Uniform Adjustments Per Nine Innings and 8 other metrics we hope Statcast will illustrate soon
9 things we wish Statcast will illustrate soon
Get ready technophiles and everyone who has ever enjoyed the movie "Tron." Because Major League Baseball, already at the forefront of streaming technology with MLB.TV and the leading purveyor of the game of baseball (#humblebrag) has unveiled the greatest of technological marvels to ever reach the field: Statcast.
Though Statcast was slowly rolled out last season, making major appearances during the All-Star Game and the postseason, it is now featured in all 30 Major League parks and will make its 2015 debut during Tuesday night's MLB Network Showcase game, between the Cardinals and Nationals at 7 pm ET.
What does that mean for you? Well, now we can finally know who hits the ball hardest directly off the bat, which defenders make the quickest breaks for the ball and just how fast players are while racing around the bases. And that's only a small taste.
But while that's all well and good, there are a number of more esoteric uses for the new technology. Here are a few that we want some data on.
1. Uniform Adjustments Per Nine Innings
You may have noticed that pitchers like to adjust their uniforms a lot. A tug of the cap, a lift of the sleeve, a tightening of the belt. While the human eye cannot catch each of these movements, fortunately Statcast can.
2. Pie Force Exerted
Watching someone get pied in the face after a spectacular walk-off win is always great, but wouldn't the experience be enriched if we could know how many newtons of force were behind each pie-ing? Wouldn't we be more personally invested (and hungry) if we knew what flavor Jonathan Schoop's face was being smushed in?
3. Objective Sock Height
We spend a lot of time debating which player is the most fashionable, and these debates tend to hinge primarily on sock style (stirrups, stirrups, uber alles). Only Statcast can tell us if Hunter Pence or Sonny Gray is the true sock height king.
4. Hot Dog Velocity
Sure, every mascot loves firing hot dogs into the crowd, but so far we've never been able to quantify who is best at it. Which mascot fires the most hot dogs per inning? Who gets the most distance? And what kind of velocity is the Phillie Phanatic working with?
5. Beard resiliency
Sure, we know which beards look most intimidating, but which ones actually do the best on the field? Which ones are the most wind resistant? And does Dustin Ackley's beard make outfielders back up farther than Charlie Blackmon's?
6. Netflix Queue Quotient
While this one will have to wait until Statcast adds patented neuroscanning technology, we desperately want to know which movies are on each player's Netflix queue. Is Mike Trout looking forward to finally catching "Big Hero 6"? Is David Ortiz tearing through season three of "Gilmore Girls" after games? And what star rating did Justin Verlander give to "Serpico"? The answer to those prayers is here.
7. High Five PPI
We all have those people in our lives whose exuberance is matched only in their strength. Kind of like a baby cougar, we'd imagine.
So, just as hugs from these people squeeze the very life out of our bodies and their high-fives render our hands useless stumps for the next two to three hours, we need to know which players have the most powerful high-fives. Does Giancarlo Stanton know to restrain himself or do you need to make sure you're wearing a metal brace before congratulating him following a home run? And which players are fastest at "Up High, Down Low, Too Slow?"
8. Distance traveled on absolute blasts
Sure, which defenders get the quickest jumps is interesting, but we want to know which players are best at knowing when, "Yep, that's not landing in the stadium."
As long as you have no rooting interest, it's always fun watching outfielders just kind of stare up, kick the grass and wait for the dinger to drop.
9. What's the point of existence?
We don't think Statcast has the answer to this (and the proximity of Statcast's proliferation to the release of "Avengers: Age of Ultron," a movie about a hyper-intelligent computer fighting against mankind, should worry us a smidge). But we'll never know until we ask.