UPDATE: Angelos says Ripken has not offered himself to the team as a prospective employee, reports Buster Olney of ESPN.com.
“Quite simply, Cal Ripken did not offer to become part of the Oriole
organization in any secondary position, such as manager or as an
assistant to [team president] Andy MacPhail, or in some kind of support
role of MacPhail,” Angelos said. “If he wants to make such a proposal,
I’d like to hear about it.”
8:41 AM: Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that that Cal Ripken Jr. met with team president Andy MacPhail about rejoining the Orioles in a front office capacity, however the idea was eventually shot down by owner Peter Angelos.
Angelos, however, nixed the idea in a separate conversation with Ripken,
telling him, according to three sources, that he did not want Ripken to
receive credit once the team returned to prominence.
Rosenthal also writes that Angelos did not want to create the perception that MacPhail was not in complete control, a view that shows how out of touch he is with the fanbase already.
Listen, this sounds like pure ego stuff to me, but if Angelos is so worried about perception, he should have been prepared for the very real possibility that if he declined Ripken’s overtures, it would eventually leak out to the press. He should also recognize that if he wants to get in a battle with Ripken — the most beloved player in franchise history — for the hearts and minds of Orioles fans, he will lose every time.
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.
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.