Yesterday Nats’ infielder Anthony Rendon made a lot of people smile when he said “I don’t watch baseball — it’s too long and boring.” Today his manager was on 106.7 The Fan in Washington and talked about those comments. Short version: he gets it:
“Anthony’s just being funny. You know, baseball, when you watch it and you play it every day, can get boring. Because, you know, you’re always there in it. And when you step outside of it, it’s not easy to watch for a player.”
I can appreciate that. My brother worked at In-N-Out Burger for seven or eight years and after a year or two of it he never wanted the stuff. While I don’t get tired of baseball after reading and writing about it, I do find myself way less likely to read for pleasure in the evenings than I used to because I just read all damn day. If you get jacked up to play baseball all the time and spend all of your active hours thinking about it and doing it, I can totally see not having much patience for it in your free time.
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.