Monday, July 23, 2007

Tall Tales of the Tape

Here's a rather fascinating article about the distance traveled by a home run ball in baseball. The article claims that, based on physics, most of the long distances reported were mainly hype.

Still, I didn't know that when they say a home run ball has traveled such-and-such distance, they actually meant the actual distance of traveled by the ball. I've always thought that this is the distance between homeplate and where the ball LANDED. I think this is a more logical measure of distance. I mean, someone could hit a really high flyball and it could have landed only 10 feet away. Yet, if you measure the distance traveled by the ball, it could be a large number. But this number is meaningless and irrelevant to baseball, isn't it? All we care about is where did the ball land, because if it lands in the stands, then it is either a homerun or a foul ball. How far it traveled in the air makes no difference. So why should this distance be the one that is quoted? It makes no sense other than hype.


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