The Boston Globe did something cool: it timed absolutely everything in a recent Red Sox series to try and figure out why games are so much longer now than they used to be. For comparison, they watched a 1969 Orioles-Red Sox game too to see what player habits and game flow was different then than it is now.
I won’t spoil it for you — go read the story — but be happy to know that it’s a refreshing use of empiricism rather than the “let’s just make some broad assumptions and ultimately blame one thing for a given phenomenon rather than realize that almost every complicated system is impacted by multiple variables” approach almost all sports analysis takes these days.
Oh, and Tony LaRussa and Hawk Harrellson get blamed in part too, and that much is satisfying.
This is happening, people.
Earlier we heard Joe Maddon being non-committal about Kyle Schwarber joining the Cubs for the World Series. Now it seems pretty clear that the Cubs are committal indeed: Jon Morosi reports that Schwarber is en route to Cleveland from Arizona on a private jet and that he’s expected to DH in Game 1 tomorrow night.
Schwarber hasn’t played in a game that counted since April 7. His potent bat is could be a windfall for a Cubs team that didn’t have a game-changing option at DH in the American League park.
Schwarber lost the whole season due to a knee injury, but he hit .246/.355/.487 with 16 homers and 43 RBI in 69 games as a rookie in 2015. His big coming out party was in the playoffs, however, when he hit three homers in five postseason games while going 7-for-13 with two walks in five games.
Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Indians First Baseman/DH Carlos Santana shagged some flyballs in left field during the Indians’ workout today.
Sure, why not? Santana has played one game in the outfield in his major league career and that was over four years ago, but the Indians will have to play in Chicago without the DH, meaning either losing Santana’s bat or that of Mike Napoli.
It would be up to Terry Francona to decide if that happens, but ultimately I don’t think he’ll make it real and, rather, will just forget about it, because Santana’s defense out there would in no way be smooth.
I’m sorry. I’m sick today and I’m on a lot of cold medicine.