06/01/2004: Baseball geekery.....
on steroids? Off on robneyer.com we run across this article by Will Carroll, apparently about the "gyroball", which appears to be (if it even exists) the latest revolution in pitching since the invention of the split-fingered fastball (if that was indeed an "invention"; I've read claims that the splitter wasn't really anything new, just a rediscovery of a pitch that had been known for quite sometime as "the forkball". But I digress...).
Why baseball geekery on steroids? Because if this claim is true...
Rather than using high-speed video like advanced pitching gurus Tom House and Mike Marshall use, the Japanese have gone to supercomputers.we're seeing the use of both technogeek toys (supercomputers) and physics/engineering geek knowledge and methods to revolutionize the Grand Old Game.
Simulating various mechanical models, Japanese researchers -- and I would name them if I could find someone to translate their book -- discovered a series of biomechanical techniques that would remove much of the stress from throwing a baseball. This new mechanical paradigm takes a book to explain properly, but the short version is that instead of using the linear kinetic chain thatís the subject of American research, the Japanese attempt to coordinate two circular motions.
To my mind, that puts baseball several levels ahead of other pro sports. :-)
Len on 06.01.04 @ 09:15 AM CST