The Mets have a really amazing pitcher named Jacob. He’s one of the best arms in the league, shutting opponents down with such regularity it’s become boring. He’s an imposing figure on the mound, standing 6 feet, 4 inches tall. And his last name isn’t deGrom.
Don’t be surprised. Be ready.
On Monday night, the Mets beat the Phillies, 7-6, in extra innings.
The Arm, by Jeff Passan, is a well-researched and chronicled look at the abundance of UCL tears and Tommy John surgeries in recent years. Passan provides a wide array of possible causes with no clear, decisive thesis of why the injury is so widespread. Overuse? Year round showcases like Perfect Game? High Pitch counts? Bad mechanics? After 342 pages, he does not offer a concrete answer for the epidemic because, at this point, no one really knows.
February is right around the corner. Winter is almost on its way out, and pitchers and catchers start to report to spring training in just 2 weeks. The MLB landscape, though, is far from set.
Since its creation, baseball has always served as a metaphor for our country. In the 20th Century, artists like Norman Rockwell and the creators of the film Field of Dreams used the game to contrast modern, urban obsessions with America’s simple, rural, and more grounded roots. Contemporary America is a long way from those values – and the national pastime is too. Today, baseball is more about power, data, recruiting overseas talent, and total revenue earned than playing the game the old, “right way”. These changes reflect the newer America: an appetite for speed and immediacy, emphasis on increasing power/production, utilizing immigrant labor, and profit maximization. A majority of fans may be happy with the majestic home runs and electrifying strikeouts they witnessed in the 2017 World Series. But, there are some who believe that it is baseball that has lost something fundamental about its essence.