27 February 2011

It's That Time of Year

I didn't want it to go unremarked: WoW has just passed the hundred thousand unique page views mark. My mother is so proud of me.
What do the following pics, taken last week, have to tell us:

Opening day: Wesdom (aka the big left-hander) on the mound. Nice post-up; notice how his weight is back and he's nicely balanced during a Nolan Ryan-like high leg-lift. And, in the second pic, nice long stride, head directly over his belt buckle, great balance. And see how his glove hand is pulling and his rotating trunk is flinging his throwing arm, elbow above his shoulder(!), forward. (As you can tell from the grip, it's a change-up on the way, at the knees on the outside corner for a strike. Wicked!)

Crocus and daffodil blooming in my backyard:

You guessed it: It's an early Springtime here in the ATL!


Anonymous said...

Love me some lefties on the mound, especially ones throwing overhand. From the department of unsolicited advice, that elbow is a little too high, though maybe its the angle. Some orthopedist is going to be busy if the elbow doesn't stay in the same plane as the shoulders. Unless it only happens on the change, in which case some one will see it coming. Duck!

Anyway, I've been looking for an excuse to write. I hope all is returning to normal. A classmate of mine committed suicide our senior year and it is still one of the weirdest things in a very weird life. You can't do much more than love them, can you?

Jim H. said...

Fine comment, Drip.

I have the entire sequence in stop action. I understand what you're saying about the elbow. He throws from a high- to mid- three quarters angle. This is the mid-three quarters. The glove hand pulls the throwing arm through, and the shoulders tilt downward toward the right at finish, which raises the elbow slightly above the shoulder. In his high three-quarters delivery, the tilt is even more radical, and his looks almost like a cricket delivery. We (his pitching coach and I) like for young Wesdom to "throw downhill" because he's about 6'2" @ 15yo. It takes stress off the elbow—i.e., avoids Tommy John issues. The throwing shoulder, we hope, has less stress as well, because the entire arm is really acting as the tip end of a whip. [If you click the pic, it enlarges, and you can see how the back side is doing all the work—it's fuzzy in the frame.] He can, but we don't let him throw a curve in game situations yet for that very reason. Bottom line: the big muscles (thighs, glutes, trunk, and shoulder [to a lesser extent]) do the bulk of the work. He has good control, good movement, mixes speeds (he can throw four separate speeds from the same motion and with the same delivery, each with a separate tail—four seam fastball, cut fastball, two-seamer [or sinker], and change]), and locates well (i.e., 6 or 7 out of 10). And when he misses, he misses low. He does not have Randy Johnson or Nolan Ryan velocity, but his musculature is still that of a boy. Dude, thanks for the comment; I can talk about this stuff all day!

And thanks for the kind words. Yes, this is a picture of our starting to return to normalcy. When a close friend or relative dies, it's usual to feel some anger at them for abandoning us—even if it's accidental or in the normal course of things. And then we feel guilty for feeling that way. (E. Kubler-Ross) But when someone close takes their life intentionally, those powerful emotions are amplified. Plus, in this situation, there's the great mystery of 'why?' And 'what did I miss?' And 'what could I've done?' etc.

Anonymous said...

I can talk about this stuff all day, too! And I love the lefties. They never look quite right to me, Jim Palmer or Jim Hunter being what I visualize when I look for a motion. I'm dating myself but at my age, who else would date me... But the lefthanders with location seem to get guys out, and that is what pitching is all about. As long as somebody with some sense (besides Dad) is looking, things will be fine. Certainly better than what some know it all, far away looking at a still could tell you. In general, lots of running (good luck with that) and lots of throwing will bring the best results and the rest probably happened the moment your child came to be. Nothing ahead but good times and heartache on the diamond. Have a great spring, both of you.

Jim H. said...

Sandy Koufax. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDgMXFBHLP0&feature=related Fast, not durable.

Here's a thing of beauty: Tom Glavine: http://www.baseball-pitching-tips.com/tom-glavine.html

This? Not so much: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4iYYi8EqWs&feature=related