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When I was a teenager, I did a science fair project looking at statistical analyses of baseball games to help understand how one could improve the strategy of the game from a general manager's perspective. In The 2,000 Percent Solution, I wrote about the potential levels of perfection for a baseball team. So I have long been hooked on what measurement could add to my understanding of baseball. What a pleasant surprise it was when I discovered this fine book that used measurements and analyses to go even further!
Whenever I listen to former Big Leaguers talk about baseball on television, I get lost by half of what they say. While I can see fast balls falling on the way to the plate, the broadcasters are describing a "rising" fast ball. Suddenly, the ball moves strangely, and they refer knowledgeably to the pitcher throwing a "splitter." Then a knuckle ball pitcher comes in, and the catcher can't seem to ever control the ball because there is little spin. Why is that happening? What's going on here?
If you have ever wondered about questions like these, The Physics of Baseball will fill you in and actually give you the ability to amaze others with your precise explanations why the unexpected is either perceived to be happening or is actually happening.
When I was a teenager, baseball games usually lasted about 2 hours. Now, they are much longer. This book gives you a way to take advantage of that, by giving you more interesting things to talk about during the prolonged games.
The author also takes on the many controversies of recent years, such as corked bats, scuffed balls, and extra pine tar on the bat. Although he did not have the resources or information to definitively answer some questions, his educated guesses are probably good enough for now.
If you don't really want to understand physics, you can mainly focus on the graphs and illustrations that simply show the conclusions of Professor Adair's analyses. That simpler approach makes the book a much quicker and more exciting read.
Physics is not my favorite subject, but I was impressed by how much this book was able to add to my understanding and potential enjoyment of watching a baseball game. I think it will probably do the same for you.
Although he is a professor, the author has the humility to consider whatever the players talk about as a potentially important subject. One of the most interesting topics is an evalutation of why Babe Ruth used a bat that was both longer and heavier than any modern slugger would ever consider using. There are also references to "juiced balls" and playing baseball in Denver, and what the impact might be on home runs and a pitcher's e.r.a.
Play ball!
Donald Mitchell
Coauthor of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution
(donmitch@fastforward400.com)
0Kommentar|2 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 1. November 1998
Before my wife and I married, she had to pass the "basketball" test by sitting through a University of Illinois game in a crowded bar and at least feigning interest. The first nights of our honeymoon were taken up with the World Series (luckily for her, the winning team swept the series). I thus consider myself a sports fan (I am obviously a reader). Accordingly, I was delighted to receive for a recent birthday Robert K. Adair's The Physics of Baseball. The book itself, however, did not quite meet expectations. I encountered two key problems. First, Adair writes in the dry, passive-voice-laden prose of the scientist lacking a good editor. Second, much of the scientific analysis was simply beyond me. What I enjoyed -- and found useful -- were the qualitative discriptions of the game: how and why curveballs curve; how far a batted ball can be hit; the differences between metal and wood bats. While I could not follow each step of his scientific description, the general, non-technical account which he also gave was clear and persuasive. From henceforth, I will watch the game somewhat differently.
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am 20. März 2000
Ever wondered why a curve ball curves? Why major leaguers stretching for third often take a wide turn between first and second? Why bats seem to break much more often than they used to? This wonderful book contains the answers. Written by a Yale physicist, it contains well-documented but sometimes densely worded explanations of why and how a baseball, a bat and even the players behave as they do. Any serious fan of baseball will finish this book with an enhanced appreciation for the game. Not to mention the ability to speak intelligently about how grip and mechanics differ between pitchers throwing curves and sliders. The author has wisely chosen to address the questions posed most frequently by baseball lovers who aspire to higher knowledge. His only failure is his heavy reliance on technical academic language and somewhat mysterious graphs. It makes for a very enlightening but slow read.
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am 3. Oktober 1999
Excellent treatment of the variables that affect the flight of a thrown or batted ball. Reveals facts that explain why the ball does, or doesn't do what people think it does. For example, most players, coaches and spectators are not aware that a fastball decelerates on its' flight from the pitcher to the catcher at a rate of about one mile per hour for every seven feet of travel. Thus the ball speed, as it reaches the batter, 60 feet six inches away, is about 8-9 MPH slower than the speed when it leaves the pitcher's hand. The Professor also explains the dynamics of the curve ball; and why a ball hit at Coor's Field travels farther than those hit at most other ballparks. His theories are interesting, enlightening, and provocative. I strongly recommend the book to any baseball fan who wants to understand why a thrown or batted ball does what it does.
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am 15. Februar 1999
A fantastic book for any baseball fan with a scientific interest. Discusses in straightforward terms (with equations relegated to back of chapters) such things as why and how much a spinning ball curves, the interaction of bat and ball, how an outfielder gauges a fly ball, effects of atmospheric conditions, etc.
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am 26. Oktober 1998
This book was amazing and really helped me on my science project. My science project was about teh physics of baseball and i was amazed at all the info. this book gave me. The book also helped my game. I hope another will coem out and teach me even more.
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am 30. Juli 1999
This Book will give insight into why the "freaky things" in baseball actually occur. Great reading. "To know you is to love you" and you will love baseball deeper after reading this book.
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am 22. November 1998
This book explains everything. It is very easy to understand. It shows diagrams and graphs and has everything you ever wanted to know about the physics of baseball. It really helped me on my science project.
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am 26. Dezember 1998
it didnt give many details and didnt give info on many physics of hittin
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