McGwire Palmiero

Lowell Cohn: “I compare PED users to murderers”


I compare PED users to murderers — of course, it’s not the same thing. But please follow my reasoning. Lots of murderers never get caught. Yet society has no trouble punishing murders who get arrested and convicted. It’s not like a defense lawyer walks into court and says, “Thousands of murderers get away with their crimes, so you should let my client, who wiped out an entire family, go free in the interest of fair play. That would be absurd. It also is absurd to let McGwire or Palmeiro into the Hall just because we don’t have the goods on somebody else. We have the goods on McGwire and Palmeiro”

— Lowell Cohn of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat — and Hall of Fame voter — on how he views PED users and the Hall of Fame.

Hey, if you have a “no PED-users in the Hall of Fame” rule, fine, vote your conscience. But really, who’s being more unreasonable here? The people who would consider Mark McGwire for the Hall of Fame or people who make this kind of ridiculous comparison?

MLB games were six minutes shorter this year

Pitch Clock
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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.

Billy Beane promoted to VP, David Forst named A’s general manager

billy beane getty

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.