Yadier Molina

How hard did Yadier Molina throw that ball last night?

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Still going back and admiring that Yadier Molina putout last night. Just wonderful.

In the post about it I wondered how hard he threw that ball.  There have been at least two attempts at explanations so far.  The first one I saw came from commenter Ryan:

And a radar gun would be way better, but some back-of-the-envelope math suggests he threw it around 85 mph.

distance from home to 2nd base: ~127 feet; the throw was caught a little short and off of 2nd, so ~125 feet
timing with a crappy cellphone stopwatch: ~1.0 seconds from release to catch
125 feet/second = 85 mph

A lot of potential error in the timing measurement, but mid-eighties is probably about right. I wonder any catchers can throw any harder?

Then commenter dan1111 added:

It’s even more impressive when you consider that pitch speed is measured at the release point. 85 mph average over that distance is at least a low 90s fastball.

Another attempt at measuring the velocity came from Larry Granillo of Baseball Prospectus. Well, smart people he  asked about it, but he published it.  It comes in at a much lower, but still impressive speed: out of the hand at 83, averaging 72 m.p.h.  Click through to see his methodology.

Either way: damn impressive for a catcher who did not have the benefit of a mound, a fully upright position, a big stride and a windup.

“La Vida Baseball,” celebrating Latino baseball, launches

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A new website has launched. It’s called “La Vida Baseball,” and it’s all about celebrating the past, present and future of Latino baseball from a Latino perspective.

The site, produced in partnership with the Hall of Fame, has four general areas of focus:

  • Who’s Now: Focusing on current Latino players;
  • Who’s Next: Focusing on top prospects here, in the Caribbean and in Central and South America;
  • Our Life: Off-the-Field stuff, including player’s lives, lifestyles and hobbies; and
  • Our Legends: Focusing on Latino baseball history, Hall of Famers and overlooked players.

As the site has just launched there aren’t yet a ton of stories up there, but there is one about Roberto Clemente, another about Felix Hernandez and some other stuff.

The site is much-needed. Baseball reporters for American outlets are overwhelmingly white, non-Spanish speakers. Reporters, who, generally, gravitate to the players who are the most like they are. Which is understandable on some level. When you’re writing stories about people you need to be able to communicate with them and relate to them on more than a mere perfunctory level. As such, no matter how good the intentions of baseball media, we tend to see the clubhouse and the culture of baseball from a distinctly American perspective. And we tend to paint Latino players with a broad, broad brush.

La Vida Baseball will, hopefully, remedy all of that and will, hopefully, give us a fresh and insightful depiction Latino players and their culture.

 

David Ross to compete on “Dancing with the Stars”

David Ross
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Do you miss David Ross? I miss David Ross. The season hasn’t even started yet and I miss David Ross. There’s something comforting about having a likable graybeard catcher in the game with bonus points for being bald. His loss will be felt.

But while we won’t have David Ross in baseball all this year — at least on the field; he’s a special assistant with the Cubs — we’ll still have David Ross someplace:

Johnny Damon did “Celebrity Apprentice” — Trump fired him, sadly — but we’ve never had a ballplayer on “Dancing With The Stars.” There have been several football players and some Olympians, but no baseball guys. Which makes some amount of sense as, outside of the middle infielders and first basemen, footwork isn’t necessarily the most important tool.

Catchers are particularly plodding for athletes, so good luck, David. Unless you have some moves you haven’t flashed in the past, you’ll probably need it.