OK, so this is pretty fantastic.
Athletics general manager Billy Beane strengthened his team’s rotation this morning by acquiring left-hander Jon Lester from the Red Sox. Hours later, the Tigers answered by picking up left-hander David Price as part of a three-team deal with the Rays and Mariners. As Jane Lee of MLB.com relays below, Beane received some good-natured smack talk from Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski just moments before the 4 p.m. ET non-waiver trade deadline passed:
Competing both on and off the field. I dig it. The arms race between the Athletics and Tigers is just too much fun. There’s still two months remaining in the regular season and I have no horse in this race, but it would be quite a treat to see these two teams square off in the playoffs for a third straight year.
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.