The Yankees hire Larry Rothschild to be their pitching coach

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Larry Rothschild was the Cubs’ pitching coach when we woke up this morning. Now he’s the Yankees’ pitching coach.  They just announced that he got the gig.

And when I say he was the Cubs’ pitching coach, that was only technically speaking. He was the incumbent. He was under contract and had just exercised his option to come back in 2011. But it was far from decided that he would actually come back, what with the Cubs’ hiring of Mike Quade as manager.

Rothschild has been around the block, serving as an instructor in the Reds and Braves organization before going on to become the Marlins’ pitching coach — where he snagged a World Series ring — and then went on to become the Devil Rays’ first ever manager.  That tanked, with Rothschild becoming one of the many pitching coaches-turned-failed-managers in baseball history.  He’s been the Cubs’ coach since 2002, serving under Dusty Baker and Lou Piniella.

It’s hard to get a handle on how good coaches are.  Because really, with the exception of Dave Duncan and maybe Johnny Sain, pitching coaches tend to be hailed as geniuses when they have good pitchers working for them and bums when they coach palookas.  Rothschild is no different in this regard, though he is certainly well-respected.  There is at least some evidence that he has been effective in improving pitchers’ strikeout rates and in lowering their walk rates.  He knows Girardi too, given that they spent 2002 together in Chicago.

I’m assuming his first task in New York will be in fixing A.J. Burnett.  Good luck with that, Larry.

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