July 11, 2012
How Pitchers React to Home Runs
If we learned anything from the Home Run Derby, it's that people enjoy watching home runs go far. We didn't actually learn that from the Home Run Derby. We knew that all along! It is a pretty well-established thing about baseball. I suppose we could just as easily say if we learned anything from the Home Run Derby, it's that large physical bodies such as the earth create an attractive pull whereby things that are flung up in the air will be drawn back down, the distance of flight correlating to the force exerted on the object. If you knew nothing before the Home Run Derby, you learned about gravity, and you learned that people enjoy watching big home runs. This is an introductory paragraph, and it is complete.
There is one small subset of the population we might not expect would enjoy watching big home runs: the pitchers who allow those home runs. We might not expect them to enjoy watching big home runs, but maybe they do. Maybe they have perspective on the thing. Maybe they appreciate the aesthetics of a baseball soaring impossibly deep into the sky. Maybe they're fans, just like you. Maybe not. I honestly don't know.
These are the 10 longest home runs of the first half of the season. I'm writing this post because I think you might enjoy reliving the 10 longest home runs of the first half of the season, but more than that because I'm interested in seeing the reactions of the 10 men who allowed these home runs.
This is, unfortunately, about as much look as we get at most of these pitchers. Not surprisingly, when a baseball is traveling 485 feet, the camera does not focus on the pitcher who allowed it. I think you probably know enough about me by now to know that, were I in charge of TV broadcasts, in such situations the camera absolutely would focus on the pitcher. There's no suspense in where the baseball lands; it's going to land by some seats, or past some seats. The suspense is in seeing whether the pitcher performs suppuku. We will cobble together as much footage as possible to evaluate these pitchers' reactions, but I warn you: it might get epileptic up in here.