Boras sulking

Even after Boras was cleared, the New York Times continues to pound him


Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times was fed a line by Major League Baseball sources over the Scott Boras loans to Edward Salcedo. He was told that they were scandalous and wrong and that they violated union rules and he reported the daylights out of it.

Yesterday, the union said, nope, no rules were violated.  You’d think, then, that it’s time for some walkback by Schmidt. Maybe time for a little reflection about what his sources are feeding him. You’d think wrong. Here’s Schmidt in this morning’s paper:

But while the union has now essentially cleared Boras, Commissioner Bud Selig remains unsatisfied, according to those same people.

“If the union feels that Boras giving money to young Dominican prospects does not violate its rules, then they should take a look at their own rules,” said one high-ranking baseball official.

I love the “essentially” added to that first sentence. In this context it’s clearly meant to mean “bogusly” or “regrettably.”  Note to the New York Times: when the very organization whose rules were alleged to have been violated says, no, the rules were not violated, there is no “essentially” about it. The union has cleared Boras. They have not “essentially” cleared Boras.

Following that passage is a bunch more water-carrying for anonymous MLB sources.  Can you imagine if Schmidt — who splits his time working the crime beat, by the way — wrote something like this:

But while the judge has now essentially cleared the defendant, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly remains unsatisfied, according to those same people. “If the government feels that the defendant doing what he did does not violate the law, then they should take a look at the law.”

He’d never write that. Probably because the Police Commissioner of New York would never say that, but mostly because the Times would require that the reporter give the system a little more credence than Schmidt is giving the MLBPA when it comes to the interpretation of its own rules.  Indeed, he spends several paragraphs talking about other ways in which the league can go after Boras for all of this now, and then fills in with more “boy, the Dominican Republic is filthy with agents” rebop.

This story is over, Mr. Schmidt. Your sources had a clear agenda in going after Boras and they steered you in the wrong direction. Their beef against him has not been borne out and it’s time to move on.  And even if they won’t, you should.

MLB games were six minutes shorter this year

Pitch Clock
Leave a comment

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.