With that said, we're gonna need one before too long. Or I'll at least need a fan in my room.
I spent yesterday afternoon up in a park in Harlem with a bunch of kids in the city foster care system. I've been involved in a mentoring program up there for the past couple of months. A friend of mine from work told me about it after she found out I was adopted. It's been a great experience so far. The weather was nice, so we headed out with a basketball, football, frisbee, etc. to enjoy the weather. One of the kids is really into baseball, so I brought my glove and a ball with me to toss around. I taught him how to throw a slider (he needs some practice, but then again, so do I) and was happy that a)I can still get the ball to break a few inches down and away, b)I can keep it in the strike zone, and c)I can still lift my arm today. It's been almost a year since I last threw a baseball for real and I'm glad my arm is still in decent shape. I wasn't winging it full strength or throwing more than 60 feet (at most), so it's not like I was breaking myself. At the same time, I'm glad to know that I haven't completely broken down yet.
It amazes me how many different ways you can make a baseball move. Hell, putting spin on anything still fascinates me, and I haven't been able to roll a bowling ball straight in almost five years. But with a bowling ball, the physics make sense, because of the friction created between the surface of the ball and the wood on the lanes. A ball moving through the air at 50 mph or so, or greater speeds? Completely different. There are about a dozen different types of pitches people can throw. Some of them behave similarly, but the fact of the matter is you can get a six ounce sphere to go in just about any direction and just about any speed. The key? the laces. Mind you, I almost failed physics in high school, it's something to do with the air resistance and the slight...irregularities...in the...air flow...hell, I have no idea. It still fascinates me. And how people actually HIT pitches? I have no idea about that either. A pitch thrown by a major league pitcher, from the point where it leaves his hand, travels about 55 feet to the plate. It is descending about two feet, sometimes more, to the middle of the strike zone. A pitch traveling 90 miles per hour will reach the plate in about three tenths of a second. Even if it's a John Parrish 50 mph looping curveball, it'll still get there in about half a second. In that time, a batter has to judge the spin of the ball, whether it's a ball or a strike, where it's going, how it'll get there, and what will happen once it gets there. It boils down to a great deal of hand and eye coordination and some guesswork. Then you have to actually hit the damn thing, after processing this all in about as much time as it takes you to blink. I guess this is why people always say that hitting a baseball is about as difficult a task as there is in sports.
In the meantime, I was home for a wedding over the past weekend and now my sleep schedule is still fucked up. Instead of waking up at 3 am, I was going to bed at 3 am. Then Jeanne rolled into town and crashed at my place for a couple of nights, getting in late, and staying up chatting more or less until I had to go to work. I think there was a 72 hour period where I slept no more than 10-12 hours. Just like college. It was great to see her though. She's going to teach English in Korea for a year in the fall, so who knows when I'll see her again? She wants me to come visit, but I'm not sure how likely that will be.