One thing that’s overlooked with Trevor Bauer throwing the ball over the center field fence when he was mad is that he threw it over 340 feet — more than the length of a football field.
“To be perfectly honest with you, I really feel that I have average physical ability, but when I get my psych and my self-hypnosis going, I can compete with anybody in anything.”
~ Al Hrabosky
Back in the day it was fun to watch “Mad” Al Hrabosky pitch for the St. Louis Cardinals. He would psyche himself up behind the mound and appear to get very angry, and indeed, he ended up in at least one brawl. Here’s a TWIB Note video of him pitching and talking, and here’s him talking years later about what he was doing behind the mound.
Here’s a story about what I call “Wrong Thinking.”
Way back in high school when I was playing baseball, a pitcher named Catfish Hunter became the first baseball player to get paid over a million dollars a year. I thought that was crazy, in a bad way. One day I talked to my dad about it, and asked him why people like farmers and engineers who did more important work didn’t get paid like that.
He didn’t have a great answer at the time, and that thought kept on bothering me. These days I think a correct answer he could have given me goes like this: “Baseball is in the entertainment business, just like singers and actors. For whatever reason, some sort of supply and demand, society is willing to pay those people a lot of money. So if the money bothers you, what you can do is make that money just like Catfish Hunter, and then give it away however you see fit.”
Once upon a time I was recommended for a college baseball scholarship.
Back in my day, aerospace engineering undergrad students had very little time to work in the wind tunnels at Texas A&M, but in the limited time I had I tried to look at what makes a knuckleball move erratically. Barton Smith at Utah State University did the same thing (presumably with much more wind tunnel time) looking at a baseball’s spin rate, spin axis, and orientation of the ball.
This is a picture of me as a pitcher in high school. I don’t want to say that we were poor growing up, but I wore a large outfielder’s glove while pitching because I was afraid to ask my dad for a new glove, and the shoe on my right foot — the one way up in the air — was cracked in the middle.
(Many thanks to Dwayne Heidtbrink for the photo way back when.)
Two thoughts of the day:
Nobody owes you anything. I’m often surprised to hear people tell stories about how they’re butthurt because they feel like someone owes them something. (Typically they think friends and family members should owe them something.)
The only time you really lose is when you don’t try. A lot of people have interesting ideas, but never do anything with them. I think I lost nine games as a baseball pitcher in high school, but I won a lot more games than that, and it would have been a much bigger loss if I thought, “Gosh, I could be a great pitcher if only someone gave me a chance.”
“The Chicago Cubs reached the postseason for the third straight year for the first time since 1908.”
In other news, the Great Chicago Fire was in 1871. :)
SI.com has a good article on what the Colorado Rockies and their pitchers have done to try to pitch successfully at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado, where at nearly 5,200 altitude, the air is 20% thinner than at sea level.