Quote of the Day: Terry Francona on Jason Varitek

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Is it too late to take the Rays out of the playoff and put the Red Sox in? Because they’re really depressing to watch at the moment.

Anyway, let’s talk about the Sox some more. Here was Terry Francona today, when asked about roster decisions in general and Jason Varitek, specifically:

“I think there has to be a time when you put your emotions aside and you
talk about your team. Because if you don’t, you’re going to make
mistakes. I don’t want to do that, either. I’ve been around ‘Tek for a
long time, ever since I’ve been here. But I also want to continue to
win.”

That probably hurts if you’re Varitek or one of his many, many fans. But the Red Sox need to prepare for the future, not live in the past. Varitek had a better year than we figured he might at the plate, but he’s not going to be a part of the next championship Red Sox team, and the time for him to go is probably now.

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