It was up late last night and was sort of overwhelmed by the Dodgers-Padres brawl, but in case you missed it, go read Matthew’s post about the latest in the Biogenesis business. The upshot: Major League Baseball is reportedly paying an ex-Biogenesis employee for documents relating to the case.
Feature how this works: your employer goes to one of you health care providers, buys your medical records from them, reads them, and then uses that information to discipline you at work. You cool with that? If you’re not, please explain to me how what MLB is reportedly doing here is in any way defensible.
Also: if MLB is so convinced that the lawsuit they filed is righteous and justifiable, why are they now circumventing it to get the documents in question?
At some point it would be cool if MLB actually made some sort of statement about what they’re doing here. Because it makes absolutely no sense to me. How on earth do they expect any suspensions they dole out based on this tactic to hold up to an arbitrator’s review?
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.