Unit III Academic Essay

Thomas St. Clair
ENG 131.02
Professor Lucas
30 April 2014
Tommy John Surgery

Tommy John Surgery is a surgery has been given its name from the professional baseball player on whom it was first performed. Medically speaking it is known as ulnar collateral ligament reconstructive surgery, which repairs the ulnar collateral ligament in the elbow. Since Doctor Frank Jobe completed the original procedure in 1974 over 150 Major League Baseball pitchers have received this remarkable surgery since then. With how impressively simple the surgery has become and the perfection of the rehab process Tommy John surgery is clearly the best-case scenario surgery among baseball pitchers.
Tommy John surgery takes a graft of a tendon from a pitchers wrist, knee, or hamstring depending on the size of the tendons. Then the elbow is opened up with an incision and two holes are drilled in the ulna and humorous and the graft is then woven in and out of the holes in a figure eight pattern and tied off. This pattern creates the strongest hold for the ligament. While the strength of the tendon is important it is also crucial to have strong knots at each end to further strength the graft and provide the best chance for rehabilitation.
While at the time of the original surgery it was thought of as far- fetched that it would work medically speaking it is a fairly simple procedure as far as reconstructive surgeries are concerned. Even Jobe, the first doctor to perform the surgery, said it himself in an interview with Fox sports “When you look at it from a retrospective view, it was pretty simple. What was so great about it? It was great to have a patient like Tommy John, someone who understood what we were doing.” (qtd. Forgrave)
Baseball is in large part a very unhealthy sport for people to play. Overhead movements in general are not good for the human body because of how unnatural the motion and then we placed a light ball in peoples’ hands and put them on a hill, which makes it even harder on the arm. Specifically the shoulder and elbow because of the sudden acceleration and deceleration. Many arm injuries today are preventable but many people including Tommy John himself do not believe people train their arms well enough to handle the kind of load they choose to place on it. Tommy John campares it to another sport with common overuse injuries, running, saying “Your arm is a muscle,” he once said. “I liken it to running a marathon. If I want to run a marathon, I have to get my mileage up. I’ve got to be able to run long mileage. In baseball, we’re trying to run a mini marathon with training on 50-yard sprints” (Weaver).
Baseball players are also being pushed to become specialized in one sport at a much younger age than before which has led to many people simply throwing too much when they are not fully developed. Rather than gaining overall strength from playing many different sports baseball players are becoming very asymmetrical in strength because of the amount of stress pitching put on their body in one consistent movement pattern.
Among the many surgeries that pitchers of all ages and abilities levels have the potential have at some point in their careers including but not limited to ones that repair a torn rotator cuff or labrum. Many pitchers will already have some form of fraying or slight tears in these areas and are unaware of them until they experience pain or loss of effectiveness. In many cases with shoulder injuries pitchers will do everything they can to avoid having to undergo surgery such as rest and rehab. More often than not they only lose more time that they could be spending rehabbing post operation but with the uncertainty of ever returning to form they see it as their only option.
At times some pitchers will take a similar approach with a UCL tear because they again may have had the injury before it became a problem. The typical procedure would be time off before again throwing on a slow progression which more often than not is unsuccessful. The largest difference however is that the surgery now is 85 percent effective which makes them more willing to have surgery immediately since there is such a strong chance that they will return to their same level. Such a success rate is impressive with any kind of surgery and is remarkable considering before Tommy John had his surgery Jobe told him he had a one out of one-hundred chance of pitching in the major leagues again. While there may be people who have still had success after not having surgery there are still astounding numbers of people who immediately have surgery. In the major leagues one out of every nine pitchers has at one time had Tommy John surgery. Tommy John himself recorded an amazing 164 wins after the surgery.
The surgery however is only half of the story or as Dr. Tim Kremchek believes less than half as Tom Gorman said in his article “he says that post-surgical rehab makes up at least 55% of the solution for an elbow injury and that the “difference maker is the rehab people, not the surgeon” (Gorman). In the more than thirty years since the original surgery there has been plenty of opportunities for trial and error in regards to the rehab people perform. Now upon leaving the surgeons office patients are presented with a plan for the next ten months of their lives. While the process is a long and grueling time for the patients they are fortunate enough to have this lengthy plan to ensure they are not part of the unlucky 15 percent that do not make it their previous level.
Within hours of surgery patients perform hand exercises to insure that they have all feeling and to try to prevent as much stiffness as possible. Within a few days they begin to try to regain some type of range of motion in their elbow while beginning to work on strengthening the other muscles in their arm. Within a month the athlete has gone from having their arm completely opened up to being able to perform simple task like brushing their teeth and running. After four months they are able to begin a normal weight training program and a very slow but progressive throwing program with the hopes of being back on the mound in four months.
The plan is mapped out so well because of the thousands of people who have had the surgery before them and makes the likelihood of returning that much greater. Which simply cannot be said for other arm surgeries that a pitcher could undergo. Although some still wish to talk about how common the surgery is as a negative point the people involved deeply in baseball see this as a positive aspect. Thomas Gorman explains this point further in his 2009 article about the surgery. “That Tommy John surgery seems all too common is perhaps the best measure of its success. While there is still a failure rate of 10 to 15 percent, most of these happen on younger subjects. It would be more accurate to say that the pitcher fails himself in most cases, rather than the surgery being the problem.” (Gorman)
Knowledgeable baseball players, especially pitchers never want to have to face a serious surgery that have considerable risks. Unfortunately for them the amount of surgeries seems to be on a very steady climb with little sign of slowing down. However, with how impressively simple the surgery has become and how the rehabilitation process continues to be perfected Tommy John surgery is the best-case scenario surgery for baseball players.

Works cited

Forgrave, Reid. “Pitcher, Doctor Change Baseball.” FOX Sports. N.p., 21 June 2012. Web. 29 Apr. 2014.
Gorman, Thomas. “Inside Tommy John Surgery: Thirty Years of Fixing Pitchers.” Baseball Prospectus. N.p., 15 June 2009. Web. 29 Apr. 2014.
Weaver, Ed. “A Look at the History of ‘Tommy John Surgery'” Saratogian News. N.p., 6 July 2013. Web. 29 Apr. 2014.


Unit II Act One Final Script

Chase Harris, Kaitlyn Karp, Alexis Monthony, and Thomas St. Clair
ENG 131.02
Professor Lucas
31 March 2014

Toys Influence Gender Roles

Character Guide

Janet Gonzalez-Mena: A Spanish author and teacher whose career began in California, working in the California University and Community College system for 35 years. At the beginning of her career she was a preschool volunteer teacher where she later on started the program Head Start, a program to help Spanish-speaking children and their families.
Gonzalez-Mena was also the co-author of he book Bridging Cultures in ECE (2002)

Abby Kaplan is a contributor to the newspaper at the school of Westtown. This is the first article she been assigned with and is currently working on another very opinionated paper in which she backs up with her facts from research. Kaplan has many opinions towards the gender roles of women and how they are changing the modern woman.

Debra Merskin: An University of Oregon professor who is also a researcher on how the media see’s women and minorities. The article she and Carrie Packwood Freeman wrote was first seen in “Food for Thought: Essays on Eating and Culture” (2008).

David B. Ryan has been a profession writer for many years. His work includes various books, articles for “The Plain Dealer” in Cleveland and essays for Oxford University Press. Ryan holds degrees from the University of Cincinnati and Indiana University and certifications in emergency management and health disaster response.

Abby Kaplan (Alexis): Do you know what bothers me? The stereotype that women are weaker and more emotional than men- and because many believe this to be true, women are expected to do jobs that are less difficult.

Debra Merskin (Chase): Men are stronger and tougher than women, we find danger exciting and have propensity toward violence.

David B. Ryan (Kate): I was reading in the paper the other day how many people believe it to be true that toys influence gender roles. That feminine-typed toys display nurturing traits, and masculine toys show high levels of activity and mobility.

Janet Gonzalez-Mena (Thomas): I don’t believe that to be true at all, “why does it matter if boys never play house or girls never play blocks? It doesn’t, if in other areas of their lives they are getting the skills they miss out on by avoiding these two activities.”

AK (Alexis): I disagree I believe it is important according to the stat the in 2007, the average women earned 78 cents to every dollar earned by a man in the same position. That can add up to anywhere from $700,000 to $2 million dollars less over the course of a women’s career.

JGM (Thomas): I do agree that boys and girls interacting in play at a young age encourages dramatic play that gives boys a chance to be nurtures, to experience domestic relations, to feel comfortable trying on a variety of emotions.

DBR (Kate): I have also read that children using feminine-typed toys display nurturing traits and used toys in role play. Kids using masculine-typed toys show high levels of activity and mobility.

DM (Chase): Boys playing with blocks can create a macho personality constellation in males.

AK (Alexis): Women playing so called house can lead to an image of hysterical, unreasonable woman, the opposite of what anybody would want in a leader.

JGM (Thomas): Sometimes the adults in the program subtly encourage this kind of gender differentiation.

AK (Alexis): Studies show that women are also expected to work in different areas than men. Most women are concentrated in social work, childcare, and health aide type jobs.

CF (Chase): Men are also seen to society sometimes and dominate heterosexual characters as in fast-food commercials males are seen with a desire to consume animal meat and symbolically consume “flesh” of sexualized and objectified women.

AK (Alexis): These jobs generally pay less than so called “masculine” jobs such as work in math and sciences. Some might argue that this is a matter of choice, but part of it is also society’s influence. Even as young children, girls are steered away from “male” subjects. In many families, male education is also valued more than female education.

JGM (Thomas): In many Schools you can check out the block area this is where you find the boys. The way the environment is set up. The girls are in the “housekeeping” corner playing with clothes, shoes, and purses that most boys won’t be attracted to. Making the environment where the boys are in the “dominate” block building area simulating as if they are doing labor work and the girls in the less dominate “housekeeping” area doing activities such as cleaning and playing in the kitchen.

DBR (Kate): The message for girls centered appearance, including toy jewelry, costumes and play makeup. “Female signals focused on domestic skills” toys marketed for boys, including guns and soldiers, focused on fighting and aggression. Other male messages included competition, excitement, and an element of danger.

CPF (Chase): Looking at Americas past culture especially in media such as movies and shows, Cowboys tamed the “wild west” and all its inhabits reducing millions of acres of vast cattle grazing area, forever associating red meat with this supposedly brave and tough category of American men therefore supporting men are seen in society as the dominate gender.

AK (Alexis): A recent study showed that when looking at two identical resumes, one female name and one with a male name, both male and female employers gave the female one a lower score. The message is clear that men are still considered superior to women.

DM (Chase): This can lead back to that the “macho personality constellation” is comprised of three behavioral depositions: entitlement to callous sex, propensity toward violence, and danger as exciting. Are all features that lead society to see males and the dominate gender.

AK (Alexis): The most extreme actions of male dominance can be seen in countries other than the United States. In some countries if there is only enough money to send one child to school the child will most likely be male. Also as far as some women will have an abortion if they find out that their baby is female.

Unit II Act One Draft


Thomas St. Clair

ENG 131.01

Professor Lucas

25 March 25, 2014


Gender Roles and Toys

Character Guide

Janet Gonzalez-Mena: A Spanish author and teacher whose career began in California, working in the California University and Community College system for 35 years. Also at the beginning of her career she was a preschool volunteer teacher where she later on started the program Head Start a program to help Spanish-speaking children and their families. Gonzalez-Mena was also the co-author of the book Bridging Cultures in ECE (2002)

Janet Gonzalez-Mena: “Check out the block area. Is that where you find the boys? If this is the case, examine the factors that might contribute to this situation. Sometimes the adults in the program subtly encourage this kind of gender differentiation. Notice the way the environment is set up. If the dramatic play area is a traditional “housekeeping” corner with frilly girls’ clothes, shoes, and purses, most boys won’t be attracted”

Janet Gonzalez-Mena: “Because boys tend to dominate the block play in many programs, some teachers have tried a variety of approaches to encourage girls into the area also. One technique is to arrange the environment so that the blocks are close to the dolls or put a dollhouse in with the blocks.”

Janet Gonzalez-Mena: “Why does it matter if boys never play house or girls never play blocks? It doesn’t, if in other areas of their lives they are getting the skills they miss out on by avoiding these two activities. Dramatic play gives boys a chance to be nurtures, to experience domestic relations, to feel comfortable trying on a variety emotions.”


Works Cited

Gonzalez-Mena, Janet. “Gender Roles and Toys.” Education.com. Pearson Allyn Bacon Prentice Hall, 8 Dec. 2010. Web. 25 Mar. 2014.

Annotated Bibliography

Thomas St. Clair

English 131 Section 2

Dr. Jane Lucas

19 February 2014

Are Pro Athletes Over Paid?

            Pro athletes are sometimes symbolized as heroes. With commercials, expensive clothes, houses, and cars they look the role. The three main sports today are basketball, football and baseball that players generate the most revenue from. Some people say the top players deserve the big paycheck for how much they get paid because they are constantly working out and playing to perform at the level they have to. Others say that sports shouldn’t pay that much money because athletes shouldn’t make more money than doctors and lawyers and other people who have college degrees, considering a lot of pro athletes do not have college degrees. There are many arguments on both sides, and people have not been shy about speaking out on their opinion of the issue.

From reading about top athletes’ pay the issue I have learned that pro athletes and having to live that lifestyle can be very tough. For most of the year they are on the road and constantly busy away from their families. Others say they make so much money they can take their family with them wherever they go. So both sides of the argument are valid the bibliography resources from both sides that follows presents.

Annotated Bibliography

Mueller, Chris. “Chicago Cubs.” Bleacher Report. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2014

Each professional sport has a salary cap along with that they have a minimum amount of money each player each can paid. In 2012 for Major League Baseball the lowest amount of money a player could be paid was $350,000 a year. In 2012 the lowest paid player on the Chicago Cubs was paid $417,000. While the highest paid was $19 million. While the lowest paid Bulls player in 2012 was paid $850,000 the highest paid on the Bulls in 2012 was $13.5 million so not as much as the Cubs player. This shows us that per year athletes make more than any other occupation there is.

Doctor Chris Mueller is mainly a WWE columnist but his article on “Are Pro Athletes Overpaid?” is one of his first on other sports. His name Doctor Chris Mueller is ironic because he is not an actual doctor but called the “doctor” in his WWE wrestling days and the nick name stuck. He grew up in Chicago where he was first introduced to sports. Chris Mueller is now a sports journalist for WWE sports network.

Annotated Bibliography

North, Mike, “Pro Athletes Are Way Overpaid.” Daily Herald. Daily Herald, n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2014.

This article by Mike North argues on the side that pro athletes get over paid, now it may be on the extreme side considering the title of the article is “Pro Athletes Are Way Overpaid.” In the article it explains that the president of the United States is paid $400,000 a year while some pro athletes make $13.5 million a year and it elaborates that running the country is way harder than playing any sport. Also is explains that on the side pro athletes make millions of dollars in endorsements and sponsors.

Mike North is a sports journalist for the Daily Herald in Des Plaines, Illinois. This article he published was based of a letter to the editor he got from a sports critic in the area. Mike North is mainly known for his voice on FOX news radio sports talk show. On the show he discusses Sports in Chicago.

Annotated Bibliography

Ator, Paul. “6 Reasons Why Pro Athletes Are Not Overpaid.” WhatCulture 6 Reasons Why Pro  Athletes    Are Not Overpaid Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2014.

This articles argues on the side that pro athletes are not overpaid and gives the six main reasons why they are not overpaid. Throughout the article it explains how much they have to work and what level they have to perform at constantly. It also explains how hard of a life it is for them and how it can be lonely so mentality they have to be as strong as they are physically.

Paul Ator is a internet sports blogger. He posted this article he wrote on the internet and it became very popular. The other publication I found on him was “Why Golf Deserves More Credit in The Sports World.”