Named “Best Sports News Article: 2014-2015” by Manhattan College’s “The Quadrangle”
The need for a pitcher to undergo Tommy John surgery (TJS) — repairment of the ulnar collateral ligament — is an epidemic.
Between ’05 and ’11, the average number of TJS cases in Major League Baseball per year was 16. That number skyrocketed from ’12 to ’14, increasing to 28 per year. In ’14 alone, there were more TJS conducted than in the entire ’90s: 80, according to ESPN’s Sport Science.
TJS has an 80-percent success rate, which is high but still leaves pitchers with a one in five chance of failure, according to USA TODAY Sports.
“It’s not so much the MLB organizations but the pitchers, even going back to youth baseball, which is problematic,” Andy Martino, “New York Daily News” baseball insider, said. “A lot of times pitchers are drafted already well along the way in having this kind of damage because of overuse. … There are all kinds of debate. Nobody knows the answer. Teams are trying all sorts of different things and there’s no evidence that anything is really helping or hurting. It’s just hard to figure out.”
This is one of four articles nominated as a finalist at the ’15 “The Quadrangle” staff awards.
It was Alex Shackley’s senior year at Palo Verde High School in Las Vegas when Justin Mayorga, a former high school teammate, lost his sister Jessica at the age of 22. No cause of death was ever found.
“I look back at that day and I remember every single second of it,” Alex said, who played center mid-field for the Palo Verde soccer team.
Three months ago, it was announced that the Manhattan Jaspers baseball program would no longer be calling Van Cortlandt Park home.
The park that is in constant need of field work done by the Jaspers themselves, uneven dirt in the infield and on the pitcher’s mound, pocketed grass in the outfield and an aging scoreboard. That’s all without mentioning the singular set of bleachers for fans and students to sit on that creak and rattle when climbed and walked on, making the trespasser fear that the seats are about to cave in and collapse.
This is the same park that housed the 2012 Jasper team to post an 18-0 undefeated home record. From its cons to its pros, they’re exchanging Van Cortlandt for Dutchess Stadium, a 4,494 seat AstroTurf minor league stadium home to the Tampa Bay Rays class-A affiliate the Hudson Valley Renegades, in Wappingers Fall, N.Y.
Joe Hulme catching his breath during stoppage in play during practice last week preparing for the Jaspers’s second MAAC game against the Monmouth Hawks. Photo taken by Jonathan Reyes.
As the season reaches its mid-point for the Manhattan Jaspers, the 10 freshmen Jaspers are no longer new to the team and fans.
Three of the freshmen who have been quite impressive early on are Joe Hulme, Jose Meza and Luke Greaves. Understandably so, Manhattan head coach Jorden Scott said all of the freshmen have been excellent.
“They’ve all came in and been really mature, which is really pleasing to me,” he said. “And for them you just hope they pick up enough that they can contribute. If they don’t pick up enough then it’s going to be a tough season for them.”
After coming off their first win of the season at St. Francis-Brooklyn, the Manhattan Jaspers (2-1) men’s soccer team lost 3-1 to the Fordham Rams (2-2-1).
The Jaspers have three non-conference games remaining before they start MAAC play on Oct. 1. Photo taken by Jonathan Reyes.
At St. Francis, senior captain Tommy Amos said the Jaspers’ “fitness prevailed in the end” to help lead them to victory. Against the Rams, sophomore Daniel Laguna Kennedy, who scored the Jaspers’ only goal on a penalty kick, said almost the complete opposite.
“Our legs were tired,” said Kennedy, “but there’s no excuse. We should’ve probably done better.”
Brian Cashman, the general manager of the New York Yankees, came to Manhattan College in the midst of his team’s playoff push. Photo taken by Christian Jordan Roodal.
To kick-off the third annual lecture series, Manhattan College’s Student Activities led off with an impressive heavy hitter. The lecturer happened to be a little known person who just so happens to be one of the most powerful men in New York sports: New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.
In a one-on-one interview with The Quadrangle, Cashman talked about his future with the team he has been apart of since 1986.
“I’ve never done one of my deals until it concluded no matter, a matter a fact it has kind of been my rule I put it in play years back,” said Cashman. “When players would come to me wanting to do their deals before they expire, if I can work at the end of my deals so can you.”
How Did Student Activities get Cashman?
Student Activities has worked on bringing Cashman to MC ever since last spring. John Bennett, the director of student activities, said the main reason for inviting Cashman was to keep to a “New York City based” lecture series theme.
“[Cashman] has been with the Yankees for so long, and so many students know who he is,” said Bennett. “So for him to be here in the middle of the playoff push right now is pretty phenomenal.”
On the student’s side of things, amidst the anticipation and excitement of Cashman’s arrival no one could think of why he decided to come to MC, but in all honesty did not care. How many times does a high-profile person like a Cashman visit anywhere?
One notable group of students to attend the lecture was the Manhattan baseball team. Mikey Miranda spoke on the team’s behalf.
“It was an incredible experience,” said Miranda. “I would say a big percentage of the baseball team there dream is to make it to the big team, and especially a team like the Yankees. To meet a general manager like him, it’s ridiculous.”
Cashman admittedly has no connections of any kind to MC. He said he has “never been on this campus before, and I really like to meet people I’ve never met and go places I’ve never been.”
His simple answer, “I was invited.”
“I’ve been 17 years as a GM, and this is just up the street,” said Cashman.
Bye, Bye Captain
During Cashman’s lecture, he was asked questions about the Yankees to what his job consists of. One question asked in particular regarding the team that was and still is on everybody’s mind is the future without captain Derek Jeter once he retires at season’s end.
“The one thing about the Yankees is always another great player,” Cashman said. “It’s just the nature of the beast. The nature of the Yankees and the history of the Yankees is we always try to find and gravitate to the world’s greatest players.”
He then went on to list a litany of names well known to Yankee fans to expound upon “the nature of the Yankees.”
Phil Rizzuto led to Jeter; Don Mattingly led to Tino Martinez; Jason Giambi to Mark Texiera; Reggie Jackson to Dave Winfield; Yogi Berra to Jorge Posada; and Mickey Mantle led to Bernie Williams.
“It’s just the way it works out,” said Cashman. “[Masahiro] Tanaka is an example of that. Whether it’s pulling them down from Tokyo or trading for a player from Venezuela like we just did for [Martin] Prado. We’re just always trying to find whether it’s locally like [Delin] Betances or as far as Japan or importing a guy like [Orlando] ‘El Duque’ [Hernandez] from Cuba.”
It’s rare to see siblings play on the same team let alone be in the same room without there being some kind of feud between the two. There are a number of arguments that could happen such as who’s better than the other in terms of personality, academics or talent.
If the Manhattan golf team needs an edge this week at MAAC championships, they know exactly where to look.
It’ll yet again look toward one of their sophomore golfers, James Edgeworth, who last year showcased his abilities on the golf course at the tournament. He does his thing on the green without ever considering himself amongst the best players on the team, and couldn’t care less if he was.
But his even keel can’t keep him away from the mental game golf plays on the player.
“His temperament is pretty consistent, but he can be down on himself at times,” Manhattan golf head coach Jerry Wood said. “He can play either really well or just nothing. He’s definitely a little bipolar as far as his ability to stay in or get lost in the rounds. It’s improving. In the past he got pretty negative of himself in a game he couldn’t find his swing. He’s progressing in that category in a pretty good way.”