Baseball TweetTalk, with Neil deGrasse Tyson

Chuck Nice, Gary O'Reilly and Neil deGrasse Tyson in the Playing with Science studio. Credit: Ben Ratner.

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About This Episode

In the latest installment of our fan-fave episodes where hosts Chuck Nice and Gary O’Reilly invite Neil deGrasse Tyson into the studio to explain the thinking behind his popular, and sometimes controversial, sport tweets, we turn our attention to baseball. Neil’s tweets range from pure opinion, like “If a pitch hits you on Ball 4, you should go to second base,” to physics, like why it takes twice as much energy to throw a 100mph fastball than a 70mph not-so-fast ball. And the conversation ranges from the legal, like baseball’s rule “6.08: Hit By Pitch” to the nasty: Neil explains exactly how he estimated that players and coaches unleash a tsunami of spit, or about 6 gallons of saliva, during each game. Explore why baseball games are longer than they used to be, and discover the neuroscientific reason why batters do better when they step out of the batter’s box between pitches. The guys unbundle batting averages and talk about various reasons for Major League Baseball’s resistance to modernization, including what would happen to pitchers if aluminum bats were allowed. Plus, Neil shares a tweet about slow baseball players that he hadn’t yet tweeted which would surely get baseball fans all riled up – but you’ll have to listen to the episode to hear it.

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: Baseball TweetTalk, with Neil deGrasse Tyson.

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  • Destin Coleman

    To your point about slow outfielders, Yogi Berra and Phil Rizzuto both have said that Dimaggio never dove for a ball, never had to reach down for it. He was always there, in position to make the play at shoulder height.

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