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2.16.2007

Daisuke Matsuzaka and the Legend of the Flaming Gyroball


Meet Daisuke Matsuzaka: the Boston Red Sox brand spankin' new miracle.

The 26-year-old pitcher was awfully cheerful during a 40-minute press conference Thursday that covered many topics, including his curiosity for the knuckleball, his offseason dining with Ichiro, and of course, the infamous gyroball (pronounced either gyro like Elvis or gyro like the sandwich. Pick one and hope you're right).

Does it exist? Is he able to throw it? When will we see it?

"Mmmm. How should I answer?" he said. "I knew this question was coming today. I was preparing some optional answers for this particular question. Should I say, 'I have that pitch?' Or I could say, 'Which particular [pitch] are you referring to?' Or, 'Which ball are you calling a gyroball?' Overall, if I had the chance, I will pitch that ball."

Thanks for clearing that up.

The gyroball, for those unfamiliar, was developed in a test tube using computer simulations by two scientists somewhere in Japan, the formula shown only to Matsuzaka.

At the point of release, the pitcher rotates his arm so that it moves away from his body, causing the ball to break back and forth before it stops time completely. This strange delivery creates a bullet-like spin on the ball, like a perfectly thrown spiral. Picture John Elway or Dan Marino. Now with a baseball and Japanese.

The trajectory of the ball looks similar to a fastball or change up, but with a late lateral break - away from rightys and in on leftys, if thrown by a righty. Still with me? Good. All that matters is it's allegedly damn near unhittable and Matsuzaka is the only one who knows how to throw it. Besides maybe those two scientists and another guy.

Like you, I'm just brimming with anticipation. Good thing it hasn't been over-hyped by every media outlet possible.

Thanks to for to a slow-motion video of the gyroball in action.


[Extra Bases]

7 comments:

ian said...

Dice-K is actually how Daisuke is pronounced in English.

Here is a better link for you to see the gyroball.

http://www.rotoauthority.com/files/gyroballvideo.mpeg