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Old 09-18-2012, 08:02 AM
 
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Before various heads explode, let me explain. Spent some time this past weekend w/friends, one of whom is a fairly well known orthopedic surgeon in the area. We were well into second helpings of various adult beverages when she let loose w/the bombshell opinion (paraphrased)
"if Strasburg puts up an HOF career, and Clemens is proved beyoned a reasonable doubt to have juiced, and that keeps Clemens out of the HOF, same goes for Strasburg". After picking our collective selves off the floor, she went on to 'splain that in reality human connective tissue varies greatly @ different parts of the body - thus the replacement tissue used in corrective surgery is far tougher/more
durable than the original - so unless replacement surgery were to use exactly the same composition materials, we're talking an "artificial" enhancement, no different that HG suppliments derived from human tissue...
So, whaddyathink? She have a point of sorts? I'll admit, it made me think...
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:31 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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A study would be needed which focused on the before/after of pitchers who had the surgery. Did these pitchers gain any mph in the aftermath? Do their records indicate increased strikeouts or enhanced durability which was not there before? Are they being restored to what they were before the surgery or are they being made into even better pitchers?

The before /after impact of PEDs is known to us in the form of the shattered record book. If the argument is going to be that TJ surgery is "no different that HG suppliments derived from human tissue", it will require some evidence in the form of results.
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:49 AM
 
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It would seem to me that the ability to resume pitching is reason enough, but if you're looking for statistics, why not TJ himself? BTW, outputs for a number of PEDs are questionable, yet they're ruled illegal in a number of sports. You're overlooking the key point: the replacement is =/= to the original.

Last edited by Jayess1; 09-18-2012 at 10:14 AM..
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayess1 View Post
. You're overlooking the key point: the replacement is =/= to the original.
The key point is "replacement equals and or equals to the orginal?" Can you rephrase that so that we may know what that means? The key point, as mentioned in my post, would be whether or not the replacement restores or enhances a pitcher's ability.

And what about Tommy John's statistics?
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Old 09-18-2012, 05:23 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
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This argument is why my stance has "softened" on PED use. The line between legal enhancements and illegal seems to be somewhat arbitrary.

Athletes do many things that enhance their ability to perform.
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
The key point is "replacement equals and or equals to the orginal?" Can you rephrase that so that we may know what that means? The key point, as mentioned in my post, would be whether or not the replacement restores or enhances a pitcher's ability.

And what about Tommy John's statistics?
=/= generally understood to mean "not equal to". There is no question as to the operation restoring a given ability, but the point remains that using ligaments from other, stronger joint structures than the one that could not naturally handle the same stresses does call into question the concept of enhancements. FWIW, TJ pitched more innings post op. Does that not suggest some level of performance enhancement?
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:00 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Jayess
Quote:
TJ pitched more innings post op. Does that not suggest some level of performance enhancement?
We can find numerous examples of pitchers who did not undergo any surgical "enhancement" who threw more innings after the age of 31 than they did before, so, no, the above does not distinguish Tommy John in any special manner. If you average John's five highest IP totals before the surgery, it comes out to 234 innings a year. After the surgery the average of his five highest seasons was 241.

Is that what these amazing bionics are supposed to be responsible for? Seven more innings a year?

And c'mon, honestly, can you find anything at all in John's record that in any manner comes even slightly close to the dramatic changes in body sculpture and facial appearace, along with the dramatic rises in offensive output that were characteristic of the PEDs crowd? Anything at all which stands out the way that say, the Maris record being smashed six times in the space of four years does? Did John suddenly win 35 games or strikeout 400 batters?

By WAR John's three best pre surgery seasons were 5.3, 5.3 and 4.6. After the surgery his three best seasons were 5.2, 4.2 and 3.8. Where is the evidence of him being turned into a superior pitcher?

People just seem incredibly desperate to excuse these cheaters. Greenies, surgical replacements, none of these things have any sort of make your eyes pop out impacts on record books the way the steroid age players had. These are not the same things. Tommy John made a decision to have surgery to save his career, he wasn't looking to become better than he had ever been, he just wanted to be able to stay in the game. It wasn't like he took a year off to make himself into Steve Austin.

The steroid users knew exactly what they were doing, they knew it was cheating and they did it anyway. And the impact was huge.

So, no, I do not buy any aspect of this Tommy John was just as bad as the PEDs folks business.
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Jayess
We can find numerous examples of pitchers who did not undergo any surgical "enhancement" who threw more innings after the age of 31 than they did before, so, no, the above does not distinguish Tommy John in any special manner. .
The question is exactly how many pitchers returned to the game w/o the surgery? TJ's age @ the time is irrelevant, as is the balance of your post, and you refuse to even address the point...
The question remains: is the replacement of performance critical (it's impossible to throw OH w/o the ligaments in question) human body components with similar, but not equal, components of demonstrated greater durability a form of performance enhancement? I'm coming to the conclusion that yes, it is, but am unsure as to what level.
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Old 09-19-2012, 07:33 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayess1 View Post
The question is exactly how many pitchers returned to the game w/o the surgery? TJ's age @ the time is irrelevant, as is the balance of your post, and you refuse to even address the point...
The question remains: is the replacement of performance critical (it's impossible to throw OH w/o the ligaments in question) human body components with similar, but not equal, components of demonstrated greater durability a form of performance enhancement? I'm coming to the conclusion that yes, it is, but am unsure as to what level.
My post presented a number of highly relevant points which do not become irrelevant simply because you need to ignore them in order to sustain your point.

And where are the numbers from Tommy John's career which made you so suspicious? You cited him as your example, but so far I appear to be the only one who is actually looking at the numbers to try and find the evidence which props up your theory.

I can't find it, so help me out here. What about his career numbers suggests to you that he was any better after the surgery than he was before? Isn't that critical to your advocacy here? If you are going to say "Look at Tommy John for example" don't you need to tell us specifically at what we should be looking? Shouldn't your theory be backed by some evidence?
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Old 09-19-2012, 07:45 AM
 
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it's interesting that earlier you mentioned, and I quote: "would be whether or not the replacement restores or enhances a pitcher's ability", but now you're focused on some metric of superior performance, ignoring your earlier reference to restoring.
In other words, the basis of my OP is that perhaps the simple act of being able to pitch post op is the performance enhancement itself, a concept you seem to be unwilling or unable to address. My reference to TJ is over that specific issue - by all accounts, he was barely able to carry out day to day tasks prior to the operation, yet was able to resume a quality career on the mound post op. This does open the door for questions of performance enhancement.

BTW, you seem fixated on "performance enhancement" vis a vis a baseline comparison of previous performance. That's invalid, of course, as one's performance capabilities change over time. You seem to assert that had TJ not had the surgery he could've somehow returned to the mound - and perhaps he could have w/rigorous PT, but to assert that his career would've carried on as long w/o the operation is just, well, silly.
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