Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Beantown's got a superman

Boston's new ace Daisuke Matsuzaka and the baffling pitch dubbed the "gyroball" game been making the rounds lately. what is the gyroball?? Imagine a globe on a stand. You give it a push, and it spins. Now, imagine pinning that globe's stand to the wall so that its axis, its spindle, is pointed right at you. When you spin the globe west to east, you're looking right down on top of the North Pole. So it is with the gyroball. Pitchers like Matsuzaka and a few others throw the ball the way you'd throw a football, letting the ball roll off their fingers in a spiral or helix (for you geometry buffs). Such a pitch flies in unexpected and striking (pun intended) ways. Here's a ESPN story on the phenom, and a slow-motion view of the pitch....

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