Miguel Cabrera mugshot

Miguel Cabrera’s arrest was ugly


If you’re goin’ down, go down with dignity.  Miguel Cabrera was either uwilling or simply unable to do that when he was arrested last night.

According to the TC Palm, Cabrera made reference to another person — who was not on the scene — saying “I’m going (expletive) kill him.”  Then he played the “do you know who I am?” card which is never good.   But it got worse:

A deputy reported Cabrera was put in handcuffs after not following orders. Cabrera also “kept running out in the road with his hands up.”

A deputy asked Cabrera to get his a patrol vehicle, and he said, “(Expletive) you.”

Miguel Cabrera pushed off a vehicle into a deputy, who “delivered 3-4 knee spikes” into Cabrera’s left thigh.

The police report described Cabrera as “belligerent, cocky, combative and argumentative.”  He was charged with resisting an officer without violence.

Notably, Cabrera refused the breath test.  The legal advice surrounding that is more complicated than many believe, and the “never ever take a breathalyser test ” advice you often hear casually passed around isn’t always the right move.

But to the extent not taking a breath test is the smart play, it’s only because by doing so the police have to establish that you were intoxicated by other means.  When you drink from an open bottle, run into traffic, slur your speech and cuss out the cops, well, the game is pretty much up my friend.

Which teams improved and declined the most in 2015?

Joe Maddon
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I was curious about which MLB teams changed their fortunes the most this season compared to last year, so I crunched the numbers.

First, here are the biggest win total improvements from 2014 to 2015:

+24 Cubs
+21 Rangers
+16 Astros
+15 Diamondbacks
+13 Twins
+11 Mets
+10 Blue Jays
+10 Cardinals
+10 Pirates

The top five teams on the biggest-improvement list all had managers in their first season on the job, led by Joe Maddon joining the Cubs after tons of success with the Rays. Also worth noting: Of the nine teams with the biggest win total improvement, eight made the playoffs. Only the Twins improved to double-digit games and still failed to make the playoffs.

Now, here are the biggest win total declines from 2014 to 2015:

-20 Athletics
-16 Tigers
-15 Orioles
-14 Brewers
-13 Nationals
-13 Angels
-12 Braves
-12 Reds
-11 Mariners

Not surprisingly, a whole lot of those teams have changed managers, general managers, or both. And a couple more may still do so before the offseason gets underway. Oakland retained manager Bob Melvin despite an MLB-high 20-win dropoff and just promoted Billy Beane from general manager to vice president of baseball operations.

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.