Bag Lunch with Fruit

CC Sabathia is brown bagging his meals in Yankees camp


In an effort to lose weight or at least keep himself from packing on more pounds CC Sabathia brings his own breakfast and lunch to Yankees camp each day in a brown paper bag.

Marc Carig of the Newark Star Ledger notes that those meals are prepared by Sabathia’s personal chef, but still:

Sabathia said doing it this way helps with portion control. Today’s breakfast offering was sausage and eggs and came in a container about the size of a small TV dinner. It’s also easy for Sabathia to direct his chef to prepare healthier offerings when needed.

“A lot of guys do it,” said Sabathia, who admitted that poor eating habits helped contribute to his weight gain last year. “It just sort of happened that it could work out this way.”

As a fat person who recently become somewhat less fat it’s interesting to think about what the 6-foot-7, 300-pound Sabathia must be consuming away from the ballpark if he’s truly eating breakfasts and lunches “the size of a small TV dinner.” If he actually did that every day and ate a similar dinner he’d be shedding weight like crazy, but whatever the case … good for him.

Some advice for CC: Write your name on the bag, because that Jeter guy seems like someone who eats whatever goes unclaimed in the fridge.

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.