The USA Today reports that, on average, World Series games were 25 minutes shorter than last year’s games between the Phillies and the Yankees.
The story credits MLB’s efforts at speeding the game along, but does anyone really believe that was the biggest difference? Seems to me that the biggest difference was (a) good pitching and way fewer mid-inning calls to the pen; and (b) teams that, unlike the Yankees, don’t have catchers who make dozens of mound visits a game and hitters who don’t call time when the pitcher takes a fraction of a second longer than usual to start his delivery. Indeed, in Game 5 we saw two or three instances of guys calling time late, and it was positively jarring because no one had been doing that.
I guess (b) could be chalked up to baseball’s focus on the pace-of-games, but I think it had way more to do with the teams involved than the policies. If New York makes the series again next year I have full faith that game times will creep back up.
Hey guys, guess what: another Rays post. This one is news, though:
The Pirates just announced that they’ve acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson from the Rays in exchange for reliever Daniel Hudson, minor league infielder Tristan Gray and cash.
Dickerson, as we’ve mentioned 10,000 times in the past few days, was DFA’d by the Rays for . . . reasons. The outfielder/DH hit .282/.325/.490 with a career-best 27 home runs and 2.6 fWAR in 629 PA last year, making the All-Star game. Which is really bad, according to some people who I still don’t totally understand, but what do I know? He’ll slide into an outfield situation in Pittsburgh that currently features Adam Frazier at the top of the depth chart in left.
Hudson is entering the second year of a two-year, $11 million deal, which likely explains why cash is coming back to Tampa Bay in the trade. In 2017 Hudson posted a 4.38 ERA in 71 games, striking out 66 batters and walking 33 in 61.2 innings.
Gray was a 13th rounder in last year’s draft out of Rice. He’s a middle infielder who will turn 22 next month. Last year he played 53 games in the New York-Penn league.