It took steroids in the game of baseball to wake up the MLB. They learned quickly that the old school mentality that baseball weight training will not make a baseball player better probably was dead wrong but instead of the MLB opening the game to the latest advances of the strength and conditioning world, they decided to fold.
Now why would they fold such a big hand that was dealt to them with a hard slap across the face? This is because of the pressures of the United States government. Congress threatened the MLB to a point of no return. To remove steroids from the poisoned roots of Major League Baseball they pushed out everything that resembled the disease. This meant strength and conditioning practices that juiced athletes used to develop their steroid-induced gains.
MLB Turns on Baseball Weight Training for Old School Training
Evidence that the MLB folded this hand is in articles like this here on MLB.com. The title says it all, Coach wants methods to catch on in bigs - Jaeger's old-school, unorthodox regimen preserves arms. What will they do next, MLB forcing their pitchers to run longer distances for conditioning! This is just mind blowing. Alan Jaeger's reason for his old school approach, over the new school approaches of the MLB which are still old school in my book, is in his quote here from the article.
"Among nature's mightiest, most majestic creations are the Great Redwoods, which stretch skyward to heights of 350 feet and beyond.....But what might happen if you planted a baby Redwood tree in a greenhouse with a 10-foot ceiling reinforced with steel? The tree, much like a young Geisha girl's feet shoved into unusually small shoes, would never reach its intended growth capacity. Both are examples of natural development being stunted, unnaturally. This, says Alan Jaeger, is the plight of pitching arms in America -- and, by extension, many arms in Major League Baseball."
The fact that this is the language that Jaeger uses to coach pitchers through his program is child's play. If I was forced into a debate over this rhetoric I would have to counter his analogy with an analogy that is similar and defines the new school approach of Bigger, Stronger, Faster. My analogy would go something like this.
"Among nature's mightiest, most ferocious creations is the Awesome Lion, the King of the jungle, who has the strength and speed to catch a Gazelle and rip his flesh to pieces.......But what might happen if you caged this Lion in a 30 foot cage reinforced with steel and barbed wire and force him to attack and kill large elephants and hippos? Much like the way Michael Vick raised his pit bulls for cage fighting. The day the lion was freed from his cage he would more than likely devour everything in his path. This, says Brent Pourciau, is how I train my pitchers to grow Bigger, Stronger, Faster so they can reach their potential velocity or maybe even exceed my expectations."
The fact that the likes of Nolan Ryan would actually entertain this old school approach on arm health for his Ranger pitchers makes me believe that major league baseball is going backwards again. Just when I thought the likes of Tim Lincecum had pushed the MLB into a new school revolution I was wrong. I believe the only hope that the MLB has is Dr. Andrew's. If he finds the time to convince the MLB with his scientific studies of why arm injuries occur when unorthodox methods like Jaeger's "air it out" throwing program are used then maybe the MLB will step into the future of strength and conditioning. Until then I am going to remain an MLB outcast and preach against this nonsense!
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