertaining ("…you could play handball of (on) a curb!" really cracked me up at the breakfast table) that I felt it was my obligation to respond to the following.

Issue 1: While Dr. Mike Marshall has some unsupportable ideas, some of what he says is quite interesting. Paul has admitted as much in the past by speaking positively of Dr. Marshall.

Not sure why these are “issues”. I guess these are issues to Chris but not really issues to me in the sense of their importance or where I place a priority for time and efforts.

That being said, when it comes to pitching mechanics (more specifically pitching biomechanics), Dr. “Mike”, MY OPINION is a crackpot. For all of his pseudoscientific mumbo-jumbo, ( Dr. Mike does know his anatomy, but knowing anatomy is a far cry from knowing the kinetics and kinematics of throwing a baseball) he really doesn’t have a clue as to the intricacies of attempting to apply classical mechanics (Newton’s laws and the such) to the throwing of a baseball. His theories regarding straight-line forces maximizing throwing are totally absurd not only from a theoretical (how the kinetic chain creates throwing velocity) but also from the practical (in his 20 plus years of preaching he is managed to get one player, Jeff Sparks a cup of coffee with a MLB team). And and yes I know about the great conspiracy regarding Dr. Mike and major-league baseball i.e. Dr. Mike’s conspiracy theory as to why he cannot get MLB interested in his players.

That being said, what I do agree with or at least find some common ground is Dr. Mike’s training regimen i.e. putting much higher levels of stress on a pitchers body to increase their ability to handle stress, i.e. throwing something heavier than a baseball doesn’t cause you’re on the fall off. Of course Dr. Mike believes that throwing something that weighs 7, 8, 9 pounds or heavier is fine but throwing something that is 5, 6 or 7 ounces heavier than a baseball will cause problems. Again pseudo scientific irrationality at its finest.

Issue 2: There is a relationship between pitching mechanics and injuries. Pitchers who fall into the Billy Wagner, Joel Zumaya, and Aaron Heilman school are at a greater risk of shoulder problems, especially if they are moved into starting toles.

The quickest way to gain pitching attention as in pitching “I am a guru” is to play on people’s emotions the primary one of which is the health and safety of their offspring. For the health and safety of their multimillion dollar investments. Whenever someone starts there posting with words to the effect of “doing this or that will either cause or prevent injury” I can almost assure you this person has no clue about what it takes to maximally throw a baseball. I can only say that I believe Aron Heilman wished that he threw the baseball like I the Billy Wagner or Joel Zumaya. Why Heilman was included in this mix I have no idea.

Issue 3: There is such a thing as ideal pitching mechanics. People like Greg Maddux, Nolan Ryan, and Rogers Clemens have it. People like Billy Wagner, Mark Prior, and Kerry Wood, do not.

Monday morning quarterbacking is something that some people a very good at. How about if we add Walter Johnson, Christie Matheson, Lefty Grove, Carl Hubbell, Eddie Plank, Iron Joe McGinty, Warren Spawn, Bob Feller, and every other pitcher in Baseball’s Hall of Famer to the list?? As it is very easy to make predictions after the fact.

Issue 4: While it’s not possible to eliminate pitching injuries, it is possible to reduce the likelihood that they will occur. This is possible because pitching injuries do not happen at random. Instead, there are patterns that can be detected and that predict which pitchers are more likely to be injured than others.

Says who? This is statement boardering on logical absurdity. If such capability existed (actually proven beyond reasonable doubt) does anyone think that it would not be in effect (employed) today i.e. some major-league club would be in the forefront and have demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in arm injuries. As an example, the ASMI, viewed by many as the authority on injury detection and prevention, has nothing even close to what is described by O’Leary. Again pure emotional bravado, arrogance and ignorance at its finest, my opinion.

Where in any of this is a question/issue specifically addressing pitching mechanics (how to more effectively through a baseball) which might be construed as something resembling a pitching mechanics debate??

My answer to my question; there isn’t/aren’t any.

One nebulous question regarding Mike Marshall and his beliefs.

And three questions/statements all centering around the specter of injury but containing absolutely no hint of a specific reference to mechanical or training issues/questions/information.

Thank you again chinmusic for your entertaining (appealing to my warped sense of humor) posts. I can only hope that I have reciprocated in some fashion… :wink:

Paul Nyman


#10

i have a feeling this isint gonna be good


#11

If I’m so out there, then why does a major league team think that I may be able to do this? Why are they listening to me if you think that I’m so insane?


#12

I don’t have any idea why any major league team would waste their time. I’m assuming they aren’t foolish enough to waste any money, but you never know. Perhaps your information is simplistic enough to appeal to someone who can then say they’ve taken a “scientific” approach to arm injury prevention.

In the meantime get a clue. While I might bounce ideas off Paul despite my having an engineering background and somewhat of a baseball background he is out of my league and an order of magnitude out of yours. He’s put an incredible amount of time and research into understanding hitting and throwing and although he’s still learning the information he’s published to date is way out in front of the rest of them. Not only that he’s willing to admit what he doesn’t know rather than just making something up, which to me sets him apart from all the other “gurus” out there.


#13

Down Goes Frazier, Down goes Frazier!!!

:lol:


#14

I think Ali vs Cleveland Williams might be a more appropriate analogy, although Williams was actually a pretty good fighter so that doesn’t really work either. Perhaps someone Ali beat early in his Olympic career who didn’t really belong in the ring at all?


#15

This has to be absolutely my last post here at least for the next several months (I have an “IFPA” meeting tonite).

As harsh as I sound in taking exception to what Chris posts, I urge him to continue his quest. But to also recognize that he is functioning at a very superficial level (my opinion) with respect to what he thinks is good pitching mechanics and training. And thus I urge other posters such as CADad and chinmusic to keep them “honest”. But to try and do so in a constructive manner ( but I did enjoy the ball bouncing up against the curb comment… :smiley: ). It’s one thing to disagree with someone. It’s something else again to support beyond a reasonable doubt that disagreement.

I would also urge Chris to get off the “tugging at the heartstrings” approach i.e. using injury prevention as his “shtick”.

I think I have researched the injury issue as much as anyone else here, and the bottom line is that I don’t care how efficient the players mechanics, attempting to throw baseball 90+ MPH with location and movement is an accident waiting to happen.

I’m also of the belief that most injuries to young players are caused by first of all lack of conditioning ( players do not throw enough) and secondly and to a lesser degree stupidity on the part of parent, coach or manager.

Every player (pitcher) at the major league level got there because he threw more than 99.99% of the other kids.

In his defense I will say that Chris probably has an understanding equal to a greater than what most major-league baseball coaches ( Hence the reason why a major-league club is talking with him… :roll: ) do with respect to the actual mechanics of throwing the ball.

When I first started this insane adventure, and in the past I’ve posted this several times before, I felt I knew a lot about hitting and pitching and hitting. At least as compared to my contemporaries. Why did I feel is why? Because my children and the teams I coached always outperformed my/their peers. That combined with my own athletic background some baseball, some basketball and in college track and field, gave me a false sense that I knew more than I did.

The best evidence of this is that when I first added SETPRO I went out and bought every book and videotape on hitting and pitching that I could find is part of my marketing research efforts. At that time (1995), Dick Mills was king of the Internet pitching instruction world. And Dave Hudgins was king of the Internet hitting instruction world. And I back then thought both programs were very good.

What I later came to realize is that the very same reason why I thought Mills and Hudgins material was so good is a very same reason why I now think it is so bad. It ( videotapes, written material) initially made me feel good because it was so detailed. The information in a way that was presented made me feel “secure”. Which is the same reason why there is such a problem with it is because it leaves so little to the imagination. Detailed information is good or even great “IF” it’s accurate, produces the desired results which implies that it can withstand the test of time. If it is not accurate, it does not produce the results, then it’s not very good. It’s what I would call a classic example of form versus function. And unfortunately because of our lack of knowledge form usually is what determines our initial perceptions. It is only after a period of time where either we don’t achieve the results were simply have educated ourselves to the point where we can see other viable ways of doing things.

During his time, early days of SETPRO’s existence, my primary concentration was on training and training equipment (bat speed, reaction training, throwing velocity). I wanted to make a clear distinction between training to swing and throw versus pitching and hitting instruction. Why? Because comarketing standpoint hitting and pitching instruction could only be sold if you had a “name” attached to it. And besides at that time, again remember this is 1995, I felt that the products that both Mills and Hudgins were selling were very good.

That began to change when I started to study more closely clips of high-level hitters and pitchers ( past and present), frame by frame using both VCR and computer. Setpro was the first website to really engage in posting and analyzing video clips. The more I did this the more I realize that I did know a damn thing about swinging and throwing. Nor did Mills are Hudgins for that matter. And what I mean by this it is that they had the pitching and hitting instruction jargon down i.e. jargon that has been passed down through the ages. Or as in the case of Mills he had teamed up with Bill Thurston to enhance his credibility as not only a player but also as someone who was promoting instruction information that was supported by something other than his own opinion. And of course Hudgens had credibility because of his long-term association as a player, player development function, and hitting instructor with the Oakland Athletics.

My point being that unless you had a name it was virtually impossible to convince people that you knew anything about hitting our pitching. And as I have said many times before I am not a hitting coach. I am not a pitching coach. My focus is on how the body optimally swings and throws. Which I also believe is consistent with my technical background An experience.

Three other “names” (I’m sure there are others but these are the three that I’m most familiar with and the names that you see most often on the Internet with respect to pitching mechanics) that attempt to bridge the gap between player and “researcher” are Mike Epstein, Tom House, and Dr. Mike Marshall. And more specifically House and Marshall because of their ongoing promotion of their “scientific” efforts to understand pitching mechanics. Again you must remember that I draw a very specific distinction between pitching and throwing. That pitching is doing everything possible to get the batter out and win the baseball game. That throwing is doing everything possible to maximize speed, location and movement on the ball.

And for those of not read the Collegiate Baseball Magazine article, the reason I say there is no such thing as good pitching mechanics is quite simple. No one, can buy no one I mean those who have done any significant amount of research, participation, working with players, also known as gurus, can agree as to what constitutes good mechanics. Until there is a general consensus amongst the gurus, there can be no such thing as good pitching mechanics.

A corollary to this is that no two gurus can occupy the same point in space at the same time otherwise they both lose their guru status.

Today as I look back 10 years ago, I cannot say that 10 years ago I did know crap about how the body optimally swings and throws the ball. And as much as I think I have progressed there is still so much that I wish I knew with respect to how the body optimally produces throwing and swinging movements. And it is important if not more important the optimal ways to instruct this information such that the player is able to maximize their swing and throw capabilities.

So I would say to Chris and anyone else who has a passion and desire to become a “guru”, by all means continue. But, and it’s a pretty big but, be prepared to suffer the slings and arrows that come with your “guruship”.

You seem to have a tough hide which is good. I just hope you have an equal/required amounts of humility, curiosity, intellect, and arrogance to continue your journey.

I have always said that constructive debate and disagreement is the essence of progress and discovery. Forms are good place to debate. They are usually a “not so good” place to get specific answers to biomechanics/throwing problems/issues unless there is a recognized (proven) “authority”. But unfortunately for most, and again this is my own opinion, there are very few proven authorities.

And waxing philosophica, that as with just about everything in life it’s most often the journey that holds the greatest value as opposed to reaching one’s ultimate destination.

Paul Nyman

“IFPA” = Internet Forums Poster Anonymous … :roll: