10.12.2006

Sneaky Fast or Fuzzy Math?

I'm not going to argue with anybody that says Justin Verlander was great last night. I'm not going to argue that he doesn't thow the ball really fucking hard. But, I need to state for the record that there is no way Verlander was throwing as hard as the Fox graphic was reporting. No fucking way. Not only did he regularly hit 100 mph, even in the first inning (must have been one hell of a warmup), but supposedly he hit 103 last night. Impressive. If so, that is tied for the fastest pitch ever recorded. A quick search turned up this article with a nice little sidebar:

Different radar guns can produce different readings for the exact same pitch. Some guns measure velocity just after a pitcher releases the ball; others calculate velocity just before it crosses home plate. According to most estimates, a baseball loses between 3 and 5 mph between these two points. Today, most major-league clubs use devices that take the earlier reading—what scouts call the "fast gun."
Ah ha! So two seperate readings could have two seperate results. So did they use the "fast gun" on Nolan Ryan? Who knows. But wouldn't this be a bigger deal if he was really setting records for speed? It should be, and you know why it's not? Because Fox is inflating their numbers to make the game seem more exciting, that's why. Oh and they even have an awesome little fireball graphic on the scorebar.

Look folks, this isn't a reputable sports network we're talking about here. Just think about in how many different capacities they've employed Joe Buck. They have rendered their NFL pregame completely unwatchable by getting rid of the one bright spot, James Brown and continued loyalty to Terry Bradshaw. They subject us to Jeanie Zelasko and her endless hairstyle changes and useless "analysis" with Kevin Kennedy (a career minor league catcher).

It's a conspiracy and a ratings ploy. During game one Steve Lyons stated that he had never been in the stadium with someone who threw 100 mph. Never!? Then the Tigers run out two fireballers and Steve Lyons is a remade man. Doubt it. I'll be he kept his pants on. Verlander is a fantastic pitcher, but he's no Sidd Finch, and nobody will ever be. Enjoy the games, but don't believe the hype.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I wondered the samething re: the speed gun. It has been a long time since I trusted anything I see on TV.

Jason said...

I like this article. Did you see that Jeff Zumaya was throwing 103 mph on Tuesday, too? Doesn't that make Steve Lyons a liar if he said he'd never seen 100 mph on Wednesday?

You and I should find that speed gun. We could probably get signed to minor league contracts.

Gage said...

Lyons said that during game 1, sorry if I screwed that up. Of course I wouldn't put it past him to say it in game 2.

trout said...

I've often thought that the pitch speed booth at ballparks artificially diminish numbers to make all the guys who try it feel like tools because they can apparently only throw 62 mph. Physics lie. Also, I heard Joel Zumaya actually throws about 110; they just show it at 103 because Steve Lyons' head would explode if he knew the actual speed.

Jason said...

Jeanie Zelasko - "With a name like Milton Bradley, you know he's a gamer."

I bet he's never heard that one before.

Jason said...

We can't make fun of Steve Lyons anymore. The asshole got fired for talking about Hispanics.

Witty banter during the game that gets you fired:
"Lou's habla'ing some EspaƱol there, and I'm still looking for my wallet. I don't understand him and I don't want to sit close to him now."