Physicist shows how steroids can fuel home runs
( Reuters ) - Steroids can help batters hit 50 percent more home runs by boosting their muscle mass by just 10 percent, a U.S. physicist said.
Calculations show that, by putting on 10 percent more muscle mass, a batter can swing about 5 percent faster, increasing the ball's speed by 4 percent as it leaves the bat.
Depending on the ball's trajectory, this added speed could take it into home run territory 50 percent more often, said Roger Tobin of Tufts University in Boston.
"A 4 percent increase in ball speed, which can reasonably be expected from steroid use, can increase home run production by anywhere from 50 percent to 100 percent," said Tobin, whose study will be published in an upcoming issue of the American Journal of Physics.
Tobin, who normally studies condensed matter and physics, wondered if professional baseball players who have recently been accused of boosting their performance with steroids really would benefit from using the drugs.
"If you look at other sports, you don't see radical changes in performance. No one is running a 6-second 100-meter dash, no matter what they are taking," Tobin said in a telephone interview.