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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Tanaka and the Science Guy

John Brenkus examines two of Masahiro Tanaka’s best pitches.

attaboy Posted: March 12, 2014 at 03:26 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: espn, masahiro tanaka, pitching mechanics, science

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Popular Mechanics: App improves eyesight of Cal-Riverside Baseball Team

When a major league baseball pitcher throws a 95-mph fastball, only about 400 milliseconds—the duration of a blink—pass before the ball rockets over the plate. And a batter gets less than half that time to decide whether to swing, and where. Baseball players, then, could reap huge benefits from being able to probe a baseball farther from their eyes. And that inspired Aaron Seitz, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Riverside, who has created a new, publicly available app that conditions users to see farther on or off the baseball diamond.

Cabbage Posted: February 18, 2014 at 11:21 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: science

Saturday, January 04, 2014

io9 - Gonzalez:  Behold the absolute mind-bogglery of a knuckleball in flight

MLB pitcher R.A. Dickey slings an erratic knuckleball pitch, posing a challenge for batter and catcher alike. The ball has been colorized to highlight its almost total lack of spin, which usually serves to stabilize the ball’s trajectory.

A baseball’s seams make it an imperfect sphere, which can lead to some screwy flight behavior when there’s no spin to steady things out. Ivan R. Dee provides a good explanation of knuckleball dynamics in chapter 1 of The Knucklebook:

In the action of the knuckleball… some stitches are moving toward the flow of air in the front, and others are moving away, at a slow speed. The stitches move around the ball in quire a complex curve on a knuckleball, and the ball may rotate at different rates in different ways. This causes the swirls of air to change size and direction, form and disappear, and move location on the ball, thus producing changing locations of low pressure that really can’t be predicted.

Lassus Posted: January 04, 2014 at 08:49 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: r.a. dickey, science

 

 

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