The Magic Bullet
Unfortunately, this coming season, all of major league baseball is in trouble. In a flash, the old way of pitching will be no more. Two seamers will be as dead as the dodo. You’ve heard the hype, prepare for the reality of the GYROBALL. Why is it so effective? Because it’s every pitch you’ve ever seen, rolled into one. Hang on, kids…
- It’s a SUPER-CURVEBALL
- It’s a SLIDER AND a FASTBALL!!!
- It’s a SUPER-FASTBALL!!!
- It’s a CHANGEUP
- It’s a FORKBALL
- It’s a REALLY GOOD SLIDER
- It’s a KNUCKLEBALL
- It’s a SCREWBALL
- It’s a CUT FASTBALL
This was the first property of the Gyroball that came to mass media attention. It puts a curveball to shame. The wrist is snapped at release, and the result? We’re talking feet, not inches of break. WOOOOOOSH!
According to Jim Carroll, North American expert on the Gyroball:
“It’s just a really good breaking ball, and it really, really moves.”
“I’ve seen Joey (Niezer)’s break 3 feet. It takes a left turn and heads to the dugout.”
“It doesn’t move,” Tezuka said. “It doesn’t move at all.”
Tezuka, the Japanese inventor and teacher of the Gyroball, divulged yet another property of this soon-to-be-legendary pitch to Jeff Passan:
“Tezuka conceded that if the gyroball is anything, it’s closest to a slider – and that, he said, is what makes it so special.
If thrown correctly, Tezuka said, the two-seam gyroball should look to a batter like a slider and act like a fastball. That is why, as described in the title of the book he and Himeno wrote, it is a “miracle pitch.””
Just imagine- all the benefits of a slider, but without the uncontrollability because it doesn’t slide! What a miracle!
In this article Tezuka reveals its super-fastball properties, due to decreased air friction from the “bullet action” of the spinning ball.
“Batters, he believes, are lulled into thinking a typical fastball is approaching, only to find it already streaking through the zone as they start their cut”
Have you EVER seen a pitch make these colours?!?
This just in!!! “Like a change-up, a two-seam gyroball is designed to fool hitters with its slower pace.”
The white is the Gyro, the Green is the fork. Not quite as much break, but it seems to travel further over the plate.
The famous video- just look at that drop…and spinning down and in like a tight slider. Pity about the camera angle.
Not to be outdone, the physicists chime in:
(Alan) “Nathan contends that the perfect gyroball should look not like a slider but like the knuckleball, another spin-free pitch”.
Buck Martinez is quoted as saying here: “I believe it is a screwball,” and Terry Francona, manager of the most famous thrower of the Gyroball believes the same thing. It certainly looks like one in the second classic internet video:
This would make sense according to the reports that the arm rotates out the opposite way from a normal pitch (but not the reports that it can only be thrown sidearm)
Last one, I promise. But this is what the pros actually think it is. Al Leiter: “They can call it want they want. It’s a cut fastball.”
The Gyroball is every pitch known to man. What is still do be discovered is if it will be a different pitch every time Matsukawa throws it, or if it will actually change from one to the other on the way to the plate. The only chance for our national pastime to avoid becoming one tearfully boring no-hit bid after the other is to lower the mound, switch to aluminium bats, and stop this crazy anti-juice campaign to give our hitters a fighting chance!