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View Full Version : arxiv.org:Corked Bats, Juiced Balls, and Humidors:The Physics of Cheating in Baseball



Roy Tucker
09-23-2010, 03:05 PM
For you physics geeks....

http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/1009/1009.2549v1.pdf



Three separate questions of relevance to Major League Baseball are investigated from a physics perspective. First, can a baseball be hit farther with a corked bat? Second, is there evidence that the baseball is more lively today than in earlier years? Third, can storing baseballs in a temperature- or
humidity-controlled environment significantly affect home run production? Each of these questions is subjected to a physics analysis, including an experiment, an interpretation of the data, and a definitive answer. The answers to the three questions are no, no, and yes.

Brutus
09-23-2010, 03:35 PM
For you physics geeks....

http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/1009/1009.2549v1.pdf

Very interesting. I'm a bit surprised at the results of the corked bat study, though everything else was as I would expect. I had seen a few studies about the likelihood balls were not 'juiced' so that was not too surprising.

RedsManRick
09-23-2010, 04:04 PM
The corked one is sort of intuitive. Force = Mass * Acceleration

Is the factor by which corking allows you to increase acceleration (e.g. 10%) greater than the reduction to mass? Seems to me that you wouldn't swing a bat half as light, twice as fast. You lose more in mass than you gain in acceleration.

I'd guess that, based on a player's muscle strength and coordination, there is a point of diminish returns whereby lowering the weight doesn't increase acceleration. Most players probably use a bat which weighs as much as possible while allowing them to maintain maximum acceleration (and control).

Roy Tucker
09-23-2010, 04:34 PM
It does seem to say that while a corked bat may not hit the ball further, it does allow for a quicker and more accurate bat swing. So a corked bat may not hit the ball further, but it might hit the ball more often.

At least I think that's what this says:



It is worthwhile pointing out, however, that there are
other reasons why a batter might choose to cork a bat.
The smaller moment of inertia results not only in a higher
bat speed but most likely in a higher bat acceleration;
that is, in the parlance of baseball, the batter can “get
around quicker.” If a batter is not a home run hitter but
mainly a contact hitter, getting around quicker offers a
distinct advantage, since the batter can wait longer on
the pitch as well as more easily adjust the swing after
the swing has already begun. So, while corking may not
allow a batter to hit the ball farther, it may well allow
a batter to hit the ball solidly more often. Indeed, while
the present study shows that corked bats do not result in
longer home runs, it makes no statement about whether
home runs might be hit more often with a corked bat.

RedsManRick
09-23-2010, 04:40 PM
It does seem to say that while a corked bat may not hit the ball further, it does allow for a quicker and more accurate bat swing. So a corked bat may not hit the ball further, but it might hit the ball more often.

At least I think that's what this says:

At that point, why not just use a lighter bat? Are heavier bats fatter? The supposed theory was the corking would let you get the benefits of the bigger bat with the control of the lighter one. But that's just silly.

bucksfan2
09-23-2010, 04:46 PM
At that point, why not just use a lighter bat? Are heavier bats fatter? The supposed theory was the corking would let you get the benefits of the bigger bat with the control of the lighter one. But that's just silly.

I may be wrong but don't all bats have to meat certain specs? Basically the length and weight have to be in a certain ration inches to ounces? If you went with a lighter bat you may have to shorten the length of your bat. Some hitters may be resistant to that.

I guess my feeling with corked bats is if a player is willing to take the risk of getting caught cheating by corking a bat there must be some benefit he feels he is receiving. Sometimes just believing that you have an advantage is a major benefit.

Brutus
09-23-2010, 05:31 PM
I may be wrong but don't all bats have to meat certain specs? Basically the length and weight have to be in a certain ration inches to ounces? If you went with a lighter bat you may have to shorten the length of your bat. Some hitters may be resistant to that.

I guess my feeling with corked bats is if a player is willing to take the risk of getting caught cheating by corking a bat there must be some benefit he feels he is receiving. Sometimes just believing that you have an advantage is a major benefit.

I believe the MLB ratio is 3.

In other words, the ounces have to be within 3 inches. It's either 3, 3.5 or 4, but it's within that range. So if a bat is 35 inches, it can't be less than 32 ounces. Something along those lines.

Big Klu
09-23-2010, 06:29 PM
I believe the MLB ratio is 3.

In other words, the ounces have to be within 3 inches. It's either 3, 3.5 or 4, but it's within that range. So if a bat is 35 inches, it can't be less than 32 ounces. Something along those lines.

The drop in high school ball in Ohio according to the OHSAA is -3.

Brutus
09-23-2010, 06:39 PM
The drop in high school ball in Ohio according to the OHSAA is -3.

Yes, good point. I was able to find it for MLB and it's 3 1/2.

From the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Attachment 29:


1. Beginning with the 2007 season, and continuing until Official
Playing Rule 1.10 is amended, a bat used in a Major
League game shall not be less than 16/19th of an inch in
diameter at its thinnest part and the differential between a
bat’s length (in inches) and its weight (in ounces) shall not
be greater than positive 3 ½; provided, however, that a Player
who used a bat during the 2006 season which is not in
compliance with these specifications may continue to use
that bat until Official Playing Rule 1.10 is amended.