Chris Berman Poses Geographical Conundrum

In the first round of the Home Run Derby yesterday, Mark Trumbo hit a home run. As the ball passed along its quietly majestic arc, Chris Berman was heard to remark that the ball was “on its way to Wichita”. On the surface it may have seemed that Berman uttered this insight because Wichita is quite far away from Kansas City, and that the ball that had just been hit had also traveled very far. Digging deeper, however, we see the roots of a paradox worthy of Zeno.

Provided at this point in the article, for contextual purposes, is a map containing both the cities of Kansas City, MO and Wichita, KS:

Furthermore, also via Google Maps, a satellite picture of Kauffman stadium in Kansas City:

Having pieced these facts together we can begin to see the complexity that was Mr. Trumbo’s momentous dinger; that, while facing roughly northeast, our hero managed to hit a home run in the direction of a municipality almost directly behind him. Such a thing might be impossible for an average man, but remember that we are dealing with the elite; today we speak of All-Stars.

Berman was, of course, not entirely correct in his statement; in the heat of announcing, he had miscalculated his coordinates and confused the orientation of the left field foul pole with straightaway centerfield. We can now, with the benefits of science, safely assume that Trumbo’s home run was on its way to Minneapolis or, if it were to continue its slice, the general vicinity of Winnipeg. But if we take the announcer at his word, and assume that he meant “toward” Wichita and not exactly “to” it, we have to take into account a new model:

In this case Mark Trumbo’s home run did not travel 420 feet, as was previously thought, but instead flew upwards of 130,542,720 feet (based on a calculation of 24,901 miles for the earth’s circumference, minus the 177 miles from Wichita to Kansas City). This is, however, the upper end of the spectrum, and assumes that the ball reached its midwestern target. If our only requirement is that the ball reach a point where it began moving toward Wichita, rather than away from it, the ball would need only to travel past the direct opposite side of the earth: in this case a lovely patch of ocean about a thousand miles off the coast of Perth. Thus we can conclude that the minimum distance of Trumbo’s home run would only be 65,271,361 feet, obviously still a new Home Run Derby record.

This may seem impressive – and I beg you, dear readers, to restrain your cynicism! – but we must remember that the ball Trumbo hit still exists in its current form, albeit in a revised location. Many of the other balls hit during the Home Run Derby, once they reached the stands, were simply referred to as “gone”, having as one must assume vaporized or incinerated as they reached the crowd. This is why the Home Run Derby is exciting! And dangerous.




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Patrick Dubuque is a wastrel and a general layabout. Many of the sites he has written for are now dead. Follow him on Twitter @euqubud.


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Joe
Guest
Joe
3 years 11 months ago

Chris Berman is an idiot, this only further solidifies that statement!

Nik
Guest
Nik
3 years 11 months ago

Yeah, this was the final piece…right….

DD
Guest
DD
3 years 11 months ago

Goerge Brett corrected him when he said this again later on.

Paul Sporer
Member
Member
3 years 11 months ago

I was going to mention the same. I was hoping that was going to be the story. I didn’t realize Berman did it more than once. Brett smoked him when Berman sent one to Omaha.

MikeS
Guest
MikeS
3 years 11 months ago

And the way Berman “pretended” to be upset with Brett for having the gall to correct a pompous windbag was absolutely priceless.

RamboDiaz
Member
3 years 11 months ago

65,271,361 feet – that’s one long dongpiece.

DD
Guest
DD
3 years 11 months ago

That’s what she said.

matthew
Guest
3 years 11 months ago

Articles like this cover the things I think about writing about if I didn’t have to work in human resources. I wish I had the time to write this exact article; unfortunately I cannot because I have to put food in my dog’s bowl, but I’m glad someone is able to put it out there.

Well-Beered Englishman
Guest
Well-Beered Englishman
3 years 11 months ago

+5,000 snark points

You have leveled up to Sultan of Snark

Sociology Degreeer
Guest
Sociology Degreeer
3 years 11 months ago

That BP pitcher certainly has a look like it traveled 65,271,361 feet.

josh
Guest
josh
3 years 11 months ago

now if only if you had calculated how long it would take a batted ball to circle the globe and land through someone’s windshield in Wichita.

dborghardt6
Member
dborghardt6
3 years 11 months ago

I was praying he would say “he strokes his dong to wichita”

steex
Member
steex
3 years 11 months ago

Don’t come crying to me when you end up naked and jacking it in San Diego.

Russell Branyan
Guest
3 years 11 months ago

Operation Trumbo Drop.

steex
Member
steex
3 years 11 months ago

This piece is most satisfying. I felt justifiably snarky for setting my status to “Watching the Chris Berman Regional Geography Bee” during the derby, but this is certainly taking it to another level.

However, I have an alternate theory. I believe Chris Berman is taking part in a Battleship-like game live on air during the derby. Earlier in the day, Karl Ravech places his fleet in various cities within a 300-mile radius of the stadium. Berman sits in front of a big map with red and white push pins, then attempts to sink Ravech’s proverbial ships by naming cities in his call. Unfortunately, Ravech cheats, and he moved his submarine over to El Dorado as soon as Berman called Wichita.

Leighton
Guest
Leighton
3 years 11 months ago

As a resident of the city of Omaha, I was just impressed that Berman knew the city existed. Never mind that the ball he said was headed to Omaha was, as Brett explained, actually heading in the general direction of “East” toward “Saint Louis” instead of “North” toward “Omaha.” He knew my city’s name!

Pendant
Guest
3 years 11 months ago

A paradox is something that contradicts or exceeds common understanding. Few Americans have any understanding of where Wichita is, so that call was no paradox on it’s face. But you, Mr. Dubuque, your cunning runs deep: all baseball fans know Chris Berman is a windy gas bag in love with leather, and yet ESPN gives him the microphone.

WinTwins
Member
WinTwins
3 years 11 months ago

You’re with me, leather.

FIRST! Yes…..

Pendant
Guest
3 years 11 months ago

No you’re not.

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