Jose Fernandez expected to require season-ending elbow surgery

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UPDATE: The news just keeps getting worse. According to Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Marlins anticipate that Fernandez will need season-ending surgery on his right elbow. Presumably we’re talking about Tommy John surgery here.

If there’s any silver lining, it’s that the injury involves Fernandez’s elbow, not his shoulder. And while there have been some recent examples to the contrary, Tommy John surgery still has a very high success rate. The injury is a tough blow to the Marlins, but Fernandez doesn’t even turn 22 until July. Here’s hoping he’ll be dominating major league hitters again at some point in 2015.

6:39 p.m. ET: Gulp. According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, Fernandez is going on the disabled list with a right elbow sprain. He complained of discomfort after his start on Friday. This situation doesn’t sound particularly promising, as a “sprain” indicates the possibility of ligament damage and the worst-case scenario of Tommy John surgery, but results of the MRI are still pending. Stay tuned.

6:00 p.m. ET: Ominous news this evening for Marlins fans — and really, all baseball fans — as FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that right-hander Jose Fernandez is expected to be placed on the disabled list. No word yet on the exact nature of the injury, but Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports that he was sent for an MRI in Los Angeles.

Fernandez had a rare clunker in his most recent outing on Friday against the Padres, allowing six runs (five earned) in five innings, but he was feeling sick before the game. While his fastball velocity was down some, he said that his arm was perfectly fine.

Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel passes along word that Marlins manager Mike Redmond is expected to address the situation at 6:30 p.m. ET, so we should have more information soon. Hopefully it’s not a big deal. Fernandez is truly a joy to watch regardless of your rooting interest.

Fernandez, 21, has compiled a 2.25 ERA and 257/71 K/BB ratio over his first 224 1/3 innings in the majors.

Report: The Yankee Stadium charity is a secretive, self-dealing boondoggle

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The New York Times has a blistering report on the New Yankee Stadium Community Benefits Fund. The Fund is the charity the Yankees created in 2006 as a means of making up for the negative impact the construction New Yankee Stadium had on the surrounding community, primarily via its taking over 25 acres of parkland.

The idea of the Fund was a good one: to distribute $40 million in cash grants and sports equipment, and 600,000 free baseball tickets to community organizations in the Bronx over four decades. And it has been distributing funds and tickets. As the Times reports, however, the manner in which it has done so raises some red flags. Such as:

  • Charitable donations have, in an amazing coincidence, often gone to other charities which share common board members with the New Yankee Stadium Fund;
  • Funds have gone to many wealthy groups in affluent parts of the Bronx far away from the Stadium while the area around the stadium remains one of the most impoverished in the nation. For example, a private school in a wealthy part of the borough and a rec center in a gated community have gotten a lot money that, one would think anyway, could be and should be devoted to organizations closer to the ballpark that are in greater need; and
  • There has been almost no transparency or oversight of the Fund. Reports which were supposed to have been submitted have not been. And no one, apart from the Times anyway, seems to care. The Yankees certainly don’t seem to. Indeed, as the article notes, the team has worked hard to keep the Fund’s operations out of its hands. They just got their new ballpark and write the checks and hand out the tickets. Everything else is someone else’s problem.

Cronyism in private philanthropy is not uncommon. As is a lack of oversight. Often it’s the best connected people who receive the benefit of such funds, not the people most in need. This is especially true in charities whose creation was not born of a philanthropic impulse as much as it was born of a need to put a good face on some not-so-good business dealings.

If the Times’ report is correct — and the lack of anyone coming forward to dispute it on the record despite the Times’ requests that they do suggests it is — it appears as if the New Yankee Stadium Community Benefits Fund is one of those sorts of charities.

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.