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 08:49 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 01:38 AM (#4630350)
Very cool GIF at that link.
   2. Morty Causa Posted: January 05, 2014 at 01:49 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 01:51 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. boteman Posted: January 05, 2014 at 02:20 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 03:57 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 04:21 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 09:18 AM (#4630399)
I named my first wood bat "Needle". But then I broke in its first game.
   8. MikeTorrez Posted: January 05, 2014 at 01:36 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

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
1k5v3L
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogBoston Red Sox prospect Deven Marrero enjoying turnaround in Arizona Fall League | MiLB.com News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball
(10 - 3:57pm, Oct 25)
Last: Merton Muffley

NewsblogPhils' philospophy beginning to evolve | phillies.com
(10 - 3:54pm, Oct 25)
Last: Merton Muffley

NewsblogOT: Politics, October 2014: Sunshine, Baseball, and Etch A Sketch: How Politicians Use Analogies
(3781 - 3:52pm, Oct 25)
Last: Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip

NewsblogYost's managerial decisions make for extra-entertaining World Series | FOX Sports
(6 - 3:46pm, Oct 25)
Last: Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond

NewsblogDave Dombrowski: Injury worse than expected, Miguel Cabrera 'is as tough as you can possibly be' | MLive.com
(18 - 3:41pm, Oct 25)
Last: Lars6788

Newsblog2014 WORLD SERIES GAME 4 OMNICHATTER
(3 - 3:38pm, Oct 25)
Last: Bourbon Samurai

Newsblog9 reasons Hunter Pence is the most interesting man in the World (Series) | For The Win
(22 - 3:31pm, Oct 25)
Last: esseff

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread, September 2014
(934 - 3:25pm, Oct 25)
Last: Swedish Chef

NewsblogJohn McGrath: The Giants have become the Yankees — obnoxious | The News Tribune
(19 - 2:59pm, Oct 25)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogBuster Olney on Twitter: "Sources: Manager Joe Maddon has exercised an opt-out clause in his contract and is leaving the Tampa Bay Rays immediately."
(85 - 2:23pm, Oct 25)
Last: puck

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - October 2014
(392 - 2:08pm, Oct 25)
Last: madvillain

NewsblogGambling Bochy creature of habit when it comes to pitchers | CSN Bay Area
(3 - 1:14pm, Oct 25)
Last: esseff

NewsblogMLB - Royals' Ned Yost keeps managing to win - ESPN
(9 - 12:55pm, Oct 25)
Last: The elusive Robert Denby

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1959 Ballot
(7 - 11:46am, Oct 25)
Last: lieiam

NewsblogRoyals get four AL Gold Glove finalists, but not Lorenzo Cain | The Kansas City Star
(17 - 11:46am, Oct 25)
Last: BDC

Page rendered in 0.2019 seconds
52 querie(s) executed