Comments on: Bloops: Baseball in Slow-Motion This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: laflippin Fri, 06 May 2011 16:33:00 +0000 re: "How do you get your equipment into games?"

Great question, bsk. I turns out that every MLB club/ballpark has an individual policy regarding video equipment. You can usually research the information at their websites.

AT&T is fairly liberal--they allow photography and video during games as long as it is not used for commercial purposes. I've always been careful to avoid any offers to make money from pop-ads, etc, on the MLB video that I post on YouTube and I don't sell any of it under the table, either.

I also need a tripod to get really steady video and AT&T allows that, with certain restrictions, i.e., that I don't block aisles with it or annoy other fans.

Ticket-takers at the gates aren't always aware of the ballpark policies so I got a short letter of approval for the tripod from one of the SF GIants' customer reps--I keep that in my camera bag, and it has saved me from a lot of trouble at the gates.

The Coliseum doesn't allow fans to bring a tripod into the park. They allow monopods, but I don't have my video from there is hand-steadied the best I can. It's not bad, but you can easily notice the difference in stability.

By: BSK Fri, 06 May 2011 10:22:40 +0000 JoTav-

Great point. Each person likely has an ideal motion for their body (or perhaps multiple ideals depending on the goal... one that is ideal for health, one that is ideal for generating velocity, one that is ideal for generating torque/spin) and there are probably guys who do not pitch as effectively as they can, when considered in a vacuum. But it is incredibly hard to change a pitching or batting motion, especially once a guy reaches the professional level. If someone somehow figured out that Lincecum would be more effective AND less of an injury risk if he had a very simple, basic motion, he likely would spend so many years in transition that any gains would be wasted in the lost time.

The Nolan Ryan school of thought is interesting and I'd be curious to see it investigated more thoroughly.

Ideally, someone would figure out how to throw a baseball with the neutral grip (palm facing in) like a football.

By: joseph taverney Fri, 06 May 2011 04:37:33 +0000 @ Laflippin

To echo Johnny's sentiment; it is cool what you are doing - it is greater than awesome that you would share this with us. You might think of contacting scouts with your film.
I've used tons of digital video but never something as high as 300 FPS.
The first view of the Lincecum video, I assumed it was paused, cause he was so still. Maybe that is part of his effect. That moment of pure Zen, trusting your body to duplicate.

@ JA, JT & BSK
About arm mechanics and any correlation to injury and unorthodox approaches to the game(s).
I do agree throwing a baseball, especially breaking pitches, is an unnatural process. But there has to be, on an individual basis, a 'better' way to do it.
I sincerely feel, if Kerry Wood did not feel the need to throw 110 MPH every pitch, he might of been one of the greats.
There is also the Nolan Ryan school, where he contends pitch confinement is the problem. And if you look through his era, you will see most of the 4,500 IP guys.
As a Met fan, I have watched F-rod contort his body, and have a million unnecessary moving parts, but even as his fast ball has lost 6 MPH, he still fools nearly everyone with his change.
And I attribute that to his whirlly mechanics. But I think he REPEATS them so well, that is the key, not form, but consistent repetition

By: BSK Fri, 06 May 2011 04:18:56 +0000 Laflippin-

How do you get your equipment into games?

By: BSK Fri, 06 May 2011 04:04:23 +0000 I just don't think there is a healthy way to pitch a baseball. Even guys who are workhorses and generally remain injury free can't throw again for a few days after pitching. It's just not meant to be done. Most of the guys who avoid injuries are "leg throwers".

At the end of the day, do what works. I don't know if any sport has a "perfect" way of doing things. And even if they did, not everyone could repeat that motion, either because of the uniqueness of their body or because of an inability to "unlearn" the approach they developed over time. And thank god for that!

Of course, you do run the risk of a guy like Shaq, who flat out refused to learn the underhand method of shooting free throws which, if successful, would have made him literally unstoppable, because it didn't look cool.

By: laflippin Fri, 06 May 2011 03:49:48 +0000 John,

I know exactly what you are talking about, re: slo-mo analysis of knuckleball movement. I've been interested in that but there are definitely problems: Obviously there are very few MLB-level (i.e., high quality) knuckleball pitchers and, even if I went to a game where R.A. Dickey or Tim Wakefield were pitching, I can't easily afford seats with the vantage points that would best show off trajectories of knuckleballs.

I did a little bit of video with a High School knuckleballer once, but his knuckler was only so-so...sometimes it looked legit, many times it didn't look like anything you could pitch with. If you go to YouTube and search for a channel called BaseballFarm you can find the knuckleball stuff I did there.

By: John Autin Fri, 06 May 2011 03:28:14 +0000 @13, Joseph Taverney re: Mike Marshall -- I'd love to believe that his unorthodox approach is effective. But is there any evidence that it is, for anyone but himself? I've read skeptical reviews from some in the saber community. I know it's a hard sort of thing to document statistically.

By: Johnny Twisto Fri, 06 May 2011 03:24:32 +0000 I don't think Mantle was unique in that regard. It seems like lifting was rare and generally discouraged until about 20 years ago.

BSK is of course correct that pitching is a violent act and some pitchers will always get hurt. There just doesn't seem to be much improvement in reducing injuries, despite over a century of observing mechanics and a good 15 years of observing pitch counts.

By: John Autin Fri, 06 May 2011 03:20:33 +0000 @12, Laflippin -- I don't suppose there's any way to do what you while focusing n the pitched ball? I'm dying to see this type of video on a knuckleball, but I imagine it would be nearly impossible.

In any case, great work and many thanks!

By: joseph taverney Fri, 06 May 2011 03:04:00 +0000 @ JT & BSK

You both talked about arm mechanics and the obvious question - 'why if we're doing it right do so many young arms fail?' -

Mike Marshal, of the famed 200 Gs in 2 seasons has taken a whole new approach to mechanics.
He feels if the hand and the elbow remain at a perpendicular angle upon release, there is not the same torque to the joints (elbow, wrist & shoulder) with little drop off in velocity.
And with the small drop off in velocity, he has a training program, completely unique to anything out there, to strengthen the certain muscles that seem to generate the most resistance while throwing as hard as one can.

I'm glad you agree with me about unorthodox approaches to baseball, and not for the ascetics of a swing or throw, but for the simple fact that we are born and adjust to different things.
According to legend, Mickey Mantle never lifted a weight.
Who knows, but maybe lifting would of ruined a perfect baseball body.