Monday, September 9, 2013

Post Excerpt: "Tom Seaver is Wrong"

"'Take a look at all of them, Marichal, Jenkins, Spahn, what do you think made them successful?' asked Seaver. 'They conditioned their arms by pitching more, not less, starting from when they signed their first contract.' Oddly, that didn't work for Wally Bunker. Bunker made his pro debut in 1963 with Stockton in the Cal League. He threw 99 innings in 14 starts, and while we don't have strikeout totals, we do know he walked 53 men, indicating he wasn't breezing through those starts. At 19, Bunker threw 214 innings, with 12 complete games, for the Orioles. By 22, he was back in the minors; by 26, his MLB career was over. Larry Dierker was in the majors at 17; he threw more than 300 innings in the majors as a teenager. He threw 39 1/3 as a thirtysomething. How about Joe Coleman? Joe Coleman was a horse, throwing 223 innings at 21 and at least 200 in eight straight seasons through age 28, peaking at 285 a year from 24 though 27. He was done at 32. He conditioned his arm by pitching more, no?"