FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported late Saturday night that the Dodgers have made significant progress toward finalizing a seven-year contract extension with left-hander Clayton Kershaw that will wind up being worth “well above” $180 million.
So the young ace was asked about those contract talks before Sunday afternoon’s series finale vs. the Pirates. Courtesy of Los Angeles Times beat writer Dylan Hernandez, here was Kershaw’s response:
“I think the reason we’ve been able to continue discussions for this long is that it’s not been talked about,” Kershaw told reporters. “And now that I’m having to talk about it, it’s a distraction because people are talking about it. I guess you’ll have to talk to the Dodgers as to why it came out now. I don’t love the fact that I have to talk about it.”
“We kind of had an agreement that we weren’t going to talk about it. It didn’t come from our side. I’m going to still hold up my end of the bargain and not talk about it.”
“I don’t know,” concluded Kershaw when asked if the leak might affect the pace of the discussions.
The star 25-year-old has registered an outstanding 1.84 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 104/31 K/BB ratio in 107 1/3 innings this season. He is currently scheduled to become a free agent after the 2014 campaign.
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.