Monday, April 11, 2005


Slate's Sports Nut pieces are either quite wrongheaded or quite good. I liked this one, about the physical limits on how fast a pitcher's fastball can be. (Summary: Pitchers are pretty close to the limit, probably have been since at least the days of Bob Feller in the late 1930s.)

The interesting thing about being a basketball fan in my lifetime (and a little before) is that we could see the sport evolve before our eyes. Bill Russell, Julius Erving, Michael Jordan--each of them represented a quantum leap forward in the basic physical toolkit of top players. Basketball's heyday in terms of its maturation and rapid change was about 1955 to 1995. The comparable period for baseball ended about 1920 with the Babe Ruth revolution. Not that there's been no change since then, but the envelope hasn't been enlarged very much.

As of today I am hatefully jealous of Noam Scheiber, who gets to write political analysis for The New Republic, and moonlight as a baseball writer.

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