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(Awful Announcing)   MLB Network reaches into the 'teach celebrity X to perform task Y' fishbowl, comes up with 'Doug Flutie' and 'throw a knuckleball'   (awfulannouncing.com ) divider line 24
    More: Strange, Doug Flutie, MLB Network, knuckleball pitch, Major League Baseball, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Tim Wakefield, Jacksonville State, Greene  
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613 clicks; posted to Sports » on 08 Feb 2013 at 10:09 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



24 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-02-08 09:53:45 AM  
It's spring training, this stuff happens all the time. Hell a few years ago the Yankees signed Billy Crystal to bat leadoff for a game.
 
2013-02-08 10:17:57 AM  
love the Knuck.  Dying art.

i always think it is cool as shiat when in soccer, sometimes a player will manage to deliver a spinless ball, and to see it knuckle towards the goal.  spesh when they show it in slow motion and you can see it dip and dive and shiat.
 
2013-02-08 10:25:35 AM  
No way this beats the drop-kick extra point.
 
2013-02-08 10:26:45 AM  
Hell, if Flutie can do a dropkick, he can do a knuckleball.
 
2013-02-08 10:29:01 AM  

puckrock2000: Hell, if Flutie can do a dropkick, he can do a knuckleball.


Thanks I was looking for that.

From my hometown station too, no less!
 
2013-02-08 10:32:28 AM  

rickythepenguin: love the Knuck.  Dying art.

i always think it is cool as shiat when in soccer, sometimes a player will manage to deliver a spinless ball, and to see it knuckle towards the goal.  spesh when they show it in slow motion and you can see it dip and dive and shiat.


I wouldn't call it a dying art. It has always been on the fringes, and it always remain on the fringes.

There can only be two: a master and an apprentice.
 
2013-02-08 11:21:29 AM  
Throwing knuckleballs should be the immediate priority for every A/AA pitcher who realizes that the next promotion isn't coming, especially if the roadblock has to do with velocity.

If your fastball is topping out at 88 mph at age 23, it's not going to get faster.  But there's a long shot that you could learn to throw a knuckleball semi-accurately and carve out a path to the big leagues that doesn't involve 15 people in front of you having rotator cuff explosions.

Wellon Dowd: I wouldn't call it a dying art. It has always been on the fringes, and it always remain on the fringes.


It has to.  If lots of guys threw it, batters would practice against it, and start hitting it.  It's like being the one submarine pitcher in the majors.

Knuckleballs don't actually "flutter".  Basically, they're slow pitches with a smooth break (*) in a direction that isn't predictable by the pitcher, catcher, or hitter.  All of this occurs despite a constant windup, release point, etc.  Not surprisingly, the ones that break the most are the hardest to put in play, but even Tim Wakefield threw about 20% of his knuckleballs essentially flat.  (A break of less than the diameter of the ball meant batters hit .370 if they put it in play, compared to ~.290 for most pitches.)

(*): Relative to a 'straight' pitch, which has a normal arc imposed by gravity.  A 'rising' pitch just falls less than other (overhand) pitches, which creates a perception that it's actually going upwards.
 
2013-02-08 11:36:13 AM  

chimp_ninja: Throwing knuckleballs should be the immediate priority for every A/AA pitcher who realizes that the next promotion isn't coming, especially if the roadblock has to do with velocity.

If your fastball is topping out at 88 mph at age 23, it's not going to get faster.  But there's a long shot that you could learn to throw a knuckleball semi-accurately and carve out a path to the big leagues that doesn't involve 15 people in front of you having rotator cuff explosions.

Wellon Dowd: I wouldn't call it a dying art. It has always been on the fringes, and it always remain on the fringes.

It has to.  If lots of guys threw it, batters would practice against it, and start hitting it.  It's like being the one submarine pitcher in the majors.

Knuckleballs don't actually "flutter".  Basically, they're slow pitches with a smooth break (*) in a direction that isn't predictable by the pitcher, catcher, or hitter.  All of this occurs despite a constant windup, release point, etc.  Not surprisingly, the ones that break the most are the hardest to put in play, but even Tim Wakefield threw about 20% of his knuckleballs essentially flat.  (A break of less than the diameter of the ball meant batters hit .370 if they put it in play, compared to ~.290 for most pitches.)

(*): Relative to a 'straight' pitch, which has a normal arc imposed by gravity.  A 'rising' pitch just falls less than other (overhand) pitches, which creates a perception that it's actually going upwards.


Really?  RADickey.gif
 
2013-02-08 11:40:25 AM  

chimp_ninja: It has to. If lots of guys threw it, batters would practice against it, and start hitting it. It's like being the one submarine pitcher in the majors.


Knuckleball's not the only unusual pitch out there.

Let's see, what is there for pitches...
Fastball (2-seam)
Fastball (4-seam)
Changeup
Curveball
Knuckleball
Slider
Sinker
Slurve
Cutter
Splitter
Circle change
Vulcan change
12-6 curve
Sweeping curve
Knuckle curve
Fosh
Screwball
Palmball
Forkball
Shutto
Gyroball
Eephus

Yeah, there's still stuff that comes up less than other stuff. Just find a pitch batters don't deal with often and learn that.
 
2013-02-08 11:41:54 AM  

chimp_ninja: If your fastball is topping out at 88 mph at age 23, it's not going to get faster. But there's a long shot that you could learn to throw a knuckleball semi-accurately and carve out a path to the big leagues that doesn't involve 15 people in front of you having rotator cuff explosions.


Greg Maddux laughs at your 97mph fastballs as his 87 mph "heater" can knock a gnat off your cat's whisker without waking her up.

// but I get your point
// you gotta diversify yo' pitches, biatches
 
2013-02-08 11:49:40 AM  

Dr Dreidel: Greg Maddux laughs at your 97mph fastballs as his 87 mph "heater" can knock a gnat off your cat's whisker without waking her up.


A pitcher like Maddux would likely dominate these days given that batters spend so much time seeing pitcher after pitcher throwing in the mid to high 90s. There are a few pitchers these days who have sliders that go faster than most of Maddux's fastballs. Granted in the lower levels of baseball, high school and the like, the coaches are all pushing throwing hard so getting the chance to develop as a control pitcher isn't really there. Part of it is accepting that early on a pitcher learning to be a control pitcher is going to get it wrong and get shellacked, but long term it pays off.
 
2013-02-08 11:53:53 AM  
1. It might be entertaining.
2. It might be educational.
3. It fills a hole in their lineup.
 
2013-02-08 12:00:39 PM  
My fiancée is from Doug Flutie's hometown of Natick, Mass. He is celebrated by a road that connects two gross malls. It is called Flutie Pass.

It is awful.
 
2013-02-08 12:21:49 PM  

TeamEd: Really? RADickey.gif


If there is any justice in the world of sports, knuckleballers' catchers get paid double.
 
2013-02-08 12:29:28 PM  

GoldSpider: TeamEd: Really? RADickey.gif

If there is any justice in the world of sports, knuckleballers' catchers get paid double.


1.bp.blogspot.com
No, but sometimes they do get police escorts to the stadium.
 
2013-02-08 01:06:59 PM  

puckrock2000: Hell, if Flutie can do a dropkick, he can do a knuckleball.


And if he can dodge a wrench, then he can dodge a ball.
2.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-02-08 02:32:59 PM  

rickythepenguin: love the Knuck.  Dying art.

i always think it is cool as shiat when in soccer, sometimes a player will manage to deliver a spinless ball, and to see it knuckle towards the goal.  spesh when they show it in slow motion and you can see it dip and dive and shiat.


I'd like to see screwballs coming back into the fray. Too bad they shred arms up like a mother.
 
2013-02-08 03:21:21 PM  

GoldSpider: TeamEd: Really? RADickey.gif

If there is any justice in the world of sports, knuckleballers' catchers get paid double.


www.lobshots.com

Eh, they just use a bigger mitt.
 
2013-02-08 04:16:13 PM  

AngryPanda: I'd like to see screwballs coming back into the fray. Too bad they shred arms up like a mother.


yeha.....last scroogie i can remember is.......Fernando is the obvious answer but I think there was a Giant or perhaps Astro that chunked the scroogie through he early 90s.
 
2013-02-08 04:19:56 PM  

rickythepenguin: AngryPanda: I'd like to see screwballs coming back into the fray. Too bad they shred arms up like a mother.

yeha.....last scroogie i can remember is.......Fernando is the obvious answer but I think there was a Giant or perhaps Astro that chunked the scroogie through he early 90s.


Wasn't John Franco's changeup more or less a screwball?
 
2013-02-08 04:27:26 PM  

rickythepenguin: AngryPanda: I'd like to see screwballs coming back into the fray. Too bad they shred arms up like a mother.

yeha.....last scroogie i can remember is.......Fernando is the obvious answer but I think there was a Giant or perhaps Astro that chunked the scroogie through he early 90s.


Wikipedia says that Pedro Martinez used a scroo in his career, along with John Smoltz.

So, y'know, it might be true.
 
2013-02-08 04:43:42 PM  

AngryPanda: rickythepenguin: AngryPanda: I'd like to see screwballs coming back into the fray. Too bad they shred arms up like a mother.

yeha.....last scroogie i can remember is.......Fernando is the obvious answer but I think there was a Giant or perhaps Astro that chunked the scroogie through he early 90s.

Wikipedia says that Pedro Martinez used a scroo in his career, along with John Smoltz.

So, y'know, it might be true.


I'm disappointed, y'all.

First off, did no one read Moneyball? JIM MECIR.

Second, there's a guy in the majors right now who throws a screwball. Even spent some time as the White Sox closer this year: Hector Santiago

Finally, fangraphs tells me that Daniel Herrera throws it as well, though I'm not sure if anyone has him on their roster at the moment.

Additionally, Trevor Bauer's "reverse slider" has screwball movement without destroying his arm, so that's probably worth mentioning.
 
2013-02-09 08:45:48 AM  

NeoCortex42: No, but sometimes they do get police escorts to the stadium.


And comically absurd blogs...
 
2013-02-09 09:47:24 AM  

WinoRhino: NeoCortex42: No, but sometimes they do get police escorts to the stadium.

And comically absurd blogs...


That never gets old.

I still love the fact that the Red Sox had to keep one specific guy on the team just for the one in five days that another particular player was being used.
 
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