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Jun15-06, 07:58 PM
P: 179
A Mathematical Analysis of Randy Johnson's bird killing fastball

Quote Quote by Hambil
This also assumes an even distribution of birds/time around the entire stadium. But that wouldn't be true. They would spend much more time in some areas than others, since they are probably there for the cast off food.

Also, doesn't the MFP need to consider how often the bird and ball are in motion? The bird would be in motion (flying around the stadium) far more often then the pitches. A single pitch lasts maybe a second, so in an averege game the ball is in the air (counting pitches only) for only 100 seconds. While the bird may be flying around for half the game.
If you look at the link I provided, you can see that time is both in the numerator and in the denominator, so it cancels out.

Also, I assumed that the birds are constantly moving around at 10 m/s, which is roughly the flying speed of a bird. And, since I think quantifying bird density to a higher order is very park/environment-dependent, we have to use a more rough estimation. Like I said, my bird density figure might be a little high, but even if you reduce it by a significant factor, there's still a pretty significant chance it will happen in a Major League Baseball game.

Basically I converted the original problem in this: How far does a baseball have to travel before it hits one bird? Since we know how far a baseball travels per pitch, we can determine the number of pitches this is equivalent to.