flip flop fly ball

i found this pretty spectacular site through deadspin.

for instance:

- which means that in the rodgers center and minute maid park, southpaws are right handed.



umpire appeals on check swings

the only time i enjoy listening to knbr is when the giants play. i'm a cubs fan, but the giants announcers are quite good. usually, i'll choose to watch giants coverage during cubs-giants games.

i heard jon miller mention (yesterday?) an interesting weirdness in baseball:

on check swings, the defense can appeal when a BALL is called, so why can't the offense appeal when a STRIKE is called?

without going too far, mlb rules specifically deny this (9.02c):
The manager or the catcher may request the plate umpire to ask his partner for help on a half swing when the plate umpire calls the pitch a ball, but not when the pitch is called a strike. ... Should the base umpire call the pitch a strike, the strike call shall prevail.

doesn't make too much sense to me. it should work both ways. it makes no sense to make this a one sided appeal. the pathetic part of this rule continues with the next sentence:
The manager may not complain that the umpire made an improper call, but only that he did not ask his partner for help.

seriously? no whining to the umpire that he blew it, or you might hurt his feelings. caoch can't call out the ump for making a mistake, but the base umpire can. moronic sensitivities.

there are scenarios where this can get really ugly. in this umpire forum, they talk about a situation that happened in college where the plate umpire (PU) called ball-no swing on a passed ball with a 2-strike count. the batter, unsure, took off for first base thinking it might be a dropped third strike. then it gets worse in that forum. half the people think the base umpire (BU) should back up the PU's no swing call no matter what, so he won't look bad. integrity of the game, my ass.

in the mlb rule book, still in 9.02c, it clearly states:
The ball is in play on appeal on a half swing.

so that means chaos in this fairly typical scenario:

  • 1 out, runner on 1st, 3-2 count. check swing on a ball in the dirt. plate umpire calls ball, both runners advance on the walk. catcher appeals, strike is called, and the runner advancing from 1st to 2nd can be thrown out for stealing now.

so what would have been two men on with one out now becomes strike-em-out, throw-em-out end of inning.

if the 1st base runner was stealing, and he glances to see the batter walking to 1st, he might let up to ease into second. but the catcher could immediately throw to second anyway (despite a walk called by the plate umpire), and then after throwing towards second, appeal to the base umpire who might call third strike, then the base runner can be tagged out.

anyway, all this to reiterate that bud 756 selig sucks.


sand is crazy weird

so i saw this article in wired about a fifth state of matter (really the sixth because they forgot about the bose-einstein condensate which was predicted 70 years before proven!). water droplets form as water falls because of surface tension. surface tension doesn't really work for something as "massive" as sand particles. apparently, sand "droplets" used to be explained as a result of sticky collisions, but this video shows that isn't necessarily the case.

according to the abstract from their publication in Nature, the authors believe the sand droplets form because of "a combination of van der Waals interactions and capillary bridges between nanometre-scale surface asperities." this video was shot with a high speed camera falling at a similar rate to the sand.


we talkin' bout practice remix

i found this at kissing suzy kolber. i've watched this like 10 times already.


us open 2nd place

look. i hate that his wife has cancer, and i hope nothing but the best for her.

but phil mickelson sucks. i don't know why i hate him so much, but i do, so tough.

watching the final round online, i'm so sick of hearing that phil now has more second place finishes than anyone else. who gives a crap?

mickelson was lumped together with other greats that had 4 second place finishes (fat fil now has 5, a record!!!). let's look at these great second place finishers...

who number of US open wins major titles pga tour wins number of us open 2nd places
jack nicklaus 4 18 73 4
bobby jones 4 13 9 4
arnold palmer 1 7 62 4
sam snead 0 7 82 4
lucas glover 1 1 2 0
phil mickelson 0 3 36 5

sam snead is the only other one to never have won it all, but he has won 7 major against fat fil's 3. so, i ask again, who really gives a crap?


beer holster? really?

seriously? if you have this, you are not my friend.