Five years ago, computer scientist Ryutaro Himeno was testing super-computers by modeling the fluid dynamics of airflow around baseballs. As detailed in the books he has helped write, a gyroball calls for a complex flip of the fingers during release, ending with the thumb pointed down. At its most effective, the pitch breaks horizontally as it nears the batter, as though shrugging off gravity.
It's one thing to hypothesize a new pitch. It's another to throw one. Japanese pitching phenomenon Daisuke, who led Japan to the World Baseball Classic championship in March, says he's thrown gyroballs. "I have done it in a game," Matsuzaka told Yahoo Sports. "But not too much. Sometimes accidentally." Fans may get a chance to decide for themselves, as Matsuzaka will finally join the major leagues next season.
Could this be the the first new pitch to be introduced to the sport of baseball in nearly four decades or is it just wishful thinking?
(Photo provided by Getty Images, taken by Jed Jacobsohn)
I love the Olympics. I love the spirit and pride that comes with international competition in such a wide range of sports. When I think of Olympic sports, track and field, swimming, skiing, and skating come to mind. Video games do not.
Ted Owen, head of the Global Gaming League, wants to see that changed. He���s pushing a campaign to get video games introduced as a demonstration during the 2008 Olympics. He's so serious about the idea that he has entered into talks with the Chinese government about having video games included during the Beijing Olympics.
Alright... it's all I've heard debated on ESPN for the last 24 hours. Some Dolphins players suggested that the team allegedly purchased tapes of the New England offense that provided audio of quarterback Tom Brady making audible and line-blocking calls.
Those players insinuated that the tapes were critical in preparing for the game and provided the Dolphins inside information about New England's offensive audible system. However, the NFL has ruled that the Miami Dolphins violated no league rules.
This is definitely approaching the line of what is moral and what is not in sports, if it doesn't cross it. I'm interested in what you think about this ordeal... Do you think this is cheating or just scouting? Are examples such as these leading children in athletics to play unfairly??
Check out the discussion on this and other topics in football at our message boards.
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The Marshall Heights Bisons from Washington DC won the 50th Pop Warner Super Bowl this past weekend. This victory was especially meaningful, as the Bisons had come up short in the championship game four times prior to taking the 2006 title.
This season's road to the super bowl was different in another big way. The Fannie Mae Foundation placed a call to Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington and gave $30,000 to the Bisons, after hearing on a local television show that the undefeated team made up of youths aged 13 to 15 was in need of the funds to go to the Pop Warner Super Bowl in Orlando, Florida.
The Bisons' Head Coach, Jay Ford, told the Florida Trend, "We are so appreciative of the Fannie Mae Foundation for stepping up to the plate to help our kids get what they deserve. Going to the Pop Warner Super Bowl is a real honor for our kids. They have worked hard. Not only has the team practiced in 100-degree heat and played in mud up to their ankles, but each team member had to maintain at least a C average in school to play on the team. They deserve this opportunity to go."
(Photo provided by Getty Images, taken by Scott Halleran)
Katie Hnida, the first woman to score in a Division I-A college football game, recently released her autobiography, "Still Kicking: My Journey as the First Woman to Play Division One College Football."
She shares her saga that began as a kicker at Chatfield High in Littleton, Colorado, where she was named one of the 20 Most Influential Teens in America by Teen People. She then walked-on as a kicker for Colorado where she says she was sexually abused by teammates, and among other childish pranks, had footballs thrown at her head. Not typical team-building behavior or college memories, for sure. However, what is most disconcerning, is that this behavior was perhaps deemed as acceptable and even celebrated among the rest of the team.
Despite all she endured, Hnida was able to continue playing college football. She found acceptance at New Mexico and on Aug. 30, 2003, she made history when she converted two PATs for the Lobos in a victory over Texas State.
Is there any hope for females who tryout and legitimately make a team comprised of all males to receive equal treatment? It seems as if the trend is to take it easy on the females or punish them and show them they do not belong on the same playing field.
Conversely, I recently read about a high school male in Wisconsin who was not allowed to train and compete on his school's girls' gymnastic team. His attorney, Jared Redfield, told the Chicago Tribune, "Why not treat the genders equally?...If women can go on our football team and they can wrestle in tournaments, why in the world if there's no access for a male to participate in gymnastics should they not be on the girls' team?" I think he has a good case. What do you think - how could this affect your sport?
(Photo provided by Getty Images, taken by Brian Bahr)
In Ottawa, Kansas there is a running back who has rushed for 1,000 yards on the football field this season. That's impressive. But wait, there's more -- he's also legally blind and has a debilitating disease known as sickle cell anemia.
Darius Johnson's uncle, Darnell, told The Kansas City Channel, "He can only see clearly two feet in front of his face. Everything else, he makes up for in some kind of way." Despite all that, Johnson has become a star football player for his Kansas high school team and was recently awarded a trophy and personalized jersey by the Derrick Johnson Third and Long Foundation.
Do you know of any special athletes who overcame great odds to excel? If so, in what way did they overcome their unique situation?
(Photo provided by Getty Images, taken by Andy Lyons)
This season is a perfect example, with the BCS taking heat again for the way the bowl series shaped up. A handful of teams with one loss had high hopes to play the Buckeyes in the title game. Is the BCS's system of polls and computers a fair way to decide whether Michigan, USC, Florida or someone else got a chance to play Ohio State for the national crown? Or would the best team in college football be found more accurately if the NCAA came up with a playoff system?
(Photograph provided by Getty Images, taken by