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Politics and Pitching

May 30, 2013
Binghamton, NY
It's pretty simple, if the ball is not spinning in the direction you want it to move: Its forced movement and the ball did not break. Bullet spin cannot curve, screw, rise or drop with movement.
I think this is generally true, with a few exceptions:
a) a 2-seam fastball will have lateral break or "tailing" action due to the Magnus Effect of the asymmetry of the seam orientation in relation to spin axis and pitch direction.
b) Boardmember's "corkscrew curve" is a real pitch. Essentially "bullet Spin" with the axis of rotation turned slightly from the pitch direction. (also creates an asymmetry of the seam orientation)
Feb 7, 2013
Titled up, bullet spin "riseballs" work well because they are not dropping as fast as say a curveball or drop ball and the batter swings under it. It never, ever "hops over the bat" or "bananas up" which is one of the fallacies in fastpitch as no human can throw a softball with enough backspin and velocity to make it "rise". Even the great Rick Pauly has slo-mo video of his world-class DD throwing her riseball and it flattens out as it reaches the plate, it does NOT continue to "rise" and certanly never "jumps". Very, very few fastpichers get true 12/6 backspin on their riseball (Kelly Barnhill is one of the exceptions) but it does not matter in most cases as titled up, bullet spin riseballs are very effective when you combine velocity, location, and pitch angle into the mix (think Monica Abbott).

I'm sure Hillhouse will argue vehemently that riseball's "rise" but I have never seen video of it in my short 12 years in the game. I think sluggers stated that he would give anyone $500 if they could product a video of a riseball "rising" above its normal plane of trajectory, but he hasn't paid out yet! Hmm....

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