Swordsman slices 100mph baseball in two

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/08/08/swordsman-slices-100mph-baseba.html




Foul ball, count remains at 0-2.



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If it landed fair, would the catcher have to throw both halves to first, or would one half do?


That was pretty awesome.

Meh. I have no need for split baseballs. An avocado, on the other hand…

Now I see what Verlander has been complaining about. See the thick rubber layer? Clearly juiced.

I’d like to see if the guy could do this with an actual MLB baseball.


Non jokey answer:

Rule 3.01 Comment: Should a ball come partially apart in a game, it is in play until the play is completed.

If it was clean halves, the player would be out with either half. Otherwise some umpires go with a “bigger part is the ball”, and then people could judge which half was molecularly larger.

So, “one half” would definitely work, you don’t need both. But they still might argue which half was “the ball”, depending on how unevenly it was split.


His reaction begins at the moment the ball leaves the chute, but from the camera’s perspective it can be seen coming up the chute. I wonder if he could see or hear it coming up as well, or if the balls are on a regular timer, or if his reaction time really is that fast?

Note: I’m not questioning his ability, which is awesome, just the technical aspects of the setup, does anyone have more information?

No “cut” puns? Where am I?

Aw cmon, what’s with the complaining, just cut it out!

(There, happy now? :rofl: )

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First: This is wonderful and the man is highly skilled.
But: Isn’t the skill comparable to what a batter does when he hits the ball with a bat? The sword is narrower and he does it in one swing, no strikes, but the timing and reaction time is similar to a baseball player at the plate. Especially considering that the pitching machine is dialed in and consistent, not throwing sliders or fastballs.
Again, not to say this is an easy accomplishment just anyone could do. I would probably miss hitting the ball with a bat, a tennis racket or even a snow shovel.

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Depending on the type of machines used at the cage, you can kinda tell when the ball is approaching by ear, but mostly it’s about counting, and looking for the white/yellow of the ball just as it comes into the firing position. To make it harder, some machines vary the timing between pitches, but the counting is just as much to keep yourself steady as it is to know when the ball is released. For the most part, it’s about seeing the ball in the moment pre-pitch, and keeping your eye on it until you make contact.

Absolutely! And in fact, let’s see him try it against Chris Sale, who’s slider can spike up to the low 90’s and can move a foot or more right to left.

Honestly, the folks that can hit those pitches 400+ ft are hitting the ball dead center, in the dead center of the bat’s barrel have some of the best hand eye coordination on the planet. It’s not even about strength! Look at Mookie Betts, or Jose Altuve, both 5’7” or so and maybe 160 lbs- (and yes they are in world class shape, but far from superhuman behemoths like Aaron Judge) if you saw them on the street you would think nothing of them.

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100 mph isn’t a fastball?

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IDK if this what they were getting at but the machines can’t pitch fastballs like humans, because they aren’t capable of simulating the types of spin on the ball that a pitcher can- 4-seamers, for example, have a backspin which subtly makes the ball “appear” to rise as it approaches the plate (even though they don’t actually rise because physics,) and why they are typically thrown to the top of the strike zone in hopes of the batter swinging under the ball. 2-seamers, on the other hand, at least the good ones, aren’t even straight! thry have a tendency to “tunnel” or lightly corkscrew as they approach the plate- these are the fastballs typically thrown towards the lower corners of the plate, inducing the batter to swing over the ball or have the ball run in towards their hands.

And those are just the two most common- there are “cut” fastballs or cutters, which are similar to 2 seamers but less corked, generally for throwing inside, and split-fingered fastballs, which “fall off the table” as the appear to the hitter as a normal 4-seamer until they reach the plate, dropping out of the zone.

There are machines that can be offset to put spin on the pitches, but nothing like what you see from major leaguers or even high school kids.

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You are correct, 100 MPH is fast. I did mean fastball in the sense of a deceptive pitch. This is straight down the middle in a predictable manner. But at 100 MPH it is not something I could hit. The man has skill.
Also the swordsman is drawing the blade from the hip and not standing in a batter’s crouch. I expect that adds to the difficulty. I do think a professional baseball player, given a little practice with a sword and allowed hold the sword ready over the shoulder like a bat, could slice the ball in half also. This would not be duplicating the swordsman’s accomplishment however, so maybe I will bow out now and admit defeat.

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