For years Marvin Miller has been on the Hall of Fame ballot, and for years he has failed to gain admittance. A lot of it has to do with the makeup of the veteran’s committee voting process. For a long time the pool consisted of old timers who were likely resentful of the big money Miller and the union brought to the modern players, too late to themselves any good. For a good spell it was just outrageously tough for anyone to get in via the veteran’s committee, even if they weren’t a difficult and controversial guy like Miller is. Now, however, it may be a tad easier to gain admittance via the VC, and you’d think a younger slate of electors would help. What do you think Marvin Miller?
“I looked at the list of 16 voters. Jim Palmer was a great pitcher, but he was an anti-union sonuvabitch. There are others, not in Palmer’s class but in the doubtful class.”
Miller has long said he doesn’t want to be in the Hall of Fame. I’m guessing if he he keeps saying stuff like that, he’ll continue to get his wish.
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.