Mar 1, 2016
A Thorough Exam

According to The Seattle Times, the Seattle Mariners physical exams are an hours long and thorough process to evaluate how healthy the players are now, and what health risks may arise in the future.

“It gives us a book on each player,” [athletic] trainer Rick Griffin said. “We open up the book, and we know what’s wrong with everybody; it gives us an idea of what we need to focus on for the season.”

Players who take part are subject to a variety of tests and examinations, such as ensuring that their vaccinations are up to date, having their grip strength tested, being checked for blood pressure and pulse, and being examined for possible muscle tears. They also are given a dental exam.

The physical ends with a stress test, in which players are given a a 12-lead exercise electrocardiogram, and forced to run at a constant speed on a gradually raising treadmill, a practice that Griffin said is fairly unique among major league teams.

According to Griffin, many players who came from other organizations found the Mariners’ physicals to be the best they had ever had. He said that this was not true when he first joined the Mariners in 1983, though.

“The first two years that we did physicals here, I was kind of appalled,” Griffin said. “We didn’t really do too much. The guys came into a room. They were asked if they had anything wrong, then they lay on a bed and we checked out the flexibility of their hamstrings. What was amazing about then was that the players had already been practicing for one or two weeks. You think about that nowadays. You just can’t imagine sending players out in the field without doing some sort of physical on them.”

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