OK, west coast and Midwest fans can be nuts too

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Roy Halladay upset.jpgEli Whiteside hit a home run off Roy Halladay in the seventh inning of last night’s Giants-Phillies game.  According to Matt Gelb of the Philly Inquirer, that caused some Giants fans to chant “overrated!” at Halladay. I suppose if anyone can talk smack to Roy Halladay it’s the fans who root for Tim Lincecum, but calling Roy Halladay overrated is crazy.

Fan weirdness in Kansas City too as Royals fans booed Mike Sweeney when he pinch hit for Seattle last night.  Sweeney was the Royals’ best hitter for a good while and I understand that Royals fans are a bit miffed that he got a big contract and fell off a cliff at almost the exact time the team decided that Carlos Beltran wasn’t worth trying to keep around, but that’s on an inept Royals front office, not Sweeney. Sure, it’s hard to boo a front office seven years after they did something dumb, but booing a nice guy like Mike Sweeney is a decidedly un-Midwestern thing to do.  Midwesterns are much bigger on passive-aggressiveness than open hostility. There’s a thin veneer of politeness to it which makes us think we’re better than everyone else.  

And since I’ve taken it upon myself to tell fans all over the country who they can and can’t jeer, I may as well go one presumptuous step further and tell them exactly how they should receive players like Halladay and Sweeney.

In San Francisco, the fans should, after getting the best of a guy like Roy Halladay, offer wild applause for their own guys, and a zipped lip (though exuberant inner-joy) at the misfortune of Halladay, knowing full well that (a) you got the best of one of the best; but (b) it ain’t likely to happen the next time your guys meet up with him.

For Sweeney? Tougher, because that business with the $55 million bust of a deal is really old news.  Maybe Royals fans should get creative and, rather than boo him, they could all meet outside the stadium after the game, pool their resources, figure out where former General Manager Allaard Baird lives and leave a flaming bag of dog poo on his porch.

Much more constructive if you ask me, and really, a lot more satisfying.

Who is the fastest sprinter in baseball?

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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.

Here are the final All-Star voting results before the close of balloting

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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.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

AMERICAN LEAGUE