Notes From A Sickbed

OK, not that sick. Just enough.

As you watch the rest of the Yankees’ post-season, especially these first two games against the Angels, consider this: What do these guys have in common? Wilson Betemit, Johnny Damon, Shelley Duncan, Morgan Ensberg, Juan Miranda, Chad Moeller, Jose Molina, Xavier Nady, Jorge Posada, Cody Ransom, Richie Sexson, and Jason Giambi?
They played first base for the Yankees last season. Where would the Yankees be right now – just from a defensive point of view – if any of them were still playing first base for them, and were reaching for the high-degree-of-difficulty throws of CC Sabathia, Molina, Robinson Cano, et al, instead of Mark Teixeira? Apart from the likelihood the Angels might be leading this game and might’ve won last night’s, I wonder if the Yankees would even still be playing.
Two other notes. Interesting that given my speculation last night that Erick Aybar might have had an auditory awareness problem because he had been dressed “like a teletubby” – as Joe Buck put it – that Aybar went with just an ordinary cap tonight. 
Also, credit to Fox for an intriguing innovation following a Tim McCarver query – a measurement of the speed of pitches as they leave the pitcher’s hand, and, separately, as they arrive at the plate. For A.J. Burnett’s supposed 93 MPH fastball, it was 93 at his hand, and “only” 86 at the plate. It’s pure guesswork, but the differential might explain the concept of the “heavy” pitch catchers and hitters talk about, as one that somehow partially overcomes the aerodynamic drag that affects any object in flight. If another pitcher’s 93 MPH fastball actually hits the glove at 87 or 88, it might  explain the otherwise anecdotal concept of a “heavy ball.”

3 Comments

About the pitch speed, PNC Park provides three speeds – at the hand, midway to the plate, and at the plate. (I find it very important never to give any Fox subsidiary or Tim McCarver any more credit than they deserve.)

Since I never listen to Joe and Tim, I missed that little tidbit. I agree with your opinion about heavy pitches, from a physics point of view it makes perfect sense. As to the previous comment, I plan on attending a game at PNC park just as soon as they field a big league ball club.

Wouldn’t the wind speed also factor in to the difference between how fast the ball is going when it leaves the pitcher’s hand, and its speed when it hits the catcher’s glove? I would think it would vary for this reason, as well as the expected aerodynamic drag.

Sorry to hear you were too sick to make it to the game. But considering the miserable weather, and how long this game lasted, you might have ended up feeling even worse. Hope you’ll be feeling better soon, so you can go see the Yankees in the World Series!

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