Book Review: The Physics of Pitching


Recently, while reading various blog articles on baseball books, I was made aware of a book called The Physics of Pitching. My initial reaction was of excitement, since the Physics of Baseball is a timeless classic by Robert K. Adair that I cannot recommend highly enough (and at $9 on Amazon, you have no good reason to not buy it if you don’t yet own it).

The Physics of Baseball

The Physics of Baseball

However, The Physics of Pitching falls well short of Adair’s classic text. Sure, it looks a lot cooler (the photography is top notch), but the material and content is either very out of date or completely inaccurate. The authors make a big deal out of using the latest scientific research studies to guide their training principles (good), but perpetuate the myth of the “balance point” as it pertains to ideal pitching mechanics. They also regurgitate the same myths over and over – long-arming is bad, keep your fingers behind the ball, and so forth.

The only redeeming quality of the book is Eric Cressey’s chapter on Strength and Conditioning, and if you’re going to spend money on material by Eric, I highly recommend you buy Maximum Strength instead – it’ll be about the same price and will contain 100 times more useful material than his minor excerpt in The Physics of Pitching.

Additionally, there are many words written about rehabilitation, psychology, and other non-physics-related topics in the book that you could easily find using a Google search. It might sound strange, but when I buy a book called “The Physics of Pitching,” I expect it to cover the physics related to baseball pitching in a fairly deep manner. This book barely scratches the surface, and it just repeats boring myths you can find on the Internet dating back to 2001. (I suspect that many of the words on  “biomechanics” were plagiarized directly from a popular Internet pitching mechanics “expert.”)

In conclusion, I highly recommend against buying (or even borrowing) the book. I haven’t watched the instructional DVD that comes with the book, but I’m sure it is of little value as well.

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