I’ll give Philly, its fans and its media this much: for as insufferable as they can be when they’re cruising, they offset it rather appropriately with anger, recriminations and negativity when things go poorly.
You won’t hear a lot of “we got robbed” from those guys. You won’t hear a lot of “oh well, see you next season.” Things are either awesome or terrible, and it’s because the players are either invincible or dog crap. Not a lot of in between, and there’s something kind of neat about that, even if it’s a temperament most of the rest of us can’t understand.
Anyway, it leads to stuff like this column in which Dan McQuade lists a bunch of potential “solutions” he’s heard from half-crazed Phillies fans since Friday night. It also leads to this cover of this morning’s Philadelphia Daily News:
At some point over the summer I started to imagine the kind of needling stuff I’d write if and when the Phillies failed to meet expectations. Turns out I don’t really have to. You don’t needle a guy when he’s busy trying to shove a sword in his own gut.
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.