Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

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 07:49 PM | 8 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: r.a. dickey, science

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. jobu Posted: January 05, 2014 at 12:38 AM (#4630350)
Very cool GIF at that link.
   2. Morty Causa Posted: January 05, 2014 at 12:49 AM (#4630354)
Yep.

Looking at the Bugs Bunny gif, I'd like to say that I wish players still wore derbies and chomped on cigars while playing.
   3. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 05, 2014 at 12:51 AM (#4630355)
So I watched the video that accompanies it.

My initial reactions:

It appeared the gif and the video were at odds (though the speaker in the video seemed to change course a little at the end).

I'd love to see the lefthanded knuckler from Grinnell make it.

What the hell is Bill James doing hawking pay no income tax solutions?

   4. Bote Man Posted: January 05, 2014 at 01:20 AM (#4630367)
What the hell is Bill James doing hawking pay no income tax solutions?

He must have wandered over from the OTP thread.
   5. toratoratora Posted: January 05, 2014 at 02:57 AM (#4630381)
In the Mets’ bat rack at Citi Field, almost every bat includes a sticker with the player’s number on the knob. Not Dickey’s.

His bats have no stickers. He writes his number, 43, in black ink in the middle, with a name curled around it.

One bat is called Orcrist the Goblin Cleaver and the other is Hrunting. Dickey, an avid reader, said that Orcrist came from “The Hobbit.” Hrunting — the H is silent, Dickey said — came from the epic poem “Beowulf”; it is the sword Beowulf uses to slay Grendel’s mother.*


How did I not know this? This is bloody awesome, even if they get their Tolkien cite wrong.

I had a chance to pick up Dickey's book for free today and passed. Now I'm regretting the decision.


*Taken from an article linked in TFA
   6. PreservedFish Posted: January 05, 2014 at 03:21 AM (#4630384)
I have Dickey's book. I've only browsed it but my impression is that the prose was actually dumbed down to conform to the usual jock autobiography standards.
   7. Greg K Posted: January 05, 2014 at 08:18 AM (#4630399)
I named my first wood bat "Needle". But then I broke in its first game.
   8. MikeTorrez Posted: January 05, 2014 at 12:36 PM (#4630505)
How did I not know this? This is bloody awesome, even if they get their Tolkien cite wrong.


#5, what's wrong with the Tolkien cite? Ocrist is Thorin Oakenshield's sword.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Jim Wisinski
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOTP: 5 December 2016: Baseball's New Collective Bargaining Agreement
(595 - 11:24am, Dec 07)
Last: Ron J

NewsblogBaseball Hall of Fame's veteran voting system could keep qualified candidates out | MLB | Sporting News
(15 - 11:21am, Dec 07)
Last: JohnQ

NewsblogRed Sox Reportedly Agree To Deal With Mitch Moreland « CBS Boston
(28 - 11:21am, Dec 07)
Last: BDC

NewsblogBBWAA to publish all HOF ballots starting in 2018
(87 - 11:20am, Dec 07)
Last: Baldrick

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-7-2016
(6 - 11:15am, Dec 07)
Last: Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com

NewsblogBaseball: MLB hijacks market for Japanese star Otani: report | Kyodo News
(10 - 11:13am, Dec 07)
Last: snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster)

NewsblogCarlos Gomez, Rangers agree on 1-year deal | MLB.com
(10 - 11:11am, Dec 07)
Last: snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster)

NewsblogCubs near trade to acquire closer Wade Davis from Royals
(7 - 11:06am, Dec 07)
Last: Kiko Sakata

NewsblogFinding fits for Encarnacion, Bautista becoming more complex by the day - Sportsnet.ca
(7 - 11:02am, Dec 07)
Last: Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site

Gonfalon CubsStarting to think about 2017
(99 - 10:54am, Dec 07)
Last: What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face?

NewsblogBaseball Hall of Fame's View on the Steroid Era is in Flux
(16 - 10:54am, Dec 07)
Last: Booey

Sox TherapyThe Roster 1.0
(15 - 10:46am, Dec 07)
Last: Norcan

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 2016 Ballot
(17 - 10:09am, Dec 07)
Last: DL from MN

NewsblogLifetime Achievement Award: Peter Gammons | BaseballAmerica.com
(136 - 10:03am, Dec 07)
Last: Betts, Bogaerts, and D Price(GGC)

NewsblogMets prospects on the table as they mull 3 roads to reliever | New York Post
(13 - 9:46am, Dec 07)
Last: AROM

Page rendered in 0.3124 seconds
47 querie(s) executed