tuttigym
tuttigym
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August 27th, 2013 at 8:28:24 AM permalink
There is a consensus premise that certain drugs/chemicals can actually "enhance" performance in BASEBALL that includes hitting more home runs.

This is a false premise because:
1. There is NO empirical scientific evidence or study that proves the hypothesis.
2. No one, to my knowledge, has been able to solve these two math questions:

a. How much "strength" (in pounds or some form of recognized measurement) does it take to hit a 90 mph fastball 385 feet?
b. How is that "strength" MEASURED?

This thread is not to debate the merits of the rule of drug testing or whether the hypothesis is correct. It is strictly aimed at solving these math questions which will in turn perhaps give credence to the argument of PEDs and baseball.

tuttigym
MrV
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August 27th, 2013 at 8:35:04 AM permalink
Interesting issue.

For openers: see
"What, me worry?"
TomG
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August 27th, 2013 at 9:44:44 AM permalink
Quote: tuttigym



a. How much "strength" (in pounds or some form of recognized measurement) does it take to hit a 90 mph fastball 385 feet?
b. How is that "strength" MEASURED?



a. there are lots of variables that determine how far a batted ball will travel in addition to speed of the ball; some of the ones the batter has control over are the location the ball hits the bat, the angle of the bat and mass of the bat; ones he has no control over include weather, angle and spin and condition of the ball. When hit at an optimal angle, when contact is made at the optimal place on the bat, with a heavier bat, in Denver, the speed of the bat required to hit the ball over the fence is a lot lower than if the angle and contact is not optimal, bat is lighter and the game is in San Francisco

lots of great information from a google search on "baseball physics"

b. That "strength" is measured in number of home runs hit. Barry Bonds was a "stronger" home run hitter than George Brett; but Brett was a "stronger" home run hitter than the super heavyweight Olympic weightlifting Gold Medal winner, who despite being able to generate more power than any other human in the world isn't "strong" enough to hit a single home run against Major League pitching

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I know you said you were not bringing up the issue of whether the hypothesis is correct, but claim that drugs cannot help sports performance is completely ridiculous. If a team plays a Saturday night game that ends at 11:00 at night, then they're scheduled to play at 1:00 that same afternoon, do you really think saying a cup of coffee would enhance their performance is a false premise? How about if the Saturday night game goes 18 innings and ends at 2:00 in the morning?

If a player is hit in the knee by a 90mph fastball and can barely walk, do you really think it's a false premise to say a cortisone shot that helps them walk pain free would help them perform better?
boymimbo
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August 27th, 2013 at 1:58:04 PM permalink
It's not strength that is the key factor. It's purely about ball, bat speed, trajectory, and where on the bat the ball hits (the sweet spot). The ball will travel in the direction determined by the angle of the ball on the bat. Wind speed, barometric pressure and humidity are other factors that slow the ball down once it hits the bat. Balls travel farther in hot air, in dry conditions, and in lower pressure environments. It's very difficult to hit home runs in Seattle, but very easy to hit in Las Vegas.

You will never hit a home run if the bat is still in crossing the plate. Similarly it's extremely difficult to hit a stationary ball 385 feet. The ball travels with a specific velocity. The bat hits the ball in the opposite direction. Conservation of momemtum is roughly held. Generally, the closer to the end of a bat you hit the ball, the faster the bat is travelling.

So yeah, higher mental acuity gives you a better ability to time your bat and make contact. Higher strength allows you to increase bat speed. The mass of the bat matters as well as it enables the transfer of energy. Higher strength allows you to swing a heavier bat which will add distance. PEDS increase strength and allows you to transfer energy from your legs to your arms more efficiently.

It is estimated that a 94 mph fastball will travel a further 8 feet for each mph in bat speed.

The slowest home run this year in ball speed came from Brandon Snyder at 88.5 which hit Penske's pole at Fenway and travelled 312 feet.
The fastest home run this year in ball speed came from Mark Trumbo at 120.1 mph which travelled 475 feet at the OCo.

Major leagues hitters swing a bat between 70-85mph. The formula generally for bat speed is about .2 x (pitch speed) + 1.2 x (bat speed). The average fastball is about 83mph at the plate.
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tuttigym
tuttigym
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August 27th, 2013 at 2:43:27 PM permalink
Quote: TomG


b. That "strength" is measured in number of home runs hit. Barry Bonds was a "stronger" home run hitter than George Brett; but Brett was a "stronger" home run hitter than the super heavyweight Olympic weightlifting Gold Medal winner, who despite being able to generate more power than any other human in the world isn't "strong" enough to hit a single home run against Major League pitching.

Quote: tuttigym


So based on this statement, which I believe is true, real physical "strength" and hitting "strength" are unrelated, and physical "strength" is not a determining factor in hitting home runs and is not a primary factor in producing bat speed.

-----

Quote: TomG


I know you said you were not bringing up the issue of whether the hypothesis is correct, but claim that drugs cannot help sports performance is completely ridiculous. If a team plays a Saturday night game that ends at 11:00 at night, then they're scheduled to play at 1:00 that same afternoon, do you really think saying a cup of coffee would enhance their performance is a false premise? How about if the Saturday night game goes 18 innings and ends at 2:00 in the morning?

If a player is hit in the knee by a 90mph fastball and can barely walk, do you really think it's a false premise to say a cortisone shot that helps them walk pain free would help them perform better?


Quote: tuttigym


This analogy of using caffeine or cortisone, which "act" instantaneously, is not an apt parallel simply because the offending PED's, i.e. steroids must be used over a prolonged period of time and then with increased exercise sessions to "deliver" added mass and "strength." That is the prevailing thought and false premise.
BTW cortisone is an anti-inflamatory and would not prevent the associated swelling caused by the accumulation of fluid in the affected area nor does it act as an anesthetic to relieve pain.

beachbumbabs
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August 27th, 2013 at 3:17:40 PM permalink
In my understanding, the physics break down like this:

Newton's 3rd law is definitely in effect; so are lift/drag/gravity/mass, just like principles of flight/aerodynamics.

A fastball with a slight underhand spin, with a freshly wound baseball (no mush/give, maximum bounce on impact), hit with the hardest part of the bat (again no mush to absorb the energy put on the ball by the pitcher) at a slight upwards angle (so as to clear the fence) but centered and the bat moving fast, gives the best pure use of the energy the pitcher put on the ball plus the velocity of the bat reflecting it into the stands.

Stitches are on the ball for 2 reasons; 1. to give the pitcher a good grasp on it. 2. to help the ball spiral as it comes off the bat, keeping it true longer through air resistance.

The following variables all decrease from the distance:

1. spin in a different direction can cause a less pure contact, and subtract from velocity vector added by bat.
2. slower ball has less reflective energy.
3. less than perfect ball can deform and lose velocity on contact with bat so less energy is deflected. (All balls deform to some extent when well hit; it's a question of how much).
4. bat density can be less than ideal, uneven by nature of wood, aluminum more even but less forgiving, missing "sweet spot" mentioned above, transferring less of the bat's energy to the ball, or absorbing too much of the ball's energy.
5. hitter can be moving the bat more slowly than his best, leaving less available velocity added to the ball.
6. hitter can hit before or after the plate, sliding the ball some way along the bat before it leaves and wasting energy. (might be microns but it's wasted for the purposes of this discussion).
7. hitter can hit less than dead on, leading to fouls into the stands, pop-ups, line drives, all of which had velocity but not angle for HR.
8. high air density, low altitude, high temperature, foul poles, outfield distance to fence, make HR hitting percentages arbitrary by ballpark. If the fans would come out in the winter, I bet they'd see a lot more HR's in the cold, less humid air.

Not one of those depends on PED's. Strength only comes into play in being able to repetitively put as much bat speed across the plate as a player's best, and maybe to have fine-motor control to change the bat trajectory a little in mid-swing without losing speed. Bat speed of a quick-reflexed but strength challenged person with extraordinary eye-hand coordination should outweigh pure strength every time. I would think most baseballers would be better on speed than on steroids if they're going to abuse something, but what do I know from baseball? maybe it's because they couldn't get away with speed for decades, but only lately are they testing for HGH, blood doping, steroids, stuff like that, and it's pure competitive edge that makes them do it.
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Zcore13
Zcore13
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August 27th, 2013 at 3:17:42 PM permalink
Quote: tuttigym

There is a consensus premise that certain drugs/chemicals can actually "enhance" performance in BASEBALL that includes hitting more home runs.

This is a false premise because:
1. There is NO empirical scientific evidence or study that proves the hypothesis.
2. No one, to my knowledge, has been able to solve these two math questions:

a. How much "strength" (in pounds or some form of recognized measurement) does it take to hit a 90 mph fastball 385 feet?
b. How is that "strength" MEASURED?

This thread is not to debate the merits of the rule of drug testing or whether the hypothesis is correct. It is strictly aimed at solving these math questions which will in turn perhaps give credence to the argument of PEDs and baseball.

tuttigym



You are missing a few important factors:

1. PED's are proven to help in recovery from exercise and injury. This "abnormal" recovery is an advantage over players from the past and current players that don't use them. At the end of the year or at the end of a career when a normal human is worn out/down, players using PED's don't show those same affects. Barry Bonds being better in his 40's than he was in his 20's is a prime example with many others in the exact same boat.

PED's, including steroids produce muscle mass. Muscle mass produces a faster bat speed. Bat speed helps produce longer distances of ball travel. A ball that would have traveled only 365 feet to righ center for a fly out might travel 385 feet for a homerun with the help of the extra muscle mass produced while doing the same work/preparation as a player not on PED's

There is no math needed. It's a physical question that has been answered by physicians and scientists. I've seen the differences first hand when playing (up to College and recreationally afterward) and umpiring (Professional).

ZCore13
I am an employee of a Casino. Former Table Games Director,, current Pit Supervisor. All the personal opinions I post are my own and do not represent the opinions of the Casino or Tribe that I work for.
TomG
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August 27th, 2013 at 4:12:55 PM permalink
Quote: tuttigym


So based on this statement, which I believe is true, real physical "strength" and hitting "strength" are unrelated, and physical "strength" is not a determining factor in hitting home runs and is not a primary factor in producing bat speed.



Strength is always context specific. Taking a 1000g bat and accelerating it to a speed of 35 meters per second is "real physical 'strength.'" Just because it's a different strength than tackling a running back or throwing a javelin doesn't mean it isn't real

-----

If caffeine and cortisone enhance performance, they are performance enhancing drugs. When virtually every single person involved in the sport agrees certain anabolics also enhance performance, it because extremely silly to try to argue they don't
ahiromu
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August 27th, 2013 at 4:27:55 PM permalink
Your arguments are sounding a lot like whoever created that pass line hoax thread.

Oh.

------

I was going to write something, but ZCore hit all pertinent points. Steroids = strength = how hard you can hit the ball. The physical quantity (bat to ball) that you're looking for is "impulse" - force * time. There are several if not dozens of forces involved, but that's the most significant one that the user (batter) is directly involved with.
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ahiromu
ahiromu
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August 27th, 2013 at 4:29:36 PM permalink
Also, caffeine at a certain concentration is Banned in the NCAA.
Its - Possessive; It's - "It is" / "It has"; There - Location; Their - Possessive; They're - "They are"

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