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View Full Version : NYTimes: The Japanese Gyroball Mystery



vaticanplum
02-22-2007, 12:34 AM
Not very in-depth and not entirely clear -- I think I need a visual of this, or a better explanation if someone can offer it. Still an interesting read. Never heard of a gyroball myself, I don't think, but it sounds pretty sexy.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/22/sports/baseball/22gyro.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

HumnHilghtFreel
02-22-2007, 12:37 AM
http://youtube.com/watch?v=Sboi0EWp8ao Apparently, this is what it's supposed to look like.

dougdirt
02-22-2007, 01:12 AM
That pitch looks nothing like what the gyroball is supposed to be.

Reds Freak
02-22-2007, 01:13 AM
That is pretty nasty, but from the video it looks just like a splitter. Is there any difference?

dougdirt
02-22-2007, 01:24 AM
A gyroball is supposed to be thrown with the rotation that a football has on it when spiralling (is that even a word?). It is supposed to be able to break upwards of a foot sideways.

HumnHilghtFreel
02-22-2007, 01:33 AM
Hmm, yeah I read that after I looked for video of it. I'll keep looking to see if I can't find something that matches the criteria better.

HumnHilghtFreel
02-22-2007, 05:42 AM
This from Jeff Passan's column at Yahoo


Tezuka conceded that if the gyroball is anything, it's closest to a slider – and that, he said, is what makes it so special.

If thrown correctly, Tezuka said, the two-seam gyroball should look to a batter like a slider and act like a fastball. That is why, as described in the title of the book he and Himeno wrote, it is a "miracle pitch."

"Everyone," Tezuka said meekly, "kind of misunderstood."

The theory behind the gyroball is this: When a baseball spins sideways, like a bullet, it should cut down on the amount of resistance on its path to the plate. Without the same amount of air resistance as a regular fastball, which rotates backward, the four-seam gyroball should not experience the same slowdown and look as if it's exploding toward the plate.

A perfect gyroball should be straighter than the crease on a pair of slacks.

"It doesn't move," Tezuka said. "It doesn't move at all."

Pedro Martinez thought he was throwing fastballs during his prime as well, Tezuka explained. He said slow-motion analysis shows Martinez with the correct motion, arm action, grip and spin for a four-seam gyroball.

"He probably didn't even know," Tezuka said.

And that would seem the essence of the gyroball: We don't know. We don't know if it's simply a theory that plays out in a computer and not in real life. We don't know if it's a new kind of grip, like the first time someone grabbed a baseball holding the OK sign and created the circle changeup. We don't know if it's an arm motion that has been used by another player and never given a label. We don't know if it's a fastball or a cutter or a changeup or a slider.

There is one thing I do know: It's something, all right.

RFS62
02-22-2007, 08:16 AM
Boy, I wonder how many hours we'll have to endure Tim McCarver explaining the gyroball this season.

Yachtzee
02-22-2007, 08:47 AM
Boy, I wonder how many hours we'll have to endure Tim McCarver explaining the gyroball this season.

Or imagine how many times Fox will make us watch that CGI baseball Slider explain it to us.

Johnny Footstool
02-22-2007, 10:10 AM
So it's just a fancy name for an exploding fastball like Pedro has been throwing for years?

blumj
02-22-2007, 05:23 PM
Or imagine how many times Fox will make us watch that CGI baseball Slider explain it to us.
Scooter. Believe me, the first time I saw that thing was a Tim Wakefield start, and I actually remember feeling embarrassed for Wake, thinking that they'd made the stupid thing up just to explain his life's work in the most demeaning way imaginable.

BTW, Matsuzaka said he wants Wake to teach him how to throw a knuckleball and he wants to try to catch him, too. Every time anyone asks him about the gyroball, he laughs.

vaticanplum
02-22-2007, 05:26 PM
Scooter. Believe me, the first time I saw that thing was a Tim Wakefield start, and I actually remember feeling embarrassed for Wake, thinking that they'd made the stupid thing up just to explain his life's work in the most demeaning way imaginable.

I love Scooter. I think I'm the only person on earth who feels that way...I just find him hilarious. Haven't seen him gyroball it up yet, though.

LexingtonRedsFan
02-22-2007, 08:36 PM
Isnt this similar to the early days of fernando mania with his screwball?

RedsManRick
02-22-2007, 09:51 PM
Think screwball with splitter speed and it not tearing up the pitcher's shoulder.

Red Heeler
02-22-2007, 10:13 PM
I seem to recall that Mike Marshall was teaching a throwing motion in which the wrist is pronated on follow through. Maybe he threw the gyroball before it became known as such.

Yachtzee
02-23-2007, 12:08 AM
I seem to recall that Mike Marshall was teaching a throwing motion in which the wrist is pronated on follow through. Maybe he threw the gyroball before it became known as such.

Could be. From what I gather, it's possible guys were throwing the split-fingered fastball well before Bruce Sutter made it famous. It's just that previous alleged throwers likely considered it merely their own variation on the forkball.

MartyFan
02-23-2007, 01:05 AM
Anybody notice the hop he has on some pitches...it's like he jumps through the arm motion...like when we were kids playing SS or 3B...I am gald he pitches in the AL...stuff was all over the place.

Razor Shines
02-23-2007, 04:09 AM
Anybody notice the hop he has on some pitches...it's like he jumps through the arm motion...like when we were kids playing SS or 3B...I am gald he pitches in the AL...stuff was all over the place.

And he balks every time he pitches from the wind up. You can't stop and rock back and forth in the middle of your wind up.

And I am glad the Reds don't have to face him. In that one Youtube video it was showing his speed, he averages like 145, that's not even fair.