Quantifying joy: A Statcast analysis of the Mets' NLCS victory celebration
When the future looks back on 2015, the implementation of Statcast™ will stand out as one of the greatest additions to human culture. This was the year when we all found out just how fast Mike Trout runs while stealing bases, or just how efficiently Andre Ethier tracks down balls in the outfield:
But Statcast's evolving technology still leaves several mysteries to be solved - including perhaps the most important of all: Just how fast do players run when racing to the mound to celebrate a postseason series win?
Today, thanks to the Statcast™ gods, we have that answer. After Jeurys Familia ended Game 4 of the NLCS by striking out Dexter Fowler with a fastball that came in with a perceived velocity of 97.7 mph, the celebration was on.
Not surprisingly, center fielder Juan Lagares came racing in from center field at a top speed of 18.3 mph, while Curtis Granderson was not far behind at 17.6.
With less distance to run and a dogpile to leap onto, the infielders took it a little easier -- David Wright taking his time with a 9.2 mph jaunt to the mound.
Daniel Murphy, surely amped up from his sixth home run in six days, sprinted in with his arms at an infield-best 16.8 mph.
Are these speed numbers the true quantification of human happiness that scientists have sought for centuries? Well, it's as close as we can get on a baseball field right now. But, then again, Statcast is only in its infancy...