Friday, March 09, 2007

Will Carroll Has the Goalpost Movers on Speed Dial

From a Baseball Prospectus chat:
bmcginni (Indy): Speaking of the mystical gyro ball...why is it that scouts can't tell if Dice-K is even throwing the gyro? I read that in Matsuzaka's first start the scounts couldn't tell if he was throwing it, the hitters thought he was, and Matsuzaka wouldn't say. What would make it effective if nobody even knows for sure whether it exists because you can't tell if it's being thrown?

Will Carroll: First, does it matter? All I want to know is that the ball ends up in the catcher's glove, not the cheap seats. If you want to call it a slurve, a sinker, a shuuto, a backup, or Pee Wee Herman, it doesn't matter. If the ball comes at the hitter's waist, then drops, is it a hammer curve, a splitter, or a gyro? If it tails in, is that a riding fastball, a sinker, or a cutter? We're too focused on the description when we should be focused on the process.
Totally. We don't want to get caught up in labels here, people. Especially if, say, we completely misinterpreted a book about a new pitch because we couldn't read it and didn't bother to have it translated. And then, say, we just looked at the pictures until thought we had it figured out. And we've been contradicted so many times by people who know so much more about this than we do that we are -- here, in this chat -- taking the first step to claiming that whatever the hell we're teaching high school kids in Indiana isn't a gyroball at all, but actually something even newer and better and -- best of all -- something we can name after ourselves. The Carroll Ball? The Slick Willy? The Juiceball? The Buzz Machine? The Powerful Paralyzing Perfect Pachydermous Percussion Pitch?

3 comments:

El Gran Color Naranja said...

I admit without shame I clicked on the Bob Wickman Lookalikes label just to see if I'd missed a bob Wickman look-alike post.

Steve Levy said...

Why are you always on Carroll's case? What's your motivation here?

Brent Harris said...

Yeah. What's going on here?