Random stuff from Ozzie Guillen

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Ozzie Guillen had his presser at the time time Terry Francona was talking. Why anyone would listen to Terry Francona when Ozzie Guillen is talking I have no idea.  The highlights:

  • Before he sits down he goes to the stenographer and asks “you gonna record me? You better get those fingers moving fast.”

  • As he sits, he switches off his cell phone: “I gotta put this on vibrate. Make sure Obama doesn’t call me when I’m talkin’ to you guys.”

  • Ozzie, you going to be busy during the meetings? “Ask Kenny. I’m not doin’ nothin. Kenny’s doin’ all the work.”

  • Asked about Omar Vizquel’s role on the team: “He’s not going to be a coach. All you guys say he’ll be a coach or something. I got coaches. He’s gonna play third base, shortstop, second base. Joey Cora hits the fungoes.”

  • Asked about Bobby Jenks: “When you got have a body like Bobby — I’m not going to use that word, fat, — but when you’re a big guy, people are going to say things when you play bad and won’t say nothin’ when you play good. That’s just how it goes.”

  • Asked if he’s talked to Jenks much this offseason: “I don’t talk to players in the winter. I don’t talk to nobody. I get enough of players all summer.”

  • Guillen was asked about his starting outfield, and he started naming guys . . .Quentin in right . . . Andruw Jones will play . . . and then he paused. “Ah, I don’t know all our players. Ask Joey Cora. He knows all of our players.”

  • There’s this one Japanese reporter who is going to every manager and asking first, what did you think of Hideki Matsui’s postseason, and then follows up by asking if they’d consider adding Matsui this winter. Guillen: “Talk to Kenny. I don’t tell Kenny who to sign or who to release. Wait, that’s not true. I asked him to release a couple of guys.”

  • Ozzie goals for the Winter Meetings: “I don’t have any goals. I come to hang out in the lobby. Talk to you guys. Stay away from my wife.”

  • What’s your thoughts on replay, Ozzie?  “I like to see the umps do their jobs and I don’t like delays.  But if there is replay it will save me money because every time I argue it costs me $500 or $1000.”

As he leaves he says that he’s going to succeed Bud Selig as Commissioner in 2012.  “And they’ll be no more Winter Meetings. And no more spring training.”

Which teams improved and declined the most in 2015?

Joe Maddon
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I was curious about which MLB teams changed their fortunes the most this season compared to last year, so I crunched the numbers.

First, here are the biggest win total improvements from 2014 to 2015:

+24 Cubs
+21 Rangers
+16 Astros
+15 Diamondbacks
+13 Twins
+11 Mets
+10 Blue Jays
+10 Cardinals
+10 Pirates

The top five teams on the biggest-improvement list all had managers in their first season on the job, led by Joe Maddon joining the Cubs after tons of success with the Rays. Also worth noting: Of the nine teams with the biggest win total improvement, eight made the playoffs. Only the Twins improved to double-digit games and still failed to make the playoffs.

Now, here are the biggest win total declines from 2014 to 2015:

-20 Athletics
-16 Tigers
-15 Orioles
-14 Brewers
-13 Nationals
-13 Angels
-12 Braves
-12 Reds
-11 Mariners

Not surprisingly, a whole lot of those teams have changed managers, general managers, or both. And a couple more may still do so before the offseason gets underway. Oakland retained manager Bob Melvin despite an MLB-high 20-win dropoff and just promoted Billy Beane from general manager to vice president of baseball operations.

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.