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Sheets hasn't broken a bat in three years?


Tedaldtada

Did anyone see Buster Olney's latest blog about maple bats. Ben sheets was quoted as saying he didn't think maple bats were a problem because bats are not breaking more than they used to. He goes on to say that he hasn't broken a bat while pitching in three years.

 

Is he just kidding? I'm not sure what to make of this.

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You have to make contact to do that, right? :)

 

I actually read the following article from Yahoo Sports's Jeff Passan this past Saturday. Please do your best to ignore the disgustingly sensationalistic opening line; the article is actually an interesting read. Not going to paste entire text... waaaay too long.

Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate
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"I don't think there are any more bats breaking than normal. Heck, I haven't broken a batter's bat in four years. I don't think the maple is any more dangerous; it's just wood."

 

-Ben Sheets from Buster Olney's blog today on espn.com

 

So he actually said four years. This is a joke right?

 

*I would link it, but this all he said in the entire article.

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I've heard people say that the increased prevalence of the cutter is to blame for broken bats because its late movement in or out makes hitters miss the sweet spot, which is when the bats break. Sheets' curveball is 12 to 6, and more often than not he simply makes batters miss or take a strike with it. While it may not really be 4 years, I wouldn't be surprised if he breaks fewer bats than other pitchers.

 

I'm not saying Olney didn't just miss the point/joke, which seems very possible with Sheets.

You may run like Mays...
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Sheets throws a 4-seam fastball with no movement and an unhittable 6-12 hammer curve. It is suprising that he hasn't broken any bats in that long, but I agree that his pitching repetroir doesn't really allow for it.
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Sheets throws a 4-seam fastball with no movement

 

Less so in the horizontal direction but it rises more than an average fastball. I agree though, vertical movement doesn't break bats as easily.

 

That said, I have to agree with end. Sheets was making a joke and Olney missed it. An inside fastball with no movement breaks bats just fine. Someone needs to check the archives, I guess.

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In every interview I have ever seen with Sheets he always makes some sort of joke. He has a very dry sense of humor. Remember this is the guy who joked about having a multihit year last year. Saying there is no problem with maple bats because he hasn't broken one sounds exactly like something Sheets would say. He knows how bad at hitting he is and constantly makes jokes about it.

Fan is short for fanatic.

I blame Wang.

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Sheets throws a 4-seam fastball with no movement

 

Less so in the horizontal direction but it rises more than an average fastball. I agree though, vertical movement doesn't break bats as easily.

not to bust balls, but a pitch cannot rise, unless thrown at an upward angle. There isnt enough spin on the ball to give it lift. See Mythbusters for the evidence.

 

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it may maintain a certain a certain plain longer then other fastballs, but again a pitch does not rotate fast enough to produce lift, especially when thrown from a downward angle as pitches are.
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Fastballs never rise, but some (like Sheets') don't drop as quickly as others. Hitter swing under it and it seems like it "rose" above the bat.

 

Sheets pitched Saturday. I remember thinking at the game there were a lot of broken bats (five iirc). So if Ben hasn't broken a bat while pitching in four years he certainly made up ground.

The poster previously known as Robin19, now @RFCoder

EA Sports...It's in the game...until we arbitrarily decide to shut off the server.

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not to bust balls, but a pitch cannot rise, unless thrown at an upward angle. There isnt enough spin on the ball to give it lift. See Mythbusters for the evidence.

 

I saw that mythbuster episode and thought the whole thing was semantics, as I didn't think any baseball fan ever thought a fastball literally rose. Pitch f/x and common sense tells us that. It will forever be called a rising fastball because it correctly describes what the rotation of the ball is doing to it. Do we call a changeup a 12-6 curve?

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not to bust balls, but a pitch cannot rise, unless thrown at an upward angle. There isnt enough spin on the ball to give it lift. See Mythbusters for the evidence.

 

I saw that mythbuster episode and thought the whole thing was semantics, as I didn't think any baseball fan ever thought a fastball literally rose. Pitch f/x and common sense tells us that. It will forever be called a rising fastball because it correctly describes what the rotation of the ball is doing to it. Do we call a changeup a 12-6 curve?

Are implying that the ball flys on an inverted arc? If so, then you are just wrong. You cannot not throw a ball hard enough on a downward angle with enough velocity and spin in order to cause enough lift to carry the weight of the ball and defy gravity and momentum.

 

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Are implying that the ball flys on an inverted arc?

For the second time, of course not. It's why I took Mythbusters to task for "busting" something (rising fastball) that most baseball fans know isn't supposed to be taken literally in the first place.

but again a pitch does not rotate fast enough to produce lift

Sure it does, just not enough to completely overcome gravity. Each exhibits a force on the ball (magnus force due to spin and gravity). An average fastball drops about 9" less than a pitch with the same velocity but no spin would. The naming conventions for pitches seem to ignore the effect of gravity on the pitch. A rising fastball doesn't actually rise. Conversely, while a changeup does curve, no one calls it a curve because it's simply a result of gravity and not spin (the average changeup "rises" as well but not as much as a fastball).

Average Fastball Movement (No gravity):
All Pitchers, 2007: 8.9" rise, 6.2" toward RH batter
Sheets, 4/29/08: 11.2" rise, 4.5" toward RH batter.

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Agree that this is entirely semantic argument, but I'm not sure that most basebally fans knew that fastballs literally rising was a myth. Heck, I'm not sure every major leaguer knew that...I've seen some hitters talk about Nolan Ryan in a fashion that led me to wonder if they didn't literally think the ball moved upwards. For everybody not familiar with pitch f/x, they're measuring the trajectory of the pitch in relationship to a ball thrown without spin (and I think without air resistance, since anybody who's seen Tim Wakefield or Charlie Hough can certainly attest to the fact that balls without spin actually move quite a bit). So basically, what Russ's numbers mean is that without the spin, in a vacuum, a pitch would drop 11.2" more than Sheets's fastball actually does.
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My fastball rises. It's so slow that I have to throw it on an upward arc just to make it to the plate.

 

I'd think that most fans would realise that 'rising fastball' is a figure of speech as well, however, I have seen some computer games that didn't quite get it.

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Computer games may just be trying to simulate how a good rising fastball might feel to a batter. A batter intuitively knows that an average fastball doesn't drop as much as one without spin. Then they see a Sheets' fastball and have to adjust to one that hops a bit more than average.
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