Monday, July 9, 2012


Baseball's All-Star break is the slowest time on the sports calendar. In fact, these three days are the only days of the year where none of the four major professional sports have games*.

* - Real games. Sorry, Bud, this one still doesn't count.

If you're really -- and I mean REALLY -- desperate for some action you can watch the Home Run Derby. There are two problems with this strategy: first, you have to deal with Chris "Uma" Berman, and second, it's really not that interesting. You'd think a bunch of professional baseball players trying to hit the ball as far as they can would be fun to watch but, let's face it: it gets old after awhile.

There are ways to spice it up, of course, like this clusterfuck the Reading Phillies came up with for the Eastern League All-Star Game.

Or! Or. You could put it on the moon.

As you know, the moon has one-sixth the gravity of Earth. In addition, the lack of atmosphere* means less drag to slow the baseball down. How far could you hit a baseball on the moon? More importantly, how far could Albert Pujols hit a baseball on the moon? You'd need a tracking device to find the damn thing.

* - Like the Oakland Coliseum. Zing!

Come to think of it, baseballs are pretty small; with the moon's weaker gravity, could you hit a baseball into orbit? (Some brief fooling around with escape velocity tells me probably not, but I could be wrong.)

And what about other aspects of the game? How far could you throw a ball? Would it be more difficult to run in one-sixth gravity? Everyone's always hopping around in those Apollo videos; how fast would, say, Usain Bolt run a lunar 100m dash?

I could go on and on, but no one's reading this as it is. As a rule, if I were in charge of NASA, I would want to do three things above all:
1. Create a system to destroy an asteroid headed towards Earth.
2. Figure out what it looks like when you blow something up in space, and what happens to all the shrapnel, to improve our sci-fi special effects.
3. Test what it would be like to play baseball and other sports in outer space.

Professional athletes, like astronauts, have to be in peak physical shape anyway. And of course, I'm open to sponsorship opportunities: why not have Nike fly LeBron James to the moon to make progressively longer dunks? Or let Josh Hamilton hit baseballs a literal mile? Think of the commercials! Get excited.


  1. Worth noting that, on fucking cue, Randall Munroe of speculates what would happen if you tried to hit a baseball thrown near the speed of light:

    I deem this: freakishly coincidental.

    1. This is what happens when everyone's bored with sports. "What if we did it in space?"

      Well, sports/everything.

    2. "Hey, not EVERYthing is cooler if you do it in space."
      -the producers of Moonraker

      And I am SO ready for this baseball season to be over. I've said it before, but this Red Sox team is joyless and soulless and faceless and expensive and bad.

      Rooting for the Yankees always strikes me as fun, for the same reason everyone likes Darth Vader: he's bad, he knows it (shamon) and he's very good at it. Rooting for the 2012 Red Sox is like rooting for Nute Gunray in the Star Wars prequels: he's evil, I guess, but he's not very good at being evil, and there's no force (sorry) of personality there that captivates you.