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WhiteSoxFTW
06-09-2010, 04:08 PM
So, I was reading the Pete Rose corked bat article and it had a link to the Mythbusters busting the "corked bats make baseballs fly futher" article/episode. I wasn't aware that Mythbusters did this episode.

http://dsc.discovery.com/fansites/mythbusters/db/sports/corked-bat-makes-baseball-fly-farther.html

Also, they looked into the fact that the Rockies store their baseballs in a humidor so they don't fly as far. Mythbusters said that one was "plausible".

http://dsc.discovery.com/fansites/mythbusters/db/sports/harder-to-hit-homerun-with-humid-baseballs.html

Overall, pretty interesting.

Iwritecode
06-09-2010, 04:44 PM
So, I was reading the Pete Rose corked bat article and it had a link to the Mythbusters busting the "corked bats make baseballs fly futher" article/episode. I wasn't aware that Mythbusters did this episode.

http://dsc.discovery.com/fansites/mythbusters/db/sports/corked-bat-makes-baseball-fly-farther.html

Also, they looked into the fact that the Rockies store their baseballs in a humidor so they don't fly as far. Mythbusters said that one was "plausible".

http://dsc.discovery.com/fansites/mythbusters/db/sports/harder-to-hit-homerun-with-humid-baseballs.html

Overall, pretty interesting.


The one about sliding is interesting but they are making the assumtion that the player is trying to stop on the base. I still say that running through first base rather than sliding is the faster way to go, which is usually where the argument comes from.

munchman33
06-09-2010, 09:04 PM
So, I was reading the Pete Rose corked bat article and it had a link to the Mythbusters busting the "corked bats make baseballs fly futher" article/episode. I wasn't aware that Mythbusters did this episode.

http://dsc.discovery.com/fansites/mythbusters/db/sports/corked-bat-makes-baseball-fly-farther.html

Also, they looked into the fact that the Rockies store their baseballs in a humidor so they don't fly as far. Mythbusters said that one was "plausible".

http://dsc.discovery.com/fansites/mythbusters/db/sports/harder-to-hit-homerun-with-humid-baseballs.html

Overall, pretty interesting.

"Corked bats make baseballs fly further" is not a myth, it's an inaccuracy. Corked bats make bat speed faster.

doublem23
06-09-2010, 10:13 PM
"Corked bats make baseballs fly further" is not a myth, it's an inaccuracy. Corked bats make bat speed faster.

Well, I'm not 100% sure what you're arguing, but the myth is that corking your bat should help you hit the ball harder and farther. That is untrue, I think we've gone over this before, as well, but basically what little you gain in bat speed you give up in mass in the bat's barrel, which means you transfer less force from the bat to the ball on a hit, ultimately costing you power and effectiveness when you cork your bat. You're better off just switching to a non-corked bat that weighs 1-2 ounces less.

slavko
06-10-2010, 12:07 AM
Well, I'm not 100% sure what you're arguing, but the myth is that corking your bat should help you hit the ball harder and farther. That is untrue, I think we've gone over this before, as well, but basically what little you gain in bat speed you give up in mass in the bat's barrel, which means you transfer less force from the bat to the ball on a hit, ultimately costing you power and effectiveness when you cork your bat. You're better off just switching to a non-corked bat that weighs 1-2 ounces less.

I'm just putting this out for discussion, but in Einstein's theory, isn't the speed of the bat squared, thus more than making up for the loss of mass? I have an open mind, tell me why not.

doublem23
06-10-2010, 12:28 AM
I'm just putting this out for discussion, but in Einstein's theory, isn't the speed of the bat squared, thus more than making up for the loss of mass? I have an open mind, tell me why not.

The "c" in Einstein's theory stands for the speed of light, not any movable object. Quantum physics really don't apply to our everyday lives.

munchman33
06-10-2010, 01:48 AM
The "c" in Einstein's theory stands for the speed of light, not any movable object. Quantum physics really don't apply to our everyday lives.

Right...but forget the "farther" argument. If you're unable to get the bat through the zone fast enough, you aren't going to hit at all. Make the bat lighter with the same surface area? Greater chance to pick up hits.

doublem23
06-10-2010, 07:09 AM
Right...but forget the "farther" argument. If you're unable to get the bat through the zone fast enough, you aren't going to hit at all. Make the bat lighter with the same surface area? Greater chance to pick up hits.

I suppose that's a way to look at it. I've obviously never sat down and done all the math or tests real bats to see the effect of corking, but (and I'm rehashing some old arguments I've read) by taking all that extra weight out of the barrel and sweet spot of the bat, you cost yourself a surprising amount of pop. So yeah, maybe you'll make contact more often but at a cost to how much power you can transfer to the ball upon contact. I think the basic argument was that ultimately instead of corking a 34-ounce bat (or whatever), it was better to just use a 33-ouncer. Dispersing that weight loss over the entire body of the bat, rather than concentrating it all in your sweet spot is just better if you're looking at this from a scientific perspective.

The only thing that doesn't cover is the psychology behind it. Maybe for some reason, a guy will just play better if he's using a corked bat, thinking he's got an edge, or whatever.

Huisj
06-10-2010, 10:48 AM
I'm just putting this out for discussion, but in Einstein's theory, isn't the speed of the bat squared, thus more than making up for the loss of mass? I have an open mind, tell me why not.

The "c" in Einstein's theory stands for the speed of light, not any movable object. Quantum physics really don't apply to our everyday lives.

I think what slavko might be thinking of is kinetic energy, which is (1/2)mv^2. So, potentially, if the loss in mass results in enough speed to still bring equal energy, then it could have an impact.

Momentum transfer might be even a more applicable idea here though. When you really start to think about what's at work, swinging a bat and hitting a moving ball is way more complicated than just super basic physics equations since it's not just the bat's mass/velocity/energy/momentum at work, but also the strength of the person swinging it to transfer force through the bat to the ball as contact is made. Or something like that. I dunno, I haven't had any cofffee yet today.

doublem23
06-10-2010, 11:22 AM
I think what slavko might be thinking of is kinetic energy, which is (1/2)mv^2. So, potentially, if the loss in mass results in enough speed to still bring equal energy, then it could have an impact.

Momentum transfer might be even a more applicable idea here though. When you really start to think about what's at work, swinging a bat and hitting a moving ball is way more complicated than just super basic physics equations since it's not just the bat's mass/velocity/energy/momentum at work, but also the strength of the person swinging it to transfer force through the bat to the ball as contact is made. Or something like that. I dunno, I haven't had any cofffee yet today.

I don't know, this has always been a very interesting topic to me, but I admittedly don't know all the details. All I remember is seeing some Sports Science show once where they tested a corked bat vs. an identical, regular bat and found that the ball was coming off the corked bat with significantly less force.

balke
06-10-2010, 01:47 PM
I don't know, this has always been a very interesting topic to me, but I admittedly don't know all the details. All I remember is seeing some Sports Science show once where they tested a corked bat vs. an identical, regular bat and found that the ball was coming off the corked bat with significantly less force.

What about Superballs? I thought the idea of cork was not only to lighten the bat - but to add a better recoil.

I'm actually surprised there haven't been in depth tests about the value of Corked/stuffed bats versus conventional wood. I mean I would figure with a solid bat with heavy mass - the bat speed the hitter creates on his own would be the best way to hit a HR.

I would also guess a softer "bouncier" core would help spring the ball off the bat more than regular wood. So on a HR strike the ball could gain several feet.

I would add: I think Sosa corked intentionally because he couldn't catch up to a fastball anymore that season. I think he knew he was using a Corked bat - in hopes to get around faster on a fastball.

Huisj
06-10-2010, 02:01 PM
What about Superballs? I thought the idea of cork was not only to lighten the bat - but to add a better recoil.

I'm actually surprised there haven't been in depth tests about the value of Corked/stuffed bats versus conventional wood. I mean I would figure with a solid bat with heavy mass - the bat speed the hitter creates on his own would be the best way to hit a HR.

I would also guess a softer "bouncier" core would help spring the ball off the bat more than regular wood. So on a HR strike the ball could gain several feet

But think about cork--it absorbs energy very well. It isn't bouncy. It seems that it would really have the opposite effect. It could allow the wood of the bat to give more without recoiling as fast because the cork inside absorbs much of the blow.

downstairs
06-10-2010, 02:43 PM
What about Superballs? I thought the idea of cork was not only to lighten the bat - but to add a better recoil.

I'm actually surprised there haven't been in depth tests about the value of Corked/stuffed bats versus conventional wood. I mean I would figure with a solid bat with heavy mass - the bat speed the hitter creates on his own would be the best way to hit a HR.

I would also guess a softer "bouncier" core would help spring the ball off the bat more than regular wood. So on a HR strike the ball could gain several feet.

I would add: I think Sosa corked intentionally because he couldn't catch up to a fastball anymore that season. I think he knew he was using a Corked bat - in hopes to get around faster on a fastball.

I don't think you want recoil when hitting a ball. Its not a trampoline type of thing, even though one may think it is.

You want as much mass as possible. And you want the bat as hard as possible. Cork or superballs or whatever defeats this.

Why do you think metal bats hit the ball much, much harder? Because metal is much harder.

PatK
06-10-2010, 03:10 PM
I read somewhere where instead of corking a bat, you'd be better shaving off something like 1/32" from the barrell.

munchman33
06-10-2010, 03:29 PM
I don't know, this has always been a very interesting topic to me, but I admittedly don't know all the details. All I remember is seeing some Sports Science show once where they tested a corked bat vs. an identical, regular bat and found that the ball was coming off the corked bat with significantly less force.

And that's a very flawed way of looking at it. The loss of weight means the corked back is traveling through the zone a heck of a lot faster. Sending them through the zone at the same speed will of course show the object with more weight hitting the ball farther.

munchman33
06-10-2010, 03:29 PM
Why do you think metal bats hit the ball much, much harder? Because metal is much harder.

Metal is also much, much lighter.

doublem23
06-10-2010, 10:40 PM
And that's a very flawed way of looking at it. The loss of weight means the corked back is traveling through the zone a heck of a lot faster. Sending them through the zone at the same speed will of course show the object with more weight hitting the ball farther.

No, the machine the was "swinging" the bat was swinging with equal torque (the corked bat was traveling faster). Still hit the ball with less force. AGAIN, the little speed you gain by dropping the bat's weight you more than lose by compromising it's sweet spot. You're making it sound like bats are full of lead and its impossible to get them around. Force is velocity and mass. You can't just ignore one and say that it's all dependent on the other. That's not how equations work.

Corking a bat = Stupid.
Getting a new bat that is 1-2 ounces lighter = Brilliant.

doublem23
06-10-2010, 10:43 PM
I read somewhere where instead of corking a bat, you'd be better shaving off something like 1/32" from the barrell.

Yeah, that's basically the idea behind dropping it in favor of one 1-2 ounces lighter. The idea behind corking a bat is to gain bat speed. But when you cork it, you basically ruin it's sweet spot, so you're transferring less force to the ball when you make contact. By dispersing the weight loss over the whole bat, you gain the speed and you transfer maximum force to the ball upon contact.

doublem23
06-10-2010, 10:48 PM
What about Superballs? I thought the idea of cork was not only to lighten the bat - but to add a better recoil.

I'm actually surprised there haven't been in depth tests about the value of Corked/stuffed bats versus conventional wood. I mean I would figure with a solid bat with heavy mass - the bat speed the hitter creates on his own would be the best way to hit a HR.

I would also guess a softer "bouncier" core would help spring the ball off the bat more than regular wood. So on a HR strike the ball could gain several feet.

I would add: I think Sosa corked intentionally because he couldn't catch up to a fastball anymore that season. I think he knew he was using a Corked bat - in hopes to get around faster on a fastball.

The problem with super balls and wood bats is that there's no good way to open a bat and perfectly cram the balls in. There's going to be empty space in the middle of your bat, basically waiting to explode open and reveal your cheating.

I did know some guys who played in high school and college who would open their aluminum bats and cram them full of superballs. Without worrying about the metal bats shattering, the extra "bounce" the super balls give the bat is amazing. I swung one once in a batting cage. You could barely feel the excess weight, but I couldn't believe how hard I was hitting the ball. I'm sure a few of those balls would have traveled over 400 feet if there wasn't any netting.

munchman33
06-11-2010, 09:48 AM
No, the machine the was "swinging" the bat was swinging with equal torque (the corked bat was traveling faster). Still hit the ball with less force. AGAIN, the little speed you gain by dropping the bat's weight you more than lose by compromising it's sweet spot. You're making it sound like bats are full of lead and its impossible to get them around. Force is velocity and mass. You can't just ignore one and say that it's all dependent on the other. That's not how equations work.

Corking a bat = Stupid.
Getting a new bat that is 1-2 ounces lighter = Brilliant.

A lighter bat will have less surface area. And I don't know if you've ever played baseball, but getting the bat through the zone easier makes a tremendous difference. Hitting a baseball dead on or being off by an inch is the difference between a well hit ball and an out.

seventyseven
06-11-2010, 10:04 AM
The problem with super balls and wood bats is that there's no good way to open a bat and perfectly cram the balls in. There's going to be empty space in the middle of your bat, basically waiting to explode open and reveal your cheating.

I did know some guys who played in high school and college who would open their aluminum bats and cram them full of superballs. Without worrying about the metal bats shattering, the extra "bounce" the super balls give the bat is amazing. I swung one once in a batting cage. You could barely feel the excess weight, but I couldn't believe how hard I was hitting the ball. I'm sure a few of those balls would have traveled over 400 feet if there wasn't any netting.

Just waiting for lawsuit alleging negligence or depraved indifference when the plaintiff's expert concludes that the extra velocity on the baseball caused by the superballs was factor in the pitcher's death...

Huisj
06-11-2010, 10:57 AM
If anyone is feeling especially geeky and has lots of time to read some crazy stuff, this page is a goldmine of awesome science testing of sports physics:

http://webusers.npl.illinois.edu/~a-nathan/pob/ (http://webusers.npl.illinois.edu/%7Ea-nathan/pob/)

I actually had an opportunity to work for that guy briefly a number of years back when I had just started grad school but turned it down to go into automotive stuff instead. I sometimes still regret it a bit.

Also, there is an article about halfway down on the left column about the trampoline effect in bats, and a section in the article about corked bats too (which they conclude have no measurable trampoline effect because the wall thickness is just too big compared to metal bats).

wassagstdu
06-13-2010, 08:41 AM
My understanding (and experience) is that a metal bat has a larger sweet spot. Maybe removing mass from the sweet spot (and shifting the distribution outward) has the effect of widening the sweet spot.

doublem23
06-13-2010, 01:25 PM
A lighter bat will have less surface area. And I don't know if you've ever played baseball, but getting the bat through the zone easier makes a tremendous difference. Hitting a baseball dead on or being off by an inch is the difference between a well hit ball and an out.

If you want to weakly ground out on the infield every time you step to the plate, be my guest, it's a free country. There's more to hitting than just putting wood on ball.

I did play baseball, never in a wood bat league, but I generally preferred a lighter bat. Granted, I usually batted 1-2 in our lineup so I wasn't really trying to stroke homers, just get on base.

I understand your point about getting the bat through the zone and I understand the point about the surface area of the bat being a bit smaller. The loss of force, however, is significant. Why do you think guys don't go to the plate sporting a canoe oar? Very light, ultra surface area, doesn't do **** when you hit a ball because there's no power behind the swing.

munchman33
06-13-2010, 06:36 PM
If you want to weakly ground out on the infield every time you step to the plate, be my guest, it's a free country. There's more to hitting than just putting wood on ball.

I did play baseball, never in a wood bat league, but I generally preferred a lighter bat. Granted, I usually batted 1-2 in our lineup so I wasn't really trying to stroke homers, just get on base.

I understand your point about getting the bat through the zone and I understand the point about the surface area of the bat being a bit smaller. The loss of force, however, is significant. Why do you think guys don't go to the plate sporting a canoe oar? Very light, ultra surface area, doesn't do **** when you hit a ball because there's no power behind the swing.


The loss of force is not as significant as you think, and studies showing distance with equal swing force are wrong. The initial force won't be equal because you'll be swinging the bat harder and faster with a corked bat. Also, don't forget a hollow bat's surface will smoosh in on contact, essentially making the entire bat the sweet spot. Almost everything is a well hit line drive.

doublem23
06-13-2010, 11:29 PM
The loss of force is not as significant as you think, and studies showing distance with equal swing force are wrong. The initial force won't be equal because you'll be swinging the bat harder and faster with a corked bat. Also, don't forget a hollow bat's surface will smoosh in on contact, essentially making the entire bat the sweet spot. Almost everything is a well hit line drive.

That is essentially 110% not true.

munchman33
06-14-2010, 12:21 AM
That is essentially 110% not true.

Source? Seriously, if you can prove a corked bat defies the laws of physics, I'm all for hearing you out. But if you hollow out a bat and hit a baseball with it, there will be a spring effect with the outer layer. Uncorked bats have this effect, hallowing out a bat will certainly have it on a significantly larger scale.

doublem23
06-14-2010, 12:41 AM
Source? Seriously, if you can prove a corked bat defies the laws of physics, I'm all for hearing you out. But if you hollow out a bat and hit a baseball with it, there will be a spring effect with the outer layer. Uncorked bats have this effect, hallowing out a bat will certainly have it on a significantly larger scale.

http://mythbustersresults.com/episode83

This doesn't even qualify as Physics 101. I cannot believe I have to argue this.

munchman33
06-14-2010, 01:07 AM
http://mythbustersresults.com/episode83

This doesn't even qualify as Physics 101. I cannot believe I have to argue this.

That didn't come close to disproving what I just said. In fact, that didn't have anything to do with it. :?:

http://paws.kettering.edu/~drussell/bats-new/corkedbat.html (http://paws.kettering.edu/%7Edrussell/bats-new/corkedbat.html)

And we've all seen these studies, and we've seen different results. The constants in them are increased bat speed and a larger flattening of the bat's surface for corked bats. If you're massively strong, the loss in mass isn't nearly going to have the kind of negative effect that the increase in your hits you will see.

Huisj
06-14-2010, 10:36 AM
That didn't come close to disproving what I just said. In fact, that didn't have anything to do with it. :?:

http://paws.kettering.edu/~drussell/bats-new/corkedbat.html (http://paws.kettering.edu/%7Edrussell/bats-new/corkedbat.html)

And we've all seen these studies, and we've seen different results. The constants in them are increased bat speed and a larger flattening of the bat's surface for corked bats. If you're massively strong, the loss in mass isn't nearly going to have the kind of negative effect that the increase in your hits you will see.

This is from your link:

"The data at right[8] shows a typical result for one of the bats. The plot indicates that the BBCOR is lowest for the drilled (hollow) bat. The BBCOR value for the corked bat is slightly lower than the original bat, though given the error in the measurements the results are basically indistinguishable. This result confirms the previous experiment by Alan Nathan[4] that a corked bat does not have a trampoline effect."

Alan Nathan is the guy who's site I linked to a few posts up. He has more details of that study that basically show that the wall thickness of a hollowed out wood bat is still far to thick to get the compression and spring effect people assume is must have. The part below the section I quoted also has some real interesting stats about vibration frequency of different kinds of bats, and pretty much concludes that corking doesn't help a trampoline effect.

I think what it comes down to is that if there is any advantage to corking a bat, it has to do with slightly increased bat speed, possibly better bat control from it being lighter, and confidence from believing that using it will help you hit the ball better.

akingamongstmen
06-22-2010, 07:14 PM
I don't think you want recoil when hitting a ball. Its not a trampoline type of thing, even though one may think it is.

You want as much mass as possible. And you want the bat as hard as possible. Cork or superballs or whatever defeats this.

Why do you think metal bats hit the ball much, much harder? Because metal is much harder.

SportsCenter has a piece on this yesterday with Nomar hitting in a cage with a ton of sensors in place. The recoil effect that corresponds to a reduction in ball compression when using an aluminum bat allows for a "cleaner" transfer of kinetic energy. In the piece that they showed, Nomar was averaging about 5 MPH more velocity on balls that he hit with aluminum versus wood due to the "trampoline effect," not because metal is harder than wood.

As for the issue of cork, you are abolutely right. The minor reduction in weight (and presumed increase in bat speed) does not outweigh the mass reduction and degradation of the sweet spot's integrity. I cannot believe that people try corking their bats when the physics doesn't add up.

I suppose that the psychological argument could be made for corking, though. The physics-based arguments work under the assumption that the hitter is able to exactly replicate his swing mechanics with flawless precision. If a hitter thinks that he is swinging a "better" bat that is corked, then he may be able to generate more bat speed. This is pretty much impossible to prove if you ask me.