Miguel Cabrera ain’t hurt, he’s just becoming a daddy for the second time and will be in Florida for the birth of his second child, Jason Beck reports. Couple of thoughts:
- If you have to be without your best hitter for a couple of game, being without him for a series against the Mariners is probably the best case scenario;
- For all of the obvious reasons I’m happy that Cabrera committed himself to fitness and sobriety after his unfortunate behavior last fall, the fact that he’s doing it as he’s becoming a father again is the best one I can imagine. Being a dad is hard enough. Doing it through a haze is damn nigh impossible; and
- When I first saw this today I only saw “M. Cabrera to miss series due to birth of child,” thought it was Melky, and immediately thought “Great! It’s addition by subtraction by multiplication!” Alas, the wrong Cabrera;
Anyway, early congrats on the new Cabrera.
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.