FanDuel - WFBC

August 22, 2006

Superhumans.: (Well, that explains that.)

Washington University put Albert Pujols through a series of sensory tests. Result? He's good. Columbia University did the same with The Babe in 1921 (a test that is referenced in the Pujols article). He was good, too. These are not mere mortals we're dealing with. [via]

posted by BullpenPro to baseball at 11:53 AM - 23 comments

I find this very interesting in a dorky way. I was impressed with the way he visually broke things down into sectors, scanned each sector, then rescanned them after he was done. It sounds very similar to how you analyze the strike zone. What can you say about Albert that hasn't already been said? Man.

posted by igottheblues at 12:53 PM on August 22

When I read the part about the sectors, all I could think of was The Terminator. Pujols is clearly a machine. I wish they had done these tests on other guys. Like Ted Williams.

posted by BullpenPro at 01:20 PM on August 22

Oh, brother. You know what this means -- there are going to be GMs that will have prospects doing peripheral tests like these to determine if they are going to be great players. [GQ writer Nate] Penn should have been warned, but he thought he would surely be the victor in a test of finger-tapping speed. "People my whole life have been awed by my typing speed," Penn said. (He types 120 words per minute.) I once did data entry alongside a woman who was a trained concert pianist. Her fingers were almost a blur when she typed. I asked her what her speed was, and she said, "I don't tell people anymore. They never believe me."

posted by L.N. Smithee at 01:47 PM on August 22

there are going to be GMs that will have prospects doing peripheral tests like these to determine if they are going to be great players Paging Danny Ainge.

posted by yerfatma at 01:50 PM on August 22

I'm just glad they don't do tests like this on mere mortals like me! Yuck! I wonder if I'd get points for my muscular beer belly?

posted by commander cody at 01:51 PM on August 22

Throw in a batch of steroids and human growth hormones and you've really got something.

posted by jaygolf at 02:55 PM on August 22

Does this add a whole new dimension to the scouting process?

posted by Psycho at 02:58 PM on August 22

I wonder how Ted Williams might have done on a similar test in his prime. The way Pujols did the sector scanning is very similar to what fighter pilots do in scanning for their adversaries, and Williams was good enough to fly on John Glenn's wing. Williams' depth perception was legendary, and while I have no data to back it up, I would bet the house that his reaction time was much quicker than normal. If Albert Pujols ever decides to learn how to fly, the Blue Angels might want him. Very interesting post. Thanks.

posted by Howard_T at 03:11 PM on August 22

Pujols finished the barrage of tests and politely thanked the assembled experts, excused himself from his chair and immediately walked through the nearest wall on his way to his car. Later, local mathmeticians would note that the path Pujols took to his car was in fact a ratio that almost precisely mimicked the accepted parabola of a perfectly struck Brad Lidge slider. However, this fact was mostly ignored when eye witnesses recalled that no one could remember Pujols blinking at any point during his visit. Add the fact that Pujols didn't actually drive away in his car, but rather picked it up and lept to St. Louis, and the visit was remembered fondly until the day Manny Ramirez came in for tests and caused every piece of equipment to self terminate and two scientists to go completely mad in utter consternation.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 03:35 PM on August 22

I wonder what kind of mileage that gets you.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 03:38 PM on August 22

The way Pujols did the sector scanning is very similar to what fighter pilots do in scanning for their adversaries, and Williams was good enough to fly on John Glenn's wing. I took a few hours of pilot training, and it was surprising how hard it is to see stuff up there. The instructor would ask "do you see that traffic?" Me: "no" Him: "There" (pointing) Me: "nope" Him: "right THERE" Me: "I got nothing." So yeah, I'd ACE the sensory test...

posted by dusted at 03:39 PM on August 22

I seem to recall reading about similar tests being done on a variety of athletes, with Formula 1 drivers consistently scoring the fastest reaction times. Wish I could find the article now- sadly, pretty sure I read it on a dead-tree (aka the 'non-googleable').

posted by tieguy at 04:41 PM on August 22

We used to have to do the same sort of "sector scanning" when I was in the Navy. Spotting a periscope wake in whitecaps as you fly around in a helicopter at around 150 knots was challenging, to say the least. That Albert Pujols, he'd have made a hell of an Anti-Submariner. Or, a hell of a torpedo, for that matter.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 08:40 PM on August 22

Mr. Pujols, you see a turtle on its back, in the sun. It can't turn over. What do you do?

posted by holden at 10:19 AM on August 23

Mr. Pujols, you see a turtle on its back, in the sun. It can't turn over. What do you do? Well first I get my bat! And then I....uh...then I....(whispers from his agent)...Oh yeah! I whack it really really hard! Did I do good? Did I?

posted by commander cody at 01:24 PM on August 23

so uhmmm....does that make commander cody a replicant?

posted by HATER 187 at 01:28 PM on August 23

Mr. Pujols, you see a turtle on its back, in the sun. It can't turn over. What do you do? A-Rod is clearly a replicant.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:28 PM on August 23

I resemble that remark!

posted by commander cody at 01:34 PM on August 23

Throw in a batch of steroids and human growth hormones and you've really got something. How would this affect his WPM while typing? Would the HGH cause his fingers to inflate to the size of bratwurst making them useless typing instruments? What I really want to know is who would win in a head-to-head Sudoku tournament between the Babe and Al.

posted by gradys_kitchen at 01:45 PM on August 23

I don't get the turtle on its back reference... ? I'd be curious to know why these tests were selected, and what they are meant to measure (like the finger tapping...?), and how the "normal person" does. I.e., was this single finger tapping, how fast did he do it, etc. I remember at the museum of science in Boston, when I was a kid, they had a neat exhibit on stuff like this, and one machine where you would have to hit a button as fast as you could when the led lights in a row would start lighting up- a light for every every hundredth of a second. You could compare how fast you did it to the normal person, etc. As an occassional piano player, if not a true concert pianist, I often impress people with my typing speed- but that's a learned skill, you get coordination and speed through practice. How many of these tests are biased to people who are trained/learn to do similar things on some level?

posted by hincandenza at 01:53 PM on August 23

Go directly to your local video store and rent Blade Runner, or better yet, head to a bookstore or library and get Phillip K. Dick's 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?'. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

posted by tieguy at 02:47 PM on August 23

Wait, now that sounds familiar- is that thing where they ask the androids what they do if they find the turtle, to prove whether they're human or not- that a human says to flip the turtle over, but an android basically kills the turtle or ignores it? It all makes sense! :)

posted by hincandenza at 07:03 PM on August 23

so uhmmm....does that make commander cody a replicant? Actually I was channeling Albert Pujols.

posted by commander cody at 01:53 AM on August 24

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