His Theory on Baseball Bats More Than a Lot of Hot Air

A 31-year-old aerodynamics instructor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is trying to liven up baseball by modifying the bat.

Jeff Di Tullio has found that by adding small dimples to baseball bats, similar to those found on golf balls, he can improve bat speed by up to 5%. He estimates that could add another 15 feet to major league hits.

"What it does is mix the low-energy air on the surface with the high-energy air above," Di Tullio said. "The mixing allows the air to stay on the bat longer, which reduces drag."

Elementary, right?


Trivia time: Who holds the USC school record for the 100-yard dash?


A real drag: Jerry Glanville, fired as coach of the Atlanta Falcons, is dabbling with a new career as a stock car driver.

Glanville, who said he started racing when he was 15, was asked if he could use another former NFL coach, Jimmy Johnson, on his pit crew.

"Nope," Glanville said, "All that hair spray would slow us down."


Adjustment: Mark Kriegel of the New York Daily News on the Dallas Cowboys' new coach: "It won't be as easy as Barry Switzer thinks. He's never worked with a salary cap."


Bald eagles? Why did John Daly shave his head? No one seems to know, and Daly isn't talking.

Billy Andrade, one of Daly's playing partners at the recent Greater Greensboro (N.C.) Open, didn't believe Daly had actually shaved his head.

"I thought it was a skit from 'Saturday Night Live,' " Andrade told Golf World, adding he lifted Daly's cap several times to be sure.


Soccer fan: Bob Smizik of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette insists he found a picture of a soccer field next to the word boring in the dictionary.

"It (soccer) is the antithesis of what Americans find enjoyable about team sports," Smizik writes. "Americans like lots of scoring and rough action and plenty of strategy.

"In soccer, there is little scoring, almost no physical contact and an excessive amount of turnovers."


Limited: San Francisco Giant pitcher John Burkett, who was thrown out at first base by Montreal outfielder Larry Walker on April 19, is candid about his athletic ability.

"All I can do is throw a baseball and throw a bowling ball," Burkett told Larry Stone of the San Francico Examiner. "My reaction time is not good, and my running ability is not good. Sometimes they pick on my weaknesses."


Trivia answer: Lennox Miller and Willie Deckard, 9.2 seconds.


Quotebook: Shaquille O'Neal, on his chances of winning the NBA Most Valuable Player award this season: "I think I'm like the Ross Perot of the NBA. I'm going to get a lot of votes, but I'm not going to win."

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World