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Pitch counts in PSAL draw mixed reviews
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Nolan Ryan is said to have thrown more than 250 pitches in a 12-inning game in 1974. If Ryan were going by the pitch count put in place by the PSAL, his manager would have been suspended.The PSAL called a rare press conference Wednesday to trumpet its new initiative for the spring season that will limit the amount of pitches a high school player can make. The controversial new measure was first reported by the Daily News on Friday and has pleased lawmakers while frustrating a number of city coaches, who complain of having their authority usurped."People have different opinions whenever there is change," said PSAL executive director Donald Douglas. "Sometimes there are some people who are reluctant to change, but when change is for the better, people will make adjustments."The PSAL plans to dispatch random auditors to games to make sure pitch-count rules are followed. Varsity players will be limited to 105 pitches over a seven-inning game and will be required to rest four straight days after throwing 91 or more pitches; players will be forced to rest three days after tossing 76 to 90 times, two days for 51 to 75 and one day for 26-50 in a game. If a pitcher is in the middle of a count, he will be allowed to finish the plate appearance before he is removed.Coaches could face suspension or the forfeiture of a game for ignoring the pitch-count rule or for being dishonest about the amount of pitches a player has thrown, Douglas said. Midwood coach Charles Barbieri fears the pitch-count rule will punish smaller programs that don't have a wealth of pitching. He also said that relying on coaches to keep track of their pitch counts could lead to some confusion."I know a large majority of the coaches are not going to like this," Barbieri said.City Councilmen Oliver Koppell (D-Riverdale) and Lewis Fidler (D-Marine Park) introduced a bill in the Committee on Youth Services in February that called for pitch-count limits in all city high school baseball leagues. Because the PSAL has chosen to adopt the pitch-count rule for this coming season, the councilmen have chosen not to keep pushing the bill. The PSAL spent last season monitoring pitch counts and assessing its findings with the City's Office of School Health, PSAL coaches and medical experts in orthopedics and sports medicine."When you look at some of the evidence, the feeling was that this was the best way to protect pitchers going forward from overuse and fatigue," said Dr. Dennis Cardone, who has studied the topic of pitch counts for nearly eight years and worked with the PSAL on this matter.Read more: Sport
Posted on Nov. 4th, 2010 at 03:31 pm | Link |