The Arm

The Arm

Inside the Billion-dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports

Book - 2016
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"A baseball columnist offers an in-depth look at the most valuable commodity in sports - the pitching arm - and how its vulnerability to injury is hurting players and the game, from Little League to the majors. Every year, Major League Baseball spends more than $1.5 billion on pitchers - five times more than the salary of every NFL quarterback combined. Pitchers are the games' lifeblood. Their import is exceeded only by their fragility. One tiny band of tissue in the elbow, the ulnar collateral ligament, is snapping at unprecedented rates, leaving current big league players vulnerable and the coming generation of baseball-playing children dreading the three scariest words in the sport: Tommy John surgery."--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, [2016]
Edition: First edition
Branch Call Number: 796.35722 P286a
Characteristics: viii, 357 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm


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PimaLib_NormS May 09, 2018

Ever wonder what is the most valuable commodity in sports? No, neither have I. But, after reading Jeff Passan’s insightful new book, “The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports”, I now know the answer to that question. Hopes, dreams, and staggering amounts of money are invested in a baseball pitcher’s arm. However, even with the advancements in sports medicine and technology, baseball cannot figure out how to keep their most valuable commodities healthy. The nonsensical thinking in baseball used to be that the more a pitcher threw, the stronger his arm would get, and then he would be more able to withstand the rigors of pitching. Those that could not stand such a regimen were weeded out. It is akin to pounding one’s hand with a hammer, in order to toughen it up for the rigors of hammering. Nowadays, major league teams have too much money tied up in pitchers to treat them as disposable parts. So, their pitchers are not allowed to exceed a certain amount of pitches and innings pitched. But, babying pitchers is not working either. They are still being injured at an alarming rate. This book is an eye-opening examination of injuries to the arms of baseball pitchers, and a rather damning indictment of big-time youth baseball in this country (and baseball-crazy Japan). The manner in which young amateur pitchers are used makes it almost a matter of when, not if, a pitcher’s arm will give out. By the time they get to professional baseball, the damage may have already begun.

Apr 30, 2018

Must read for baseball fans and parents of pitchers!

Nov 15, 2016

Passan's extensive research and superb ability to connect with those in the baseball industry produces a definitive resource on all things pitching-arm related. At times the book can feel like many articles combined together, but the chapters on Daniel Hudson and Todd Coffey help tie everything together and add an important human element. Definitely a book meant for baseball fans, but definitely one that all fans should read to better understand why their favourite pitcher might've just gone down with another arm injury.

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