I'm with ya there jd. My take on long toss is that it won't, directly, increase velo and it definitely won't help with release point, although I don't think experienced long toss advocates suggest that it does. I've heard it said that long toss doesn't have to interfere with mound pitching release points because you aren't replacing the mound completely.
My problem with much of what I see out there about arm health programs is that they all have the challenge of strengthening and conditioning the relevant muscles and connective tissues at the range of motion they are put into during pitching. For example, tubing exercises are typically done through 90 degrees of internal or external rotation. In actual pitching, the humerus goes through much more than that when it lays back to full external rotation. If you don't condition at that range, those muscles and connective tissues will be unfamiliar with the stresses they will be expected to withstand.
So, this is where I believe long toss comes in very well. You can get to that range of motion in a controlled way. Distance is the controlling factor. Weighted balls could also come in here. The point being, throwing is an excellent way of conditioning those tissues at that range. I'm not sure if you can do it any other way but the fitness gurus out there may be able to elaborate on other ways.