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. boteman asks Where's My Ring? 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

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Ray (RDP)
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogPirates acquire Joakim Soira from Tigers | MLB.com
(15 - 3:50am, Aug 01)
Last: Drexl Spivey

NewsblogOTP - July 2015: Winning the Political Game: Politics is More Like Baseball Than Football
(6208 - 2:48am, Aug 01)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogThis Is The Refusal Roberto Clemente Got When He Asked For A Raise
(21 - 2:30am, Aug 01)
Last: Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame)

NewsblogLast minute deals
(28 - 1:33am, Aug 01)
Last: Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos

NewsblogFormer Tigers pitcher Billy Pierce dies at 88
(7 - 1:05am, Aug 01)
Last: OCF

Newsblog7-31-2015 OMNICHATTER/TRADE DEADLINE OMNICHATTER
(166 - 12:44am, Aug 01)
Last: Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim

NewsblogOT: Soccer June 2015
(1436 - 11:21pm, Jul 31)
Last: frannyzoo

NewsblogLookout Landing: Ackley Traded to Yankees for Flores and Ramirez
(24 - 11:21pm, Jul 31)
Last: frannyzoo

NewsblogWith money and cutting-edge brilliance, Dodgers playing a game others can’t - Yahoo Sports
(12 - 10:53pm, Jul 31)
Last: Bourbon Samurai in America

NewsblogYankees remain in Kimbrel market; could active Astros join them? - CBSSports.com
(5 - 10:46pm, Jul 31)
Last: ReggieThomasLives

NewsblogThe Official Mets Fan Self-Immolation Thread
(402 - 10:45pm, Jul 31)
Last: Banta

NewsblogKeith Law - ESPN (Insider) - Phillies effectively reload their farm system with Cole Hamels deal
(36 - 9:49pm, Jul 31)
Last: greenback, tyrant of bakers

NewsblogTrade Chatter - 2015 Deadline
(604 - 9:44pm, Jul 31)
Last: Squash

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - July 2015
(1712 - 7:46pm, Jul 31)
Last: Rickey! is all out of bubblegum

NewsblogOT: Wrestling Thread November 2014
(1043 - 7:31pm, Jul 31)
Last: The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB)

Page rendered in 0.1760 seconds
48 querie(s) executed