Brian Wilson Getty

Bruce Bochy wants Brian Wilson back with the Giants


Brian Wilson isn’t happy that the Giants non-tendered him and isn’t wanted by the Dodgers, but manager Bruce Bochy would like the rehabbing right-hander back in San Francisco.

“Sometimes these things don’t go as smooth as you would like,” Bochy said, via Andrew Baggarly of “You still don’t forget the contributions he made to the Giants in 2010. I’d love to have a chance to talk to him here real soon. I wish him nothing but the best. Unfortunately, these things happen and they’re a part of the business.”

Bochy said he plans to call Wilson soon, but unless that chat is followed by a sizable offer from the Giants’ front office it seems unlikely to sway the free agent reliever.

Joakim Soria, who’s in a similar situation to Wilson in terms of the timing coming back from a season missed following Tommy John elbow surgery, is getting a two-year, $8 million deal from the Rangers. Wilson was non-tendered by the Giants because they didn’t want to pay him around $7 million on a one-year deal.

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.