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Twitter Mailbag: Pitching injuries, No. 1 seed and alternate uniforms

 

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Part of my coverage plan in starting on this job a few weeks ago was to get you, the reader/fan, engaged: you are the audience, after all. That means answering any questions you might have for me whenever possible, thus the beginning of the Twitter Mailbag here on the MSU Blog. 

 

So, whenever you have a question, feel free to tweet it at me (@Brett_Hudson) or email me (bhudson@cdispatch.com). 

 

Question No. 1 -- @tbryan27 asks on Twitter: Do you think Wes Johnson is to blame for the multiple pitchers we have out due to injury? 

 

I'm guessing this question is directed at the velocity-based approach Johnson brought to MSU's staff when he was the pitching coach here. I read up on Tommy John and the ligament it operates on (ulnar collateral ligament) for this question -- spent more time surfing medical journals than at any point in my life -- and the answer I've come up with is: not necessarily. 

 

Most experts will agree that velocity certainly can negatively impact the UCL and it getting injured to the severity requiring Tommy John, but most of that comes down to mechanics. If a pitcher's mechanics, legs and core are all in order, he can throw 95 or higher without injuring himself. Case in point: I don't think Aroldis Chapman, who consistently hits triple digits on the gun, has ever had Tommy John. 

 

We may never know for certain if Johnson was doing the job he needed to be doing in terms of mechanics while increasing that velocity, but knowing John Cohen, it's hard for me to believe someone like him would sacrifice mechanics and long-term success for short-term velocity gains. 

 

So, in short: I'm not going to say it's impossible that he is to blame, I just doubt it. 

 

Question No. 2 -- Andrew Norwood (@Norwoodwx) asks: Confidence on MSU Women being No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament? 

 

On a scale of 1-10, this is a solid 8 for me, especially after the South Carolina loss to Missouri over the weekend that gave MSU a better chance at a regular season conference championship. MSU has the impressive road wins, like Iowa State and Texas A&M, to boost its resume, too. 

 

Now, I did talk to Adam Minichino, our sports editor and MSU women's hoops guru, and he said anything more than a potential loss to South Carolina in the SEC Tournament Championship Game could jeopardize that 1 seed, which makes sense with teams like Texas, Maryland and Notre Dame serving as impressive projected 2 seeds that could steal that 1 seed at the end. 

 

So, while Adam sees the margin of error as razor thin, I guess I'm just that confident in this team to do it. 

 

Question No. 3 -- Alex Greene (@alexhgreene) asks: why does MSU never wear maroon against Texas A&M? 

 

I took this question because -- to peel back the curtain a bit -- this was a topic batted around (pun intended) in the Dudy Noble press box over the weekend. I won't name names, but there are some everyday guys on the beat that seem to think there is some sort of treachery afoot, as if the SEC were yielding official maroon-and-white member of the conference status to Texas A&M and is forcing MSU to wear alternate jerseys against the Aggies. The notes here are the women's basketball team wearing black in College Station over the weekend and the football team wearing black in the upset over A&M last year. Here's something to remember, though: those black uniforms were for military appreciation jerseys and had an American flag print on the shoulder pads, so that explains that. 

 

I had my opinion on this subject, but I asked a person within MSU's athletic department to make sure I wasn't missing something. He/she was pretty dismissive of that idea, as well. He/she assured me that coaches aren't putting that much thought into what their players wear in games, for the most part. 

 

So, to answer the question, why does MSU never wear maroon against Texas A&M? Variety. That's not a bad thing, is it? I'm the kind of guy that loves all the new/alternate uniforms you see out there, particularly in college football, so I'm all for it when teams with similar color schemes go outside of the box to mix it up. 

 

It's also worth noting that in the Johnny Manziel era, Texas A&M wore all black against MSU, which was wearing its all white alternates with the metallic Bully on the helmet and metallic numbers on the jerseys. A quick Google search for Texas A&M black jerseys should jog your memory of that instance. 

 

Alex, I don't know if you asked the question with an undertone of a SEC conspiracy against MSU, but there are apparently sects of the MSU community that believe that, and I just don't see it.

 

 

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