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Tom Seaver says today's pitchers are babied too much

August 30, 2013|By Houston Mitchell
  • Tom Seaver, throwing out the first pitch at this year's All-Star game, says today's pitchers are babied too much.
Tom Seaver, throwing out the first pitch at this year's All-Star game,… (Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images )

There is at least one Hall of Famer who is against pitch counts and innings limits for young pitchers: Tom Seaver.

In an interview with the New York Daily News about Mets ace Matt Harvey, who has been sidelined with a torn ligament in his pitching elbow, Seaver said:

“Naturally, I felt terrible for [Harvey]. He’s got such a bright future. But at the same time, all I could think of was how it just goes to show how all this babying of pitchers — pitch counts and innings limits — is a bunch of nonsense. You can’t predict these things, and there’s really not a whole lot you can do to prevent them other than refining your mechanics.... But one way I know doesn’t do anything to prevent them is babying these kids like they do.”

Seaver then talked about how the great pitchers of the 1960s and '70s pitched 300 innings a season and had no problem with it.

“Take a look at all of them, [Juan] Marichal, [Ferguson] Jenkins, [Warren] Spahn, what do you think made them successful?” They conditioned their arms by pitching more, not less, starting from when they signed their first contract. Jenkins threw 300 or more innings half a dozen times. Same with [Jim] Palmer, [Steve] Carlton and Marichal."

Seaver then turned to a war analogy.

“These kids today, they want to be men, they want to be foxhole guys, but they’re not being allowed to do that. Imagine if these computer geeks who are running baseball now were allowed to run a war? They’d be telling our soldiers: ‘That’s enough. You’ve fired too many bullets from your rifle this week!’ ”

Does Seaver have a point? Let us know in our comments field below.


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