Jul 22, 2009 | 1
The young baseball phenom, Esmailyn Gonzalez, received a $1.4-million bonus when he signed with the Washington Nationals in 2006. This February, the player who was misrepresenting himself as only 19 years old turned out to be a 23-year-old by the name of Carlos David Alvarez Lugo.
Gonzalez (if we can still call him that) is one of dozens of Latin American prospects that have been recently caught using false identities to entice scouts, The New York Times reported today. Do the home runs count if you go by another name?
To weed out players using borrowed birth certificates to appear younger (and therefore more desirable to clubs), according to the Times, “Major League Baseball is conducting genetic testing on some promising young players and their parents.”
May 18, 2009 | 10
In baseball, a good curveball can turn a hitter's legs to jelly, traveling on a devastating arc that causes him to wave his bat awkwardly at where the baseball used to be. In science, a good curveball can tell researchers a lot about the differences between what a person sees when an object is viewed via the eye's narrow band of central (or foveal) vision, compared with what the object looks like when spotted through one's peripheral vision.
May 8, 2009 | 9
The news broke yesterday that Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Manny Ramirez was being suspended for 50 games for violating Major League Baseball's performance-enhancing drug policy. Ramirez, 36, was suspended after baseball officials discovered he had been prescribed human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), according to the New York Times. HCG is a hormone used as a fertility drug in women—so what would a male athlete stand to gain by using it?
In a statement released by the players' union, Ramirez provided few details, saying only that the suspension, which he is not appealing, stemmed from "a medication, not a steroid" that his doctor prescribed "for a personal health issue."
Feb 20, 2009 | 5
Performance-enhancing steroids are the gifts that keep on giving. They help set home-run records and win cycling medals — never mind make for obvious nicknames like the latest instant classic, A-Roid.
But those perennial gifts aren’t all "positive": Now, it seems, in addition to bulking up users, anabolic steroids also predispose them to musculoskeletal injuries.
An anonymous survey of 2,552 retired NFL players released today found an association between joint and ligament injuries and use of steroids. Just over 9 percent of the former pro-athletes, who played as far back as the 1940s and as recently as the 21st century, admitted using the drugs during their careers, the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation study showed. Doping was common among players in positions requiring size and strength, with 16 percent of offensive linemen and nearly 15 percent of defensive linemen fessing up to the practice.
Oct 27, 2008 | 2
Flummoxed by those wrong "out" calls tennis referees make? Blame it on the brain's sluggish visual-processing system: It makes the ump — and all humans — likely to perceive moving objects as farther along in their trajectory than they actually are, a new study says.
The glitch produces a visual illusion that makes refs' erroneous calls overwhelmingly more likely to be on balls they call "out" than on ones they judge as "in," according to new research in today's Current Biology. Because the brain is constantly playing catch up with visual reality, it can become particularly taxed in situations in which an object is moving extremely quickly or unpredictably; in the case of a bouncing tennis ball, the brain may perceive it as landing beyond where it actually did.
Jul 17, 2008
Nineteen years ago today, the U.S. Air Force flew a B-2 Spirit bomber—better known as the Stealth Bomber—for the first time. The flight came at a cost of billions of dollars, as the sophisticated technology that allows the bomber to evade radar detection required far more development than the Air Force had budgeted.
Two nights ago, I watched one fly over Yankee Stadium as Sheryl Crow sang the Star-Spangled Banner before the 79th MLB All-Star Game. Here's the photo I took. (And yes, I stayed until the end. The words and time on the screen in the other photo say it all.)
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