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05-26-2002, 11:02 AM #1
Tigers say injury not octopus-related
Hmmm... Wonder if we started something? If there are any media people reading our message board, feel free to use our topics as inspiration for your articles. Just do us one favor, throw us a mention every now and then. We promise to keep giving you new ideas to use! :D
Tigers say injury not octopus-related
By Lynn Henning / The Detroit News
Closer Matt Anderson says his shoulder injury was not caused by taking part of a promotional event at Comerica Park.
So, they were having one of those typical, Monday afternoon, Octopus Throws at Comerica Park, and Matt Anderson says, Hey, this is such a popular and wholesome tradition, why shouldn't I get in on it?
And so he steps up, grabs an octopus, and like all good Americans, flings it out there and ...
The next thing we know it's a few hours later, and Anderson is hunched over in pain.
A muscle in his right armpit is shredded. We soon learn Anderson, the Tigers closer, is going to be out 2-3 months because of a rare injury that even Manager Luis Pujols concedes, "I haven't seen in 27 years of baseball."
Pretty quickly, a few folks were putting two and two together:
* We were told Anderson's injury was unrelated to a strained arm muscle, because of which he was on the disabled list from April 27 to May 18.
* Anderson had pitched two days earlier, his first off the DL, and threw without pain.
* Nothing that happened between Saturday and Monday suggested anything injury-causing had occurred to a hard-throwing right-hander who was close to being back to his old 100-mph form.
But what about that Octopus Throw? An unusual event. A weird injury.
Should not we assume from a truckload of circumstantial evidence that throwing an octopus Monday afternoon might -- just might -- have been related to a relief pitcher, a few hours later, stopping his bullpen warmups, flinging down his jacket in despair and plopping onto a bench, his face showing distress, as he dealt with the reality his arm was messed up?
The Tigers say no. Anderson says no. Team trainers say no.
Yet they can't explain, specifically, how Anderson suffered such an uncommon injury to a muscle that normally isn't afflicted.
"No way it happened during that," Dave Dombrowski, the Tigers president and general manager, said Friday. "It has something to do with the force he throws. Coming back from another injury, there was probably some muscle imbalance in there."
Russ Miller, the Tigers head trainer, agreed: "Yeah, definitely, I don't see any correlation. You have to understand, the shoulder is such an intricate mechanism. Everything has to work in synchronization."
Asked about the chronology -- Anderson feeling good over the weekend, then suddenly breaking down Monday night -- Miller said:
"I don't know."
What is slightly curious about the Tigers' response concerning Anderson is this:
They want, clearly, to have Anderson's injury distanced from any connection whatsoever to Monday's promotional zaniness, which was actually a pretty silly, but clever enough, piece of fun.
The Tigers are adamant that Anderson's muscle-tear is pitching-related.
Probably true, based on all the feedback. But why would they close off any possibility that an uncommon muscle-strain might have happened during a minute of horseplay?
If I were another major-league club, possibly interested in acquiring a 24-year-old bullpen closer who has consistently thrown pitches in the 100-mph range, I would rather believe the injury was caused by heaving an octopus, and not by Anderson's high-torque throwing motion.
In the latter respect, Anderson has raised anxieties all along. Steve Stone, the ex-big league pitcher and Chicago Cubs announcer, said during a moment of conversation three years ago: "Unless they change his delivery, he will definitely have arm problems."
Before last week's injury materialized, Anderson may well have found himself to be a hot ticket on the trade market. That prospect has nothing to do with dissatisfaction on Tigers' part, but everything to do with Anderson's talents.
Now ... no go.
Anderson is projected to return, his right arm healed, late this summer. Juan Acevedo, meanwhile, is hanging in as the Tigers' closer.
The Octopus Throw? Something like it will probably be staged again next spring. And something says, more loudly, that you likely won't find a Tigers pitcher anywhere near it.
You can reach Lynn Henning at (313) 222-2472.
05-26-2002, 11:33 AM #2
It's good to see a pitcher with a delivery as smooth and mechanically sound as Steve Stone's saying Matt had really bad mechanics to confirm what I've been yelling about. Anderson ripped his shoulder apart with the way he throws a baseball, pure and simple, and not the way he thrown an octopus. And it was inevitible. And if you haven't seen an injury like this before it's because there hasn't been a pitcher with such a violent shoulder-whip delivery as Anderson's to compare it to. Again, his mechanics were poor. Very, very, very, poor. And they were poor, too. Nothing correct with his delivery.2010 Adopt-A-Tiger, The GREAT Ernie Harwell
2012 Adopt-A-Tiger, The GREAT Luke Putkonen
2013 Adopt-A-Tiger, The GREAT Confesor Lara
05-26-2002, 02:28 PM #3
Regarding Steve Stone's comments, they said the same thing about Randy Johnson, and Bung-Hyun Kim, and Jeff Weaver, and basically every hard throwing pitcher that doesn't throw like Nolan Ryan.
I'm not saying his throwing motion isn't the cause of his injury. My point is that the idea that you can jsut change someones throwing motion and still have them be the same pitcher is pretty ludicrous. If everyone could throw like Nolan Ryan just by using the same motion, lots more people would throw like Nolan Ryan. Maybe Anderson wouldn't be hurt right now with a different arm motion, but most likely he also wouldn't be a major league pitcher either.
05-26-2002, 05:51 PM #4
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I think a lot of Matt's injury problems this year can be attributed to his busy winter (classes), when he didn't throw at all. Pitchers need to throw to keep the arm strength.Where's Zimm?
05-26-2002, 05:53 PM #5
hopefully what ever it is he's learned his leason and is gonna be able to come back and be the same pitcher.I have No agenda in the Morning
07-23-2002, 10:24 AM #6
I heard on the radio this morning (96.3) that Matt Anderson confirmed in the current (?) Sports Illustrated that his injury was indeed related to the octopus throwing contest. Does anyone get SI that might be able to confirm if there was indeed a mention of this by Anderson?I'm Motown W. Guy and I approve this message...
07-23-2002, 11:36 AM #7
Even if Matt feels that way,it is just his opinion.He isn't a doctor so he really can't say for sure himself what caused the injury.Even if it happened during the contest it was because there was something wrong with him beforehand,and would have happened at some point anyway.He could have picked up a bottle of pop and caused the final tear to occur,which probably weighs as much as the octopus he threw a few feet.I mean seriously,if throwing a tiny octopus underhanded finished him off,then he was just an injury waiting to happen anyway. :rolleyes:
07-23-2002, 12:13 PM #8
Possibly, but the type of injury he had is pretty freakish. It would be tough to injure it with normal activity or with throwing a ball overhand.