Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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I like this idea, only I think it should be run by the government.

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Straight Baseball

Indistinguishable from the rest
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Baseball has evolved to where the pitcher's skill has become the greatest single factor in directing the game; a skilled pitcher can throw breaking balls to stymie the batters and prevent scoring innings. While interesting, through the decades it has unbalanced the game.

Build a baseball that passes all the construction rules for size, weight, appearance, etc but that cannot be manipulated to curve, sink, or otherwise aerodynamically deviate during flight. The covering and stitching would resist stretching, pinching and similar manipulation by the pitcher, yielding a flight path where speed (and gravity) become the only variables.

Adding a random number of such balls into the game mix would force pitchers to occasionally play it straight, and increase player participation and viewer interest.

whatrock, Sep 01 2022

And in the completely other direction https://www.theatla...all-physics/539982/
The hot rodders of whiffle ball [a1, Sep 03 2022]

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       I don’t think this is possible as described. Even if you make the ball impervious to modification, it’s still going to be possible to throw a curveball.   

       Make the ball perfectly smooth, and fire it from a smooth-bored air cannon, and you might get a predictable trajectory. The pitcher would be purely symbolic in that case.
a1, Sep 02 2022
  

       Maybe coat the (atomically smooth) ball in oiled PTFE, so the pitcher can't impose any spin?
neutrinos_shadow, Sep 02 2022
  

       Then he can't accurately throw it straight either.
21 Quest, Sep 02 2022
  

       I don't think there's any way to do this without dynamically moving ailerons and flaps. The ball would need to have something to push against to change its course and the only thing there is air.   

       Which is a neat idea, but having something with a bunch of flaps, sensors, solenoids n stuff that could survive getting hit by a bat might be challenging.   

       Ten cent solution would be to tie a long tail to it.   

       Hmm.
doctorremulac3, Sep 03 2022
  

       I disagree with the premise described in your first paragraph. First, pitchers have always been the center of the game, quite literally, so this is not a recent phenomenon that through the decades has unbalanced the game.   

       Secondly a skilled batter has a number of ways to deal with skilled pitchers. Just being able to hit those pitches is the main one, but they can also learn a pitcher's style and try to predict the pitch, try to read the fielders positioning, take advice from fellow batters, etc. It's an important part of the game, of the strategy of baseball, and I don't see it needs any fixing.
tatterdemalion, Sep 07 2022
  
      
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