Archive for February, 2010

Shoulder Update

Posted in Uncategorized on February 26, 2010 by tccsp

Just a note to say that the ibuprofen has certainly done something–the last day or so I haven’t felt any pain in my shoulder. I’ll be waiting until Monday to throw, but thought I’d let you know it’s feeling good.

7-10 Days of Hope

Posted in Training/Workouts on February 21, 2010 by tccsp

If you’ve been checking my “command/control” report you may have noticed that I haven’t thrown since February 4th. I took two weeks off to rest my sore shoulder, and then did some light throwing this past Thursday– just to see if anything seemed torn.

I’ve still got some pain–but it doesn’t seem to get worse with throwing. My hope is that this is just persistent tendonitis, but it could certainly be something worse.

I should have started this earlier, but just yesterday I began a high dose regimen of ibuprofen–600 mg four times a day–for 7-10 days. A week from Monday I will start throwing lightly again. In the meantime, I’m running and doing some leg workouts.

If it does end up that I have a comeback-ending injury, I did want you all to know that I’m already trying to get in touch with Morgan Freeman’s agent to see if he can do the voiceover for my farewell Olympics-inspired VISA commercial.

I’ve already blocked out the storyboard:

[1993 baseball video] At the age of fifteen, Dan Olson struck out 19 batters in a seven-inning game.

[1995 baseball video] At 17, he was invited to professional baseball scouting camps.

[1998 baseball video] But at 20, he walked away from the game and never looked back.

[2009 baseball video] Eleven years later, he began the comeback of a lifetime. For six months, he worked out erratically and didn’t improve much.

And then, [cut to close up of me in excruciating pain] he tore his rotator cuff.

[clip of me eating ice cream in front of the TV] But in the midst of his pain, he stayed up faithfully to watch the 2010 winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Ice that shoulder, Dan.

Visa, the only card accepted at the Olympic games.”

Never Die Wondering, or Die Knowing for Sure

Posted in Personal/Family on February 14, 2010 by tccsp

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’d like to share a brief story about my wife as it relates to me pitching again.

First, you should know that my wife is a fan of me working out and getting in shape, but she is not what I would call “a believer”. From her perspective, I might theoretically be able to become a minor-league caliber pitcher in the next four months–if I didn’t have other responsibilities (like work, being a husband and father, etc.). Maybe if I quit work, left the family, and moved to Florida it would be possible–but working out 7-10 hours/week?

And she’s right: in juggling my life responsibilities, baseball would certainly qualify as a “hobby”. But the pursuit has become a family affair–and my excitement (despite little evidence of progress) and her skepticism produces a steady stream of (mostly) humorous banter in our home.

This weekend, for example, has rejuvenated my zeal for pitching. With the Olympics, a few good workouts,  evidence of healing in my shoulder, and Aaron Gleeman’s link sending my blog traffic through the roof–I’ve been excited.  Thanks to a reminder from a college friend, I’ve latched onto a saying that was plastered on our college’s weight room wall: “Never Die Wondering”.

So yesterday afternoon, I was doing a plyometrics workout in front of the Olympics–watching Apolo Ohno’s preliminary rounds–and my wife calls to ask me what I’m doing. This is the conversation as I remember it.

Wife: “What are you doing?”

Dan: “Working out in the basement and watching the Olympics.”

Wife: “How is it going?”

Dan: “Good, I’m having a great workout.”

Wife: “No, I mean with the Olympics.”

Dan: “Oh, good. Apolo Ohno advanced to the semifinals… but honey, I’m having a great workout. ‘Never Die Wondering’ you know?!”

Wife: “Sure. Instead you can ‘Die Knowing for Sure'”

Dan: “Honey! (chuckling) You don’t believe in me, do you.”

Wife: “I believe in you, I just think you’ll die knowing you were too old. But I love you honey–keep working hard.”

Dan: “Love you too.”

And I do.

And I’ll die knowing it.

Turning 32… with tendonitis

Posted in Uncategorized on February 10, 2010 by tccsp

Today is my 32nd birthday. 32 is a relatively innocuous year in general. Not as momentous as 30 or 40. Due to this baseball pursuit, though, I’m sure my 32nd year will be something I remember fondly. No matter the outcome–it will certainly be the year that I go to a minor league baseball tryout (not to mention the year my third child will be born).

Regarding baseball, I’m 95% sure that I have a minor case of shoulder tendonitis. This is most likely nothing to be worried about. Last Thursday, I didn’t stretch very well before my bullpen session. I felt fine immediately afterward, but by Friday afternoon something didn’t feel right. While I was initially quite worried, some ibuprofen and a chat with my dad (a retired doctor) have me thinking it’s just a little tendonitis. So I’m taking a week off from throwing, and am focusing on fitness (which, to be honest, has been limited to jogging for 30 minutes most days).

Anyway, I’m not a doctor–but judging from this graphic of shoulder anatomy, I’m guessing that my supraspinatus tendon is mildly inflamed.

Shoulder Anatomy

I'm guessing my supraspinatus tendon is mildly inflamed

Mechanics Video–Pleading for Feedback

Posted in Uncategorized on February 1, 2010 by tccsp

So I’ll get right to the point: today, I topped out at 75 mph. Yes, that’s right–thousands of fourteen year-olds currently throw 75 mphs. I know. And today, hundreds of 18-22 year olds are sighing with relief, knowing that their minor league roster spot will not be snatched out from under them.

Yes, 75 mph.

And to make matters worse, out of the fifty pitches that we clocked, my average velocity was 72.5 mph.

To make matters even worse, only 14 out of 50 went for strikes.

Extremely slow and incredibly wild–Target Field here I come.

While I admit that this could very well be a clear sign that I’m all washed up, I’m not yet ready to throw in the towel. Here are the rose colored facts:

Fact: During a bullpen session in early October, I was regularly reaching the low 80s, topping out at 84.

Fact: Due to a sprained ankle, I stopped throwing and working out from late October until December 28. So I have only been exercising for a month, and have only had eleven forty-minute throwing sessions before today.

Fact: I was throwing off of flat ground today, not off of a mound. The mound does, generally, give a velocity boost–though adding 2-3 mph would probably be generous, and doesn’t fully explain the 7-9 mph drop off.

Fact: I wasn’t really trying to throw strikes–I’ll slowly build back my command.

With all of that being said, I think there are two main factors in my drop off in velocity (not including my age, of course, which is certainly a factor):

1) general conditioning, as well as arm conditioning (this I can work on)
2) too much tinkering with my mechanics

On number 2, I need help. I’d appreciate anyone out there who knows what they’re talking about could give constructive criticism on my mechanics, as evidenced in this video. If you know any baseball minds, please forward this along.

This is the video of my final pitch today, which did touch 75 mph. Please leave your feedback as a comment.