Skip to comments.Breaking curveball too good to be true
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 ...
No wonder I never got a hit!
And bees can’t fly.
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.
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.
“so I stepped out of the box, the next thing I see is the ball in the catchers mitt. Called strike three.”
You and a bunch of us too. LOL
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."
Or a little spit.
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.
The next thing they will tell us is a bowling ball doesn’t break, and a golf ball always goes straight.
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.
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.
You're talking about bowling balls, right?
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.
New research? How about a basic understanding of physics...
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.
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).
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...
Is Ground Effect the reason a Knuckleball “floats”?
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.
"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."
Yahoo search results for "curve ball physics":