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Sharing Sox Podcast 42: Spin Cycle

Alan Nathan, physics professor and foremost authority on the physics of baseball, joins the program to talk spin, the ball, and how to save the sport

On Sharing Sox this week, SSS duty geezer Leigh Allan and his son and west coast correspondent, Will, have a very special guest: University of Illinois emeritus professor of physics Alan Nathan, the world’s preeminent authority on the physics of baseball.

Yep, two people pretending they know what they’re talking about are joined by one who really does.

The podcast includes explanations of the physics of spin and spin rates, the types of pitches impacted (maybe not what you’d think), how much MLB cracking down on sticky stuff is apt to impact offense, and everything else spin-worthy.

Then it’s on to the baseball itself, with explanation by Dr. Nathan — who was on the committee that studied the ball and its manufacturing process after MLB became worried about the home-run barrage — of what has and hasn’t changed, what does and doesn’t vary, and what could be done to make balls more consistent.

And finally, we get the opinion of Dr. Nathan (a lifelong Red Sox fan, but nobody’s perfect) on what could and should be done to get baseball away from the Three True Outcomes and back to the excitement of balls in play, and catches and throws, and running on the bases and on defense.

Trust us, it’s the most educational and informative Sharing Sox ever — and still fun.

Listen below, on our built-in Megaphone player:

or follow along with every episode at Apple Podcasts or Spotify, or wherever you consume your podcasts. Or, you can watch the podcast on the South Side Hit Pen YouTube channel.