4/17/07

Baseball Injuries

I have been following this with great interest. Rather than write any comments, check out this article, it speaks volumes!
http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/2007/04/13/2007-04-13_yankee_train_wreck-3.html

Yankee train wreck
New hires under fire for injuries
BY MARK FEINSAND
DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER
Friday, April 13th 2007, 4:00 AM


OAKLAND - The Yankees instituted a new fitness program for their players this year, looking to enhance their performance on the field.
Instead, some wonder whether it has contributed to keeping several of the Bombers' biggest stars off the field, as a rash of injuries has hit the Yankees during the early weeks of the season.
Mike Mussina was the latest casualty, leaving Wednesday's game in Minneapolis with a strained left hamstring. He joined Bobby Abreu, Andy Pettitte, Chien-Ming Wang, Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui on the list of players who have suffered strains or pulls since spring training. That's 60% of the starting rotation plus the entire starting outfield.
"We have to deal with (the injuries), but I don't attribute it to our performance management team," GM Brian Cashman said. "Everything we've put in place has been to the benefit to our players."
Over the winter, Cashman got rid of Jeff Mangold, the Yanks' strength and conditioning coach for the previous nine seasons, and hired Marty Miller, who served as a minor league trainer for the Expos from 1995-97, to serve in the newly created position of director of performance enhancement.
Miller had not worked in baseball since leaving the Expos, spending the past nine years as the director of fitness at the Ballen Isles Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. He has a master's degree from California University of Pennsylvania in performance enhancement and injury prevention.
"Marty isn't a baseball guy like Mangold was," said one player, speaking on the condition of anonymity. "Marty has been given a lot of pull, and I think he's a little too gung-ho right now."
Cashman also hired Dana Cavalea, 24, to be the new assistant director of performance enhancement. Cavalea had served as a strength and conditioning coach under Mangold during spring training since 2003, but is now a member of the full-time staff.
During the first day of workouts with pitchers and catchers, the pair's pre-workout stretching program did not include any stretching exercises for the players' arms.
"Right off the bat, (Miller has) got a bad rap," said the player, who also called the team's current pregame stretch routine inadequate. "Pitchers and catchers out there not stretching their arms? Their thing is that the active stretch gets everything stretched out, but that's garbage."
Neither Miller nor Cavalea is permitted to speak with reporters, though Miller did an interview last week with the Palm Beach Post, his hometown paper.
"I've been able to come in here and really kind of change this whole department around," Miller told the paper.
According to the player, Miller and Cavalea have tried to force some of their program on players, many of whom have had successful careers for more than a decade. The response has been a combination of resistance and indifference.
"I think as Marty and Dana get more knowledge of the game, it will get better," the player said. "It's like a rookie pitcher coming to the majors: You might know a lot about pitching, but you don't know what you have to do to be successful at that level.
"They know a ton about conditioning, but they have to figure out how their strengths work into this situation," the player continued. "Mangold didn't have the knowledge that these guys have, but he took the workout that players wanted to do and he'd add things and tweak it."
In addition to the hiring of Miller and Cavalea, the Yankees entered into a 10-year strategic partnership with 24 Hour Fitness, a California-based fitness center company. According to the press release, one of 24 Hour Fitness' duties was the installation of a "state of the art fitness facility" at Yankee Stadium, but players have been less than impressed with the initial results.
"They've done a phenomenal job making the weight room nice," the player said. "Aesthetically it looks great, but functionally, there's nothing in there. You walk in there and there's four of the same machine and a bunch of empty space. What do you expect us to do in there?"
According to a team source, Pettitte was encouraged by either Miller or Cavalea to ditch the weight belt he usually wears while doing his routine squats, saying it would help him strengthen his stomach during the exercises. Pettitte injured his back while doing the squats, costing him 10days in spring training.
"None of these injuries have anything to do with this new program," Cashman said. "It's not anything that's putting anybody in jeopardy."
Cashman also noted that both Matsui and Damon suffered their strains during games played in temperatures in the 30s. Damon, whose calf strain caused him to leave the Yanks' season opener early and then miss the next two games, said Miller and Cavalea have been working hard to keep the players in shape, though he admitted that the unusual number of injuries "raises some eyebrows" in regard to the new fitness program.
A source said that George Steinbrenner was very upset about the multitude of injuries that have hit the team, but his spokesman, Howard Rubenstein, said the owner had no critical comments to make about the new fitness program. "He's not upset about it," Rubenstein said. "He said, 'Injuries happen.'"
Cashman has received positive feedback from some players, including Scott Proctor, Mariano Rivera and Carl Pavano, but he knows it might take some time for other players to come around.
"Cash is always trying to better the team any way he can," Proctor said. "This is a good investment; it just needs some time to take. Guys need to learn to trust it, and then it will be good for us."
"You can't change Rome in a day," Cashman said. "Does that mean all the guys are going to gravitate to them? No. We're not going to force them to switch their stuff ... if it's worked for them over the years."

18 Comments:

At 4/17/07, 8:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

See, they need to do some Olympic lifting!!!

 
At 4/17/07, 10:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"We have to deal with (the injuries), but I don't attribute it to our performance management team," GM Brian Cashman said. "Everything we've put in place has been to the benefit to our players."

Ofcourse, Cashman is not attributing to the "performance team" because it was his hired, the Yankees partnership with 24 hour Fitness.

While most strength conditioning coaches in MLB is required to be "Registered" CSCS, the Yankees said, up yours, we'll hire who ever we want to hire.

Go Yankees!
Go Performance Team!

 
At 4/17/07, 11:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you can't teach experiance, ABC, CSCS, PES, WXY and Z.

 
At 4/17/07, 11:57 AM, Blogger Joe P. said...

Reading the NY Daily News article reminded me of an old Cheech & Chong bit from the early 70’s. It goes something like this:

Two guys are walking and come across a piece of dog sh—on the sidewalk. One looks at it and says, “Looks like dog sh—“. The other picks it up and says, “Smells like dog sh—“. The other puts a piece in his mouth and says, “tastes like dog sh—“. The other says, “good thing we didn’t step in it!”

Thank you Vern for the free BS detector that comes with your books & courses.

 
At 4/17/07, 2:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now I am really confused! The Yankees got rid of an experience guy to go with 2 inexperience guys with a lot of knowledge of conditioning.

Cashman also hired Dana Cavalea, 24, served under Jeff Mangold since 2003. Marty Miller, 2 years of baseball experience, 1995-1997, and “had not worked in baseball since leaving the Expos, spending the past nine years as the director of fitness at the Ballen Isles Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. He has a master's degree from California University of Pennsylvania in performance enhancement and injury prevention”.

3 yrs of internship doesn’t equate experience or knowledge to think on your own. 2 years of actual field then spend the next 9 yrs at some country club doesn’t equate experience in the field BUT they have more knowledge than Jeff Mangold.

I love these two lines 1. "I think as Marty and Dana get more knowledge of the game, it will get better," 2. "They know a ton about conditioning, but they have to figure out how their strengths work into this situation,"

In the mean time while Marty and Dana get more knowledge, the players will pay the consequences of being injured. GREAT PHILOSOPHY to live by.

Go Yankees!!!

 
At 4/17/07, 2:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who cares about injuries? The weight room..."Aesthetically it looks great"!!

24 Hour Fitness is awesome!!!

Train me, please!!

 
At 4/17/07, 2:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anynomous #3 said, you can't teach experiance, ABC, CSCS, PES, WXY and Z.

Are you saying that, Miller and Dana, don't have experience?

Miller, 2 years in the minors plus 9 years at a Fitness country club, Dana 3 years under Jeff Mangold. Are you saying they don't have experience?
11 years of injury prevention and that is not enough?

 
At 4/17/07, 3:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

11 years of injury prevention doesn't seem to be working...

 
At 4/17/07, 4:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the article it seems that his mistakes were 1)making these changes when he did and 2)not taking into consideration that taking away the weight belt for example created a completely different exercise for the core. It sounds like, traditionally the squat for Pettitte didn't initiate (or not initiate) the core in the same manner as it did without the belt. Shoulda had him train for the change. Before implementing a change you must train the body to be able to handle the change.

 
At 4/17/07, 6:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous #7 What color are the seats? You really believe 2 years in the minors and 9 years at a country club is going to get you RESPECT from some of the highest quailty athletes in the world? You could know the body inside out, upside down and over. But if you can't coach it, you can't coach it. You need to know how and what to look for. You need to know the athlete,the sport, how does the coaching staff think, how about the skills coach, what perals can they pass on. HAY What did these guys do in the off-season? has he talked to their off-season training coaches? I would be having lunch with every single one of their training coachs in the off-season "When I played" (glory days) Coaches would be asking the landuary guys, "Hay how do you think it's going"? The water boys " what do you see"? What are the fans like? how about the radio, tv, blogs in that area? What color are the seat in every single professional baseball field? (if you know that you have experiance).

Do you mess with a players supersition rotuine? If a guy wears a belt hits 40 and shows up everyday, maybe you let him wear the belt, maybe not, just watch him, become his friend and give him long term education. If he is suckin well get in there! What is the role of a athletic coach, friend to the players? do you have a beer with them and hang around the same bars, resturants? Do you play a tough guy role? Or do you report to the Playing coach?

And at the end of the day no one knows who you are unless guys are getting hurt. Sounds like a great job where do I sign up? #3 on your blog #1 in your heart!

 
At 4/17/07, 6:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah...that is it!!! Olympic Lifts...yeah...that will solve it. It is so sport specific!!! Dumb Azz!

 
At 4/17/07, 7:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arm injuries can be reduced by using Olympic lifts such as a Snatch. Just look at the arms position and compare it to the arm slot of a pitcher. Sport Specific!

 
At 4/17/07, 7:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vern,
Your blog is starting to look like a hang out for haters.
Everyone deserves a chance... that's how everyone starts out in this business.
I still love your book and your thoughts on athletic development.
Peace!
D.

 
At 4/18/07, 7:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vern
Don't you think age factor is catching up with the older players?
T

 
At 4/19/07, 1:26 AM, Anonymous tlanger said...

Let's see how it plays out in the long run; however, the one VERY BIG surprise is that the Yanks didn't try to hire someone experienced like Vern...

Todd Langer
www.balance2posture.com

 
At 4/19/07, 11:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guys

Lets be carefull with scapegoating Player who play sports wil get injured fact . Easy to say conditioners fault,trainers fault etc.

Vern knows first hand how hard it is to provoke change give these guys the opportunity to prove themselves.

 
At 4/19/07, 2:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Injuries are part of the game. Injuries come in cycles.
Is it the conditioning staff's fault? Maybe..maybe not. What about the players...why aren't anyone holding the players accountable for their preparation during their off season conditioning?

TC

 
At 5/1/07, 10:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guess what? Hughes just pulled a hamstring in the middle of a no-hitter. What's that now, 7 hamstring injuries. How do these butchers get to cripple the entire team? Way to go, Cash - great hires!

 

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