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Matt Cain destroys things
October 28, 2012 10:38 AM   Subscribe

Matt Cain with Tori and Kari from Mythbusters destroys things mid air with his fastball (SLYT)
posted by Long Way To Go (263 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is fun, but it looks a bit staged...
posted by Jibuzaemon at 10:46 AM on October 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Kari and Tory's reactions absolutely make it. I've watched a great deal of Mythbusters and I've never seen them so incredulous that something actually worked.
posted by capricorn at 10:47 AM on October 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Looks faked to me.
posted by empath at 10:47 AM on October 28, 2012


I take back my other comment if it is in fact fake. Their reactions and the kids' look real, but Cain's reaction admittedly doesn't.
posted by capricorn at 10:48 AM on October 28, 2012


I'm sure he threw several pitches that didn't hit.....but, still pretty impressive...
posted by pearlybob at 10:50 AM on October 28, 2012


Cain's reaction to me looked like this wasn't a particularly difficult exercise for him (which I believe since he makes a living with that throwing arm).

Nice post.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:51 AM on October 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh god! The cheese!

...said with a surprising amount of raw emotion.
posted by Wolfdog at 10:54 AM on October 28, 2012 [8 favorites]


A pitcher has tremendous accuracy at a greater distance than this. Here, he also has to add time accuracy - the time at which a slowly moving object hits its upward apex at zero velocity.

I think the former, accuracy at a greater distance, is the harder skill.
posted by zippy at 10:55 AM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't want to stand in the batter's box against him.
posted by 4ster at 10:56 AM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Cain's reaction admittedly doesn't.

I just read that as top-level professional nonchalance. This is probably the equivalent of playing patty-cake for him. Cain could bean 2-liters out of the sky all day long with his eyes closed, I'm guessing.
posted by Aquaman at 11:00 AM on October 28, 2012


This mostly just reaffirms my impression that watermelons are bloody tough to destroy. He chipped a bit out of it but that was about it.
posted by restless_nomad at 11:01 AM on October 28, 2012


Randy Johnson hits a bird.
posted by ChuraChura at 11:01 AM on October 28, 2012 [8 favorites]


I don't think this is fake, because I don't think the Mythbusters would participate in faking something, even when they're "off the clock," so to speak.

I also think this is totally within the purview of what a top-flight MLB pitcher can do.

I further more think this is: TOTALLY AWESOME HOLY SHIT
posted by Sokka shot first at 11:03 AM on October 28, 2012 [8 favorites]


Fake? Have you guys ever actually watched baseball? The targets he's hitting with the ball are both larger and the distance shorter than he'd normally see in a regular game...
posted by danny the boy at 11:03 AM on October 28, 2012 [10 favorites]


The closed captioning is pure awesomeness.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:04 AM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


This roughly depicts the fears I had about my head when I was a Little Leaguer batter.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 11:05 AM on October 28, 2012 [7 favorites]


Guys, this is the guy's full time job: throw high speed baseballs 60 feet into a three inch circle (at the lower right of the batting box).

I'd be shocked if he missed.

Still pretty cool.
posted by seanmpuckett at 11:07 AM on October 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Terrific editing.
posted by davebush at 11:07 AM on October 28, 2012


Came here to link the Randy Johnson hits a bird video. See it's already happened. Good job, MetaFilter.
posted by hippybear at 11:07 AM on October 28, 2012


Just wonderful.
posted by stubie at 11:09 AM on October 28, 2012


Yeah, I think for a pro pitcher it's not a big challenge, but it looks like a fabulously *fun* one. And YAY FUN.
posted by rmd1023 at 11:11 AM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


At first I read that as Herman Cain.
posted by mrzarquon at 11:14 AM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


The hole in the pizza impressed me.
posted by francesca too at 11:19 AM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


In addition to being a pitcher, the guy is also a professional baseball player. I expect those guys are quite good at estimating ballistic trajectories.
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:20 AM on October 28, 2012


This guy is like the living embodiment of the Extended Ray Interceptor.

Also, if you are going to come in and threadshit right off with cries of "Fake!" could you at least provide some evidence? Because while I think he may easily have missed some of the targets and those misses were edited out, I don't see any evidence of Mythbusters faking the actual hits.
posted by misha at 11:21 AM on October 28, 2012


The pizza hole was what ruined it for me. It was obviously fake. A round ball wouldn't do that to a soft object if it was going any less than supersonic speed. And the pizza itself was perfectly formed after having been tossed 20 feet into the air, spinning.
posted by CaseyB at 11:25 AM on October 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


What's the backstory here? Who are those kids?
posted by DU at 11:26 AM on October 28, 2012


Yeah it'd be nice to have a rule that says you can't claim something is fake unless you're a credentialed expert in that subject. Minimum fine is doubled for first posts of "fake".
posted by danny the boy at 11:27 AM on October 28, 2012


Also, if you are going to come in and threadshit right off with cries of "Fake!" could you at least provide some evidence?

The pizza hole was what ruined it for me. It was obviously fake.

Agreed.

(plus, I examined the pixels)
posted by found missing at 11:28 AM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


The pizza hole was what ruined it for me. It was obviously fake. A round ball wouldn't do that to a soft object if it was going any less than supersonic speed.

There is cardboard on both sides.
posted by bongo_x at 11:28 AM on October 28, 2012 [7 favorites]


CaseyB: "The pizza hole was what ruined it for me. It was obviously fake. A round ball wouldn't do that to a soft object if it was going any less than supersonic speed."

what is this I don't even
posted by danny the boy at 11:29 AM on October 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


Nonchalance is part of the repertoire of professional baseball players. They work to make it look like "meh, no big deal." The other team feels disrespected if anyone acts celebratory.

Totally different than football where players party and fist pump every time anyone does anything.
posted by jasper411 at 11:30 AM on October 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


what is this I don't even

Try punching a hole in a blanket thrown in the air. Now try shooting it with a rifle.
posted by CaseyB at 11:31 AM on October 28, 2012


Yeah, doesn't surprise me at all. Mariano Rivera once got Dealin' Dave Robertson in the ear with a wad of gum and entertains himself by flinging gum at people and knocking things over with baseballs.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 11:35 AM on October 28, 2012


Watch the ground. Everything they throw leaves it's mark, especially the watermelon. If they'd tossed anything and he'd missed you'd see traces.

Besides, hitting a pizza box at that distance isn't exactly hard. The pop was the most difficult, and like all the targets he hits it at its apex, when it's essentially stationary.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 11:37 AM on October 28, 2012


Your own example isn't even consistent! A baseball going ~80mph is more like a bullet than your fist! And the cardboard pizza box is a hard object, not a soft blanket! WHY YES I AM MAD
posted by danny the boy at 11:38 AM on October 28, 2012 [14 favorites]


Try punching a hole in a blanket thrown in the air. Now try shooting it with a rifle.

Hold out a balloon, then have a friend punch it. Now, put the balloon on the ground and have him take another swing. A rigid backing makes the blunt force far more effective.

That's the difference the pizza box made.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 11:42 AM on October 28, 2012


FWIW Cain clearly has a promotional relationship with Paxti's.
posted by mwhybark at 11:42 AM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bunch of fucking Jim Garrisons in this thread.
posted by nathancaswell at 11:43 AM on October 28, 2012 [10 favorites]


Watch tonight and you can see him do the same with a bunch of tigers.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 11:44 AM on October 28, 2012 [23 favorites]


And whether or not Cain is capable of sniping stuff in midair, the obvious antecedent is Evan Longoria's celebrated BP snag.
posted by mwhybark at 11:46 AM on October 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Except the Longoria thing was faked.
posted by Sokka shot first at 11:47 AM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


It looks cool and everything but I'm betting it's a pizza promo. The camera shots of the pizza are too long. Why would they move the camera back to show Tori closing the lid on the box except to get another view of the logo?
posted by monkeymadness at 11:48 AM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Kids, you can easily test this, Mythbusters style, at your local batting cage. Please post pictures of your pizza boxes with perfectly round entry and exit hole. Thanks!
posted by found missing at 11:52 AM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think Mythbusters should debunk this video.
posted by LordSludge at 11:54 AM on October 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


The dispersion pattern of the tomato sauce can only be explained by the presence of a second pitcher and, somehow, Sam Giancana.
posted by horsewithnoname at 11:57 AM on October 28, 2012 [10 favorites]


Real or fake, it's just more proof that the Giants are evil beings sent to destroy us and must be stopped.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:58 AM on October 28, 2012


I hate you, eyeballkid.
posted by rtha at 12:00 PM on October 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Matt Cain's had a good year: threw a perfect game, pitching in the World Series, and most importantly, got to hang out with the Mythbusters! Way to go, Mattie!
posted by gingerbeer at 12:00 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, if Mattie had looked surprised, I'd be feeling kind of sick over the prospects of tonight's game. Of course he doesn't look surprised; do you look surprised when you do something you've been doing for years and it goes the way it usually does?
posted by rtha at 12:02 PM on October 28, 2012


They don't just tell the myths, they put them to the test.
posted by Rhomboid at 12:02 PM on October 28, 2012


I'm no structural engineer, but it seems clear to me that the destruction of the pizza box was the result of controlled demolitions and not the impact of a flying object. Wake up sheeple.
posted by Justinian at 12:04 PM on October 28, 2012 [28 favorites]


The molten cheese indicates the presence of thermate.
posted by nathancaswell at 12:05 PM on October 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


The pizza hole was what ruined it for me. It was obviously fake. A round ball wouldn't do that to a soft object if it was going any less than supersonic speed.

Totally. Totally gotta be going supersonic or less - you know - PSHWAWR just, like, fucking pizza mess all over the fucking place.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:06 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I missed the pizza logo entirely so I don't think it was a pizza promo. Plus, that "pizza" looked disgusting and they didn't eat a slice after. Duh.

Also: what is WRONG with you people? Are you so JADED? IS THERE NO MAGIC LEFT IN YOUR LIVES?!

You know, as I kid, I used to walk around my neighborhood at twilight in Mississippi with a rubber band and shoot mosquitoes out of the air. It took a little practice but I became quite good at it. Now, this make speak to the largeness and relatively sluggish flying of the Mississippi mosquito as opposed to my skill but it wasn't FAKED!
posted by amanda at 12:06 PM on October 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


Just a coincidence that Matt Cain is a shill for Patxi's?
Mythbusters lose their luster.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:07 PM on October 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


I hate everyone.
It's still cool, though.

posted by amanda at 12:16 PM on October 28, 2012


Well I have to say that this video does set about a bit of a strange uneasiness in me that I'm having trouble intellectualizing. It could just be a case of some strange editing and camera work. What bothers me is that main factor in my assuming this isn't fake is the past credibility of the people involved, which I guess is a compelling reason, but I don't think it's the kind of argument I usually like to go on.
posted by Algebra at 12:19 PM on October 28, 2012


You do realize that just about every place in town has named something after Cain at this point, and he's not shilling for them? The Marina location is also just a couple of blocks from where this was filmed.
posted by gingerbeer at 12:20 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Guys, we have a man destroying food by throwing balls at it. It's explodiarious. Lighten up!
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 12:22 PM on October 28, 2012


Also: what is WRONG with you people? Are you so JADED? IS THERE NO MAGIC LEFT IN YOUR LIVES?!

No. No there is not.
posted by LordSludge at 12:22 PM on October 28, 2012


Your own example isn't even consistent! A baseball going ~80mph is more like a bullet than your fist!

You aren't familiar with muzzle velocities of rifles. But you're right, the bullet was a bad example.
posted by CaseyB at 12:25 PM on October 28, 2012


Are you so JADED? IS THERE NO MAGIC LEFT IN YOUR LIVES?!

I just don't want what little magic there is left used to shill for corporations, that's all. I don't think that's too much to ask.
posted by mhoye at 12:25 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's not fake. Tory really does get that excited ANYTIME something explodes or gets destroyed. And so what if Paxti's participated? They are a seven location local pizza chain. NOT a corporation.
posted by matt_od at 12:26 PM on October 28, 2012


It's a freaking deep dish pizza place, not Halliburton, ridiculous.
posted by karmiolz at 12:28 PM on October 28, 2012


No more blood for olive oil!
posted by villanelles at dawn at 12:31 PM on October 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


Why isn't the guy throwing the objects into the air over his head wearing a batters helmet and safety goggles? Why must I ruin all fun?
posted by humanfont at 12:34 PM on October 28, 2012


What would be the point in faking something like this?
posted by Brocktoon at 12:37 PM on October 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


It's people like you that invented the PT belt.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 12:37 PM on October 28, 2012


Too many weird things going on with the pizza shot. The box leaks a pile of something out the side after it lands (breadcrumbs? sawdust?), of which there is no evidence when the box is opened. Also, the box is moved, if not exchanged, when it goes out of frame after landing. Might have been the guy picking it up and putting it back, but it kind of screams exchange.
posted by CaseyB at 12:40 PM on October 28, 2012


Why isn't the guy throwing the objects into the air over his head wearing a batters helmet and safety goggles? Why must I ruin all fun?

Because there's not a chance in hell Cain is going to beam him when his target is six feet or more higher and because apparently he's actually capable of throwing something up and then getting the hell out of the way. Aren't you?

And you didn't ruin the fun, but feel free to try again.
posted by matt_od at 12:40 PM on October 28, 2012


OK, sure. When the pizza box lands, the guy who threw it is about ten feet away and running towards the box. He is almost on top of the box when the camera pans away at 1:03 for a reaction shot. When the camera pans back to the box, the guy (or another guy?) is ten feet away from the box again, and walking towards it. I don't like ruining fun, but it's fun to ruin fake fun.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:45 PM on October 28, 2012


Too many weird things going on with the pizza shot. The box leaks a pile of something out the side after it lands (breadcrumbs? sawdust?), of which there is no evidence when the box is opened. Also, the box is moved, if not exchanged, when it goes out of frame after landing. Might have been the guy picking it up and putting it back, but it kind of screams exchange.

My god you people are killing me. The little kid clearly says "oh god the cheese" when running up to the box. That pile of something is the little container of parmesan cheese you get with pizza.
And so what if they reset the box? This thing was shot with one camera. Is it automatically fake if they went and fucked up on their first take of picking the box back up? They're not allowed to put it back down on the ground and give it another go?
posted by matt_od at 12:47 PM on October 28, 2012


The dispersion pattern of the tomato sauce can only be explained by...

... oh my... their pizzas look like a marinara massacre even before they're slung in the air.
posted by rh at 12:47 PM on October 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Real or fake, it's just more proof that the Giants are evil beings sent to destroy us and must be stopped.

I take it you've never watched Sergio Romo.
posted by clearly at 12:48 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I know the pitcher isn't going to hit him, but debris from shatter plastic could hit him on the head or in the eye.
posted by humanfont at 12:53 PM on October 28, 2012


I'm usually pretty quick to scream fake but jeez, the reactions look pretty darn genuine. I don't think that Tori guy would act like a such little girl if he could help it. Also, I wouldn't expect perfect continuity between shots. Covering the action 4 adults and a bunch of excited kids is going to require some serious wrangling.
posted by bonobothegreat at 12:53 PM on October 28, 2012


This thing was shot with one camera.

Oh?

Notice the quick cut to the kids' reaction when the ball hits the pinata. There's either a second camera somewhere, or this thing is quite staged. Also, that Tory dude's reaction to everything is a bit too over the top for a grown man.
posted by davebush at 12:54 PM on October 28, 2012


C'mon there's a celebrity pitcher, two personalities from the same show hanging out for some reason, they ruin a perfectly good pizza, they have two cameras. Nobody just has a piñata. INSIDE JOB and staged but they're talented enough not to fake the actual deeds I'm sure.
posted by floam at 12:56 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm going to go with totally plausible and not actually that hard (for a professional thrower-of-things).

One thing I noticed is that he's not actually hitting a moving object. He's hitting the objects at the top of their arcs, when they aren't moving. He still has to judge when the object is going to get there and put the ball there at the same time, but that's not crazy impossible.

I think that Tori's reaction can be explained by the fact that the bottle was hit on the first attempt. These are the MythBusters here. They are used to the first three attempts failing dismally. He probably figured they'd be out there for half an hour while their guy figured out the range and got into the groove and, kaboom.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 12:59 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Let's do a deep dish". Who would say that rather than "pizza"? Sorry, all signs point to this being a promo.
posted by davebush at 1:03 PM on October 28, 2012


Also, that Tory dude's reaction to everything is a bit too over the top for a grown man.

You haven't actually seen Mythbusters, have you ?
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:03 PM on October 28, 2012 [8 favorites]


You haven't actually seen Mythbusters, have you ?

Nope. Is that normal for him?
posted by davebush at 1:05 PM on October 28, 2012


No, he's holding back a little in this video.
posted by found missing at 1:07 PM on October 28, 2012 [15 favorites]


Don't suppose it matters that Matt Cain advertises that pizza chain. Coincidence!
posted by CaseyB at 1:09 PM on October 28, 2012


What's weird to me is that the targets get bigger and bigger, rather than smaller and smaller. I mean, really, dude hit a soda, then a watermelon, and somehow he's going to miss the pizza box or the pinata? I have no opinion on whether this is real or fake, I just think the progression is backwards.
posted by bardophile at 1:09 PM on October 28, 2012


Metafilter: Oh God, The Cheese!
posted by Aquaman at 1:10 PM on October 28, 2012


I think the people calling "fake" concerning the reactions of Troy and Kari are unfamiliar with the show Mythbusters. Tory Belleci & Kari Byron are pretty much reacting the way they always do when they witness something both unexpected and very cool. As for the event as a whole being a setup - as in being prearranged - well, I don't think Mythbusters wanders around the SF Bay area looking for pro baseball players to be randomly hanging out in a park while some kids just happen to have some objects to be used as targets. As for punching a hole through a pizza and its box, I am so hoping that testing it becomes a segment in Mythbusters! Time for the air cannon! What is the minimum MPH that will punch a baseball through a pizza?
posted by King Sky Prawn at 1:10 PM on October 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Jibuzaemon: This is fun, but it looks a bit staged...
Hmm... lessee... a television crew, complete with stars, and a sports star. I'm pretty sure you're right that was staged. It just seems so unlikely they all happened to converge on that baseball diamond at once, carrying objects which could be destroyed by baseballs.
empath: Looks faked to me.
Can you explain what you mean by this? Do you believe it's greenscreened? Or do you think they took dozens of takes, and after every one that failed, they went onto the diamond cleaned up all the goop that covered it (because most of those things are going to make mess when they hit the ground, anyway), waited for the dirt to dry (or brought in industrial blowdryers), and then refilmed the whole thing?

Cuz I think Occam's Razor suggests he's Just. That. Good.

And, given that a thrown pizza moves about 1/100th as fast as a bat, he doesn't really have to be that damned good. But he is.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:16 PM on October 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


Well there's now two different arguments going on. There are those yelling "fake!" and they are wrong. Then there are those yelling "staged!" and yeah, no shit. They're in a park with Matt Cain with a Watermelon, a Paxti's pizza, a pinata and a bunch of kids that don't belong to them. Of course they set it up, but that doesn't mean Matt Cain isn't doing what they're showing him doing.
posted by matt_od at 1:17 PM on October 28, 2012 [14 favorites]


Specifically, the pizza thing is faked. He did not punch a hole through the pizza. It's an ad, and it has camera trickery.
posted by empath at 1:23 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think the people saying this is fake are faking it. None of their comments match their handwriting samples!
posted by ifandonlyif at 1:23 PM on October 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


In this case, "staged" means conceived and edited to promote a pizza chain. I'm buying everything except the hole in the pizza. That little detail seems to be the money shot - and hard for me to believe.
posted by davebush at 1:24 PM on October 28, 2012


I can't believe people believe you can throw a baseball throw two layers of cardboard and a pizza, ever. He isn't winding up to throw, just a toss and it goes through cardboard? Hit it, yes, go through it, no. C'mon now...

I am actually surprised the Mythbusters folks would allow them to do this, kinda undermines the credibility of the series a bit.
posted by roquetuen at 1:28 PM on October 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


The man is capable of throwing a fastball at over 90MPH. I believe that would find its way through a bit of cardboard and a heavy deep dish pizza. But sure seems like it'd be ease to prove. Anyone have access to a pitching machine and a deep dish?
posted by matt_od at 1:28 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


It was a deep-dish pizza inside a box barely bigger than the pizza itself, holding the pizza in-place (unlike a flat pizza, which would definitely have been flopping-around in the box). Together, they probably form a pretty uniform semi-solid. I see no reason not to believe the ball couldn't have punched a uniform hole through the boxed pizza.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:28 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm buying everything except the hole in the pizza.

Same here. But on the other hand, Mythbusters take their credibility pretty seriously. Is it worth risking that to punch up a pizza ad a little bit?

But I just can't swallow the perfect cartoon hole in the pizza. Maybe this is a lead in to an episode dealing with viral videos?
posted by CaseyB at 1:29 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


There are those yelling "fake!" and they are wrong. Then there are those yelling "staged!" and yeah, no shit. They're in a park with Matt Cain with a Watermelon, a Paxti's pizza, a pinata and a bunch of kids that don't belong to them. Of course they set it up, but that doesn't mean Matt Cain isn't doing what they're showing him doing

Yeah, this.

It seems like some here are unfamiliar with the extreme abilities of MLB pitchers. There is a reason that one of the hardest things to do in sports is hitting major league pitching; there is a reason why we celebrate guys who get a hit 3 out of 10 tries. They throw hard, fast, and make the ball move in impossible ways. And when you get up to Cain's level, the skill is even more ridiculous.

When I was a kid, the whole family was at a MN Twins game. Burt Blyleven was pitching in the old Met Stadium. At the time, his curve was supposedly one of the best in the game. There was a rain delay for a good 45 minutes and a lot of seats opened up. My dad told my brother and I to go sit behind home plate. I had never seen anyone pitch like that up close. Picture a ball coming at you just under 85 mph, when it drops at a severe angle after traveling about 60 feet. Picture the ability to do that again and again. Cain has the curve, a slider, a changeup and the four-seam fastball, a pitch that requires extreme accuracy. Believe me, a guy at his level could put a hole through just about anything.
posted by Ber at 1:29 PM on October 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


Metafilter: Matt Haughey Cain, in The Park©, with the Paxti's® Deep-Dish Pizza
posted by slater at 1:29 PM on October 28, 2012


This was not produced by 'mythbusters'. They never mention mythbusters in the video. Whichever ad agency made this hired Tory and Kari separately.
posted by empath at 1:32 PM on October 28, 2012


And yeah, it's fake, and I'm not wrong! Mainly due to tracking issues with whatever is getting hit while it's still in the air.
posted by slater at 1:34 PM on October 28, 2012


If anyone thinks he was throwing a 90 mile/hour fastball there, you haven't seen Randy Johnson hit a bird.
posted by found missing at 1:35 PM on October 28, 2012


This was not produced by 'mythbusters'. They never mention mythbusters in the video. Whichever ad agency made this hired Tory and Kari separately.

Yeah, but they are clearly playing on (and paying for) Mythbuster's credibility, which seems to me something that the producers of Mythbusters would not want, especially if this is exposed as faked.
posted by roquetuen at 1:37 PM on October 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


What tracking issues?
posted by matt_od at 1:37 PM on October 28, 2012


@matt_od when the camera moves from showing [whatever] being hit back to the OHHH MAAHHH GAWWDDD reactions, it's pretty obvious.

Also, why don't they show a close-up of the soda bottle?
posted by slater at 1:40 PM on October 28, 2012


BTW - Video is posted by someone with the YouTube tag "ToryBelleciTv":
http://www.youtube.com/user/ToryBelleciTv/videos

Patxi's doesn't seem to mind that he's destroying one of their pizzas:
http://patxispizza.com/matt-cain-destroys-things-mid-air-with-his-fastball/
posted by King Sky Prawn at 1:42 PM on October 28, 2012


I see metafilter has been taking lessons from Youtube
posted by edgeways at 1:43 PM on October 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


Why isn't the guy throwing the objects into the air over his head wearing a batters helmet and safety goggles

I was thinking that too and then I thought "because he intends to be way the hell out of the way when a pro fastball hits something and causes it to explode". I'll bet he improved on his fastest sprint time that day.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:43 PM on October 28, 2012


Patxi Blue.
posted by w0mbat at 1:48 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


@slater
still not sure what you mean by tracking. I do notice some stabilization done to correct likely shaky camera work. You can spot that by the motion blur on Cain's head when he is static in frame.

and @King
that's Tory's youtube account. It has some mythbusters stuff and a short film of his on there.
posted by matt_od at 1:50 PM on October 28, 2012


Here's your tell: we never see anything land on the ground (except the pizza box).

Guy tosses bottle into the air. Bottle gets digitally painted out, replaced with a CGI bottle. Cain mimes the pitch. CGI bottle explodes (vaporizes, really -- we never see it again).

Guy tosses watermelon into the air. Same thing: airborne watermelon gets digitally painted out, replaced with CGI melon. Cain mimes the pitch. CGI melon explodes. Pan away from the falling melon for a quick reaction shot. Pan back and we've switched back to the real footage: the real melon has broken apart all over the ground. (Of course it has.)

Guy tosses pinata into the air and you know the drill. This one doesn't even have the courtesy of keeping the destruction in one shot -- we fully cut away for some reactions, and then cut back to the broken pinata. That's because the fall didn't break it in half (unlike the melon).

The only exception is the pizza box, and that's because it's the only item that doesn't end up structurally broken apart -- instead, it just has a little hole on the outside. That hole's probably there from the start of the toss and digitally painted over -- then the CGI ball CGI-bursts through the hole, the prop box falls to the ground, and they can pick it up and examine it one smooth shot (although note there is another conspicuous pan away here, and it looks like the box has moved once we resume focus on it).

And, of course, there are the first few seconds of the video, where some "candid" behind-the-scenes footage gets included to convince us that, yes, this is totally real!

I'm not saying Belleci doesn't have a cannon for an arm. But you guys should watch some Captain Disillusion -- especially his video on the NFL Fantasy Files, a series of viral videos where NFL players engage in equally incredible stunts.
posted by EmGeeJay at 1:51 PM on October 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


If/when they test the pizza shot on Mythbusters, they should:
1. Hang the pizza box or set it on-edge. Any framing would add too much inertia.
2. Test deep-dish versus thin crust.
3. Patxi's versus one other brand?
4. Warm versus refrigerated?
5. Other factors?
posted by King Sky Prawn at 1:51 PM on October 28, 2012


I was not predilected to doubt the Mythbusters, but why the fuck were there no slow-mo shots of anything? They slow-mo EVERYTHING on that show and baseball clean through a pizza deserves some serious slow-mo if anything does.

I think this is faker than it is meant to appear.
posted by TheRedArmy at 1:54 PM on October 28, 2012


@ EmGeeJay
that's asinine. I worked on these:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62E5RXofEYA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHiJvnBVd1g&feature=relmfu

do you know how much these cost? All the CG fakery? A lot.
And you think Paxti's pizza has money like that?
posted by matt_od at 1:54 PM on October 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


And watch his body and motion when he throws---he is definitely not throwing a fastball.
posted by TheRedArmy at 1:56 PM on October 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is totally going to be a segment on a future Mythbusters. The only question is whether they'll use a branded pizza (meta-viral?) of non-branded. I assume someone's paged asavage to this thread?
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:57 PM on October 28, 2012


I have no problems believing he could hit those things. Hell, I'm out of shape and haven't thrown a baseball in 15 years and could hit that pizza box.

However, the guy bringing me my pizza from two blocks away, doing his best to keep it flat, cannot get it here without at least some of it inching up to the sides thanks to the 40km car speed. You people really think you can turn a pizza box sideways, pitch it up in the air end over end, hit it with a fastball, have it crash to the ground and then it's barely moved inside the box?

Hitting it is not faked (or hard for a professional pitcher), but what they show as the results is absolutely positively bullshit. Though Mythbusters isn't officially connected to this, they should be ashamed of themselves for participating.
posted by dobbs at 2:02 PM on October 28, 2012


And also aren't major television networks not generally in the habit of giving free advertising when they could get paid for it? And the reactions are maniacal! Utter shock each time he hits something bigger than the thing he hit before. And the cutaways to reaction shots.

It is fake; I have spake.
posted by TheRedArmy at 2:02 PM on October 28, 2012


do you know how much these cost? All the CG fakery? A lot.
And you think Paxti's pizza has money like that?


I make no claims as to how much this cost, or who paid for it, or why. But if they can afford two demi-Mythbusters and a San Francisco Giant, I assume that they can pay for a few CGI artists.
posted by EmGeeJay at 2:02 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I always could throw a baseball fast. Not major league fast, but faster than the average guy. I just now took a cardboard box, about 16" long x 12" wide x 6" deep, and put it on a concrete surface with the bottom up (one layer of medium heavy corrugated cardboard, no pizza). I took a rock a bit smaller than a baseball but at least as heavy as a baseball, and threw it as hard as I could at the box several times from standing height. The rock left my hand about three feet from the box, the bottom of which was supported 6 inches above a hard surface, not hanging in the air 90 feet away. The rock bounced off every time. No hole. No Wile E. Coyote silhouette. Not even a major tear or dent. One layer of cardboard.

This was set up as a promotion. Pretty much everyone knows this. But I'm saying Matt Cain didn't throw a baseball through a pizza box. Try it yourself, from close up, with a box and a rock and no pizza. OK, go ahead--include the pizza.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 2:08 PM on October 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Except the Longoria thing was faked.

Your point being?
posted by mwhybark at 2:08 PM on October 28, 2012


(By the way, this inspired me to look back on the last time MeFi debated a viral video like this one. This "Real-Life Wipeout" video, which had half the thread convinced, was revealed a month later to be mostly CGI. It was made by five university students.)
posted by EmGeeJay at 2:10 PM on October 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Further evidence of trickery: when the box lands, the corner with the hole is pointing directly at the cheese shrapnel on the ground. Then, when they run up to it, it isn't.

YEAAAAAAHHHHH!!
- CSI San Francisco
posted by davebush at 2:12 PM on October 28, 2012


So what happens when some evil executive at the Discovery Channel realizes all they need is some "OH MAN!" reaction shots on green screen from Tory, Kari, Adam, and Jamie and few hundreds hours of "standing at a lathe", "cutting metal", "bending plastic", "tinkering with a remote" footage in the shop, and with a good narrator and editing, they can run some kind of puppet Mythbusters at highly reduced cost for all eternity?
posted by floam at 2:12 PM on October 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


@dobbs
this isn't a normal flat, soggy pizza that rides up on the sides. It's a deep dish pizza. The thing is nearly just as tall and wide as the box is. The box keeps it much more stationary than it would a normal pizza.

@TheRedArmy
what do major television networks have to do with anything? This isn't airing on television. And Mythbusters don't belong to a major television network. They are produced by an independent production company based in Australia and Discovery puts orders in for shows.
posted by matt_od at 2:14 PM on October 28, 2012


Totally fake. You mean to tell me that an empty meadow just grew like that, with no trees or even shrubs in it? And that there is a patch of dirt in it, without even a few weeds or grass plants poking up through it, then there is a perfectly square patch of grass inside the dirt? And then there just happened to be a big metal fence going around the corner of the square? And then a major city just builds up around it, leaving this one area of grass and suspiciously-square dirt untouched? And then two TV personalities, a major league athlete and a camera crew all stumble in the area at the exact same time, purely by chance?

God, you people are credulous.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 2:14 PM on October 28, 2012 [7 favorites]


Though Mythbusters isn't officially connected to this, they should be ashamed of themselves for participating.

Even if this was faked, MythBusters is hardly an example of scientific rigor. Here's an example:

I saw a show a few years back where they were testing how practical magnetic hand-grips would be for climbing in an air duct. They concluded that it wasn't possible because it was too hard, when the answer really was that they were too fat and out of shape to climb anything. Any rock climber or reasonably in shape person could have accomplished it. I'm sure there are many, many more examples (bullets breaking apart in water, if I remember right).

Why would they fake this? The guy is a professional pitcher. Just because none of us are doesn't mean it's not possible.
posted by hellslinger at 2:20 PM on October 28, 2012


matt_od, I know what it is. Believe me, you're mistaken if you think the pizza isn't going to move around in that box. Hell, the hole and the pizza are PERFECTLY aligned when the box opens. Not even a few millimeters shift when it hits the ground?! There are at least two inches of free space on two sides of the pizza! You don't think it'd go to either or both when it hit the ground?

Seriously, what planet are you people living on? Mind boggling that any of you think this could be real.

Also, I just rewatched it and it's not even a fastball! He's just lobbing it. Ridiculous.
posted by dobbs at 2:20 PM on October 28, 2012


So, on one side of the debate we have: Cain could totally hit something with a baseball, and Tory and Kari are credible. On other side we have evidence of fakedy fakery. I call the question. Let's vote.
posted by found missing at 2:25 PM on October 28, 2012


There are a few shots that look kind of odd, but unless this clip was posted on April 1st, I'd say it's real. I don't believe Tori and Kari would appear in a faked clip, it'd destroy their credibility. And for what? If it's a pizza ad, it's a lousy one. That pizza looked nasty, in its brief moment of screen time. (And how is a baseball player throwing a ball through a pizza box supposed to sell pizzas?)

Now, it could be that the party itself was staged for the sake of showing off what Cain can do, but all the stuff they toss is stuff you could believe somebody would have on hand for a party in a park with a bunch of kids. Say it was a season wrap party, for instance, and a bunch of the crew brought their kids, and the ballplayer was there as a guest, because he's a fan of the show or because he knows somebody who works on the show. They brought pizza, soda, watermelon and a pinata for the kids. There is nothing terribly unlikely about any of that.

Also, "Let's do a deep dish" sounds like how Kari talks on the show. They're TV personalities, and it's part of their job to put a little extra color (in this case, some alliteration) into what they say.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:25 PM on October 28, 2012


Here's your tell

My goodness! Let's apply Occam's razor:

For this to be a fake we have to concoct a complex conspiracy involving CGI and clever editing. We have to believe that a major league pitcher who is riding high is willing to take part in the subterfuge. We have to accept that a show based on scientific rigor and credibility is somehow interested it pulling the wool over the eyes of its viewers.

And then we need to believe that a bunch of bouncy, excited kids won't spill the beans on the playground the next day!

Who stands to gain by these machinations? Who doesn't stand to lose?

This kind of thinking gives conspiracy theorists a bad name. Let's save our energies investigating Area 51, finding the second gunman and disproving the moon landing.

Oh wait.... are all these fake accusations tongue in cheek? Have I yet again missed subtle irony at work?
posted by esc67 at 2:25 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the pizza reveal was totally fake. I have eaten more than a few deep dish pizzas in my time, and the only way to get a hole in the actual pizza that neat would be to use some sort of cauterizing laser. I am not convinced that the whole thing was faked (although the pinata was thrown off-center and still got nailed and that seemed... implausible) but that pizza with the hole through it was hilariously fake.

(And also tasty-looking. I want pizza now.)
posted by restless_nomad at 2:25 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Even if this was faked, MythBusters is hardly an example of scientific rigor. Here's an example:

Obligatory XKCD
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 2:25 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Athletes have talent, but they aren't magical.
posted by davebush at 2:25 PM on October 28, 2012


I don't think a bottle would explode like that. Why are "Tori" and "Kari" so excited to see him hit increasingly larger objects, the man already exploded a bottle not much else to see. Deep dish pizza isn't even real pizza.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:29 PM on October 28, 2012


Obligatory XKCD

MythBusters isn't teaching people to do experimentation, it's teaching them to trust specious entertainment in the guise of science, and that is teaching people to do science poorly, and that is even worse than not teaching it at all, in my opinion.

But the difference of opinion here is clear, the XKCD people choose to defend the show because they enjoy it, where I attack because I think it's lame and boring in compared to real science.
posted by hellslinger at 2:31 PM on October 28, 2012


For this to be a fake we have to concoct a complex conspiracy involving CGI and clever editing. We have to believe that a major league pitcher who is riding high is willing to take part in the subterfuge. We have to accept that a show based on scientific rigor and credibility is somehow interested it pulling the wool over the eyes of its viewers.

And then we need to believe that a bunch of bouncy, excited kids won't spill the beans on the playground the next day!


Well, but, see, major league sports players take part in subterfuge like this all the time. This video isn't affiliated with the TV show Mythbusters; it just features a (misguided, in my mind) appearance by two of their on-screen talents. And the kids very well may have spilled the beans to their friends... or they might be professional enough young actors to avoid blabbing until after the video goes mega-viral. Either way, the video was filmed in the last two weeks -- we wouldn't know right away unless we were on the playground too.
posted by EmGeeJay at 2:34 PM on October 28, 2012


The excessively shaky camera work sets it up from the very beginning to be a fake. Not that I care one way or the other. Funny how much people are defending it though.
posted by orme at 2:41 PM on October 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


MythBusters isn't teaching people to do experimentation, it's teaching them to trust specious entertainment in the guise of science, and that is teaching people to do science poorly, and that is even worse than not teaching it at all, in my opinion.

Nonsense.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 2:44 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


This "Real-Life Wipeout" video, which had half the thread convinced, was revealed a month later to be mostly CGI.

Anyone who thought that was real should be ashamed of themselves. It's barely textured and isn't bump mapped and has no dirt shader.
posted by nathancaswell at 2:52 PM on October 28, 2012


Pshaw. Pablo Sandoval can catch, flip & blow a bubble at the same time.
posted by chavenet at 2:52 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


For this to be a fake we have to concoct a complex conspiracy involving CGI and clever editing

Or, you know, an ad agency and a few hours of work. The cgi to make a fake baseball is not remotely complicated.
posted by empath at 3:00 PM on October 28, 2012


as a pixle expret, if you cleerly llok at the pixels, is is clealry fake.

- pixel expret extraiorindrre.
posted by Evernix at 3:00 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Nonsense.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 11:44 AM on October 28 [+] [!]


Well put. The essence of science is essentially "Huh. That's weird. Maybe if we..."
posted by Sebmojo at 3:16 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Internet seems of the opinion that this will be part of an MB episode where they demonstrate how easy it is to fake a video.

I thought it was real but it looks more and more to me like there's a skeet shooter off screen.
posted by bonobothegreat at 3:23 PM on October 28, 2012


I wonder if the pizza made the box soggy after sitting around after an hour or so of setting up a shot.
posted by device55 at 3:27 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I always could throw a baseball fast. Not major league fast, but faster than the average guy. I just now took a cardboard box, about 16" long x 12" wide x 6" deep, and put it on a concrete surface with the bottom up (one layer of medium heavy corrugated cardboard, no pizza). I took a rock a bit smaller than a baseball but at least as heavy as a baseball, and threw it as hard as I could at the box several times from standing height. The rock left my hand about three feet from the box, the bottom of which was supported 6 inches above a hard surface, not hanging in the air 90 feet away. The rock bounced off every time. No hole. No Wile E. Coyote silhouette. Not even a major tear or dent. One layer of cardboard.

Your box size is way off, and probably so is your type of cardboard. You've got way too much structure there.

I can not throw a baseball fast. Well, I don't really know if I can because I don't play baseball, but I doubt I'm the kid from Angels in the Outfield. I just took a single layer of roughly pizza-box-equivalent cardboard at the approximate correct size, stood it up on edge (it was folded a little) and threw an actual baseball straight through it. Except for the flap of paper holding the punched-away part to the rest of the cardboard it was nearly a Wile E. Coyote silhouette. I'm not a MLB pitcher, and the cardboard didn't have the mass and rotation of a spinning pizza to support it. I wasn't sure one way or the other, but I'm now fairly certain that I could punch a fairly impressive hole in a pizza myself.

Plausible.
posted by cmoj at 3:36 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Who would pay to make their pizza get splattered with dirt, and look seriously gross? How is that advertising, no, I mean marketing, because, really, anything involving professional anythings is advertising whatever they are professionals at; another reason it is unlikely to be marketing, faking easily accomplished things looks bad for Big Mybuster.

Why would anyone CGI something far less difficult to accomplish than what the man does professionally, for money.

Is there money in calling stuff fake? I think the people calling this fake are faking it, maybe they are sekritly paid for by YouTube first comments inc.
Though, the way the pizza moves back and to the left is certainly troubling.
posted by infinite intimation at 3:37 PM on October 28, 2012


So now NBC News and/or the Tech museum of Innovation are part of the hoax? No wait, they have also been duped! That's it.

Wheels within wheels...
posted by esc67 at 3:41 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think the skeptics have no conception of the inhuman levels of skill and athleticism it takes to be paid millions of dollars to play a sport. It really cannot be understated.
posted by schroedinger at 3:51 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


overstated? I'm so confused.
posted by found missing at 3:54 PM on October 28, 2012


Metafilter, where fun goes to die
posted by churl at 3:54 PM on October 28, 2012 [18 favorites]


Put it on a treadmill and if it still works, then we'll talk.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:57 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I vote for a world in which there is magic^D^Dnificence.
posted by anonymisc at 4:06 PM on October 28, 2012


Yeah seems fake to me. The pizza box continues spinning at exactly the same rate and does not come out of alignment even though a baseball takes a sizable chunk out of it. Such a weird and stupid thing to fake, though. It would be like Letterman using CGI for the throwing footballs at the Christmas tree thing.
posted by burnmp3s at 4:17 PM on October 28, 2012


I think the skeptics have no conception of the inhuman levels of skill and athleticism it takes to be paid millions of dollars to play a sport. It really cannot be understated.

I'm fairly sure he is actually a human being.

The facts are these:

This is not a mythbusters video.
There is no explanation as to why or how this was recorded in the video.
The pitcher already has an endorsement relationship with the pizza company in the video.
The pizza company linked the video the same day it was posted.
It would be simple to fake it.
Ad companies fake viral videos like this all the time.
It's implausible that he hit every item on the first take
It's extremely improbable that he punched a clean hole through a pizza.
posted by empath at 4:19 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


The facts are these:

This is not a mythbusters video.
Fact.

There is no explanation as to why or how this was recorded in the video.
Fact

The pitcher already has an endorsement relationship with the pizza company in the video
Fact

The pizza company linked the video the same day it was posted.
Fact

It would be simple to fake it.
Opinion.

Ad companies fake viral videos like this all the time.
Fact, allowing for "all the time" as rhetorical flourish.

It's implausible that he hit every item on the first take
Opinion

It's extremely improbable that he punched a clean hole through a pizza.
Opinion.

(I make no claims about the relative worth/validity/value of the opinions. I'm just pointing out that some of these are statements of opinion, not fact.)
posted by bardophile at 4:27 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Watch tonight and you can see him do the same with a bunch of tigers.

My first understanding of that comment was that they would be throwing actual tigers into the air that he would be exploding with baseballs one after the other, which seemed a questionable programming decision.
posted by HotPants at 4:43 PM on October 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm fairly sure he is actually a human being.

Yeah, he's a human being whose talent so greatly surpasses that of other human beings that to the casual observer it might border on being non-human. Sorry for not providing that clarification, I guess?

As bardophile said, half of your statements are opinion or conjecture, not fact. I don't argue that this wasn't a promotion, only that I think the people arguing its faked are severely underestimating the abilities of high level athletes. Look at this video. That guy is 123lbs and that lift looks smooth and easy. It's near 300lbs though. I would garner there are few people commenting who can even pick that off the ground, much less get it over their heads. And yet, as extraordinary as that is, it is not faked.

I mean, as others have said, Cain's job is to hit things with a baseball, things that are a smaller target and farther away than the things he's hitting in the video. The fact that you can't conceive of you, me, or anyone else doing it doesn't mean it isn't possible that he can.
posted by schroedinger at 4:43 PM on October 28, 2012


I think we need to know more about the mysterious corporation pulling the strings here.Patxi's pizza is no corner pizza place. They are ranked 1161 out of 5000 companies profiled by INC magazine. They were 32 in food services and 50 in San Francisco. In 2011 they had 9m in revenue, that is a lot of pizza. It seems pretty clear Patxi has the money and power to pull off a hoax of this magnitude. Just follow the money. Without proper oversight corporations such as Patxis are just going to keep getting away with fooling the American people. Both political parties are bought and paid for by corporations just like Patxi's and are simply carrying water for their corporate masters.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:45 PM on October 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


I pulled the video down from YouTube in mp4 and exported the frames using ffmpeg. The baseball is not visible in any frame, it looks like a phantom pitch. The pizza box also shows no evidence of an impact during the toss. There is no change in rate of spin or direction which must occur of an actual baseball hit it. Finally the pizza as shown is still perfectiy contained in the box and the toppings and cheese remains unaltered even thought the box was thrown on its side. From this we conclude this is a hoax.
posted by humanfont at 4:56 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


> The pizza company linked the video the same day it was posted.
> Fact

YouTube: Published on Oct 19, 2012 by ToryBelleciTv

Patxi's blog: Posted by mlarson on October 23, 2012

Four days is plausible for word-of-mouth, especially if a Patxi pizza was involved.
posted by King Sky Prawn at 5:01 PM on October 28, 2012


The baseball is not visible in any frame, it looks like a phantom pitch.

This results in a dead ball, the soda and melon each advancing one base, and the pizza remains at bat, right?
posted by 7segment at 5:16 PM on October 28, 2012 [13 favorites]


Ugggh. For such a generally intelligent userbase, MeFites can be so easily duped by advertising.

This is the exact same thing as the GoPro (R)* videos. And like I said then, the real question isn't whether it's actually real in the "I looked at the pixels" sense, but whether we're passing around manufactured commercials masquerading as content.

I seriously cannot believe that there are people here who don't see how this is good advertising for the pizza chain. Or who can't fathom that such a company would have huge financial incentive to create (and even fake) something like this.

And before I get accused of being no fun, I actually thought this was a pretty cool video. I just get really annoyed by ads in sheep's clothing on this site.

* Wouldn't be surprised at all if it turns out the same agency is behind both.
posted by graphnerd at 5:23 PM on October 28, 2012


(lady) "get the soda bottle!"
(camera man) "...ok..it's...on"
This is a commercial. it is fake in EVERY WAY something can be fake, including the stunts and especially in the corporate "let's make one of those 'viral videos!''" production and acting. It is deeply fake. There is nothing about it that it is "real." Collectively, we are losing the ability to even remember what 'real' means. That is not necessarily a bad thing, especially for art.

Have you ever seen a pitcher field a ground ball, and then try to throw someone out at first base? They often miss, or throw way too high or low, even at very short distances. Pitchers are extreme specialists when it comes to throwing, not all-purpose laser-accurate cannons.
posted by coaster at 5:27 PM on October 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm balking at this wild pitch for Paxti's Pizza.
posted by davebush at 5:30 PM on October 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


The baseball is not visible in any frame, it looks like a phantom pitch... The pizza box also shows no evidence of an impact during the toss.

Did we watch the same video? I didn't even need to export frames, I can pause the YouTube interface on several frames with a visible baseball streak, and I can clearly see and pause on the impact hole in the pizza box as it flies in the air. The pizza box doesn't jolt, true, but for that, see inertia.
posted by scrowdid at 5:38 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I always could throw a baseball fast. Not major league fast, but faster than the average guy. I just now took a cardboard box, about 16" long x 12" wide x 6" deep, and put it on a concrete surface with the bottom up (one layer of medium heavy corrugated cardboard, no pizza). I took a rock a bit smaller than a baseball but at least as heavy as a baseball, and threw it as hard as I could at the box several times from standing height. The rock left my hand about three feet from the box, the bottom of which was supported 6 inches above a hard surface, not hanging in the air 90 feet away. The rock bounced off every time. No hole. No Wile E. Coyote silhouette. Not even a major tear or dent. One layer of cardboard.

I used to bullseye womp rats in my T-16 back home.
posted by misha at 5:48 PM on October 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Christ, you people are gonna make me throw a baseball through a pizza. I even think at this point that an average human can do it. I'll video it if you want but then, by the metric expressed here, I'll be a part of the conspiracy.

Who would have come up with the idea? How does this sell pizza?

1. Fake a baseball through a pizza.
2. ???
3. Profit!
posted by cmoj at 5:50 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


God, this thread is depressing.
posted by odinsdream at 5:57 PM on October 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


If it's fake, then shame on Mythbusters.
posted by Brocktoon at 6:08 PM on October 28, 2012


The person behind the camera consistently pans away quickly after the thing in the air explodes to get a reaction shot of the spectators, but never shows the debris hitting the ground. That's not how you naturally react. The natural reaction is to keep on the object as it falls down.

Also, as someone else already pointed out, look at where the hole in the pizza box is. It moves between shots.

As to how it sells pizza, are you kidding me? I want pizza after watching that. Who doesn't think about how tasty pizza is when they see them open the box in the video?
posted by Rhomboid at 6:14 PM on October 28, 2012


We are through the looking glass people Matt Cain's Patxi commercial. Photo linking Matt Cain with mythbusters. There is no telling how deep the rabbit hole goes.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:19 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Who would have come up with the idea? How does this sell pizza?

1. Fake a baseball through a pizza.
2. ???
3. Profit!
posted by cmoj at 5:50 PM on 10/28



More like:
1) Create a 'viral' video starring carefully-selected, demographically-appropriate personalities and featuring your product.
2) Watch as it gets spread around the net, accompanied by no fewer than 12 brand mentions on the Metafilter thread alone.
3) Profit on the increased brand awareness and brand engagement you've engineered.

Will it work? Maybe not. But it will absolutely increase the metrics that show up on social media marketing dashboards (brand mentions, shares, likes, etc.), and so it's aligned with the incentives for the agency.
posted by graphnerd at 6:31 PM on October 28, 2012


The most damning bit of evidence. Why wasn't the pizza sliced?
posted by Ad hominem at 6:31 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


It would take five seconds to find a bunch of hoaxes like this. It doesn't take a vast conspiracy.

Hell there is a whole forum devoted to them on the mythbusters site.
posted by empath at 6:32 PM on October 28, 2012


Cmoj, I've got fifty bucks that says you can't do it. Hell, you don't even have to throw a ball through it. Buy a pizza, turn it on its side, toss it in the air 20 feet, and let it hit the ground. Video tape the thing with no edits and the box in frame the whole time.

If it looks anything like the one in this video, I'll PayPal you. If the box opens at any time or the pizza is not a near perfect circle when you open the box, you PayPal me.
posted by dobbs at 6:32 PM on October 28, 2012


Internet seems of the opinion that this will be part of an MB episode where they demonstrate how easy it is to fake a video.

That is one of the few scenarios where I can picture the Mythbusters knowingly taking part in a faked viral video.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 6:33 PM on October 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Who would have come up with the idea? How does this sell pizza?

1. Fake a baseball through a pizza.
2. ???
3. Profit!


Considering that this was the first time I (and I assume many others who have watched the video) had ever heard of Paxti's, it seems pretty clear how it sells pizza.
posted by jessssse at 6:40 PM on October 28, 2012


I watched the video. I thought it was some goofy staged corporate thing, although I'm not sure what entity staged it, or to what purpose. I was amused by its premise for a few minutes, but that's about it. I don't know if a pro baseball player can throw a baseball hard enough to puncture a cardboard box, or the pizza inside, and frankly, I don't really care.

I don't have cable, so I'm taking everybody's word in this thread that the goofy guy and the somewhat less goofy woman are actually on the Mythbusters show.

I don't follow sports, so I'm taking everybody's word in this thread that the guy who threw the ball is a pro baseball player.

I've never heard of Paxti's Pizza. I didn't see any logos in the video for the pizza, and the only way I know it's a Paxti's pizza is from reading this thread. This video did not make me want to buy a pizza, Paxti's brand or otherwise. Even if it did, there are no Paxti's where I live.


Can someone please explain to me what is to be gained or accomplished by establishing whether or not this video is 'fake'?
posted by KHAAAN! at 6:43 PM on October 28, 2012



Considering that this was the first time I (and I assume many others who have watched the video) had ever heard of Paxti's, it seems pretty clear how it sells pizza.


With 7 locations worldwide in San Francisco, you can imagine how effective a internet viral marketing campaign could be.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 6:45 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Can someone please explain to me what is to be gained or accomplished by establishing whether or not this video is 'fake'?

Well, speaking personally, I'd like to establish whether or not this Cain fellow is some sort of super human.
posted by davebush at 6:50 PM on October 28, 2012


I seriously cannot believe that there are people here who don't see how this is good advertising for the pizza chain. Or who can't fathom that such a company would have huge financial incentive to create (and even fake) something like this.

I've never heard of Paxti's Pizza. I didn't see any logos in the video for the pizza, and the only way I know it's a Paxti's pizza is from reading this thread.

I didn’t notice any logos or anything either. If you had asked me before I read this thread I would have said it was a generic pizza box. The whole thing did seem odd, but I did buy it. Now I’m not so sure…

I don’t understand the advertising angle works at all. I’ve never heard of the chain, but if it turns out to be a viral video I’ll think they’re asses. I can’t imagine who would decide that they would like to buy one of those pizzas because they saw a fake viral video. How does that work?
posted by bongo_x at 7:11 PM on October 28, 2012


Omg you guys
posted by nathancaswell at 7:14 PM on October 28, 2012


I can’t imagine who would decide that they would like to buy one of those pizzas because they saw a fake viral video. How does that work?

I can't imagine anyone voting for Mitt Romney because Donald Trump says Barack Obama wasn't born in the U.S.
Apparently lots of stupid people will do just that. That's how it works.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 7:17 PM on October 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Who would buy a can of Pepsi simply because one is seen sitting on a desk in a movie? And yet...
posted by davebush at 7:20 PM on October 28, 2012


The child-like naivety of some people on metafilter is so endearing.
posted by JackFlash at 7:21 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't have a Patxi's near me, but I can confirm that I did, shortly after watching this, go out and buy a 2-liter, a watermelon, and a piñata.
posted by scrowdid at 7:28 PM on October 28, 2012 [8 favorites]


Who would buy a can of Pepsi simply because one is seen sitting on a desk in a movie? And yet...

They usually don’t have them sitting on the desk of someone doing something that makes people think Pepsi are assholes.
posted by bongo_x at 7:40 PM on October 28, 2012


Also the pizza box flips as it lands so that the entrance-side of the hole should be facing down. Without cutting away the cameraman runs up to the box and the hole is in a different corner, entrance-side up. Definitely some tricky editing going on there.
posted by burnmp3s at 7:41 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm skeptical. If the pitch is hard enough to punch a clean hole through a deep dish pizza and its box, what would that pitch do to my elbow?

Also, Matt Cain gave up three runs in seven innings tonight. Game tied at 3 in the bottom of the 8th.
posted by lost_cause at 8:01 PM on October 28, 2012


It is a fun video and he may have really thrown the ball at all these things.

The setup is certainly fake, though. "Oh we're just having our birthday party here in the park with our pizza, soda, watermelon, and pinata, and, oh look there! It's Matt Cain. Let's see how well he can throw. I know: let's see if he can hit our soda bottle. He did it! What now? How about our watermelon! Pizza! Even our pinata! What the heck, it turned out to be a great party after all!"

But when the camera pans around, I don't see any picnic tables set up anywhere.

I still think the throws are real. I'm certainly not going to judge based on my throwing ability.
posted by eye of newt at 8:14 PM on October 28, 2012


Thorzdad: It was a deep-dish pizza inside a box barely bigger than the pizza itself, holding the pizza in-place (unlike a flat pizza, which would definitely have been flopping-around in the box). Together, they probably form a pretty uniform semi-solid. I see no reason not to believe the ball couldn't have punched a uniform hole through the boxed pizza.

... and I see no reason to believe that people who make their livings punching holes in things with unusual other things and blowing stuff up in exotic and interesting ways wouldn't have picked a deep-dish for exactly that reason.

Which I find not the tiniest bit scandalous, by the way. I mean, if you're trying to smash stuff in fun and interesting ways, then the last thing you want to do is make the smashing more boring as you go. Punching a hole in a pizza box is a great finish. Who gives a fuck if it's "staged"? the whole damn show is staged. It's a fucking show. Geez....
posted by lodurr at 8:14 PM on October 28, 2012


I'm skeptical. If the pitch is hard enough to punch a clean hole through a deep dish pizza and its box, what would that pitch do to my elbow?

The catcher might find that humerus.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:14 PM on October 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


humanfont: Finally the pizza as shown is still perfectiy contained in the box and the toppings and cheese remains unaltered even thought the box was thrown on its side

Imo assume this was an elaborate joke, becuase the pizza I saw had no external toppings other than marinara....
posted by lodurr at 8:25 PM on October 28, 2012


Imo assume this was an elaborate joke, becuase the pizza I saw had no external toppings other than marinara....--lodurr

I thought so too until I went to the company's web site, and saw pizzas that look just like that on their home page.
posted by eye of newt at 8:27 PM on October 28, 2012


On cue, Casilla just tried to demonstrate on Infante's hand.
posted by lost_cause at 8:29 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


... also, I have to assume that in addition to having no real concept of how hard baseballs are and how hard baseball players throw them (and forget about pitchers, a pro fielder could kill you with one), most of the skeptics here have very little experience with deep dish pizza. It's usually a fairly thin crush, filled with stuff to a depth of at least an inch, and in my experience it's usually only slightly less tall than the box it's in. If I were doing this, I would probably put some weight on it so the marinara had a chance to stick to and maybe soften the cardboard a little.

Cheating? Maybe, but again, who cares?
posted by lodurr at 8:30 PM on October 28, 2012



Imo assume this was an elaborate joke, becuase the pizza I saw had no external toppings other than marinara....


That's a chicago style deep dish.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:30 PM on October 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Nonsense.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 2:44 PM on October 28 [+] [!]


Then why is there a dispute over how legitimate this video is and how trustworthy the MythBusters people are?
posted by hellslinger at 9:28 PM on October 28, 2012


Metafilter: we over think everything
posted by Ber at 9:31 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Come to think of it, Tory and Kari never say why they're in the park with the ballplayer. They never say, "Well, we were having a birthday party with these kids, and Matt Cain just happened to be here, and..." So people can argue about whether the throws are faked, but it doesn't really matter whether the event itself was staged, because they never actually said it was a spontaneous thing. They're in the park with the kids and a ballplayer, and the conclusions we draw from that are up to us.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 10:16 PM on October 28, 2012


The setup is certainly fake, though. "Oh we're just having our birthday party here in the park with our pizza, soda, watermelon, and pinata, and, oh look there!"

Whuh? The version I've been looking at just starts with the soda bottle.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:53 PM on October 28, 2012


God I love watching somebody in their prime doing what they do best, especially when they're as laid back as this guy.

"OMG OMG CAN YOU HIT THIS RANDOM MOVING OBJECT WITH THAT TINY BALL AND HIT IT FIRST TIME AND TOTALLY DESTROY IT?"

"OK. No problem."

"OMG OMG HE HIT IT AND HE BLEW IT TO PIECES AND I CAN'T BELIEVE IT THIS IS SO AWESOME SQUEEEEEEE"

"OK. No problem."
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:20 AM on October 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


if this isn't real i'm a sad panda
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:25 AM on October 29, 2012


Sandoval, is that you?
posted by matt_od at 1:30 AM on October 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love all the people being incredulous because of the increasingly excited reactions to hitting larger and larger things: maybe it's about what the ball DOES to the thing, not merely the fact that he hit it?

The pizza box is clearly not one continuous cut. This will have allowed them to do things like fuck up their first take and give it another shot. If they'd already done a fuck-up take, of course the pizza box will have moved. They probably even rotated the pizza in the box some to line the holes up.

I dunno if this is faked or not (definitely staged, like, y'know, anything that gets filmed that isn't newsreel - no-one's claiming this is documentary footage of something that would've happened without the cameras) but the reasons people are giving for believing that it is are not awful compelling.
posted by Dysk at 1:37 AM on October 29, 2012


This is bustable. Get a pitching machine or, if that's not enough, get a cannon. See how fast a baseball has to be going to pass right through a pizza box and pizza hanging in midair (not held solidly in place). See if it can be done at a speed reasonable for a baseball pitcher. I believe the record for fastest pitch ever is around 105 mph.
posted by pracowity at 2:02 AM on October 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Seems ironic that Mythbusters (well, two of the Mythbusters crew at any rate) have created one of the very virial videos that they often test out on their show. I mean, it's got everything - can a pitcher hit a moving object, can a ball travelling at X mph penetrate a pizza/damage a watermellon/etc, and if not, how fast does it have to be going to actually do it, etc, etc. I mean, they do seem to be running out of ideas for the show but this is certainly an interesting way to create new myths...
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:27 AM on October 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


The pizza box is clearly not one continuous cut.

Where between 0:58 and when they run up to the box a few seconds later is there a clear cut? There are a lot of obvious cuts throughout the video, and yet during that part there is a pan to track the box, a pan to the left to get the reaction, and a pan back right and run up to inspect the box. The only way they would be able to fake it would be some relatively sophisticated editing.
posted by burnmp3s at 4:52 AM on October 29, 2012


Where between 0:58 and when they run up to the box a few seconds later is there a clear cut?

Watch closely right after the girl holds the box up to look through the hole. There is a cut just as she is lowering the box. Also, watch the guy who throws the pizza. As the camera pans back for the reaction shot, he's blocked behind the pitcher and goes out of frame. When the camera pans back, he's moving back into frame quickly from the right. The hole in the pizza box is in a different spot now, so the thrower probably swaps the box out when he's hidden from view.

Lastly, I can't believe I am still reading this thread.
posted by orme at 5:07 AM on October 29, 2012


I am deeply impressed by the amount of time and keystrokes folks are investing in dissecting this thing. Is it fake? Is it staged? Is it real? Who cares?

I thought it was a fun bit of film to watch. Period. If the guy was promising to deliver up a perpetual motion machine, I might be skeptical. But he's throwing a ball.

Damn, this is one tough crowd.
posted by kinnakeet at 5:47 AM on October 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's funny that the people who are pushing the "Paxti Pizza Promo" idea are the very ones making the viral promo work. Otherwise no one would care what name was printed on the box.
posted by King Sky Prawn at 5:52 AM on October 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


My take-away from this is that Kari is the kind of person who is able to produce a piñata on a moment's notice. I wish I knew more people like this.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:55 AM on October 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


I am deeply impressed by the amount of time and keystrokes folks are investing in dissecting this thing. Is it fake? Is it staged? Is it real? Who cares?

Well Kari Byron and Tory Belleci make their living from a show that investigates things like whether a football travels farther if it's filled with helium and if Mentos and Diet Coke have some sort of special forming properties, so it seems appropriate to try to bust them on their fake viral video. Also when MythBusters eventually covers this on the show, they can say that the Internet was "buzzing" about it or whatever they always say, which they couldn't do if a few people said "Neat!" and the video was otherwise ignored.
posted by burnmp3s at 6:38 AM on October 29, 2012


I realized today that I thought I'd downloaded the video at high def, but actually downloaded at substantially lower definition. So ignore what I said above. One the 1024x768 video I can see the baseball streak after the throw and the spray from the sauce after the hit (it actually leaves a red mist trail). I'm now going to guess that the pizza sauce soaked the cardboard and weakened it and and the crust, so that the throw was a bit like wet tissue. I'm still not convinced that the rotation of the box is entirely realistic, but it looks less fake than before on the HD video.
posted by humanfont at 7:15 AM on October 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Do you believe in magic
Yeah, believe in the magic of a young girl's soul
Believe in the magic of rock and roll
Believe in the magic that can set you free
Ohh, talking 'bout magic

Do you believe like I believe Do you believe in magic
Do you believe like I believe Do you believe, believer
Do you believe like I believe Do you believe in magic
posted by Debaser626 at 7:22 AM on October 29, 2012


The last I will think of this -

1. That pizza looked horrible. Even for a marinara that had just been thrown up in the air, the first and last thing I thought was - "Wow, that looks like shit pizza."

2. Cain does grunt when he throws, suggesting to me that he is giving it some effort.

3. Given a soggy box (and in my own experience pizza boxes do get soggy - condensation and all) I could see the ball going through.
posted by From Bklyn at 7:32 AM on October 29, 2012


Maybe the pizza was glued to the bottom of the box.
posted by scose at 7:43 AM on October 29, 2012


Just to be on record when I'm proven correct, this is clearly faked for the sake of a pizza commercial.

Depressing that Mythbusters folk would be roped in, but that's life.

I've seen enough 'viral videos' to see the hallmarks of: quick cuts to an overexcited audience, too-perfect results and convenient product placement.

To be clear, I have no direct evidence, nor am I inclined to find any. I'm content to wrap myself into a warm blanket of self-satisfaction based on years of wisdom.
posted by Phreesh at 7:55 AM on October 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


The only way they would be able to fake it would be some relatively sophisticated editing.

It's not sophisticated at all. You cut during the motion blur when the camera is whipping between subjects. It's almost impossible to tell because it's all just a blur anyway. That's why the camera person does that.
posted by Rhomboid at 8:33 AM on October 29, 2012


(I think the Mythbusters themselves demonstrated that editing technique on their show when debunking a viral video.)
posted by Rhomboid at 8:36 AM on October 29, 2012


I defense of Mythbusters appearing in an obviously faked video, I believe I've heard Adam Savage openly acknowledge that the show is first and foremost about entertainment, not science.
posted by jessssse at 8:41 AM on October 29, 2012


This stunt is so like the viral videos that the Mythbusters show tests all the time. "Can you really throw a baseball through a pizza box? I say we build a scale model of a major league pitcher and a small pizza box and test this in the shop before we head out to the bomb range." To which Jamie will say, "Sounds like a plan."

My vote is it's a FAKE!
posted by birdwatcher at 9:20 AM on October 29, 2012


It's not sophisticated at all. You cut during the motion blur when the camera is whipping between subjects. It's almost impossible to tell because it's all just a blur anyway. That's why the camera person does that.

I guess I mean less sophisticated and more purposely planned out to be deceptive. It's not like they had some issue with the checking the pizza box shot and had to re-do it, they shot it in a specific way to be able to switch out the pizza box for a rigged up one.
posted by burnmp3s at 9:24 AM on October 29, 2012


From the forum that empath linked... a call to debunk this very video. Now we just need a lot more press on that thread and maybe it'll make it into Mythbusters for real!

I, for one, would love to see a pitching machine pointed at some pizzas-in-boxes!
posted by fragmede at 9:37 AM on October 29, 2012


This is one of the more depressing threads I've participated in.

Seriously, people, get out more.

... and I can't speak for anyone else, but I never even noticed a pizza logo and never heard anyone mention the name of the shop, so I'm kind of at a loss to see the "viral promo" angle, here. There's a key difference between "pizza chain pays for viral video" and "pizza chain capitalizes on fact that there's a very brief shot of their logo in a viral video."
posted by lodurr at 10:27 AM on October 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


My eldest son & his 11 year old watched this a few weeks ago - more than a few times. Eldest son is Little League President - Ump - possibly the world's greatest Giants Fan. 11 year old grandson is a Buster Posey in the making (not that I'm biased or nothin' ... but the kid is genuinely a great ballplayer in the making) ... and they both deem this the real-deal (not the least because - as eldest pointed out - the kids' reactions: you just can't fake/act that. Also/plus - that is Matt Cain at his most Matt Cain'ish ... Mr. Cool that can throw a ball in ways few walking this earth can) Perspective offered fwiw....................
posted by cdalight at 10:46 AM on October 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ad hominem: I think we need to know more about the mysterious corporation pulling the strings here.Patxi's pizza is no corner pizza place. They are ranked 1161 out of 5000 companies profiled by INC magazine. They were 32 in food services and 50 in San Francisco. In 2011 they had 9m in revenue, that is a lot of pizza. It seems pretty clear Patxi has the money and power to pull off a hoax of this magnitude. Just follow the money. Without proper oversight corporations such as Patxis are just going to keep getting away with fooling the American people. Both political parties are bought and paid for by corporations just like Patxi's and are simply carrying water for their corporate masters.
I am no longer capable of distinguishing sarcasm from honest opinion on this site. It's like Poe's Law owns a 51% share in Metafilter... OMG! They've even gotten to Matt!
posted by IAmBroom at 12:58 PM on October 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just to be on record when I'm proven correct, this is clearly faked for the sake of a pizza commercial.

Depressing that Mythbusters folk would be roped in, but that's life.

I've seen enough 'viral videos' to see the hallmarks of: quick cuts to an overexcited audience, too-perfect results and convenient product placement.


I admit that everything about the hosts screams FAKE, but two counterpoints

1) This was filmed back in June or early July ("recently threw a perfect game") - that's a pretty long turnaround - if there were going to be a commercial, there would be one by now?

2) it's just not that impressive. What's remarkable about this video is how ridiculous the hosts reactions are. If they wanted something viral/fake, they would have gone bigger, like a big explosion or throwing the ball 300 feet, etc.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:24 PM on October 29, 2012


I've captured several key frames from the hi-res video and posted them to a pasteimage gallery.

Ball and box prior to impact

The ball hitting the box with ejecting spray on the back

Mist of spray in air as box descends
posted by humanfont at 1:37 PM on October 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ball and box prior to impact

No one watching the local weather could have expected that!
posted by mrgrimm at 2:17 PM on October 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


I haven't got the equipment handy, but if anyone wants to test this all you need is a baseball, a bat, a tee, and a pizza box.

The exit speed of a baseball batted off a tee by an all-star 9th grader is about 70 MPH. It's unlikely that anyone here is going to do better than that.

So:

1) set up pizza box on a stool, include 2 pound weight to simulate pizza
2) Place ball on tee about two feet away.
3) Swing bat, hit ball, notice 2 clean holes through box, come back here to be told experiment is invalid without actual pizza in box because "Pepperoni is really hard".
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 2:39 PM on October 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


My primary counter to claims that it is NOT fake is the cutaways to reaction shots. The video is shot to imply that there is only one camera and yet there are cutaways to reaction shots to the amazing throws. If one camera (the ONLY camera, apparently) was watching Mr. Cain destroy stuff, how are those reaction shots obtained? They would have to shot AFTER the throws are done, hence throwing doubt on the whole video.

I suppose the actually throwing feats could be possible, but the fact that they try to hide the use of a second camera tells me they're probably trying to fool me in other ways.
posted by Phreesh at 3:09 PM on October 29, 2012


I am deeply impressed by the amount of time and keystrokes folks are investing in dissecting this thing. Is it fake? Is it staged? Is it real? Who cares?

I can see how someone would not be interested in this question.

I cannot fathom how anyone could be surprised that some people are be interested in this question.
posted by straight at 3:52 PM on October 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've captured several key frames from the hi-res video and posted them to a pasteimage gallery

Back and to the left. Back and to the left.
posted by Justinian at 5:36 PM on October 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Now what if Matt Cain were on a treadmill?
posted by five fresh fish at 6:53 PM on October 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Tory and Kari act (or react) like that all the time on the show, much to the chagrin of many long-time fans... Usually involving big explosions.

Playing devil's advocate: I know the premise is phony, but if this were real, I'm sure they and Cain knew he could pull off that kind of stuff ahead of time (maybe they do that sort of thing during pregames, who knows).

And why even have the kids and worry about whether they'd be able to act on camera well enough? Just having Tory and Kari would've been enough to sell the bit.

That said, even though pitchers can undoubtedly throw fast with precision, it must be different throwing at a high angle, and with all arm.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 7:16 PM on October 29, 2012


Matt Cain is gonna be on the show next week.
posted by empath at 8:02 PM on October 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


http://i.imgur.com/D3xxf.gif
posted by laconic skeuomorph at 8:40 PM on October 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


1) This was filmed back in June or early July ("recently threw a perfect game") - that's a pretty long turnaround - if there were going to be a commercial, there would be one by now?

The goal of viral video marketing is that people think it is a fun video that they want to share with their friends. It doesn't work if people think it is a commercial. Following it up with a commercial is exactly the wrong thing to do.

2) it's just not that impressive. What's remarkable about this video is how ridiculous the hosts reactions are. If they wanted something viral/fake, they would have gone bigger, like a big explosion or throwing the ball 300 feet, etc--mrgrimm

If it is too 'over the top' then it is too obviously fake, and no one will share it.

I never even noticed a pizza logo and never heard anyone mention the name of the shop, so I'm kind of at a loss to see the "viral promo" angle, here.
--lodurr

Again, that's the whole point. If you shove the product name in people's faces, they are going to see that it is a commercial and their eyes are going to glaze over. Viral video fail!

I looked around and just about every marketing site on the web has something about viral marketing. For example:
Don’t make an outright ad: if a video feels like an ad, viewers won’t share it unless it’s really amazing.

I think it is an ad. And as with a good Superbowl ad, I still enjoyed watching it. And I think he really blasted those objects with a baseball. So I showed it to my kids, and they enjoyed watching it too. That I think it is an ad doesn't ruin it for me. (Finding out that he didn't really throw the baseball at these things would, though. I have faith).



I almost forgot to add this, which was in the same viral marketing article:
A great way to maximize the number of people who watch our videos is to create some sort of controversy in the comments section below the video. We get a few people in our office to log in throughout the day and post heated comments back and forth (you can definitely have a lot of fun with this). Everyone loves a good, heated discussion in the comments section – especially if the comments are related to a brand/startup.
posted by eye of newt at 9:14 PM on October 29, 2012


If asavage doesn't drop in here with a link and a 'splanation Imma be all LUUUUCY
posted by mwhybark at 9:42 PM on October 29, 2012


I spent far too much time looking up the burst strength of a light carboard box (around 125 PSI), the kinetic energy of a fastball (around 87 foot pounds) and the sectional density of a baseball (.039 psi) before I realized I now have a bunch of numbers.
posted by kyrademon at 7:52 AM on October 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


“This guy should host something on television” is the only myth I need to see busted.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:08 AM on October 30, 2012


"Dear XKCD, What would happen if you threw a baseball through a pizza box at 90% of the speed of light?"
posted by straight at 9:45 AM on October 30, 2012


(from Oct 22)

Today: Patxi's Matt Cain Perfect Pizza

In honor of tonight's Game 7, Patxi's Pizza will serve a Matt Cain (Perfect!) Pizza special today. The pitcher so important that he merits his own pizza, as you very well know, starts tonight in a very, very important game. The moods of many this week hang on this one game. So, before getting drunk with glee or curling into the fetal position until spring 2013, enjoy a slice of Cain for lunch featuring Zoe’s pepperoni and a fresh garlic and fennel sausage, a salad, and a soda drink for only $9.99. (The slice of the day special for $5.25 is available all day!)

posted by rtha at 10:23 AM on October 30, 2012


What, was there no World Series thread? ... oh, i'll just throw this here

Sergio Romo: "I just look illegal"
posted by mrgrimm at 9:07 AM on November 1, 2012


I was watching the parade online (couldn't bear the thought of the crowds, and besides I went two years ago) and saw him leaping around in the streets in that shirt and now I love him even more. I read somewhere that people were throwing tortillas at him? Or maybe to him?

Also, gingerbeer was actually *in* the parade because a co-worker of hers is in a group that was marching and invited her along. She said it was awesome.
posted by rtha at 9:22 AM on November 1, 2012


So let me see if I can summarize the argument for this being a fake viral pizza company ad: "because it could be."

Have I got that right?
posted by lodurr at 6:37 PM on November 1, 2012


It could be that people are trying to establish a necessary but not sufficient condition. Let me try to summarize your criticism: "'because it could be' is not a sufficient condition". Do I have that right?
posted by found missing at 6:44 PM on November 1, 2012


Yes, I think that's very accurate w.r.t. to my last post. But I'd add: 'is not even vaguely close to'.
posted by lodurr at 2:28 AM on November 2, 2012


i cant sleep IS IT REAL OR NOT
posted by obiwanwasabi at 4:17 AM on November 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well if it isn't an ad, then what is it? Did the Mythbusters and kids just happen to be having a party when Matt Cain showed up? An they convinced him to throw a ball at their food?

Is it a setup for a Mythbusters show?

There may not be sufficient information to prove that it is an ad, but I don't see any other compelling arguments.
posted by eye of newt at 8:46 AM on November 2, 2012


So let me see if I can summarize the argument for this being a fake viral pizza company ad: "because it could be."

The viral pizza company ad aspect of it is harder to prove because there's not a lot of evidence in the video itself about who made it and what the purpose of it is. But the fakeness of it is easier to find proof for because there's direct evidence in the video rather than being a question of intention or origin. If a fake is done well it's more a question of how likely it is to be fake than finding a single smoking gun that proves it, so you have to imagine a "fake video" profile and a "real video" profile and figure out which one it matches up with better.

Real Video Aspects:
Produced by a plausible source: Yes. Belleci and Byron could conceivably put together a crew and film Matt Cain destroying stuff with baseballs for no reason.
Could plausibly happen:Yes. A lot of viral videos show something that is literally impossible or at least extremely rare, but this one shows someone hitting stuff with baseballs in way that would be difficult but not impossible.
Part of an established series: No. If a video is part of an established series (like Will It Blend or whatever), it's less likely that it's a one-off hoax. In this case Belleci's previous YouTube videos were either silly behind-the-scenes videos or short films.
Evidence of failed takes: No. For this particular type of video where someone is trying to pull off some sort of difficult stunt, things like outtakes of failed attempts (such as those in skateboarding videos) add evidence that it's real. In this case it's suggested that every attempt worked the first time and for example no previously smashed watermelons are seen.
Imperfect results: No. Usually a video like this will have some parts that work spectacularly well and other ones that are duds (see pretty much any episode of MythBusters). In this case everything worked equally well.
Difficult to fake: Somewhat. The main parts that would be faked are the collisions, and faking it would involve somewhat sophisticated visual effects, but not impossibly difficult ones.

Fake Video Aspects:
"Found footage": No. Sometimes viral videos present something as being from vague origins such as security camera footage from an unnamed source, but not in this case.
Focused on bystander reactions: Yes. Viral videos almost always spend a lot of time getting people's reactions to whatever amazing thing is supposedly happening, whereas a lot of real videos spend the whole time focusing on whatever is actually happening.
Purposefully amateur look: Yes. Viral videos are generally shot with expensive equipment and edited by professionals, but are shot to look like they were done on a cellphone camera by an amateur. In this video the "mistake" edits at the beginning and the general shaky-cam feel are clearly supposed to make it feel like less of a professional shoot than it really was.
Convenient edits/pans: Yes. The normal way to film something like this would be to track the object the whole way from being thrown to hitting the ground (especially the watermelon, who doesn't like seeing an exploding watermelon?). The only full trip that is shown is the pizza box, and there's evidence that the pan to the reaction shot was used to cut to a different shot of the box being inspected.
Continuity mistakes: Yes. The pizza box is definitely not in the same state that it was when it hit the ground when they run over to inspect it (even though it's supposed to look like that was all one take).

So overall I think it has a lot of evidence which lines up with the fake video profile and doesn't have much evidence pointing to it being real. There are other points you could examine but you get the idea. Yes I have too much time on my hands but I think these sorts of things are interesting to think about.
posted by burnmp3s at 8:48 AM on November 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Well if it isn't an ad, then what is it? Did the Mythbusters and kids just happen to be having a party when Matt Cain showed up? An they convinced him to throw a ball at their food?

Your argument seems to be "well it's obviously not a spontaneous event at a kid's party*, so it must be an ad."

So, I'll tell you what it is if it isn't a pizza ad: It's a Mythbusters ad. Is it a setup for a specific show? Probably not. Viral advertising video works best if it's not pointed -- viral advertising video for a television program works best, in fact, if it's in the mode of the program, but is something that is not part of the program.

So, yes, this was an ad. I'm not sure anyone here has ever argued that it's not an ad -- maybe someone has -- but people, myself included, have argued that it's not likely to be an ad for the specific pizza place. I still think that, and I've seen nothing that would convince me otherwise, and as evidence I would point out that most people watching this cold will not be able to tell you what pizza place the pie came from when they're done watching.

These guys get paid to do this kind of thing. They have fun doing it, too. Part of their job is to think up fun stuff to film being shot, blown up, broken, strained, shaken, stirred, etc. Wouldn't you have fun doing that? Wouldn't you be inspired to think up all kinds of strange stuff that maybe didn't fit the exact format of the show, but that (surprise surprise) would serve very well as a viral promo for the show -- while simultaneously entertaining and amusing a lot of simple people?



--
*Which, by the way, no one in the video ever claims -- as has been pointed out a bunch of times, here.
posted by lodurr at 4:54 PM on November 2, 2012


And what is this whole "fake" and "real" thing, anyway? What would it mean for it to be "fake"? All you folks crying "fake" -- you do realize that television shows make promos for themselves, right? Specifically w.r.t. Mythbusters, you have seen the "aftershow", right?

I'm just dying for someone to explain to me what it would take for this video to be "real." I'm guessing it's got something to do with it actually being a spontaneous birthday party or something, so I''m going to point out again in advance that the whole birthday party scenario is not something that actually comes from the video....
posted by lodurr at 4:58 PM on November 2, 2012


it's obviously not a spontaneous event at a kid's party*
*Which, by the way, no one in the video ever claims -- as has been pointed out a bunch of times, here.
--lodurr

The spontaneity is implied by the objects chosen. "What else do we have?" "Okay, okay, go get the watermelon from the picnic table."

After the Piñata is broken, she says "This is the best party ever!"
posted by eye of newt at 10:53 PM on November 2, 2012


I wonder what a fastball would do to a plate of beans.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:47 AM on November 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


And what is this whole "fake" and "real" thing, anyway? What would it mean for it to be "fake"?

The entire question people are interested in is whether or not Cain actually threw the baseball and hit those things, and, if he did, whether it actually had the effects shown. Specifically the hole through the pizza.

All the talk about "Is it an ad for something?" is just people pointing to possible circumstantial evidence that some of those parts of the video are faked. No one actually cares if this was a spontaneous party event or not.
posted by straight at 6:45 AM on November 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yes, I think whether or not it was a spontaneous party is fairly insignificant detail outside of the fact that they have tried to make it appear as if it were.

Anyways, this has been bothering me for a few days now and I'm getting to the point where I'd consider chipping in some cash for somebody to go out and buy exactly this pizza and pizza box and film themselves taking it to a batting range (preferably more than one.) If anybody wants to set up a metafilter project to do so I'd appreciate it a lot, as I don't really have the time to do so myself at the moment.
posted by Algebra at 8:27 AM on November 3, 2012


After the Piñata is broken, she says "This is the best party ever!"

It seems very possible they rounded up a bunch of kids saying, we're going to go to the park, have a little party, and watch Matt Cain destroy stuff with baseballs.

"COOL!"
posted by straight at 10:07 AM on November 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wonder what a fastball would do to a plate of beans.

That depends, is it a four seam fastball, a two seam fastball, a cut fastball or a split fingered fastball? Cause a four seamer would probably just demolish it but a two seamer is gonna have a little more movement and maybe would impart some spin to it. If it's a right handed pitcher it'll dive inside on a plate of beans set up with the fork on the right and away from a plate with the fork on the left. That being said, you could hold the four seamer a little off center to get a bit of break out of it as well. Now if it's a cut fastball you should definitely get some broken plate action ala Mo Rivera. A good splitter should dive out of the strike zone and miss the beans completely. This is really just scratching the surface here and I really think some other people need to weigh in on it. We may want to consult a bean expert as well because the type of beans may factor in as well. Are they baked or refried? If baked, do they contain bacon? All things that should be considered.
posted by nathancaswell at 10:35 AM on November 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Cain was a guest on the show that aired this Sunday. They had him throwing needles at a pane of glass, to test some ridiculous myth from a viral video.
posted by Rhomboid at 11:26 PM on November 5, 2012


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