MLB will soon hire former secret service agent Bill Bordley as its new chief of security, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.com.
Before joining the secret service Bordley was a left-handed pitcher who appeared in eight games for the Giants as a 22-year-old in 1980, throwing 31 innings with a 4.70 ERA despite a ghastly 11/21 K/BB ratio.
I stumbled across a Los Angeles Times article from 1988 that describes how Bordley went from starring at USC to dropping out of school and getting into a weird situation in the draft:
Bordley wanted to stay close to home, and the Cincinnati Reds had the first pick. The Angels had the third pick. So Bordley wrote letters to the teams with the top picks, and even met with representatives of the Reds. When he told them he wanted $200,000 and an immediate major league contract, Bordley says, the Reds–who were stripping their star-studded roster–blanched and said they weren’t interested anyway. The Angels were ready to accommodate him.
Come draft day, the Reds selected Bordley. And Bordley said no way. The two sides met. Bordley said he would go back to USC before signing with Cincinnati. He said their reply was a nasty “Have fun in school,” and they walked out. But as Bordley was prepared to enroll at USC again, baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn called and told him to await an announcement. A few days later Kuhn, mindful of Bordley’s special circumstances, voided the Reds’ selection, fined the Angels for tampering and told Bordley to list five teams he would be willing to play for. Those names were placed in a hat, and the winner was the San Francisco Giants.
Elbow problems derailed his pitching career, so he went back to school and later applied for the secret service. And now 30 years later he’s back in baseball.
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.
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.