Brian Cashman

Brian Cashman’s wife files for divorce


This whole topic definitely pushes the boundaries of what we’re willing to talk about here at HardballTalk, as it’s only relevant because Brian Cashman is the general manager of the New York Yankees, but since we’ve followed the ugly and bizarre situation regarding his alleged extramarital affairs this week, it only makes sense that we also pass this story along.

According to Liz Sadler, Jeane Macintosh and Dan Mangan of the New York Post, Cashman’s wife has filed for divorce.

The wife of Yankees general manager Brian Cashman filed for divorce yesterday — a day after her husband was publicly accused of a second affair, this time with a woman who has been charged with shaking him down, The Post has learned.

Mary Cashman, 42, submitted divorce papers in Stamford, Conn., Superior Court, listing her husband as “B.M. Cashman” and writing that the marriage “has broken down irretrievably.”

She is seeking permanent alimony, a split of their property, and joint custody of their 13-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son.

Mary Cashman, who has now endured two publicly humiliating allegations of her husband’s philandering, has been living apart from Brian Cashman in the family’s $3.7 million Darien mansion with the kids, sources said.

She hired top divorce counsel Gaetano Ferro, who repped Jane Welch during her half-billion-dollar split from former GE boss Jack Welch.

And with that out of the way, let’s move on to some actual baseball news.

Which teams improved and declined the most in 2015?

Joe Maddon

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.