Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Murphy's Law Of Physics

Here's something I don't like about Citi Field:

It's the one thing that makes me wish I had paid attention in physics class during my senior year of high school.

Seriously ... I completely checked out in that class to the point where my teacher would tell everyone in the class who failed that they would have a chance to get a 65 automatically if they passed the regents exam. Me? I was simply told: you failed. When I asked about passing the regents, teach said "I don't think you'll have to worry about that option."

Well not only did I pass the regents, I got something along the lines of an 85. (I actually visited my high school the next semester to rub it in his face, but he wasn't in that day. He was obviously ducking me. Well how you like me now, teach?!!??!? Yeah, I'm still bitter.)

Daniel Murphy's video reviewed home run, the fourth review in the past five days and the first second one where the original call was reversed, tested my knowledge of physics. Now, if I had paid attention in class, I could come up with a reasonable explanation as to why that call was reversed despite the lack of evidence that the ball hit the Subway sign. But I was busy trading baseball cards and drawing cartoons so that this is the best I can come up with:

Fly balls hit at the trajectory that moves toward an outfield wall don't land on the warning track, bounce straight up, then die. In a driving rainstorm where the umpires are too boneheaded to stop the game in a timely fashion, a ball could hit the warning track and then die. But not bounce straight up. So even though you couldn't see the ball hit the Pepsi Porch facade, the way the ball acted told you that it was a dinger. Had to be.

(Editor's note: More proof that this blogger shouldn't have passed physics, or is just blind. The ball indeed did hit the wall. But that trajectory did change and bounce at an angle that a ball hit that fall shouldn't have bounced. I stand by that this was a home run, and I also stand by that physics is hard and that I should have paid more attention in high school.)

Obviously, the three umps that went to look at the video understood physics, and made the correct call. Of course, if there were seats where that Mo's Zone quirk is, it wouldn't have been an issue.

Physics are an important component of life and baseball. Umpires understand this better than they understand a strike zone. And they understand this better than me.

Adam Dunn understands physics ... he was explaining the Murphy home run to his teammates in the dugout after the play. He also understands enough physics to understand that force x distance = a home run long enough to avoid replay and hit a damn bridge (off Johan Santana no less). Like Rick Vaughn says: "You hit it, you name it." I think Dunn can name the bridge after himself now (which would work well if the Mets sign him for the 2011 season.)

But Daniel Murphy's physics are the law at this moment with his five rbi's which led to a 7-4 Mets win. Murph is doing his best to make sure that when Nick Johnson leaves town tonight with the Nationals, he doesn't come back too soon. A few more games like tonight and it'll be mission accomplished. Now that he's more comfy at first base, don't be surprised if these kind of games creep up more often.

Oh, and about finding a new nickname for Fernando Martinez: No nicknames until you run out pop-ups and break this organization's penchant for bonehead plays. Is that a deal?


DyHrdMET said...

I watched how that part of the game was broadcast on MASN with the Nats announcers. It was a bit more entertaining than SNY but with no better camera angles. They had a camera to illustrate how the front of the overhang is sitting over the field of play, but nothing from that camera of the actual home run.

on the broadcast, Rob Dibble was convinced that the ball hit the far CF side of the Subway ad, on the way down, and the ball changed angles to drop down to the field (which seems to be the consensus). Bob Carpenter seemed very very convinced that if the ball had hit the sign, seemingly at any angle, that the only bounce it could take would be towards the infield, and therefore was ruled correctly on the field when that did not happen (and he even had this opinion after the umpires came back out).

If the quirks of the ballpark will lend themselves to replay reviews, SNY should set up some more cameras fixed on the walls with different side angles.

Anonymous said...

The Santos homer was reversed.

Sean said...

Thank you for the thorough description of the physics involved with the ball's trajectory. Most of the blogs I'm reading today seem to be mystified by the call, thanking umpires for the "gift home run".

Also, as a high school science teacher, I would be so completely thrilled if all the kids who've been tuned out for most of the semester wound up with 80+ on the Regents. Sorry your teach was such a jerk!

Anonymous said...

Get your facts straight. The ball hit the ground and bounced and then hit the wall. It didn't bounce straight up as you claim. Adam Dunn said that it was NOT a home run, "I didn’t think there was any way possible that ball could have been a homer".

Metstradamus said...

Well that's why I stunk at physics!

Anonymous said...

Where exactly was Luis Alicea when FMart was daydreaming at home plate? Isnt it his job to coach the runner coming to first? Why wasnt he running down the line screaming at FMart to start running?

Unser said...

This is too weird. I have a similar physics story. Struggled in class, but did really well on the regents. Did we sit next to each other?

This team really needs to take baserunning 101. We're not even a third through the season and they've already missed third base, forgot to slide several times, ran into the third base coach, broken basic baserunning rules and didn't run out a pop up. Forget batting practice - next time I go the park I want to see the guys playing running bases.

And the replays are getting ridiculous. Get rid of these outfield quirks at new ballparks.

Geoff said...

I was watching the game on MASN as well and I swear Dibble and Carpenter were about to get into an on-air fight over this. I still think it was a home run, but wouldn't have complained too much if there wasn't "irrefutable evidence" to overturn it, much like the foul pole HR that wasn't the other day. I think we've gotten a couple breaks these past couple days, and I take it as karmic returns for all the guys we've lost to injury.

The Metmaster said...

To this day I have no idea how I passed the Physics Regents. I remember nothing. NOTHING. I recall something called Boyle's Law, but have no f-ing idea what the f-ing law does.
The only Physics rule I remember was the one that I recall my goofball friends reciting:
"The angle of the dangle is proportionate to the throb of the knob, provided that the urge remains constant".

Metstradamus said...

Apparently it refers to Robert Boyle, who may or may not have thrown gas ... but looking at this guy's stats I understand why you wouldn't remember him.

Seriously though, the last guy named "Boyle" in the major leagues wrapped up his career in 1935.

Metstradamus said...

By the way, notice how we seamlessly move towards science in the conversation and not miss a beat. It's like we're renaissance men or, something.

Metstradamus said...

Here's Boyle's law. Pressure and volume are inversely proportional. Don't ever say you don't learn something here on "The Musings and Prophecies (and Physics) of Metstradamus."

Schneck said...

Boyle's Law clearly does not hold when discussing NY Met players (pressure) and their fans (volume) as the higher volume of fans tends to lead to proportionately higher pressure. Boyle clearly was not a baseball fan in a major market.