Doctors and MLB talk PRP and the treatments Alex Rodriguez received

For over fifty years sports medicine experts have been in a continual state of trying to find a way to expedite the healing process of an injured athlete, attain better healing, and reduce the chance for re-injury. The New York Post reported within the last month Alex Rodriguez received a treatment in Germany called Orthokine for the injured knee that caused him to miss significant playing time this past summer. This treatment is similar to a one performed in the United States called Platelet-rich plasma therapy or PRP.

A brief history of Platelet-rich plasma therapy or PRP

Platelet-rich Plasma therapy, or PRP, is becoming increasingly popular among professional and amateur athletes.

“The thought with PRP is that by concentrating the patients’ platelets we can get a concentration of their growth factors and really enhance the body’s own healing response,” said Dr. Dennis A. Cardone, Associate Professor of the Department of Orthopedics at New York University’s School of Medicine. “The theory is that by injecting this platelet rich plasma we would be able to enhance the body’s healing response. Certainly in theory and on paper it makes sense.”

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Cardinals hire Mike Matheny as manager

The St. Louis Cardinals have announced former Gold Glove catcher Mike Matheny will succeed Tony La Russa as manager. Mike Matheny has a beautiful story. In fact, he has a great baseball story and a great life story. In 2006 his major league career ended due to post concussions symptoms. Last year I interviewed him about the impact a major league catcher has on the ability to influence the game and manage the team. We also talked about the hardships involved with his career ending concussion. The interview in its entirety is here.

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Ryan Howard And The 2011 Baseball Season Mirrors Life

Unlike any other sport baseball mirrors life. In game five of the NL Division Series the entire sport — its history, its glory, its agony — exploded the moment Ryan Howards bat hit Chris Carpenters pitch in the 9th inning on the last out, on the final strike and in the last game of the series.

It was almost as if no one knew what to do. Time stood still. When the ball hit the bat everyone watching on the field, in the stands and in their homes knew the team and the town who should have won it all was finished.

Yet, in this bizarre moment you could still see baseball in Howards eyes: “This is baseball, you just never know.” In a daze he hustled out of the batter’s box. A routine Howard has done since he was six-years-old, and yet it was one Friday night in October when he needed a miracle, as baseball has sometimes handed out. However there was to be no miracle. Howard collapsed on the field never making it to first base. Maybe it was chance, fate, the way things were suppose to happen in 2011, but more than anything: life. Sometimes there is no way to explain it.

Sure, a five game series in baseball does not measure true talent. Anything can happen. But, isn’t this how life works? We all have a moment in life where all our hard work, all our perseverance is put to one final test. One test that does not exactly seem fair, that does not exactly measure what we are capable of doing but we are defined by it and must rise to the challenge to keep going.

Baseball is not “Three Nights In August”, it is seven months of life: working hard day in and day out to be the best you can be (the season), one chance that feels like hell to overcome an impossible task (the Division Series), a crapshoot (the Championship Series) and then back to the test of true talent over the long run (The World Series).

The stark contrast between Ryan Howard crying in agony on the field and Chris Carpenter pumping his fist in unexpected victory should never be forgotten. Burn that image into your head. Tell your children and grandchildren the story. Sometimes baseball, like life, is not fair. But this, my friends, is why it is a glorious, wonderful sport. Baseball might shave a few years off of your life from agony and elation but we need it. We need something that is not life to remind us that real life has unexpected twists and turns … and that’s okay. Continue reading Ryan Howard And The 2011 Baseball Season Mirrors Life

Questions to Rodriguez from MLB are not a PR stunt

Apparently on the last day of fourth grade, without any warning to unsuspecting parents, the students in elementary schools are given the “don’t do drugs” talk. On this day schools also show a video on puberty, in which, my child described the whole puberty talk experience as, “it burned my eyes out”. He left the puberty information alone, but all summer my soon to be fifth grader has asked questions about what was discussed in the drug-free talk.

The mission of this drug- free program, besides blindsiding parents who receive crazy questions out of the blue from their children the entire summer, is to: “equip kids with the tools that will enable them to avoid negative influences and instead, allow them to focus on their strengths and potential.”

This is fourth grade drug-free education: avoid negative influences.

Buster Olney reported that Major League Baseball is extremely frustrated with Alex Rodriguez over the report that he played in an underground, illegal poker game where cocaine was openly used.

At this point, it doesn’t matter what part of the initial report is true and what is not. Usually with this types of thing, like fourth graders fighting, the truth is somewhere in the middle.

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After the Pirates and Braves game, will MLB instill more instant replay?

Two days after the blown call by umpire Jim Joyce, which cost Armando Galarraga a perfect game, I called Todd Worrell to ask him for an interview. Worrell was on first base in the 1985 World Series between the Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals when umpire Don Denkinger made one of the worst calls in the history of sports.

Since 1985 Denkinger has spoken very openly about Major League Baseball’s need for more instant replay. Jim Joyce has said the same thing – MLB needs more instant replay. At the time, what I didn’t see happening was reporting from the players themselves: what do they think about this so called “human element” to the game? What would Todd Worrell say 26 years after this horrible call?

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Dave Righetti recalls July 4th no-hitter

On July 4, 1983, Dave Righetti, current pitching coach for the San Francisco Giants and former MLB ballplayer, owned the ground in Yankee Stadium. All eyes in New York were on one person, Righetti. He had just pitched the first Yankee no-hitter in 27 years.

“I turned around and I was just glad it was over,” Righetti recalls about being on the field after the final out. “It was very hot and I threw a lot of pitches obviously. I didn’t feel like jumping around or anything.”

Righetti was on the field for a long time after the game doing interviews and getting pulled in different directions before making it back to the clubhouse.

“By the time I went in the guys were gone,” he said.

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Marine says Roy Halladay throws heat

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This was originally posted on ESPN here. While this is and will remain a Yankees-centric site, our geographically diverse pool of writers allows us to dip into the local news every so often. Earlier this week, Larry Behrendt utterly dismantled his now-hometown Los Angeles Dodgers ownership miscreants and here, St. Louis-based Anna McDonald add her local access to a very hot story. Thanks -jnr]

St. Louis – Welcome to Marine week in St. Louis. In the Fox Sports Midwest booth during the Philly and Cardinals game Tuesday night there were a few fireworks. Lt. Col. T. Shane Tomko was in the booth to talk about the events of Marine week in St. Louis when he said this:

Col. Tomko: I’ll tell you what, with that M1A1 Abrams we got across the street, if Halladay keeps on pitching well, we can fix that with one round pretty quickly.

Announcer: – awkward laughs – I’m sure you could. I don’t know if we should say that, but you just did.

Col. Tomko: I can say whatever I want because I’m a war fighter, and this is the Cardinals Nation the last time I checked.

Fox Sports Midwest has issued and apology for the comments but fans in Philadelphia are still very upset.

“I’m not trying to kill Halladay, not in a million years.” Lt. Col. Tomko says about the joke he made in the booth.

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Baseball Tonight comes home

Our stadiums are our summer homes. We meet family. We eat a hotdog. We enter through the turnstiles one by one only to blend. It’s a fusion of memories: sitting in the stands with our dad, remembering the hustle and bustle of a Subway Series, or just experiencing the way a summer night at the ballpark still feels the same as it did when we were young.

That’s baseball. Tonight. And every night during the summer. It’s only fitting then, when you host a show on ESPN called Baseball Tonight that you bring the show home.

This year ESPN’s Baseball Tonight is traveling to the site of Sunday Night Baseball. With new leadership in place going on the road was a natural option. Jed Drake, ESPN’s senior vice president and executive producer and Mike McQuade, ESPN’s Vice-President of Production, both had previous experiences with producing on a grand scale away from the studio. They wanted to make Sunday Night Baseball more meaningful.

“If you think about it, on Sunday night there is no other game. That’s really it.” says Karl Ravech, who is hosting his 17th season of Baseball Tonight. “The idea was to make it feel like the event that it really deserves to be and I think we‘re accomplishing that.”

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Jack Clark talks about Derek Jeter’s hitting struggles

The worst thing for Derek Jeter right now is a good memory. His muscle memory.

Almost as unconscious as the fans ability to recognize Jeter’s quick hands at the plate, or his batting stance verses Alex Rodriguez’s, muscle memory is what allows Jeter to complete his swing the same way every at bat. It’s the muscles working without conscious effort, after years and years of repetition.

Jack Clark, who played in the majors for 18 years, knows about muscle memory. Having a great career as a hitter has helped him appreciate offense. He’s watched and admired Jeter for years and he understands what he’s going through.

“You hate to see a guy who’s been so good and who’s going to get 3000 hits struggle a little bit,” says Clark. “I went through the same thing as a hitter. I failed a lot and made a lot of adjustments throughout my career. If I were to have somebody telling me the things I learned later I wouldn’t have had to give away so many at bats.”

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