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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 10/19/18

The fan interference call; the fastest teams ever; revisiting the Justin Verlander trade; the history of sign-stealing

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MLB: ALCS-Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

FanGraphs | Jeff Sullivan: If you go by the video evidence of the infamous fan interference call between the Red Sox and Astros, and Mookie Betts and Jose Altuve, it is very unclear what the true ruling should have been. Did the fan interfere enough to warrant that, or did Mookie have a decent shot to make the play and missed anyway? Your call.

Baseball Prospectus | Rob Mains ($): The slowest teams in history are largely today, and the fastest were unsurprisingly in the late 1970s. The 1979 Royals had the highest Speed Index, led by George Brett, who led the league in triples. The 1985 Cardinals, another great team up there, had Vince Coleman steal 110 bases.

The Ringer | Michael Baumann: If the Astros were to win the World Series, would the Justin Verlander trade be one of the best in history? It’s possible. CC Sabathia to Milwaukee is recently accepted as a great deadline deal, as was the Diamondbacks’ trade for Curt Schilling. The Astros gave up very little for one of the best pitchers of the generation, and they have had incredible success due to it.

The Athletic | Cliff Corcoran ($): The Astros were accused of stealing signs, but this is no new controversy... teams have been stealing signs since as far back as 1874. Today it’s cell phones, and in 1900, it was telegraph wire under the Phillies’ Baker Bowl.