Hanley Ramirez

Hanley Ramirez bites back, calls Jeff Conine a “chicken”


It took Hanley Ramirez some time to decide how to respond to Jeff Conine’s radio show comments last week, but he came out swinging Wednesday, calling Conine a “chicken” and saying that he wants to supplant the former first baseman as “Mr. Marlin.”

Conine, who is employed by the Marlins as a special assistant to team president David Samson, said Friday that Ramirez frustrates him nightly and that he’d probably trade the shortstop if it were up to him.

Ramirez said Wednesday that Conine should have addressed his comments to the shortstop personally, rather than taking it to the airwaves.

The Miami Herald has the quotes.

“If he’s got a problem, just come over and talk to me like a man,” Ramirez said. “Don’t be a chicken, talking on the (radio), because whatever you say is going to stay out there.”

Ramirez said his goal now is to take over as Mr. Marlin, a nickname given to Conine during his eight years with the club.

“I’m going to make it to the Hall of Fame being in a Marlins uniform,” he said. “This number (No. 2), nobody’s going to wear it.”

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.