Kagan: The physics of three great catches

From SABR member David Kagan at The Hardball Times on June 13, 2016:

One of the key ideas illuminated by Sir Isaac was for every action, there is an equal and oppose reaction. While this idea has been applied to everything from the stock market to politics, it is only strictly true for forces.

Think about a line shot hit toward third base. As the ball interacts with the fielder’s glove, it exerts a large force on said glove, sometimes even causing pain to the hand therein. If you choose to call this the action force, the reaction is the equal force back on the ball causing it to come to rest. Of course, we could have looked at it the other way around – the force slowing the ball as the action, and the force on the glove as the reaction.

Now let’s apply this idea of action and reaction to the outfielder trying to climb the fence. The outfielder digs her cleats into the wall, pushing into the wall and down the wall. Consider these to be the action forces – in toward the wall and down along the wall. The reaction forces then are the wall pushing the fielder away from the wall and upward along the wall as shown below.

Read the full article here: http://www.hardballtimes.com/the-physics-of-three-great-catches/

Originally published: June 13, 2016. Last Updated: June 13, 2016.