Here’s some stuff I read this week that you might enjoy:
- Home Run Trajectories and Pitchers (Beyond the Box Score) – John Choiniere wonders whether a pitcher could, in theory, snare a line drive that otherwise would end up a home run. This might be the most fun you’ll ever have with physics. [h/t Baseball Prospectus]
- In Iowa, good luck trying to watch the Twins (or five other MLB teams) (Star Tribune) – Michael Rand points out, as others have before, the stupidity of MLB’s blackout rules. I am prevented from legally watching the Padres without cable TV despite living fewer than 10 miles from Petco Park. Annoying? Sure, but folks in Iowa are kept from watching six different teams (and their opponents) despite being nowhere near a big-league ballpark. That is probably not the best way to engender fan loyalty. [h/t SABR]
- Sunday Notes: Featherston, Bass, Knucklers & Eddy R (FanGraphs) – David Laurila’s column is one of my weekly must-reads, a reminder that good questions beget good answers. This installment includes thoughts from former Padres right-hander Anthony Bass, who discusses adjustments he’s made in his delivery over the years to improve command. Now with the Rangers, Bass is filling the role that Tim Stauffer once filled in San Diego. Good to see him doing well. Alas, the same cannot be said of Stauffer in Minnesota.
- Conner: First draft a ‘fun challenge’ (San Diego Union-Tribune) – Is there a draft in here, or is that just Padres Scouting Director Mark Conner talking about the future? [h/t madfriars] San Diego doesn’t pick until 51st overall, but draftniks might like to know what various sources see in their crystal balls. And MLB’s Draft Central is the place to be on June 8 (yes, that’s Monday).
- The Future of Baseball Technology, Part One: The Internet of Things (Hardball Times) – The opener of Jesse Wolfersberger’s two-part series examines swing trackers (think radar guns for bat speed) and “sleeves” that track a pitcher’s motion and “provide data which can be used to help improve the pitcher’s delivery, measure fatigue, prevent injuries, and rehab after injuries.” Part two delves further into wearables, as well as future possible uses of virtual reality, augmented reality, brain measurement, and improved health technology to advance the game. Who knows how much of this stuff will actually come to pass, but it’s fascinating to consider.