Major League Baseball: the All-Star game and more

Major League Baseball’s (MLB) All-Star game takes place tonight at CitiField, the home field of the New York Mets.  The All-Star game has a rich history and in the culture of MLB has always represented, at the very least, the mid-season pause where the collective baseball community could reflect on the game:  where it has been, and where it is going.

From the perspective of sports medicine, this baseball season has been a rich one already.  From Zack Greinke’s clavicle fracture and surgical repair, to Derek Jeter’s recovery from ankle surgery and quad strain, to the, er, inimitable ARod’s hip surgery and the ever growing issue of PEDs in MLB,  it’s been a very interesting spring and early summer.

In the spirit then of this mid-season pause, I wanted to sit back and review just a few baseball-related, clinical sports medicine issues before we all enjoy the game tonight.

I want to briefly mention an interesting story I came across recently in the New York Times, one which explores a simple, novel re-design of the baseball bat that may some day represent an injury prevention success story.

The designer Grady Phelan has developed a prototype bat that is designed to reduce hand injuries in baseball hitters, most especially hook of the hamate fractures, a frustrating injury that has ruined more than a few players’ seasons.   The design is intriguing:  the knob of the bat is tilted 23 degrees, so its profile, as I understand it, does not impinge the hypothenar eminence of the lower hand gripping the bat.