Angels warned of riots in Oakland this weekend

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Mark Saxson of ESPN Los Angeles reports that Major League Baseball called the Los Angeles Angels last week to warn them that there could be riots in Oakland during this weekend’s series against the Athletics.

The reason: a verdict is due at any time in a high-profile trial of an Oakland transit officer who is accused of shooting an unarmed man on a train
platform. If the guy is acquitted there is some fear that violence could break out.

I know zero about that trial or the public sentiment in Oakland, but I always find that it takes me a minute or two to process stories in which baseball and ugly real life come together.  On some level I operate on the phony assumption that baseball takes place in some virtual space.  Most likely because I experience baseball through video screens 99% of the time.

The fact that I’m currently reading a book that takes place in some virtual reality-infused dystopia version of the Bay Area probably isn’t helping matters.

Report: MLB likely to unilaterally implement pace of play changes

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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that talks between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players’ Association concerning pace of play changes have stalled, which makes it more likely that commissioner Rob Manfred unilaterally implements the changes he seeks. Those changes include a pitch clock and a restriction on catcher mound visits.

Manfred said, “My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players. But if we can’t get an agreement, we are going to have rule changes in 2018, one way or the other.”

The players have made several suggestions aimed at reducing the length of games, such as amending replay review rules, strictly monitoring down time between innings, and bringing back bullpen carts.

It is believed that MLB is proposing a pitch clock of 20 seconds. If a pitcher takes too long between pitches, he will have a ball added to the count. If the hitter takes too long, then he will have a strike added to the count.