Major League Baseball just made it official: that reality show on Showtime featuring the Giants is a go:
Showtime Networks, Major League Baseball Productions and the 2010 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants are teaming up for a new series chronicling the competitive and complex world of professional baseball. The new series will give viewers a front row seat into the lives of the players, coaches and team personnel as they begin the arduous task of defending their World Series title through the 2011 MLB season.
They’re going to start filming soon, getting guys back at home and following them on their way into and through spring training. There will be a preview episode opening week, but then the show will go on hiatus until the second half of the season when it begins airing regularly.
I presume the lag is to give the producers time to frame things just so, dramatically speaking. Shines will be put on losing streaks. Time will be allowed for contrived “I love you, bro” scenes to explain away clubhouse strife after it happens. And if things go well — which is totally boring — there will be time to create faux drama.
Because there’s only one constant about reality shows, and that’s that they’re not all that real, frankly.
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.