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He is example of Constructal-law Theory, said Duke University engineer Adrian Bejan. Constructal-law Theory predicts that elite pitchers will continue to be taller and thus throw faster and seems also to apply to athletes who compete in golf, hockey and boxing.
This also gets at a thread from the other day where someone was talking about how Harper and Ruth have similar swings.
Does anyone remember Dave Gallagher's invention that basically reduced his stride by putting a chain between his ankles? SI did a story in the late 80s about it and how it was gaining popularity).
There's a lot less fluidity, a lot less grace, and a lot less economy of motion. Obviously this is a big generalization with numerous exceptions, but has anyone else noticed this? The batters' stances tended to be blocky, slightly closed, bent only a little at the waist and none at the knees. Their swings were wristy, accompanied by a dive out over the plate and a bailing out of the back foot. Pitchers' motions, with the huge windups, were a lot of wildly flailing limbs followed by a tumble toward first base. The whole business just seems to have gotten so much more refined over the years. I know I'm not describing it all that well - it's hard to communicate with words - but does this resonate with anyone else, or do my eyes deceive me?
You put "proper" in quotes, but might it not be that mechanics are being not just standardized, but (on the whole) optimized over the years? It sure looks like it in terms of balance/economy of motion. And if we agree, per era adjustments, that the game overall is being played at a higher level today than in the past, that would seem consistent.
Also, #8, I would love to hear more about that 80s pitcher velocity stuff. It'd help me settle a lot of arguments if you had a link.
When I watch games on ESPN Classic from before right around the '90s (Clemens' 20K game in 1986 being the most recent example that comes to mind), the players seem just generally...un-athletic in comparison to today's players
Seems to me they only bothered with that stamp when it wasn't well nown that the guy had a plus fastball.
I remember watching the game when Rickey broke the career stolen bases record. Rickey and Canseco weren't unathletic,
If we can just get Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens to have a baby ...
One thing about comparing velocity- right now when Max Scherzer throws a 96 MPH pitch we know that is the velocity out of his hand, because pitch fx tells us that. It's probably 87-88 when it hits the catcher's mitt.
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