The Oakland Athletics designated Kila Ka’aihue for assignment before yesterday’s game and called up Brandon Moss. Oakland A’s players told Susan Slusser, however, that they weren’t happy with the timing of the move. Why? Because Ka’aihue’s wife is due to give birth to twins any day:
“Everyone is in shock,” one player said.
“Total horse” manure, said another.
I suppose that sucks. But it’s also the case that if they had waited a week or even a month then the story would have been “A’s DFA Ka’aihue right after his twins were born!” It’s not possible for there to be good timing for this.
It’s also worth noting that Ka’aihue has never played more than 52 games or had more than 180 major league at bats in a season, so when he and the missus set out to start their family, it probably wasn’t reasonable for him to expect that he was going to spend six months in the majors.
Now, we can argue over whether Brandon Moss is actually an upgrade, but twins on the way has no bearing on that.
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.