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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Could Alex Gordon have scored in the World Series? Watch our re-enactment of the play

The rewind: Giants center fielder Gregor Blanco misplayed Gordon’s base hit and the ball rolled to the wall at Kauffman Stadium, where left fielder Juan Perez complicated matters by mishandling it. Gordon kept running, not always at full go, until given the stop sign by Royals third-base coach Mike Jirschele.

What if Gordon had kept motoring and tried to score from third?

The answer remains forever unknown. But the wondering will never cease.

In that spirit, the Rockhurst University baseball team took time from its preseason preparation — the Hawks open on Feb. 24 — to become players in a re-enactment.

Zach Posted: February 15, 2015 at 11:50 AM | 67 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: alex gordon, dead duck, giants, royals, world series

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   1. Captain Supporter Posted: February 15, 2015 at 01:51 PM (#4898378)
Sure he could have scored. If the throw was really awful or the catcher dropped the ball.

Otherwise he would have been out by 15 feet.

For me, Alex Gordon will always be the guy who did not hustle in the bottom of the ninth inning of a tie game in the deciding game of the World Series. But hell, if he had decided that perhaps the circumstances actually dictated running hard and, accordingly, they did send him, he still probably would have been out.
   2. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 15, 2015 at 01:55 PM (#4898381)
captain

agreed
   3. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 15, 2015 at 02:04 PM (#4898388)
Great for them, which a bunch of us were hoping someone would try to replicate.

And considering that this drill features a shortstop with (prsumably) a weaker arm than Crawford and a runner who was likely to be close to as fast as Gordon (given that Gordon had already run 270 feet, and most ballplayers tend to run out of gas during that final 90), and the real Gordon would have been out by even more.

Too bad the most prominent Send Gordon champion has been MIA around here.

   4. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: February 15, 2015 at 02:06 PM (#4898390)
Gordon had run 300 feet. He wasn't running in straight lines between the bases. He would have been out by a mile.
   5. BDC Posted: February 15, 2015 at 02:20 PM (#4898393)
Gordon, hell, I want to see somebody reenact Pesky and Slaughter.
   6. Monty Posted: February 15, 2015 at 02:20 PM (#4898395)
Great for them, which a bunch of us were hoping someone would try to replicate.


Yeah, I'm delighted to see this sort of thing. I don't care how unscientific it is; it's just a fun idea.
   7. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 15, 2015 at 02:23 PM (#4898397)
Gordon had run 300 feet.


True, though I'm not sure that's terribly significant. What's relevant is that players go almost entire seasons without ever having to make the 360- (or 400-) feet dash, and thus they tend to run out of gas during that last leg on the rare instance they're called upon to do so (hell, a lot of them start to slow down on the third leg).

   8. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 15, 2015 at 02:25 PM (#4898399)
post 7

Brewer fans wish carlos gomez would stop much less slow down

Ha ha
   9. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: February 15, 2015 at 02:26 PM (#4898400)
He would have been out by a mile.

So it's perfectly dandy for Primates such as yourself to be reckless on the basepaths during the annual softball game but not Gordon in the ninth inning of the seventh game of the World Series? Um, okay...
   10. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: February 15, 2015 at 02:55 PM (#4898416)
Yeah, I'm delighted to see this sort of thing. I don't care how unscientific it is; it's just a fun idea.


Given that I'm looking at roughly eight feet of snow in my front yard anything that involves baseball being played is OK in my book.
   11. Zonk Can Sell Culture Posted: February 15, 2015 at 02:56 PM (#4898417)
I was a "should have sent him proponent" - and I still am if only because the Giants were kicking that ball all over the place. It's a pressure packed moment and the Giants D was in the process of choking it away. Yeah, these are professional players of the highest talent, caliber, and composure - but I think I'd have banked on a bad throw. Chances are, he'd have been out -- and the end-game result is still the same, Royals lose.
   12. CraigK Posted: February 15, 2015 at 02:59 PM (#4898421)
Yeah, he might have scored. He might also have been out my twenty feet and have been considered the most bonehead play until the Super Bowl a few months later.
   13. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: February 15, 2015 at 03:05 PM (#4898425)
I get the argument for sending him but if you are banking on the Giants screwing it up...that just seems like too big a risk.
   14. The District Attorney Posted: February 15, 2015 at 03:46 PM (#4898438)
I'd have been tempted to send Gordon just due to the fact that Sal Perez looked like such utter garbage. I felt like Perez had about zero percent chance to get a hit. I know that isn't really true, but, man. He looked horrible. (And he had injured himself earlier in the game. He probably shouldn't even have been batting, not that Yost would have done that to one of his star players, but theoretically.)
   15. Walt Davis Posted: February 15, 2015 at 03:55 PM (#4898441)
Needs to be in Lego.
   16. Bote Man Posted: February 15, 2015 at 04:10 PM (#4898450)
(hell, a lot of them start to slow down on the third leg).

Those of us who are well-endowed can empathize.
   17. Lassus Posted: February 15, 2015 at 04:19 PM (#4898452)
Needs to be in Lego.

LIKE

#bat-girl
   18. joeysdadjoe Posted: February 15, 2015 at 05:09 PM (#4898467)
I think #1 has this right. Gordon needed to bust it all out from the box like there is no tomorrow. Cause there isn't. Once you get to that point you hold him. Gordon should take a hit for this.
   19. bobm Posted: February 15, 2015 at 05:14 PM (#4898469)
   20. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 15, 2015 at 05:14 PM (#4898470)
lassus

i miss her posts. the lego setups were inspired
   21. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: February 15, 2015 at 05:19 PM (#4898471)
So it's perfectly dandy for Primates such as yourself to be reckless on the basepaths during the annual softball game but not Gordon in the ninth inning of the seventh game of the World Series? Um, okay...


The odds of Crawford and Posey screwing up that play badly enough for Gordon to score are probably in the single digits. Low single digits. The probability of any Primate screwing up every facet of all the plays, in a sequence of calamity that sometimes literally defies astronomical odds, is actually quite high. The "just run until they tag you" strategy is far more useful in the BTF softball circuit.
   22. BDC Posted: February 15, 2015 at 05:40 PM (#4898473)
When is the softball game this year, anyway? Gotta start planning my July road trip.
   23. Meatwad Posted: February 15, 2015 at 05:57 PM (#4898479)
in relation to this wendell kim has passed away.
   24. bfan Posted: February 15, 2015 at 06:08 PM (#4898482)
I'd have been tempted to send Gordon just due to the fact that Sal Perez looked like such utter garbage. I felt like Perez had about zero percent chance to get a hit. I know that isn't really true, but, man. He looked horrible. (And he had injured himself earlier in the game. He probably shouldn't even have been batting, not that Yost would have done that to one of his star players, but theoretically.)

It would be nice to see a realistic assessment of the Royals chance to score off that pitcher (MB, operating at the level he was), with Sal Perez at the plate. Was that .150? Less? The answer on odds is that no third base coach is going to risk losing the series (where his name would be remembered for all time), so the incentives were all to hold him. But...a cold night in KC facing a lights out pitcher with a weak batter?
   25. tshipman Posted: February 15, 2015 at 06:15 PM (#4898483)
Not to knock the shortstop throwing in the reenactment, but Crawford also probably has a better arm--he has an above average arm for a ML shortstop, so he'd probably be the best arm in the state at the highschool level.

Crawford for his career has 61 errors and 1377 assists. Some of those assists were gimmies, but some of the errors were also fielding, not throwing errors. That leaves you with a ballpark rate of about 4%. So, do you really want to make the last out of the World Series on a 4% play?
   26. Brian White Posted: February 15, 2015 at 06:44 PM (#4898499)
I felt like Perez had about zero percent chance to get a hit. I know that isn't really true, but, man. He looked horrible.


Perez had a number of terrible ABs that game. But when he came up to the plate, he had been hitting .348 in the series. "More likely to happen than Alex Gordon scoring on that play" is a really, really low bar to clear, and a Salvador Perez at-bat most definitely clears that bar. Even if he is injured, and facing a super-human (albeit tiring) Madison Bumgarner.
   27. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: February 15, 2015 at 06:58 PM (#4898504)
.348 is better than .040. Perez getting a single there is reasonably guesstimated to be 10x more likely than Gordon scoring.
   28. Walt Davis Posted: February 15, 2015 at 06:59 PM (#4898505)
It would be nice to see a realistic assessment of the Royals chance to score off that pitcher (MB, operating at the level he was), with Sal Perez at the plate. Was that .150? Less?

NL pitchers averaged 124/156/155 with about a 36% K-rate. So with a pitcher at the plate, the chances of tying the game were about 13%. I don't care how big of a slump Perez might have been in or how hot a pitcher Bumgarner might have been, Perez can't have been as bad as that.

NL pinch-hitters hit 210/286/319 with about a 30% K-rate which comes out to about a 23% chance of at least tying the game (with some small chance of winning it right there). Perez or a PH option might have been as bad as that, maybe even worse, against an average pitcher (well, most likely an average reliever). If we think Bumgarner (surely tiring) was still well above-average, I can see the chances falling about halfway between the two.

So bare minimum, Gordon probably had to have at least a 13% chance of scoring and more likely something around 18% or better. And I haven't yet accounted for the chance of a WP/PB or ROE scoring the run.
   29. zachtoma Posted: February 15, 2015 at 07:23 PM (#4898509)
Even though it wouldn't have been the best play for the Royals to send him, and I think that's pretty well established, I still wish that they did. Think about it, there are two outcomes:

1) Alex Gordon ties World Series Game 7 with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th with an inside-the-park homerun

or

2) The Giants clinch the World Series on a play at the plate when the tying run is trying to score on an inside-the-park homerun

Either result, and it would have been one of the most exciting baseball plays of ours or anybody's lifetime. I think that's why people keep asking if he could have scored, they want to believe this could happen.
   30. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: February 15, 2015 at 08:06 PM (#4898514)
#29 nailed it. We wanted him to run for the awesomeness factor.
   31. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 15, 2015 at 08:45 PM (#4898520)
A legitimate play at the plate would have been great. The overwhelmingly likely outcome, however, was Buster Posey at home plate with the baseball waiting for Alex Gordon to apply a perfunctory tag. That wouldn't have been quite so awesome.



   32. CFBF's Results are Certified Posted: February 15, 2015 at 08:59 PM (#4898523)
Has a World Series ever ended on a run-down?
   33. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: February 15, 2015 at 09:08 PM (#4898525)
The options in 29 and 31 are great. What was more likely was a play where we had to go to a review to see if Posey was illegally blocking the plate even though the throw beat Gordon by 30 feet. The end result would be Gordon being ruled safe on an even more bizarre situation than Allen Craig in 2013 with the irony that Posey was in the middle of it after being the key figure in the rule coming into being.

Either way having to sit around for an instant replay to determine the World Series would have been misery.
   34. Ginger Nut Posted: February 15, 2015 at 09:08 PM (#4898526)
Gordon had run 300 feet. He wasn't running in straight lines between the bases. He would have been out by a mile.


I do believe he would have been out, but the idea that a professional athlete would be winded after running 300 feet is pretty sad. Think about a standard 400 meter track. 300 feet is about one straightaway. That is not that far to run. Someone who gets paid millions of dollars to play sports should be in good enough shape to be able to keep running hard into the curve.
   35. Sunday silence: Play Guess How long season lasts Posted: February 15, 2015 at 09:33 PM (#4898532)
So the kid made it on the first try and the response was to run it again until they get the "right" outcome.
   36. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: February 15, 2015 at 09:36 PM (#4898533)
Has a World Series ever ended on a run-down?
I know 1926 ended with Babe Ruth trying to steal second base.
   37. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 15, 2015 at 09:37 PM (#4898534)
I do believe he would have been out, but the idea that a professional athlete would be winded after running 300 feet is pretty sad. Think about a standard 400 meter track. 300 feet is about one straightaway. That is not that far to run. Someone who gets paid millions of dollars to play sports should be in good enough shape to be able to keep running hard into the curve.


And yet on many if not most inside-the-park home runs, the runner is nowhere near top speed on the last leg of the trip around the bases. Players go entire seasons without being asked to complete the 400-foot dash, and thus they don't hold their speed all the way through. Whether they should be able to is a separate question.


So the kid made it on the first try and the response was to run it again until they get the "right" outcome.


No, the timing was wrong on the first one, and thus they weren't replicating the play. Once they got the timing right, the play wasn't close.
   38. Brian White Posted: February 15, 2015 at 09:50 PM (#4898536)
Has a World Series ever ended on a run-down?


The 2003 Giants/Marlins NLDS ended with J.T. Snow getting thrown out at the plate. It wasn't a World Series, and it wasn't a rundown, so it misses on both parts of your question, but it was still pretty cool.
   39. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: February 15, 2015 at 10:28 PM (#4898544)
When is the softball game this year, anyway?

I'll ask Shooty when he might put in the request with the Parks Department the next time I see him, assuming you haven't tracked him down here first.
   40. Walt Davis Posted: February 15, 2015 at 11:41 PM (#4898557)
Following on my #28, it occurred to me that another worst-case scenario for Perez is Craig Kimbrel. The average batter against Kimbrel for his career has hit 152/240/208. And there's no way Perez would ever walk that often against anybody. So that puts it at about 16-17%.

That said, those Kimbrel numbers aren't much better than NL pitcher batting. The average batter against Kimbrel is posting a 27 OPS+. And a 42% K-rate. In 2012, Kimbrel K'd half the batters he faced.
   41. Greg K Posted: February 15, 2015 at 11:42 PM (#4898558)
The 2003 Giants/Marlins NLDS ended with J.T. Snow getting thrown out at the plate. It wasn't a World Series, and it wasn't a rundown, so it misses on both parts of your question, but it was still pretty cool.

If I'm recalling correctly Ivan Rodriguez added to the coolness with some awesome stage presence.

EDIT: The flip side of the same category is of course, Sid Bream.

Also Matt Holliday tagging up to end game 163 in 2007...still probably the craziest game I've ever seen.

I'll ask Shooty when he might put in the request with the Parks Department the next time I see him, assuming you haven't tracked him down here first.

I'd be excited for this! I actually have a job this year so I won't have to put Shooty and his cats out.
   42. Davo Posted: February 15, 2015 at 11:59 PM (#4898559)
I actually just watched that play again, last Friday, after a shitty day of work. I still like to pretend he went for it and scored and we won in extras.
   43. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: February 16, 2015 at 12:05 AM (#4898560)
   44. Zach Posted: February 16, 2015 at 02:08 AM (#4898566)
Someone who gets paid millions of dollars to play sports should be in good enough shape to be able to keep running hard into the curve.

Alex Gordon, of course, keeps himself in insanely good shape. He literally goes years without touching sugar.

He wasn't at full speed around the bases because 1) There were two misplays on the ball, so it wasn't clear whether he should keep going or stop at first or second, 2) He was given a clear stop sign at third, and 3) He isn't as fast as Cain or Gore, and wouldn't be thinking of a triple or an inside the park home run off the bat.
   45. Flynn Posted: February 16, 2015 at 05:38 AM (#4898571)
A legitimate play at the plate would have been great. The overwhelmingly likely outcome, however, was Buster Posey at home plate with the baseball waiting for Alex Gordon to apply a perfunctory tag. That wouldn't have been quite so awesome.


That reminds me of the end of the 1972 NLCS between the Pirates and Reds, which I only really heard about for the first time when Al Michaels appeared on Bill Simmons' podcast. Simmons fired up this clip of Michaels, who was a 26 year old first-year Reds broadcaster at the time, calling Johnny Bench's gametying home run in the bottom of the 9th inning of Game 5 off a Dave Giusti changeup and George Foster scoring on a pennant-losing wild pitch by Bob Moose.

Sounds insanely exciting, right? How is this not talked about more? Well the Bench homer is great, but George Foster could have walked home on the wild pitch.
   46. cfrtb Posted: February 16, 2015 at 05:48 AM (#4898572)
He wasn't at full speed around the bases because 1) There were two misplays on the ball, so it wasn't clear whether he should keep going or stop at first or second, 2) He was given a clear stop sign at third, and 3) He isn't as fast as Cain or Gore, and wouldn't be thinking of a triple or an inside the park home run off the bat.


Plus, he can't risk running "all out" because if he makes too big of a turn (I'm assuming that he doesn't have that much of a clue of what's going on out there...I don't mean that as an insult, but he probably can't see) won't he be risking getting nailed at 2nd (in his mind) or even 1st for that matter? If he treated that hit all season, like people think he should have, then how many times would he have be been thrown out over the course of the season at 1st or 2nd?
   47. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 16, 2015 at 07:09 AM (#4898577)
have we listed the 3-6 players who WOULD have tried no matter the stop sign as they would have been hauling &as; the entire time?

billy Hamilton obviously
Carlos Gomez guaranTEED.
Lorenzo Cain

I have others but will wait to see other posts
   48. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 16, 2015 at 08:44 AM (#4898589)
But could Alex Gordon have brought his parents together at the "Enchantment Under the Sea Dance"? Watch my re-enactment.
   49. Ginger Nut Posted: February 16, 2015 at 09:16 AM (#4898598)
#44 and #46: I was responding to a couple of comments near the top of the thread to the effect that, of course no one could be expected to run top speed after having already run 300 feet, therefore he would be even more likely to be thrown out. For example, comment #3:

(given that Gordon had already run 270 feet, and most ballplayers tend to run out of gas during that final 90),


My point is just that 300 feet is not very far to run. Of course, I'm sure there are some baseball players (not Alex Gordon) who don't train at all and get winded after running that short a distance.

If it's true that most professional baseball players run out of gas after running 300 feet and are notably slower in the final 90 feet, then those players should find time to squeeze in a track workout once a week in their training routines,not just for the rare inside the park home run attempt but also just in case they have to try to score from first on a double, try for a triple, etc. It's really not that hard to train yourself up to the point of being able to sprint at near top speed for 400 meters without feeling winded. That doesn't mean your top speed will be equivalent to an olympic sprinter's, but it does mean anyone who cares to put in minimal training should be able to run 300 feet plus one more base path without feeling like they are running out of gas and without having a notable drop in speed.

Again, this does not have to do with this specific play and whether Gordon could have made it; it's in response to comments similar to those I have seen elsewhere to the effect that there is something difficult about running 300 feet, and therefore we should't think a runner could try for home without slowing down a lot. Professional athletes should be able to run that far without getting winded.
   50. Ron J2 Posted: February 16, 2015 at 09:27 AM (#4898602)
#21 I remember watching an elite slow pitch softball team play. At minimum two outs per inning on the basepath (no hyperbole). Just as well because if they'd gone station to station they'd probably still be batting and it's cold today in Hamilton.

And yes, they did get a lot of "free" bases due to defensive screw-ups. Point being that even high level amateurs are capable of making the relay and tag play quite frequently. Where BBTF players rate on this scale is another story.
   51. Bote Man Posted: February 16, 2015 at 09:51 AM (#4898608)
have we listed the 3-6 players who WOULD have tried no matter the stop sign as they would have been hauling áss the entire time?

Bryce Harper, but only because he is totally reckless on the base paths and believes himself to be an amalgamation of Superman and Captain America.
   52. Greg K Posted: February 16, 2015 at 09:54 AM (#4898610)
Jose Bautista may have gone, simply because he has so much faith in his inventive slides. Either that or he believes himself immune to being tagged out.
   53. Bote Man Posted: February 16, 2015 at 09:55 AM (#4898611)
If it's true that most professional baseball players run out of gas after running 300 feet and are notably slower in the final 90 feet, then those players should find time to squeeze in a track workout once a week in their training routines

They'd likely hire somebody to do that training for them.
   54. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 16, 2015 at 09:58 AM (#4898612)
If it's true that most professional baseball players run out of gas after running 300 feet and are notably slower in the final 90 feet, then those players should find time to squeeze in a track workout once a week in their training routines,not just for the rare inside the park home run attempt but also just in case they have to try to score from first on a double, try for a triple, etc. It's really not that hard to train yourself up to the point of being able to sprint at near top speed for 400 meters without feeling winded. That doesn't mean your top speed will be equivalent to an olympic sprinter's, but it does mean anyone who cares to put in minimal training should be able to run 300 feet plus one more base path without feeling like they are running out of gas and without having a notable drop in speed.


From what I've seen in my years of baseball watching, most players are not running at their full speed during the final 100 feet on inside-the-park home runs. They have slowed to some degree. Whether they should train for this specific instance that happens, at most, once every three or four years, is a matter of debate, though I'd prefer they spend their time working on the skills they actually need, rather than this truly infrequent one. I don't know for a fact that the insanely well-trained Alex Gordon would have been the exception, though I tend to think that he would have lost a bit off his top speed during this last leg.

As it relates to this exercise, even if Gordon was able to maintain his top speed all the way through, I have more faith that the college runner was moving at a rate closer to Alex Gordon's speed than the shortstop would throw as hard as Brandon Crawford.

   55. dlf Posted: February 16, 2015 at 10:03 AM (#4898616)
Regarding who would have tried to go ... Dee Gordon would have been busting arse and is fast enough that it may have been interesting. And Yasiel Puig would have gone and whether he would be safe or out, it would be amazing. And LA writers' heads would have exploded.

Regarding slowing the last 90 feet ... You'll often see kick returners using the oxygen mask after a long return and those are guys who train to run. I'm curious about Olympic 200 meter specialists; ignoring the acceleration phase, are they as fast from 100-150 meters as they were from 50-100?
   56. Ginger Nut Posted: February 16, 2015 at 10:17 AM (#4898626)
SoSh, I don't really disagree with you that this would not be their top priority in training for their particular sport, but I do think it's relevant more often than once every few years. The same kind of training would help not just with the rare inside the park homer plays but also with more common plays such as taking three bases on a double or going home on an error. I would think it would help playing defense in the outfield as well. And we're talking about a kind of training--running intervals on a track--that can be accomplished with say two or three 30 minute track workouts per week during the offseason, and then maintained with say one 30 minute track workout per week during the playing season. I would say a situation probably arises a few times each season when it would be useful to be able to run full-out for more than 100 feet. And of course track workouts will also help you run faster in that first 100 feet.

But yeah, clearly being able to hit and stuff like that is far more important.
   57. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 16, 2015 at 10:27 AM (#4898633)
Ginger,

There's no doubt it can only help. But for whatever reason, it hasn't happened. Guys don't run that last leg of an inside-the-park home run as fast they do when they go first to third or home to second.

I did see a minor league clip of Billy Hamilton hitting an ITPHR, and he was very much the exception.

   58. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 16, 2015 at 10:29 AM (#4898635)
Debate the play all you want, but I think we can all agree that this re-enactment would be much better if it was made using only Legos.
   59. Ron J2 Posted: February 16, 2015 at 11:16 AM (#4898652)
#55 Even in the 100 meters top sprinters start to slow at roughly the 60 meter mark. Absolute top speed can only be maintained for about 2 seconds. You can't run a 200 meter race tactically -- too short -- but at the same time you can't run flat out.

Here's the way one top coach teaches his athletes to run the 200.

All that being said, this is how I teach athletes to run the 200. It has worked quite well for my athletes.

Phase 1 - 0-40m (or first 5-6 seconds): Go all out

Phase 2 - 40m – 110-120m: (around the end of the 4x1 exchange zone, depending on skill and strength of the athlete): Float

You have to teach athletes they must float during this time no matter what is going on around them. It’s tough when the other athletes are burning the turn, but that just gives your athletes someone to run down when they start tying up at the same spot yours start to bare down.

This is a learned skill and we practice it specifically starting late week 6 or early week 7 through the rest of the season (see below).

Phase 3 - 110-120m – 130-140m: ‘Re-accelerate’

We know that’s not what’s actually taking place, but that is what it should feel like. Have athletes ‘re-accelerate’ to full speed over a distance of about 20m. Focus on driving the arms down and back and applying force to the ground like they were starting from a dead stop.

Phase 4 - 130-140m - 200m: Relax, Relax, Relax

(They have to run here with maximum speed, but minimum effort.)
   60. bbmck Posted: February 16, 2015 at 11:42 AM (#4898656)
[55] looking at peak speeds they do slow down over 200m: http://www.topendsports.com/resources/records/speed.htm

Michael Johnson's 19.32s over 200 meters earns him an average speed of 10.35 m/s, though his last 100m during this run was covered in 9.10s which gives him 10.99 m/s average.

For Bolt, the fastest interval (60m to 80m) was run at an average speed of 44.72 km/hr (27.79 mph, 12.42 m/s).

I don't think Johnson can only run 88% as fast as Bolt.

100m which is around the same distance as an inside the park homerun doesn't appear to have much of a slowdown, Bolt's 0.83 to 0.90 is due to beating his chest.

http://speedendurance.com/2008/08/22/usain-bolt-100m-10-meter-splits-and-speed-endurance/
   61. Davo Posted: February 16, 2015 at 12:01 PM (#4898661)
One thing that I think got overlooked on this play is Brandon Crawford's role in it. Perez's throw short-hops him, and if he doesn't field it cleanly, they're waving Gordon home for sure. He has to field a throw from a really weird position on the field, and get his body in a position to make a strong throw home....with two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning of Game 7 with the crowd going absolutely batshit crazy.

In terms of clutch fielding plays, they're aren't many bigger than that.

I also have a theory that errors in baseball have an almost exponential quality--once one guy screws it, it makes it more likely that the next guy will screw up, and on and on. The game is wound together so tightly, that once someone loosens it just a bit by making a screw-up, it throws everyone for a loop. That's what I always think about in the crazy-sort of plays where, like, the pitcher bobbles a sac bunt, then throws it into the outfield, and then the outfielder overthrows home plate by 40 feet, and on and on--they just seem to start a chain of miscues. It makes Crawford's stop on that short-hop all the more impressive. (It also--for me--tilts the needle ever so slightly into the "send Gordon!" column, under the belief that all the chaos preceding his throw home would increase the chance of another error.)
   62. PreservedFish Posted: February 16, 2015 at 01:13 PM (#4898688)
Baserunners - especially Gordon in this instance - don't have the luxury of knowing how to pace themselves. These plays almost always involve misplays and errors.
   63. Accent Shallow can never go back to New York Posted: February 16, 2015 at 01:22 PM (#4898694)
Baserunners - especially Gordon in this instance - don't have the luxury of knowing how to pace themselves. These plays almost always involve misplays and errors.

Exactly. I can't fault Gordon for his pace.
   64. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: February 16, 2015 at 01:43 PM (#4898702)
I think the "professional baseball player should be able to run a 400m sprint!" critique is a bit off base. With few exceptions - almost universally aging sluggers with questionable joints (hell Ryan, how's Philly these days?) - virtually every ML'er can do that today. And the vast majority of them will be your ass in a straight or curved 400m time trial. Few of them are going to run 4/40 speeds, and fewer are going to compete with Olympic level sprinters obviously, but the days of John Kruk's "lady, I'm not an athlete, I'm a baseball player" are mostly historical anecdotes at this point. That said, the entire point of an inside the parker is that regardless of how in shape you are or how fast your 400m track time is, you run that path around the bases 100%, all out, excepting only stop-starts (themselves more exhausting than straight sprints) due to what you see from the defense and your base coaches. And when you run dead out, you leave nothing on the paths behind you. You don't tank it a little between 2nd and 3rd so you'll have a burst in the last 90 feet. So of course they're tiring as they cross the plate. There's literally no point in not being out of gas once you do that.
   65. tshipman Posted: February 16, 2015 at 02:47 PM (#4898740)
I think it's totally unfair to criticize Gordon for slowing down over the course of running the bases.

I think it's totally fair to criticize Gordon for not busting it out of the box. It was a weird ball--easily a base hit, but deep and not quite a gapper. If Blanco fields it cleanly, it's either a single or a double, depending on the runner.
   66. Walt Davis Posted: February 16, 2015 at 02:49 PM (#4898741)
have we listed the 3-6 players who WOULD have tried no matter the stop sign as they would have been hauling &as; the entire time?

Back in the day, Shawon Dunston. Sure, his turns might have been wide enough that he'd be on the arctic circle route but he'd have been busting it out of the box.

Womack hit a ITPHR once and ESPN or somebody clocked him and it came out to something like 13 seconds -- not bad for a 120 yard dash with turns.

For Bolt, the fastest interval (60m to 80m) was run at an average speed of 44.72 km/hr (27.79 mph, 12.42 m/s).

Yeah, I love this one. That's pretty much my top speed on a bike on the flat, probably with a bit of wind behind me, and I've had a good long time to get up to that speed.
   67. Ron J2 Posted: February 16, 2015 at 03:00 PM (#4898746)
#66 If we're talked back in the day, Alfredo Griffin would absolutely have been trying to score on the play. I remember Bill James suggesting that somebody needed to clearly document what he attempted because future generations just wouldn't believe it.

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