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Breaking curveball too good to be true
R&D Daily ^ | Thursday, October 14, 2010 | Carl Marziali

Posted on 10/14/2010 3:40:23 PM PDT by bunkerhill7

Breaking curveball too good to be true

Curveballs curve and fastballs go really fast, but new research suggests that no pitcher can make a curveball “break” or a fastball “rise.”

(Excerpt) Read more at rdmag.com ...


TOPICS: Science; Sports
KEYWORDS: aerodynamics; baseball; curve; curveball; physics; sports
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Now they tell me!

No wonder I never got a hit!

1 posted on 10/14/2010 3:40:27 PM PDT by bunkerhill7
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To: bunkerhill7

And bees can’t fly.


2 posted on 10/14/2010 3:45:12 PM PDT by Salvey
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To: bunkerhill7
Hello??? Nothing new here. My science teacher, Professor Brancazio (I'd have to check the spelling on that), wrote an entire book on that, called, "The Science of Sports" back in the 80s (when I was, um, three years old, yeah), which was a follow-up to an article in the Sporting News, that was picked up by wire services (or the other way around?) called "Sir Newton and the Rising Fastball".

He also appeared on 20/20, and met Phil Rizzuto after that article.

Rising fastballs don't rise. They just don't drop as much.
Which actually sounds almost like Democrats saying, "there's no tax increases, just the scheduled end of the tax cuts".

Basically, in the time it takes a ball to get from pitcher to catcher, it will drop 4 feet vertically. The spin on the ball could cause it to drop a little less. To actually rise, it would need in the neighborhood of 10,000 rpm of spin.

3 posted on 10/14/2010 3:46:02 PM PDT by Tanniker Smith (I didn't know she was a liberal when I married her.)
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To: bunkerhill7

I know that the rising fastball is physically impossible, but curveballs are real! I thought I was going to get beaned so I stepped out of the box, the next thing I see is the ball in the catcher’s mitt. Called strike three.


4 posted on 10/14/2010 3:48:33 PM PDT by boop ("Let's just say they'll be satisfied with LESS"... Ming the Merciless)
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To: boop

“so I stepped out of the box, the next thing I see is the ball in the catcher’s mitt. Called strike three.”

You and a bunch of us too. LOL


5 posted on 10/14/2010 3:50:01 PM PDT by rickb308 (Nothing good ever came from someone yelling "Allah Snackbar")
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To: Tanniker Smith
Basically, in the time it takes a ball to get from pitcher to catcher, it will drop 4 feet vertically. The spin on the ball could cause it to drop a little less.

Yes, but it's a question of perception.

To a human brain that's programmed to catch things, I can easily see how "dropping less" would be perceived as "rising."

As for the breaking curveball ... that, too, would be a matter of perception. To be a strike, the curveball has to be thrown wide of the plate. Close to the pitcher, it's moving away from the plate. Close to the hitter, it's moving back toward the plate.

The perception of "breaking" is a matter of angles -- as seen by the hitter, the outward part of the curve is far away and covers a small angle; the inward, final part of the curve is close, and covers a relatively large angle. So it seems to "break."

6 posted on 10/14/2010 3:52:36 PM PDT by r9etb
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To: Tanniker Smith

Or a little spit.


7 posted on 10/14/2010 3:54:28 PM PDT by screaminsunshine (counter revolutionary)
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To: bunkerhill7

This tells a different story: http://iopscience.iop.org/1367-2630/12/9/093004/fulltext

Abstract. We discuss the trajectory of a fast revolving solid ball moving in a fluid of comparable density. As the ball slows down owing to drag, its trajectory follows an exponential spiral as long as the rotation speed remains constant: at the characteristic distance where the ball speed is significantly affected by the drag, the bending of the trajectory increases, surprisingly. Later, the rotation speed decreases, which makes the ball follow a second kind of spiral, also described in the paper. Finally, the use of these highly curved trajectories is shown to be relevant to sports.


8 posted on 10/14/2010 3:56:23 PM PDT by WellyP
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To: r9etb

The next thing they will tell us is a bowling ball doesn’t break, and a golf ball always goes straight.


9 posted on 10/14/2010 3:59:05 PM PDT by RDasher ("El Nino is climate, La Nina is weather")
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To: Tanniker Smith

I agree with the physics part. But I used to catch and would see what appears to be motion. The professor claims it is normal versus peripheral vision causing the problem. Maybe it makes it worse, but a catcher still observes a “rising fastball.”

I always thought it was that the pitcher is coming down off the mound, so the straight line to the glove would be a downward line. I assumed it was an illusion of rising since it was just that the downward line wasn’t as downward as I thought.


10 posted on 10/14/2010 3:59:10 PM PDT by whitedog57
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To: Salvey

Stooopid scientwists.
Rotating ball with some ribs or dings will drop less or curve. Add some side wise movement of the hand or thrower, it amplifies the “drift”.
Done that in team handball throws.


11 posted on 10/14/2010 4:00:29 PM PDT by Leo Carpathian (fffffFRrrreeeeepppeeee-ssed!)
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To: Tanniker Smith
Basically, in the time it takes a ball to get from pitcher to catcher, it will drop 4 feet vertically.

You're talking about bowling balls, right?

12 posted on 10/14/2010 4:02:59 PM PDT by Osage Orange (MOLON LABE)
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To: whitedog57
I used to catch too.

Caught a lot of fast pitch softball in my younger years....Most surely I caught guy's that threw rise balls.

No doubt in my mind.....

I suppose they will tell us....ping pong balls don't curve, and frisbee's don't either.

13 posted on 10/14/2010 4:06:31 PM PDT by Osage Orange (MOLON LABE)
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To: bunkerhill7

New research? How about a basic understanding of physics...


14 posted on 10/14/2010 4:08:38 PM PDT by skeeter
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To: boop
but curveballs are real!

Took me a while to figure this one out. Curveballs are real. The "break" is not. The ball will travel on a curved trajectory from pitcher to catcher. Not a straight line to near the plate and then a break.

I disagree that there is no such thing as a rising fastball. Try it with a wiffleball (it magnifies all of the effects due to the light weight.) Spin a ball backwards fast enough at it will rise.

15 posted on 10/14/2010 4:08:47 PM PDT by Onelifetogive (I tweet, too...)
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To: r9etb; Tanniker Smith

Hmmmmm.....

Since the pitcher may actually have to throw the ball slightly upward, the visual perception is based on an object rising and then falling, while getting closer. It’s the timing of it’s arrival that we misjudge. That causes the ‘perception’ that the ball ‘broke’ hard (changed directions without any input).


16 posted on 10/14/2010 4:10:12 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (lame and ill-informed post)
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To: bunkerhill7
I don`t think these professors did their homework.

1. Actually could a baseball could act as a "lifting body"?

2. But there could be a thermal updraft over home plate due to the temperature gradient difference between the grass/dirt and the reflective plate.

3. Not only that, the catch could be blowing his breath outward, causing the ball to stall over the plate.

4. It could be Ground Effect!

"When a wing is flown very close to the ground, wingtip vortices are unable to form effectively due to the obstruction of the ground.

The result is lower induced drag, which increases the speed and lift of the aircraft while it is experiencing the ground effect...

Ground effect is a major factor in aircraft "floating" down the runway, and is the reason that low-wing aircraft have a tendency to float more than the high-wing varieties...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground_effect_(aircraft)

17 posted on 10/14/2010 4:12:59 PM PDT by bunkerhill7
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To: bunkerhill7

Is Ground Effect the reason a Knuckleball “floats”?


18 posted on 10/14/2010 4:15:40 PM PDT by bunkerhill7
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To: bunkerhill7

If they are talking about “break” as a sudden thing right at the plate, then that might be so for curve and fastballs. Mariano must have one heck of an optical illusion going for left handers though with that cutter.

Knuckleballs are the pitch that really moves funky, going right,left and right again sometimes, not to mention uneven vertical break. Of course, the ball’s not rotating at all.

Freegards


19 posted on 10/14/2010 4:17:51 PM PDT by Ransomed
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To: bunkerhill7

"A Baseball with 216 raised red stitches hits the air and curves right under the batter, and the batter swings. Why did the ball drop? Why did the batter swing? What exactly happens to the ball as it is thrown?

What happens to the ball depends on what spin was put on it. What causes the ball to curve, slide or stay in a strait pattern? This all has to do with the fact that there is drag force, or air resistance. A curve ball is created when a ball is spinning. The faster flowing air under the ball creates less pressure, which forces the ball to dive or break. Baseball would be a dull game without drag force because there would be no curves, sliders, or knuckle balls."

http://ffden-2.phys.uaf.edu/211_fall2002.web.dir/Jon_Drobnis/Curveball.html
_____________________________________________________

Yahoo search results for "curve ball physics":
http://search.yahoo.com/search?fr=yhs-avgb-chrome&type=yahoo_avg_hs2-tb-web_chrome_us&p=curve+ball+physics

20 posted on 10/14/2010 4:18:30 PM PDT by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: Onelifetogive
The "break" is not. The ball will travel on a curved trajectory from pitcher to catcher. Not a straight line to near the plate and then a break.

Not true, the forward velocity keeps the trajectory straight, as it nears the plate it "breaks" because of less velocity, and a build up of air on one side of the ball. That is like calling my curve ball at bowling a long curved trajectory...it breaks at about the 3/4 mark of the lane.

21 posted on 10/14/2010 4:21:38 PM PDT by runninglips (Don't support the Republican party, work to "fundamentally change" it...conservative would be nice)
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To: bunkerhill7

Curveballs curve and fastballs go really fast, but new research suggests that no pitcher can make a curveball “break” or a fastball “rise.”

Then I am sure this researcher will be the next Babe Ruth.

Nothin to it.


22 posted on 10/14/2010 4:22:35 PM PDT by Adder (Note to self: 11-2-10 Take out the Trash!!!)
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To: Onelifetogive

I new a guy with a tremendous “riseball” wiffle pitch, I don’t think I ever hit it.

Freegards


23 posted on 10/14/2010 4:23:12 PM PDT by Ransomed
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To: whitedog57
"I agree with the physics part. But I used to catch and would see what appears to be motion. The professor claims it is normal versus peripheral vision causing the problem. Maybe it makes it worse, but a catcher still observes a “rising fastball.”"

The real question is, "Does a knuckleball (no rotation) 'break'?"

yitbos

24 posted on 10/14/2010 4:25:04 PM PDT by bruinbirdman ("Those who control language control minds.")
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To: bunkerhill7
The top pic is of the little girl who pitched a no-hitter last year.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

25 posted on 10/14/2010 4:27:36 PM PDT by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: ETL

Speaking of knuckleballs, check out that grip that kid has!! Awesome.

Freegards


26 posted on 10/14/2010 4:29:51 PM PDT by Ransomed
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To: rickb308

[“so I stepped out of the box, the next thing I see is the ball in the catcher’s mitt. Called strike three.”

You and a bunch of us too. LOL]

I was standing at bat for my younger pitcher brother was in highschool. Watched a screwball right into my jaw! Ouch. Those things curve too.


27 posted on 10/14/2010 4:35:27 PM PDT by DaxtonBrown (HARRY: Money Mob & Influence (See my Expose on Reid on amazon.com written by me!))
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To: ETL

2 girls?


28 posted on 10/14/2010 4:37:48 PM PDT by bunkerhill7
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To: bunkerhill7

“Is Ground Effect the reason a Knuckleball ?floats??”

I was a big “junk” ball pitcher and ended up ruining my arm. That said, the knuckle ball is perception because its 20 mphs slower and has no spin. I could make a fastball rise by rolling the ball off my fingers in a back spin. And yes my curve was aimed at the batters head with a down left curve that would end up a strike.


29 posted on 10/14/2010 4:39:23 PM PDT by goseminoles
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To: bunkerhill7
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
30 posted on 10/14/2010 4:40:05 PM PDT by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: bunkerhill7
2 girls?

Not sure. One throws like a girl. The other doesn't.

31 posted on 10/14/2010 4:43:30 PM PDT by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: RDasher

All my golf balls go straight.
Straight into the water, straight into the woods, straight out of bounds...


32 posted on 10/14/2010 4:43:54 PM PDT by irishtenor (Tag lines, they are not what they used to be...)
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To: irishtenor

The article apparently isn’t saying baseballs *don’t* curve, only that a pitcher can’t make it do so. I think they’re full of it.

“Curveballs curve and fastballs go really fast, but new research suggests that no pitcher can make a curveball “break” or a fastball “rise.”...”


33 posted on 10/14/2010 4:48:28 PM PDT by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: bunkerhill7
or a fastball “rise.”

They obviously never played fastpitch softball......The REAL good guys throw inside curves, outside curves, risers, drop balls and really fast fastballs...........

34 posted on 10/14/2010 4:51:26 PM PDT by Hot Tabasco (There's only one cure for Obamarrhea......)
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To: r9etb

Depends on the angle of release. The 6to 9 curve goes straight down. Not to mention the movement of a split finger fastball going down. This has been studied to death by scientists, but the fact remains that the ball does move. Some pitchers make it move differently than others


35 posted on 10/14/2010 4:51:57 PM PDT by Figment ("A communist is someone who reads Marx.An anti-communist is someone who understands Marx" R Reagan)
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To: ETL

You don’t understand. This new progressive-ism driven research has found that the earth jerks around, that the ball doesn’t actually follow a curved trajectory. It’s the same sort of science the AGW authorities use.


36 posted on 10/14/2010 4:52:34 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Some, believing they cannot be deceived, it's nye impossible to convince them when they're deceived.)
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To: ETL

I agree. I pitched as a teen, and I could make the ball do amazing things. It DID curve, it DID break. and I as the pitcher made it do it.


37 posted on 10/14/2010 4:52:56 PM PDT by irishtenor (Tag lines, they are not what they used to be...)
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To: bunkerhill7

Roy Halladay can do it - just ask the Reds...


38 posted on 10/14/2010 4:55:50 PM PDT by NittanyLion
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To: bunkerhill7

I looked through the various posts but saw nothing on a related matter, i.e., sliders. It is my amateur knowledge that a slider is a fastball that breaks (usually at the knees) just before reaching the plate. No? Otherwise, what the hell is it?


39 posted on 10/14/2010 4:56:12 PM PDT by OldPossum
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To: MHGinTN
This new progressive-ism driven research has found that the earth jerks around, that the ball doesn’t actually follow a curved trajectory.

Yes, the ball is traveling in a straight line through Einsteinian curved space-time. Or something like that. :)

40 posted on 10/14/2010 5:02:52 PM PDT by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: BluesDuke

(( ping ))


41 posted on 10/14/2010 5:04:59 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Osage Orange
Caught a lot of fast pitch softball in my younger years....Most surely I caught guy's that threw rise balls.

While in the army from '69 - '72, I played fast pitch against several semi-pro softball pitchers from the south who had been drafted.

They had absolutely everything in their pitching arsenal, and from approx. 45 feet a fastball at about 90 mph. was an unseen missle.........

While I was a great fielder, I was a lously batter. The only noteworthy hit I can remember was a triple down the first base line. And that was only because I was so late swinging at the fastball that I accidentally made contact with it.........LOL!

42 posted on 10/14/2010 5:04:59 PM PDT by Hot Tabasco (There's only one cure for Obamarrhea......)
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To: ETL
Here's my screen cap. You can see the ball just entering the catcher's mitt way in front of the plate...


43 posted on 10/14/2010 5:21:42 PM PDT by raybbr (Someone who invades another country is NOT an immigrant - illegal or otherwise.)
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To: bunkerhill7

I’ve never understood this controversy. Just mount a camera with tracking software on the roof of a domed baseball stadium for a few games and capture the trajectory of the ball from an objective point of view. Problem solved. No physicists needed.


44 posted on 10/14/2010 5:21:54 PM PDT by dinoparty
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To: bunkerhill7

http://illusioncontest.neuralcorrelate.com/2009/the-break-of-the-curveball/


45 posted on 10/14/2010 5:29:22 PM PDT by eartrumpet
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To: bunkerhill7; BluesDuke
“The curveball does curve, but the curve has been measured and shown to be gradual,” Shapiro said. “It’s always going to follow a parabolic path compare to the old-fashioned "looping curveball".

Of course, that parabola can begin later rather than sooner. A hard slider has a relatively short "parabolic path". Also, the researchers didn't seem to bother much with the knuckleball, which can indeed "break", sometimes more than once during a single pitch.

46 posted on 10/14/2010 5:33:15 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: runninglips
Not true, the forward velocity keeps the trajectory straight, as it nears the plate it "breaks" because of less velocity, and a build up of air on one side of the ball. That is like calling my curve ball at bowling a long curved trajectory...it breaks at about the 3/4 mark of the lane.

Excellent post.

47 posted on 10/14/2010 5:36:53 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Osage Orange
You're talking about bowling balls, right?

Bowling balls, too, if you can throw them.

48 posted on 10/14/2010 5:38:04 PM PDT by Tanniker Smith (I didn't know she was a liberal when I married her.)
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To: OldPossum

It’s like half curve/half fastball. Its break is less than a curve, the deepest part is right up by the plate idealy, like you said. I think most people consider it a type of breaking ball, but it usually is a heck of a lot faster than the standard curve.

Freegards


49 posted on 10/14/2010 6:07:28 PM PDT by Ransomed
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To: irishtenor

Don’t want to brag, but I can, on demand, hook into the woods, slice into the water and sky off of the tee box.

In an exhibition of trick shottery, I have even nailed a tee ball no more than 3 feet in front of me off of a tee.

Never seen a bunch of middle aged white guys move so fast with that last trick. :)


50 posted on 10/14/2010 6:08:07 PM PDT by Delta Dawn (The whole truth.)
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