Which managers are on thin ice?

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There’s no discussion there, but Phil Rogers throws out Dusty Baker, Eric Wedge, Jim Riggleman, Cecil Cooper and Dave Trembley as managers who may be looking for a job soon. Setting aside the glaring omission of Trey Hillman, here are my insta-takes:

  • I’m not a huge Baker fan, but there’s a lot more wrong with the Reds than him, so the Reds may as well keep him around since they’ll have to pay him anyway;
  • Eric Wedge should go. He’s had a long time to do something in Cleveland and they could use a fresh start;
  • Riggleman has done good work, but the Nats need to enter the Strasburg-era with someone a little more dynamic at the helm;
  • Cooper was thrown under the bus by his team’s ace starter and team leader, so he’s a dead man walking already; and
  • Trembley has been a good company man, but he has lost so much for so long with the Orioles, that one wonders if he can be the guy to take a team with a bright future to the next level.  It just strikes me that, when a team is about to turn the corner, you don’t want a guy who is a constant reminder of all of those years in the wilderness, ya know?
  • As happens every year, I’m sure one of these obvious suspects will somehow hang on, and some guys we never thought would get fired.  And as is the case with their decisions as managers, we will be right here to second guess and armchair GM their firings as well.

    MLB games were six minutes shorter this year

    Pitch Clock
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    According to STATS, INC., the average game in 2015 was 2 hours, 56 minutes. That’s six minutes faster than games in 2014.

    The gains came in the first half, when games averaged 2:53. Second half games averaged three hours even. One can probably thank the expanded rosters in September for that, as games then see many more pitching changes. Of course, it’s likely that second half games were faster in 2015 than 2014 as well given the rules changes.

    Those changes: agreement to enforce the rule requiring a hitter to keep at least one foot in the batter’s box and the installation of clocks timing pitching changes and between-inning breaks in ever ballpark.

    It remains to be seen if MLB stays satisfied with that modest improvement or if chooses to go the way Triple-A and Double-A leagues did. They installed 20-second pitch clocks and started penalizing violators with balls and strikes. Triple-A’s two leagues, the International and Pacific Leagues, saw game-time decreases by 13 and 16 minutes, respectively.

    Billy Beane promoted to VP, David Forst named A’s general manager

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    I’m so old I remember when general managers used to run baseball operations departments. Now they’re basically assistants.

    The latest example: the Oakland Athletics have promoted Billy Beane to vice president of baseball operations and have named David Forst general manager. Forst has been with the A’s for 16 years and has been Beane’s assistant for 12 years, so it’s not exactly a situation in which Forst will be making the final calls. The official move came today, though the move has been in the works for some time, it seems.

    Someone with a lot of good front office access is going to write a good story this winter about the title inflation going on in Major League Baseball over the past year. And it’s gonna be great when one of his or her sources breaks the pattern of saying “well, baseball transactions are so much more complex these days . . . ” and admits “hey, if Theo gets a fancy title and La Russa gets a fancy title I WANT A FANCY TITLE TOO.”

    Not that it’s much of a secret as it is.