Baseball, Vision And Alcohol: Analyzing The Zito Curve
    By Hank Campbell | October 10th 2010 02:10 PM | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
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    This article has basically nothing to do with baseball or Barry Zito's curveball so you can stop reading if that is your interest - or check out  

    The Science Of Baseball: What Is The Fastest A Pitcher Can Throw?

    The Science Of Baseball: What Is The Farthest Home Run (And Did Mickey Mantle Hit It)?

    Does A Curveball In Baseball Really Break?

    Yankee Stadium - The House That Bernoulli Built

    Baseball Debate Solved - The Head-First Slide Is Quicker

    Baseball Heresy - A Purist Mathematically Argues For The Unthinkable; More Playoffs

    or all these if you are interested in the science of baseball.  I got nothin' for helping Barry Zito.


    In San Francisco Friday night for the Giants versus Braves playoff game (see Science Of Baseball Playoffs: Giants To Win LDS, But Don't Bet The House for predictions) I went up the escalator toward a level I had never been before - heck, I didn't even know it existed - and a boisterous group near me was joking around in that funny way drunk people do, where everything makes them laugh, and a young lady with huge hair looked at me and said "Hey, you look like Barry Zito."

    Well, I look nothing like Barry Zito and if you're going to confuse me with someone on the Giants, at least make it someone who is on the post-season roster and not the second or third worst contract on the team ($18 million this year, but he eats up innings - Aaron Rowand is $12 million a year and can barely pinch hit, so he is the worst, though Jose Guillen isn't on the playoff roster either, also at $12 million).  But he is younger, so that was okay.

    Still, I had to wonder what they were thinking.   I asked how they could think I looked like Zito and the young lady replied 'I am in sales, so I will say you look like Zito's older brother.   If I wasn't, I would say you look like his dad."

    Ummm, ouch?

    At the top of the escalator, they saw a young man with wild hair in the Tim Lincecum style - and he did look like Lincecum in the way all young, thin men with the same hairstyle look alike.  This was too much coincidence for the fans so they got a picture with the two of us.  No, I don't have a copy and, like most digital pictures, it will be stored somewhere and never seen again until a hard drive crashes and it will be gone forever, but after I sat down I posted an update on Facebook saying drunk people thought I looked like Barry Zito and Paul Shin replied, "how drunk were they??"

    Well, that was a good question so I decided to gather some data by asking people around me as the game progressed (11 innings!) and slyly clocking their alcohol intake and their responses.   First, a baseline for those of you who were not there, though admittedly it isn't very good.   Zito wears baseball caps to work and I was wearing one at the game so I did my best to match the two up below, which wasn't easy, because I have no intention of spending more than 30 minutes on an article this ridiculous.

    Not really similar but this was a few weeks ago so my hair is a little shorter and his is a little longer.   These are the best I could find with same angle, wearing hats.

    So what did my analysis show?

    Well, the drunk girl with Troy Polamalu hair may have been onto something.    With the data I got, as we started off with no beers, people around me think I look like, unsurprisingly, me, but as people reached the 4 beer level and, since we were at a baseball game, I looked as much like Barry Zito as I possibly could - then it gradually descended through Bruce Campbell in "Army of Darkness" and finally ended up at Alessandra Ambrosio because, to men, everyone looks like Alessandra Ambrosio after 8 beers and there were no women near me at that point; they were all undulating their puffy, white stomachs in the aisles by then.

    I didn't have any beer at the game so my opinion was not factored in - I didn't leave my seat for four hours and for no reason I can figure out, the roving vendors were only selling ice cream and lemonade despite it being 50 degrees, nighttime, and foggy in San Francisco - which is pretty much the same as daytime there so trying to sell ice cream in AT&T Park must be the worst job ever.

    Good luck to San Francisco today!