Mythbusters 8/8/2007 - Baseball Myths

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by heySkippy, Aug 10, 2007.

  1. heySkippy

    heySkippy oldweakandpathetic

    21,163
    1,162
    Jul 2, 2001
    Sarasota, FL

    Advertisements

    I'm surprised there's no thread, this was a very fun episode! Watching Roger Clemens in super slo-mo was quite entertaining.

    I would not have predicted the outcome with the corked bat. Half as fast? Surely MLB teams and players have done their own experiments over the decades. Why would anyone use one if that's the case? The only thing I thought of is they should have swung the corked bat faster to reflect real life, but I don't think that would have made up the difference.

    Sliding in to plate, not surprising. Humid balls, not surprising. But nice in both cases to see the results quantified.

    I loved the 400 mph fastball. :)
     
  2. TriBruin

    TriBruin Well-Known Member TCF Club

    4,951
    576
    Dec 10, 2003
    Bartlett, IL
    My biggest problem is how they classified "Humid Ball" as probable and "Sliding" as Confirmed. With the humid ball, the design crew did a good job of eliminating pretty much all outside factors and there was a clear difference (in two different tests). However, with sliding, there was alway going to be the human factor during the run. It would be nearly impossible to run EXACTLY the same speed each time. I would have reveresed the classifications of those two myths.
     
  3. Llwellyn

    Llwellyn K3DSL

    2,521
    0
    Jan 12, 2004
    Brooklyn, MD
    The first thing I thought when they swing the corked bat was "Why didn't they have Adam swing the corked bat and clock that too?"

    If the corked bat is only transferring half the energy to the ball at the same speed, then it must weigh a lot less, therefore the same person swinging the bat should be able to swing it a lot faster. They pretty much ignored that fact entirely and didn't even bring it up.

    Also, "corking" doesn't necessarily mean with cork, I believe it refers to any altering the composition of the bat in a manner consistent with corking. There are some very nice composite materials now that would have the same rough density as cork but would affect the energy transfer of the bat in a very different way.

    That also does bring up the good point that someone who is using a corked bat should have instantly been able to tell that it wasn't nearly as effective... there must be another dimension to that particular effect that wasn't quantified.
     
  4. pdhenry

    pdhenry Ruthless

    31,411
    6,381
    Feb 27, 2005
    PA
    I was disappointed that they didn't test a pine tar bat as long as they had the setup. Pine tar prolongs the ball-bat contact and (in theory) imparts more KE to the ball.
     
  5. IJustLikeTivo

    IJustLikeTivo Active Member

    26,212
    1
    Oct 3, 2001
    Gaithersburg...

    Advertisements

    Totally ridiculous concept. The only possible thing that might affect the KE is the coefficient of restitution which is how much compression of the bat is converted back into energy. Given the density of ash, I have to think that's just about nil. It's pretty much just about the speed and mass of the bat, nothing else matters much.
     
  6. billboard_NE

    billboard_NE North Shore MA

    1,541
    29
    May 18, 2005
    They could have also tested the spit ball, or vaseline ball with their batting set-up. Why on earth did they not have real ball players do the slide into base test?
     
  7. IJustLikeTivo

    IJustLikeTivo Active Member

    26,212
    1
    Oct 3, 2001
    Gaithersburg...
    Correct. The way they should have done it was apply a fixed amount of torgue to the bat which would be trivial using a weight and a lever. Then is the bat had a lower moment, it would move faster. Nonethless, regardless, the same torgue will move the same amount of inertial moment. Less weight = more speed but the energy transfer should be more or less the same since you have more speed but less mass.

    Still, it would have been easy to demonstrate that.
     
  8. Globular

    Globular No time to hack

    203
    0
    Jun 9, 2004
    Groton, MA USA
    I would have liked to see superballs used instead of cork. That's a common(?) variant of the theme.
     
  9. Globular

    Globular No time to hack

    203
    0
    Jun 9, 2004
    Groton, MA USA
    I also wanted to see if it's faster to run through the bag to first as opposed to sliding into first. That's the common wisdom.
     
  10. heySkippy

    heySkippy oldweakandpathetic

    21,163
    1,162
    Jul 2, 2001
    Sarasota, FL
    I have no doubt it's faster to run through the bag versus sliding at first base. Seems to me the only reason to slide either there or at home is to go under the tag.
     
  11. pdhenry

    pdhenry Ruthless

    31,411
    6,381
    Feb 27, 2005
    PA
    So you agree that it should have been tested. At least there wouldn't be an unaccounted change in the bat speed (they were very careful to note that the corked bat was swinging at the same speed as the unaltered one).
     
  12. mrmike

    mrmike Custom User Title

    3,694
    0
    May 2, 2001
    Location:...
    Didn't they do that? Fixed volume at fixed pressure in a pneumatic cylinder? I saw no mention that they changed the setup with the corked bat to maintain bat speed equivalence with the uncorked one. Maybe I missed it. [edit: pdhenry says I did. I'll have to rewatch it tonight].
     
  13. minckster

    minckster New Member

    642
    0
    Aug 31, 2006
    Manhattan NYC
    It would have been nice to have seen The Rocket predict which myths would be confirmed and comment on them. I was really hoping that he'd show up with the "wind tunnel" scientist and discuss the effect of rotation on the ball's flight. (OK, it wasn't wind. What do I mean to say?)

    Does anyone think they may have missed something on the possibility of a rising fastball?
     
  14. SeanC

    SeanC ECT

    9,691
    21
    Dec 30, 2003
    Someplace
    Yes, a headwind. Not that I know whether or not it would make enough of a difference in lift but their calculations seemed to be only about a ball moving through static air.
     
  15. JDHutt25

    JDHutt25 Active Member

    3,484
    0
    Dec 27, 2004
    That is the only logical reason to slide into first. Doesn't stop guys from doing it all willy nilly though.
     
  16. pdhenry

    pdhenry Ruthless

    31,411
    6,381
    Feb 27, 2005
    PA
    I just remember that they kept saying the bat speed was the same. They didn't show any overt indication that the speeds were actually the same.
     
  17. sean67854

    sean67854 Why?

    3,629
    5
    Jul 11, 2001
    Wouldn't...

    My memory says that they did say that the bat speed was the same but in the high speed shots it shows that the corked bat is farther in the rotation at the point it contacts the ball on almost every shot they showed.

    My guess is what they meant to say is that they had the same pressure set up for both bats.

    I would also guess that this will fodder for a future myths revisited episode.
     
  18. kdmorse

    kdmorse Well-Known Member TCF Club

    8,352
    2,170
    Jan 29, 2001
    Germantown, MD
    As far as I'm concerned, their entire premise with the corked bat was flawed.

    I have *never* heard that corking a bat allows the batter to apply more power to the ball. I've always heard that it was done to make the bat lighter, to make the swing faster, and more accurate. There is (or so the myth says) a significant difference in the speed at which a real batter can swing a lightened bat, allowing him to wait slightly longer to begin his swing, get a better bearing on the ball, and increase his hit rate. (After all, it doesn't matter how hard the ball would bounce off the bat, if you miss the ball).

    You end up with increased swing speed, decreased transfer of energy (which come close to canceling each other out), and more hits.

    Or at least, that's what I had always read...

    -Ken
     
  19. sean67854

    sean67854 Why?

    3,629
    5
    Jul 11, 2001
    Wouldn't...
    That's what I always thought too, but they also made a point on the show to say that there is nothing keeping hitters from using lighter bats.

    In fact I just heard yesterday that Barry Bonds has been using lighter bats lately.
     
  20. MassD

    MassD New Member

    534
    0
    Sep 18, 2002
    Leominster, Ma
    Sure, a headwind will increase lift... but it would most likely have to be one hell of a headwind to double the lift (like they said, a fastball only generated 1/2 the ball's weight in lift).

    Doing quick math in my head, for a 90mph fastball to rise, you'd need a 40mph headwind, which could happen... just not in a modern baseball stadium.

    Yes... I know... geek factor of 10 on that one.
     

Share This Page

spam firewall

Advertisements