Two must-click links: Jewish Indians, Indian Indians and the Tomahawk Chop

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I spent the early portion of my mid-afternoon lull reading a couple of good articles.

  • A profile of Indians great Al Rosen.  It details the anti-semitism he and other Jewish ballplayers faced back in the day, as well as the more benign but just as potentially career-limiting stereotype that Jews simply couldn’t be good athletes. Rosen is 86 now, and sits for a nice interview with Bill Lubinger of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
  • A nice takedown of Chief Wahoo and the Tomahawk Chop by Emma Span over at Bronx Banter.  I’ve tread in these waters before, and I agree with Emma on the two key points: (1) just because you wear an Indians cap or do the Tomahawk Chop at Braves games doesn’t mean you’re a racist. Indeed, you’re likely not; but (2) both Wahoo and the Chop need to go.

If you disagree with that, check out the graphics in Emma’s article, then circle back to the Rosen interview, rinse and repeat until you start to get it.

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