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

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

SF Gate: Multimedia (image)

This makes me want to take a trip to the batting cage.  I was a fair hitter in high school, but now I have a tough time making hard contact off live pitching.

Sean Forman Posted: October 23, 2002 at 05:00 AM | 1 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags:

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. Bangkok9 eschews 1 from Column A Posted: October 23, 2002 at 07:12 AM (#177364)
The accompanying article is a pretty good read also.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2002/10/21/SP68726.DTL&type=sports

Found this nugget interesting: "Bonds may get a head start from... a vast store of 'pitch templates' -- pictures in his head of particular pitches and the associated swing that connects with each pitch."

This would certainly make sense as you couldn't hope to hit a pitch if you didn't have some certainty of where it was going to be at the plate. But that seems to beg the question of what other information a hitter absorbs and processes to help him guage whether a pitch should be swung at and which swing template to use.

If I remember correctly a 4-seam fastball rides more [drops less] than a 2-seam fast ball because of the greater air resitance on the underside of the ball. But the mechanics of the delivery should be the same and the performance difference of the ball in flight should be imperceptible until after the swing has been started. The fact that anyone can adjust to the inch or two difference in location is pretty staggering.

But how does the batter sort all that out? Does a 4-seamer make the ball look just a little bit redder because of the extra seams? Or can the mind actually perceive the rotation of the ball even if it's just a blur to the conscious mind?

They said Ted Williams could see the rotation [and that he hated movies because of the way they flickered] and if that's more than apocryphal then it's evidence of a 'rate of perception' -- some people 'see faster' than others. I can see where a faster frame-rate would be better since you'd get more frames per distance traveled and have a better identification of the type of pitch.

Now really going out on a limb, could it be possible that every pitcher has a more or less individual rotational signature on his pitches? You hear about guys losing arm strength, but that would only affect pitch speed. Do guys ever gain or lose wrist strength, which I'd think is where most of the rotation rate of the pitch is generated?

What I'm thinking is that there may be some sort of relationship between a batter's frame-rate of perception and a pitcher's rotational rate, and that could explain why certain batter-pitcher matchups are so lop-sided even when the players' competencies are generally different. [Yes, I'm trying to hypothesize 'ownage' -- the slugger who can't hit the journeyman pitcher or the light-hitting utility man who kills the Cy Younger.]

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Traderdave
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogFan loses ring while proposing during game at Yankee Stadium
(4 - 12:55am, Sep 29)
Last: Ardo

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 9-28-16
(126 - 12:54am, Sep 29)
Last: Ardo

NewsblogTheo Epstein Agrees To 5-Year Extension With Cubs
(21 - 12:50am, Sep 29)
Last: the Hugh Jorgan returns

Sox TherapyLooking Ahead - Playoff Roster
(25 - 12:08am, Sep 29)
Last: Textbook Editor

NewsblogSteven Matz To Undergo Surgery To Remove Bone Spur From Elbow
(2 - 12:05am, Sep 29)
Last: Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb

NewsblogOTP 2016 Sep 26: A single for Donald Trump - He doesn’t have to hit a home run to send Hillary to the showers
(1201 - 11:49pm, Sep 28)
Last: Theo^J

NewsblogPete Rose petitions Hall of Fame for inclusion on ballots in lengthy letter
(33 - 11:47pm, Sep 28)
Last: the Hugh Jorgan returns

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-28-2016
(22 - 11:18pm, Sep 28)
Last: Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee)

Sox TherapyThe Most Annoying Man In The World
(5 - 11:00pm, Sep 28)
Last: Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site

Sox TherapyTen Moments That Won A Division
(1 - 10:59pm, Sep 28)
Last: Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site

NewsblogTebow homers on first instructional league pitch
(35 - 10:23pm, Sep 28)
Last: snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster)

NewsblogHere Are The 2016 MLB Prime Time Television Ratings For Each Team
(13 - 9:25pm, Sep 28)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogOT: August 2016 Soccer Thread
(627 - 9:11pm, Sep 28)
Last: madvillain

NewsblogWhite Sox will retain Robin Ventura if he wants to return: report - Chicago Tribune
(15 - 8:35pm, Sep 28)
Last: vortex of dissipation

NewsblogMarlins sign Martin Prado to 3-year, $40 million extension
(13 - 8:06pm, Sep 28)
Last: shoewizard

Page rendered in 0.1571 seconds
46 querie(s) executed