As if the highly anticipated Roy Halladay vs. Tim Lincecum probable pitching matchup for the opening game of the NLCS didn’t have enough drama attached to it, a report from the San Jose Mercury News indicates that Lincecum developed blisters on his throwing hand during his start against the Atlanta Braves.
Earlier this season, blisters were blamed for Lincecum’s lack of command and even resulted in the Giants ace missing a scheduled start.
After looking forward to this game for almost a week, the idea of Lincecum not being at 100% or missing the start completely is too much to bear. And so I decided to do Lincecum and the Giants training staff a solid and ask Dr. Internet for solutions to this blister problem.
Solution #1: Stan’s Rodeo Ointment
Stan’s Rodeo Ointment is a medicinal cream available by prescription that numbs the pain caused by skin abrasions and speeds healing time. The Stan from the brand name is creator Stanley Johnston who inexplicably brags on his profile page, “I was allowed to go to college because of my rodeo background.”
You must be very proud of yourself.
Josh Beckett and Derek Lowe both give glowing testimonials. Beckett says he goes so far as to put it on between his . . . starts.
Solution #2: Emery Boards
Emery boards aren’t only Joe Niekro’s favourite accessory on the mound, the nail files are used by many pitchers to break down the tough skin that builds up on the tip of their fingers.
Blisters can also start because of pressure put on finger tips that would normally be absorbed by nails. Filing your finger nails down can keep things consistent and reduce the risk of injury.
At least that’s what my dance choreographer uncle Duncan told me. It’s amazing he’s still single.
Solution #3: Pickle Juice
Some say it’s an old wives tale, but old school coaches and trainers are still firm believers in pitchers dipping their blistered finger in a barrel of pickle juice, or as the Polish call it, water. The acidity of the vinegar numbs the pain and is believed to harden the skin.
Perfect game hurlers Nolan Ryan and Dallas Braden (that never gets easier, especially in the same sentence as Ryan) swear by it. Braden admits to keeping jars of pickle juice all over his house. He dips his entire hand in there at least twice a week.
Snake oil salesmen around the world are preparing shipments of product samples to the Oakland A’s right now.
Solution #4: Super Glue
You’re not going to cure or prevent a blister with Super Glue, but you can stop it from getting worse by hardening a layer of glue over top of it. The rub of the ball won’t hurt as much, but the pitcher loses some of the feeling because of the added layer.
Just don’t pick your nose while it’s on your finger because you could end up in violation of MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Heyo!
Solution #5: Antiperspirant
The stuff that leaves white marks in your underarms has an active ingredient called aluminum chlorohydrate. Rubbing it on your fingers can numb the pain and harden the skin, all while making your digits smell delightful.
The weird yellow stains on everything you touch is a small side effect.
No word on whether or not Secret’s brand is strong enough for a pitcher despite what Jennie Finch might claim.
Solution #6: Toothpaste
Ingredients in toothpaste numb the pain of a blister and the fluoride likely reduces the risk of infection.
When pressed, a quick finger in your mouth could also remove any lingering smokey smell that might be hanging around. I can’t think of a single MLB pitcher who might benefit from that though.
Solution #7: Urine
Baseball players aren’t exactly known for their smarts, but I’m pretty sure you’d be hard pressed convincing anyone that regularly peeing on your hands prevents blisters.
Although the back of your teammate’s leg while you’re in the shower is a completely different story.