Until this point, Tom Emanski was the standard reference for those cheesebag youth-baseball instructional videos. You know, the sort usually purchased by those parents who have already emotionally scarred their little-leaguers for life, and are well on their way to complete douchebaggery.
May I introduce Dr. Tom House, co-founder of the The National Pitching Association, which seems less an association and more a shell organization encrusted around an infomercial. Despite that, whoever assembled this organization has gone to great lengths to give it “gravitas.” But, they just missed the plate (you knew that was coming). So, if you are one of those parents, peruse a pitch-by-pitch breakdown of what the NPA is really all about.
1) It’s an infomercial.
Let’s face it. This isn’t exactly a medium that inspires “gravitas.”
2) Dr. Tom House
As a devotee of arcane references, it took two re-reads of this for me to stop confusing him with Dr. Tom Davis. I pinged on that because I always wondered just what kind of doctor Dr. Tom was? In Dr. Tom House’s case, I was picturing a graduate of Hollywood Upstairs Medical College, a la Dr. Nick Riviera. But in the following bio, Dr. Tom House claims a doctorate in psychology, but does not name the granting institution. I’m just sayin’…
Tom House is one of the top pitching experts in the world. After playing for the legendary Rod Dedeaux at USC, House pitched in the Major Leagues for the Atlanta Braves from 1967 to 1975, for the Boston Red Sox from 1976 to 1977, and for the Seattle Mariners from 1977 to 1979. He then coached pitchers for the Houston Astros, San Diego Padres, and Texas Rangers. He also has coached in Japan and Latin America.
In addition to his on-field experience, House has made pitching a scientific study. His company, Bio-Kinetics, uses computer-generated, three-dimensional motion analysis to help athletes maximize performance through proper biomechanics. House also holds a Ph.D. in psychology and has been a sport psychology consultant for many professional and amateur baseball players.
House is the author of eight previous books on baseball and has produced eight instructional videos on pitching. He is a member of the Major League Baseball Players’ Association, as well as the American College of Sports Medicine and the Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology. In 1998, House was presented with the American Baseball Coaches Association’s lifetime achievement award.
3) The Advisory Board
Granted, this list has an impressive start; you can’t go wrong with Nolan Ryan. If nothing else, Ryan teaches young pitchers the valuable lesson of pitching inside, and how to deal with pussies who can’t take it.
Then, there’s Robb Nen, who was one of best closers in the National League throughout the ‘90’s. Nor can you argue with Randy Johnson, a sure-fire Hall of Famer who can kill seagulls in a single toss. Too bad Dave Winfield wasn’t a pitcher. Or this guy, because sadly, the bullpen thins from here.
Take Mark Prior for example. One of the lunatics in my life saw fit to make me live through his incessant harping about how the Twins would be better off had they drafted Prior rather than Joe Mauer. It only took Mauer’s 3rd batting title and Prior’s looming date with the same destiny as Barbaro to silence him.
Then you get Orel Hershiser, who was both a Dodger and most likely a Nazi, or at least one of those “born-again” assholes that deserves a cup-splitting line drive.
Whenever I saw a name I would recognize, my reactions ranged from, “oh, so that’s where that guy ended up” to “I didn’t think he was allowed to work with kids anymore.”
The piece-de-resistance? No such list would be complete without it’s Dave Dravecky reference, and the opportunity it presents to offer you this:
Besides, if you really want to get results for your kids, you should call Rafael Palmeiro.