• The Arm

  • Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Thing in Sports
  • By: Jeff Passan
  • Narrated by: Kevin Pierce
  • Length: 12 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 04-05-16
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: HarperAudio
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.6 (446 ratings)

Regular price: $30.79

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Publisher's Summary

Yahoo's lead baseball columnist offers an in-depth look at the most valuable commodity in sports - the pitching arm - and how its vulnerability to injury is hurting players and the game, from Little League to the majors.
Every year, Major League Baseball spends more than $1.5 billion on pitchers - five times more than the salary of every NFL quarterback combined. Pitchers are the game's lifeblood. Their import is exceeded only by their fragility. One tiny band of tissue in the elbow, the ulnar collateral ligament, is snapping at unprecedented rates, leaving current big league players vulnerable and the coming generation of baseball-playing children dreading the three scariest words in the sport: Tommy John surgery.
Jeff Passan traveled the world for three years to explore in depth the past, present, and future of the arm and how its evolution left baseball struggling to wrangle its Tommy John surgery epidemic. He examined what compelled the Chicago Cubs to spend $155 million on one arm. He snagged a rare interview with Sandy Koufax, whose career was cut short by injury at 30, and visited Japan to understand how another baseball-mad country treats its prized arms. And he followed two major league pitchers, Daniel Hudson and Todd Coffey, throughout their returns from Tommy John surgery. He exposes how the baseball establishment long ignored the rise in arm injuries and reveals how misplaced incentives across the sport stifle potential changes.
Injuries to the UCL start as early as Little League. Without a drastic cultural shift, baseball will continue to lose hundreds of millions of dollars annually to damaged pitchers, and another generation of children will suffer the same problems that vex current players. Informative and hard hitting, The Arm is essential listening for all who love the game, want to keep their children healthy, or relish a look into how a large, complex institution can fail so spectacularly.

"The Arm should be required reading for youth baseball coaches and parents with a child who appears to have a gift to throw a baseball. It also should be on the list for fans who want to understand why some of most expensive athletes in sports, pitchers, are such a fragile commodity." (Chicago Tribune)


"By so thoroughly presenting a serious study of the arm — or more precisely, the elbow — Passan has written an important book. For arms, if there is Tommy John surgery, maybe we now also have Jeff Passan education." (Washington Post)


"Sportswriter Passan delivers one of the more important books on baseball of the decade, a superbly researched and detailed look at the current "epidemic" of arm injuries in the sport." (Publisher's Weekly)

©2016 Jeff Passan (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Bob Vance on 05-29-16

A MUST READ for every youth baseball parent and coach

If you have a son who loves to pitch and aspires to one day to play college ball or even make it to The Show, then you must understand the precepts that Jeff Passan leads out in this study. Your son is not a commodity! Unfortunately, many coaches and leagues will treat them this way. Trust me, it's not worth it! Teach your kids to play and pitch for the love of the game...don't buy into the lie of "harder and faster now." This book is a MUST READ for every youth baseball parent and coach.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By J. A. Walsh on 05-17-16

Really close to five stars. Great listen.

Passan has a lot to say, and like me I would guess that most baseball fans will consume this book ravenously. To me, a five-star book is among the best ever, this is not quite there but it's really close. The story covers a very wide breadth, and there are times when some of it doesn't quite hang together (I love NPB too and I'm sure the trip to Japan was fun, but not sure how much it adds) but all in all it is a compelling piece of baseball writing that also really qualifies as journalism.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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