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A Press Democrat Blog

Ted Sillanpaa Blog

A unique look at sports daily in Overtime

194 pitches? 15 innings? We don’t need to protect every pitcher

By TED SILLANPAA Rochester High’s Dylan Fosnacht threw 194 pitches in a 15-inning outing Tuesday in the state of Washington. American League Cy Young Award winner David Price and former big league left-hander Tommy John heard about it and insisted Fosnacht’s coach should be fired for putting the youngster at risk of injury. Fosnacht? The kid doesn’t think he needed to be protected. He’s not a prospect. The guy loves his coach Jerry Striegel and feels like working 15 innings… Read More »

Dr. Marshall explains how to save pitchers from Tommy John surgery

By TED SILLANPAA Two of my sons were baseball pitchers who underwent Tommy John surgery, an elbow reconstruction process that has become an epidemic in baseball at all levels. My youngest son was an elite, NCAA Division I prospect expected by coaches to, perhaps, be drafted by a Major League baseball organization. The elbow injury and surgery left him with just over one full season of high school baseball competition. I’ve tried harder than most to try to figure out… Read More »

A’s Parker Tommy John surgery latest in epidemic

By TED SILLANPAA Lots of people asked me why my youngest son, the elite left-hander who’s in his senior year of high school now, didn’t have Tommy John surgery to replace his ulnar collateral ligament sooner. Dr. Arthur Ting said it better than I can. “People hear about big leaguers and college pitchers having elbow reconstructive surgery making them good as new,” Ting told my son and I. “That’s a possibility. Many do come back healthier than ever. But, we… Read More »

My son’s story: The nightmare that was his freshman baseball season

(This continues the story of my son’s journey from elite youth baseball pitcher to two lost high school seasons separated by Tommy John surgery … well, he did have one high school baseball season at the top of his game. This details how a high school varsity coach seemed, in many ways, to have tried to make the season miserable for my son. — TS) By TED SILLANPAA Heading into my son’s first high school baseball season, the plan was… Read More »

My son’s story: Football coach set finest example … then came baseball season

(Many who read the first in a series of stories about my son’s journey from elite youth baseball pitcher to two lost high school seasons separated by Tommy John surgery on his elbow asked about the coach who overused and mishandled him when my son was a freshman. Here’s more about his freshman experience that will leave you wondering why we’ve been programmed to believe parents are the problem and that coaches are always in the right. — TS) By… Read More »

My son’s story: From elite young pitcher to Tommy John elbow surgery

BY TED SILLANPAA My youngest son was judged by people in the know, not by his old man, to be an elite left-hand pitcher at the age when kids are mostly hoping to make their Little League’s all-star team. Wait a minute! Every parent thinks their kid is bound for the pros or that college scholarship! Who judged my kid a cut above his peers? College coaches did, for starters. One coach who’s also a scout for a Major League… Read More »

Etiquette at youth sports makes it hard to enjoy my son’s comeback

By TED SILLANPAA So, it’s apparently no longer acceptable to do more than clap politely at youth sports events? Is that OK? I’m not sure. I hear people clapping, a quick golf clap-type deal, at my son’s summer baseball games. So, it must be OK to clap. Right? It’s apparently no longer acceptable to cheer for my son or his teammates, or to openly express the hope that my son’s team wins the game. I’m guessing, really. Parents sit quietly,… Read More »

Son’s return to mound shows every recovery isn’t about PEDs

By TED SILLANPAA on Twitter @TedSillanpa My 17-year-old son pitched a scoreless inning, striking out two, in his official return to the mound 11 months after he underwent elbow reconstruction surgery. He’s one of those elite-level prospects who was being recruited by some Pac-12 Conference baseball coaches even while he was rehabilitating his elbow over the winter. So, to say he’s back at 100 percent of what folks believe he can be would be untrue. Just to see him on… Read More »

Dr. Mike Marshall on pitching injuries and the lies pitchers are told

By Ted Sillanpaa After writing here about Giants closer Brian Wilson’s season-ending elbow injury and the Nationals’ plan to end Stephen Strasburg’s season at 160-180 innings based on the belief the move will protect his arm, some parents and others responded with questions. Dr. Mike Marshall, former National League Cy Young Award winner, wrote a length email in response to what has been written here. He teaches a revolutionary motion that saves pitchers’ arms from injury. Here’s his email and… Read More »

No formula for saving Strasburg or any other pitcher’s arm

By Ted Sillanpaa The Washington Nationals are fixing to shut down their young ace Stephen Strasburg, after he pitches around 180 innings, because he’s in his second season after returning from elbow reconstructive surgery. The Nationals did the same thing with Jordan Zimmerman last year, ending his season when he reached a pre-determined innings total. He’d returned from Tommy John surgery in 2010. Zimmerman’s 9-6, leading the National League in ERA entering Tuesday’s games. The Nationals’ insistence that they will… Read More »