• Rickt: I am the biggest Cal Jr fan around but one of my good friends played minor l...

In case you haven’t already seen it, there is a pretty fun baseball trivia quiz over at ESPN.com.  The questions are pretty easy, but it’s really hard to get more than 25 or 30 of the 50 right.  After you take the quiz, you can see how you compare to several major league baseball players and ESPN commentators. What score did you guys get?

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  1. I’m no Al Nipper, but I saw Hudson throw this, and I can’t see why its not a screwball.

  2. Nick Kapur says:

    I used to watch Fernando Valenzuela throw a screwball all the time when I was growing up as a Dodgers fan in LA. A screwball is like a reverse curveball. It is way slow – we’re talking mid 70s. There is no screwball in the world that goes 88 mph…

  3. Yeah- I suppose you’re right. I imagine the Maddux version wasn’t in the mid/high 80′s either.

    So it some variation of a cutter? Whatever the case, “shootball” doesn’t cut it.

    Is this the same pitch that Rob Nyer describes as the “gyroball”?

    http://www.robneyer.com/book_04_gyroball.html

  4. Nick Kapur says:

    No, the alleged “gyroball” supposedly breaks in the complete opposite direction from the shuuto, to the left, like a turbocharged slider.

    It is true that Will Carroll identifies the gyroball with the “shooto” in the article you cite, which has caused a lot of confusion on the internet, but I emailed Carroll and he confirmed that the shuuto is completely different, and said he simply didn’t know what a shuuto really was when he wrote that article.

    For the straight dope on the gyroball, you can check out a piece on it over at Everything2

  5. Nice piece.

    This concept is bizzarro. It reminds me of Shaolin Soccer.

    It also reminds me of Eddie “The King” Feigner throwing a softball over 110 mph over 10 times in an air force wind tunnel in the early 60′s. Anomalies occur I guess.

    You’ve obviously invested research into this- and its fascinating, but why and how would a less-than-mediocre journeyman like Luke Hudson be able to throw a pitch that the greatest Japanese player (with the aid of the worlds most advanced biomechaical engineering) hasn’t mastered yet?

    Nice work on this, Nick.

  6. Just to be clear- That wasn’t meant to be sarcastic- I think your thoughts and research on the Shuuto is original and very cool.

  7. Uh- I was clearly confused.

    The shuuto IS thrown by Japanese pros, and the “gyroball” is more of a conceptual superpitch, right? So Hudson could be throwing the shuuto. My B.

  8. Sarah Green says:

    When I was little, my mom told me a funny story. A pitcher threw a fat one down the middle of the plate and the hitter completely crushed it to win the game. Afterwards, a reporter asked the pitcher what kind of pitch it was.

    “It was a combination screwball and changeup,” said the pitcher. “A screw-up.”

  9. Screw the Japanese. Let’s call it the “freedom pitch.”

  10. Nick Kapur says:

    That is an awesome video, Jeb! That is exactly the pitch I am talking about!

    Thanks a lot for posting that.

  11. Sarah-

    I think Cubbies reliever Bob Patterson said that. You guys should definitely have a great baseball quotes thread.

    My favorite:

    Reggie Jackson once fanned 3 times versus Nolan Ryan in the late 70′s (mostly on 100 mph gas) , and a reporter asked him,

    “Reggie, Don’t you like hitting fastballs?”

    Jackson asked the reporter if he liked eating ice cream to which the reporter said, “Sure.”

    Reggie then asked. “How would you like it if someone shoved a gallon of it down your throat?”

    Classic.

  12. Eric Vinyl says:

    What’s wrong with “shootball?”

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