Super Bowl Football

Happy Super Bowl Sunday


If you’re a real football fan, you’re probably not reading this post because you’re undoubtedly taking in the gobs of great content that Pro Football Talk has been pumping out all day.  We’ll leave the analysis to them.  Mike Florio, Gregg Rosenthal, Michael David Smith, Evan Silva and Josh Alper do it better than anyone.

But Super Bowl Sunday is an American holiday.  And even if baseball is more of your thing, it’s a great excuse to inhale finger foods and sample brews before the start of a long week.  We have our picks, you have your picks.  Share them here.

Craig Calcaterra
Packers 23, Steelers 17

Aaron Gleeman
Packers 31, Steelers 24

D.J. Short
Packers 27, Steelers 20

Matthew Pouliot
Steelers 27, Packers 21

Bob Harkins
Steelers 24, Packers 21

Drew Silva
Steelers 23, Packers 17

It should be a good one, with two of the NFL’s most storied and well-run franchises going at it.  Let’s just hope FOX keeps the Crime Scene: Scene of the Crime plugs to a minimum and that something goes terribly wrong while the Black Eyed Peas are signing karaoke, or whatever it is they do.  Why is John Travolta talking to Michael Strahan right now on my TV?

May your glasses be hop-filled and your bellies full.

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.