I’ve come to look forward to the once or twice weekly minor league drug suspensions. I don’t know who any of these dudes are, but I feel like I learn a little bit about them anyway. Like Astros minor leaguer Angel Heredia:
The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that Houston Astros Minor League right-handed pitcher Angel Heredia has received a 50-game suspension after testing positive for metabolites of Stanozolol and Boldenone, performance-enhancing substances, in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
Angel Heredia: These metabolites all go to two. Look, right across the board, two, two, two and…
Bud Selig: Oh, I see. And most metabolites go up to just one?
Selig: Does that mean it’s stronger? Is it any stronger?
Heredia: Well, it’s one stronger, isn’t it? It’s not one. You see, most blokes, you know, will be injecting at one. You’re on one here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you’re on one on your syringe. Where can you go from there? Where?
Selig: I don’t know.
Heredia: Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?
Selig: Put it up to two.
Heredia: Two. Exactly. One stronger.
Selig: Why don’t you just make one stronger and make one be the top metabolite and make that a little stronger?
Heredia: [pause] These go to two.
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.