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noctalla t1_j0ycfe5 wrote

I remember 10-12 years ago people talking about how his play style was so hard on his body that he'd end up having his career cut short. And here we are.


Rameez_Raja t1_j0yr5ig wrote

Tbf it was true then, no one had any way of knowing how much sports science, surgery, and rehab would advance in the last decade. Right now, Messi, Benzema and Modric are still three of the best soccer players at 35+ years old, James Anderson is still the best fast bowler in the world and is improving if anything at 40 years old, you have Rey Mysterio in WWE jumping around like he was in the 90s after his knees were busted and done 15 years ago, there's Tom Brady at fucking 45... it's insane.


Frostcrest t1_j0ytf5z wrote

Baseball has also seen a Renaissance in pitchers like Verlander and Scherzer still dominating well past their prime

For all the talk of blown out arms, we're seeing a lot more longevity when you take into account that throwing 100+ mph isn't a big deal anymore

Just a decade ago 95 was "fast"


bandofgypsies t1_j0yupme wrote

For me, Justin Verlander is the current example of how far sports science has come. To have pitched the way he pitched for 15 plus years, fast and hard, and often doing it very quickly (and that he doesn't spend a lot of time between pitches compared to the rest of League), and to have then had Tommy John surgery at 37/38 years old, miss nearly two years of baseball, only to immediately come back from that and win a cy Young by dominating the league and throwing the third highest average fastball velocity of its entire career? Absolutely unbelievable.


OHTHNAP t1_j0zbjjf wrote

Just don't say the word that rhymes with "hair noids".


ICanAnswerThatFriend t1_j0yv0w5 wrote

Yeah Dennis Quaid throwing a 96mph fastball on the side of a highway back in 2002 got him signed to the big leagues.


jai_kasavin t1_j13xgm4 wrote

Which movie is this? Also which is the best baseball movie in your opinion?


ICanAnswerThatFriend t1_j13xv9t wrote

My joke refers to The Rookie

Best baseball Movie? : Well my friend. Nothing beats the Great Bambino. (The Sandlot)


wanderlustcub t1_j0z7t04 wrote

Could you also say that the number of pitches for a pitcher has gone down, allowing them to pitch longer overall? (I’m not sure if pitchers are pitching more or less compared to decades ago so I’m unsure.)


AlsoIHaveAGroupon t1_j0zi5di wrote

They definitely pitch less. The belief is that when a pitcher begins to tire, they stop using proper mechanics to compensate, so the biggest injury risk is pitching while tired. They now count the number of pitches thrown and pull a starter quickly when they're near a predetermined maximum. They used to view off-days as chances to skip the worst pitcher in the rotation and start the best pitcher sooner, but now it's generally an opportunity to give every starter in the rotation an extra day of rest. And they now put pitchers on the disabled list at the slightest indication of a problem. But are Verlander and Scherzer's dominance at an older age a result of that?

It's hard to say.

There have always been occasional pitchers who are still effective at an old age. Just from my lifetime, Perry, Kaat, Sutton, Niekro, Ryan, Clemens, Wells, Johnson, Moyer, Colon come to mind. Scherzer and Verlander are just two guys and not a representative sample of anything and could just be random chance, and they're not even that old yet. 37 and 39, while Perry and Clemens won Cy Young awards in their 40s, Ryan lead the league in strikeouts at 43, Colon was an All-Star at 43, and Niekro was an All-Star at 45. And for all the talk of Scherzer still pitching well at 37 and Verlander winning the Cy at 39, it's still a young man's game. The top 7 finishers in the NL Cy Young vote were all in their 20s, and 2nd through 8th place in the AL were also in their 20s. The young are still dominating, and being a good, old pitcher still makes you an outlier.

And even if we could say for sure that pitchers are aging better, there are lots of potential explanations: pitch counts, extra rest, improved medicine, something nefarious like PEDs, or I once read a study when Clemens and Wells were still going in their 40s suggesting that fat pitchers age the best and it successfully predicted Bartolo Colon's longevity (and while neither is fat, Verlander definitely looks heavier than when he was young).


frankyseven t1_j0zcwim wrote

Less, like a lot less. Probably 25% less for a starting pitcher. It's rare for a pitcher to pitch into the seventh inning now.


squidmanwillie t1_j0zfnba wrote

Nowadays if you don’t rip your arm out of the socket at least once a season they bench you


BarristanSelfie t1_j103kdl wrote

The average pitch, of any type, is 5 mph faster than it was 20 years ago.


Excalipurrrrr t1_j0z26ej wrote

Wait wtf. I haven't seen wrestling since WCW Nwo days. Ray Mysterio is still alive and still wrestling?!


SomeKilljoy t1_j0z76m7 wrote

Not only Is he still going, he occasionally wrestling tag team with his son


Excalipurrrrr t1_j0zdjo0 wrote

My reaction is out of pure awe and respect someone can do that to their body. I can't even bend over without worrying about my lower back and I'm fit and youngish still.


enjoyeverysangwich t1_j0z9w1g wrote

Why would you be surprised he's still alive??


Kraptacula t1_j0za96n wrote

NGL I thought he died a few years ago?


Excalipurrrrr t1_j0zdb9s wrote

I am pretty sure I heard that to. One of the Mysterio died. I could Google it but maybe the elder?


Excalipurrrrr t1_j0zcmig wrote

Sort of a joke because so much time has passed and you hear of all the legends dying off.


DrBokbagok t1_j0z4rvl wrote

Lebron at 38 is still a top 5 player.

i also have to think most of these guys are on some kind of hgh or ped


Highwind65 t1_j0zhshr wrote

Rey Mysterio is still at it? Time to watch some vids, a childhood hero for me.


RnVja25hemlz t1_j0zn9r1 wrote

Or Jagr at 50 not at the top of his game anymore but still playing in a pro league


powabiatch t1_j0zj393 wrote

I remember when Vinnie Testaverde (44) and Brett Favre (38) played a game in 2007 and they called it the senior bowl. Lol times have changed.


RipThrotes t1_j103zs3 wrote

Meanwhile I just want to see new actors in new intellectual property....

Can we dial back the medical miracles for some good new content. Doesn't have to be good, all I want is non-nostalgia driven rehashes.


MC_JACKSON t1_j0zkozr wrote

Lets not forget Tiger winning a major, in his 40's, on a fused back


changerofbits t1_j0zvbnt wrote

Eh, that’s pretty anecdotal, and there were genetic freaks before. Nolan Ryan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar both had long, highly productive careers. I’m not saying sports medical science hasn’t improved a lot, but it’s not like there simply weren’t late 30s or early 40s people competing at a high level. I suppose you could argue that the games are more competitive these days, and that if not for medical improvements, people would otherwise have had to retire earlier.


ELH13 t1_j11uj3l wrote

Jimmy Anderson is NOT the top ranked test bowler, and hasn't been on top since 2018. He was also not top ranked test bowler until May 2016, after which he held it until around August 2018.

That isn't to say he isn't bowling well and hasn't been, but facts are facts you don't get to just make them up.


Nizzleson t1_j1agse9 wrote

Glad to Jimmy Anderson on this list. Man is a freak. For those who don't know cricket, he's well worth a dip into some YouTube highlights.


SushiRex t1_j0yqase wrote

I'll admit it. I was one. I was so sure Fed would last longer than Nadal. To me that's not a testament of my Idiocracy. It's a testament to Nadal's fortitude. Anyone else would have retired by now. The love of the game is real.


flim-flam13 t1_j0yr6uq wrote

That was more than 12 years ago. One of many inaccurate predictions for him (he can only win on clay, he can’t handle big hitters, etc).

But the reality is injuries have had a huge impact on his career.


GregorSamsaa t1_j0z56s2 wrote

10 to 12 yrs ago tennis prime age was still very much considered to be early to mid 20s. Especially in the new era of tennis where athleticism and recovery play such an important role.

Federer was thought to be close to being done, Nadal and Djokovic were about to have their prime years to battle it out with most expecting Nadal to bow out early due to his grueling style of tennis.

The predictions and expectations were very realistic. It’s what those three ended up doing that is unbelievable.


Local-Time t1_j0z2da7 wrote

I mean, it was a very logical prediction. I have no idea how he has been able to avoid (career ending) injury for so long. He has sustained so many injuries over the years, and like you said, has such a brutal style.

That being said, I hope he plays forever.


Oliv9504 t1_j0zeybc wrote

Physical condition training and physiological treatments have improved a lot


SlimyPurpleMeteor t1_j0z9gp5 wrote

I was certainly one of those who thought he’d hang up the racket in his early 30s due to body breaking now.

Needless to say I was proven wrong and it’s possible Rafa he could win a couple more slams.


heartwarriordad t1_j10eb99 wrote

He's now basically playing on one foot and lives with excruciating pain in the other, so not entirely an off-base prediction.


noctalla t1_j10pb8c wrote

It was a reasonable prediction. Rafa's a machine, but Wolverine he ain't. And yet he keeps on playing. It just goes to show that even reasonable predictions can be wildly inaccurate.


happycamperjack t1_j119m6v wrote

Not people, Nadal literally said that himself. He was so close to retiring a decade ago due to all the knee pains and injuries. But stem cell therapy and his amazing team of doctors kept him going.


noctalla t1_j11h0x7 wrote

Yes, people said that. Nadal may also have said that himself at some point, but the pundits said that all the time, especially in his early career.


happycamperjack t1_j11p4vc wrote

But Nadal does sort of say that every year too tho. I’m always amazed by his determination of coming back. Like he literally had to cut some nerves last year to his feet just so he can keep playing.


gideon513 t1_j12ggc5 wrote

I was one of them. But he also changed his style over the years.


handsoffmydicks t1_j0yaekq wrote

He hasn't left the top 10 ever since he entered it as a teenager. GOAT stuff.


MattGeddon t1_j0yd6pc wrote

That’s really incredible given that he’s had a whole load of injuries.


Emfx t1_j0ymyzo wrote

A ton of people underestimate how physically demanding tennis is. It can wreak absolute havoc on your tendons/joints. For him to compete at this level for this long is nothing short of a miracle.


tiredtoes t1_j0z8zyt wrote

Agreed. I also think a lot normal people underestimate how actually terrible being a professional athlete in general is for longevity/post career life. Pushing the body to the absolutely limit day in day out isn’t “peak health.” It’s a massive trade off to seek the rewards of pro sport.


frankyseven t1_j0zd711 wrote

Even golf, a sport that many people don't even consider a sport, is brutal on your body.


eclipse1498 t1_j0zk15q wrote

I mean yeah, not many sports have a common injury literally named after them


ProfessionalCornToss t1_j0zxf04 wrote

Funny enough tennis pros don’t really get tennis elbow since they have good technique.


calligraphizer t1_j12gajd wrote

I played competitively until college. I fucked up my back and right knee - I used to be a killer with a passing forehand ending with a slide on my right leg (on hard court). It just really messed up my knee and now I can't run like that more than once or twice in a match despite better overall fitness. I definitely can't do weekly matches either


Slowmexicano t1_j0yqjp7 wrote

He does have 22 major slams. You would have to win every slam for 5 and a half years to tie him.


L-Sulla t1_j0zk1at wrote

What if I already have a few? You don’t know me!


xSaIntLuKe t1_j1049ev wrote

I'm Swiss so chance is 1:8'698'000 that i only need 2 more or 1:2'899'333 that i need 19 or less to tie his record.


VoightofReason t1_j10brt8 wrote

The craziest tennis stats i know are

  • Only 15 times in 20 years has the winner of a major not been Roger, Rafael or Novak.
  • Only 9 times has a grand slam final not had 1 of those three gents

zazenbr t1_j0y8kha wrote

Not sure, I think he might be good at tennis.


sleepdream t1_j0ydzb0 wrote

meh, probably still needs 20 more years to confirm


Neans888 t1_j0zh0tt wrote

He’s ok. It’s only top 10, it’s not like he’s been top 7 the whole time.


BasvanS t1_j10pjrp wrote

“Why not number 1 for 20 years?”

  • a helicopter parent probably

RobbinDeBank t1_j0z0bvh wrote

Has he proven himself on a cold rainy night in Stoke?


ExquisiteFacade t1_j0ya626 wrote

He should stick with it. Sounds like he's got a future there.


sh0ta_sh0ta t1_j0z1ram wrote

One of the most consistent athlete in sports history


BiggsFaleur t1_j0yz6kq wrote

He already has insane results, imagine if he didn't pick up some of those injuries along the way


MrRawri t1_j0zhbua wrote

Unbelievable longevity.


3cit t1_j0yvoy3 wrote

If it's not Federer, it's Nadal, but it sure as hell isn't djokovic!

I am on board with that. Federer was my favorite first, so hes my favorite now, and that makes him the best ever for me. But whichever way you fall on the goat debate youre correct. Unless you think joker, cuz it's not him.


TheOnlyOneWhoKnows t1_j0zqemp wrote

I definitely agree that Federer and Nadal are the greatest of all time.

BUT with that being said I think there’s an argument to be made that Djokovic prime vs prime was just as good as both Nadal and Federer. Which he deserves credit for. Is that an unreasonable statement?


adrian678 t1_j10b561 wrote

When players are so close tied together in achievements you start looking at the other stuff that they bring to the table. Nadal and Federer are a perfect example of professionalism in tennis and life. Djoker outside of the court is dumb asshole with enough popularity and influence to cause much more harm than good.


3cit t1_j10xgp8 wrote

Not at all, by any measurable statistic I would say my comment is more unreasonable.


gigamiga t1_j0zsdeu wrote

Djokovic is undeniably the GOAT of tennis by any measure. He beats them both head to head, has more slams, more 1000 series wins, longest time at #1, everything. You can hate the guy but it's still facts.


3cit t1_j10x286 wrote

My hate is more powerful than facts!


allo100 t1_j0zgi65 wrote

Wow. Amazing achievement.


shuvvel t1_j10dndd wrote

No, it's not almost 18 years, it's barely 17.


Despicable2020 t1_j0zhng9 wrote

An incredible story that's nearing its end.


_metamax_ t1_j10617e wrote

Depending on the country, I could take his career out for a beer to celebrate the achievement.


ECK-2188 t1_j0zgha6 wrote

Nadal has been consistent over the years it appears


bravetab t1_j0zibmt wrote

Yea, but hes never faced me.


democi t1_j108rqq wrote

something something Murray.

Ha I did it first this time. Saved you some trouble there, Murray Army, who’s sole purpose is to try to keep Murray relevant somehow.


Truthful_Azn t1_j1c9dt7 wrote

One of the GOAT of tennis. Kind of hard picking between him, Djokovic and Federer.


dinan101 t1_j10gb59 wrote

So? I have 2652 weeks in the tennis top 1,000,000, so Nadal can suck it.


geordieColt88 t1_j0yii9b wrote

Amazing what vitamins can do for you


John__Nash t1_j0yya7j wrote

That's "sports science" to you.


geordieColt88 t1_j0z191n wrote

My mistake, it’s amazing how many people refuse to believe their eyes about him and Djokovic


RollTheDiceFondle t1_j0z6et3 wrote

Too bad it’s in a sport like tennis. All that hard work for nothin’.


Pifflebushhh t1_j0zcaj2 wrote

It's one of the most prestigious sports in the world, what are you saying?


discgolfallday t1_j0zfbk2 wrote

Yeah all for a measly 220 million dollars, worldwide fame, a spot in the history books about one of the world's most popular sports, countless dollars raised for charity, multiple books and films

What a loser


moxyfloxacin t1_j0xrxfy wrote

Might not be the greatest of all time but KoC is one of the most likable


Catssonova t1_j0y333i wrote

Pretty sure he's one of the greatest of all time. It's hard comparing some of the top guys because they have all been so good. Djokovic still gets my vote despite his ridiculous ideas at times.


MattGeddon t1_j0ydaae wrote

Rafa has the slam lead but Novak has a load of the other big records, so I think ND is slightly ahead for me as well. It’s great that the two of them are mid 30s and still going!


Catssonova t1_j0ynt82 wrote

I thought Djokovic took the slam lead already but I could be wrong. I'm hoping that's what the downvotes are for because I agree with you.


theamac95 t1_j0yoct3 wrote

Nadal is still 1 slam up on Nole.


Catssonova t1_j0yofx8 wrote

shrug Dunno man, you're cursed for downvotes I guess