Former Washington Nationals’ pitcher Tim Redding was on the radio yesterday, accusing teammate Mike Bacsik of intentionally throwing a fat pitch to Barry Bonds, giving him the record breaking home run:
“I think he wanted to give it up. And he can say what he wants in
defense or whatnot, but doing the chart, I mean, every ball that Barry
hit, the ball was center cut, right down the middle, fastball. You
know, I think maybe inside he was thinking he was going to get a little
bit more publicity. Maybe, you know, publicity and some money out of
it, appearances, stuff like that.”
Bacsik’s response via Twitter:
“Well just got a call from Bill Ladson of washingtonnationals.com and
Tim Redding said he believes I tried to give up homer#756 Good
What he said. I mean, there was a time when a guy wouldn’t publicly accuse his teammate of taking a dive like that. He would keep the fact that his teammate took a dive like that all to himself.
OK, seriously, I have no idea if Bacsik really did groove one to Bonds. It’s not like he had masterful stuff anyway — he gave up 26 home runs in 118 innings in 2007 and had a lifetime ERA of 5.46 — so the odds favored Bonds jacking one out of the yard that night anyway.
We’re not talking the 100 meters here. We’re talking practical baseball sprinting. That’s defined by the StatCast folks at MLB as “feet per second in a player’s fastest one-second window,” while sprinting for the purposes of, you know, winning a baseball game.
StatCast ranked all players who have at least 10 “max effort” runs this year. I won’t give away who is at the top of this list, but given that baseball’s speedsters tend to get a lot of press you will not be at all surprised. As for the bottom of the list, well, the Angels don’t pay Albert Pujols to run even when he’s not suffering from late career chronic foot problems, so they’ll probably let that one go. I will say, however, that I am amused that the third slowest dude in baseball is named “Jett,” however.
Lately people have noticed some odd things about home run distances on StatCast, suggesting that maybe their metrics are wacko. And, of course, their means of gauging this stuff is proprietary and opaque, so we have no way of knowing if their numbers are off the reservation or not. As such, take all of the StatCast stuff you see with a grain of salt.
That said, even if the feet-per-second stuff is wrong here, knowing that Smith is faster than Jones by a factor of X is still interesting.
All-Star voting ends this Thursday night, just before midnight eastern time. The All-Star teams — at least how they’ll appear before the dozen or two substitutions we’ll get before the game — will be unveiled on Sunday at 7pm on ESPN, just before Sunday Night Baseball.
Which means you still have time to alter these standings, which now stand as the final update before things are set in, well, not stone, but at least some Play-Doh which has been left out of the can too long and is kinda hard to mess with.