With the baseball world still reeling from the news of Ryan Braun’s suspension for his connection to Biogenesis, many are naturally wondering what is in store for Alex Rodriguez. Well, if what ESPN’s T.J. Quinn is hearing is accurate, it doesn’t bode well for him.
Quinn also writes that “MLB confronted Braun with volumes of evidence provided by Tony Bosch, including texts.” What evidence MLB has against Rodriguez isn’t exactly clear, but that there was enough there for Braun to make a deal is not promising. It also could hurt the possibility of a successful appeal, as Braun’s actions today give Bosch credibility, which is something that has been in question since the Biogenesis investigation began. For what it’s worth, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported earlier today that MLB received “receipts, checks, the whole nine yards” during their investigation, though it’s not known whether any of those apply to Rodriguez.
Interestingly, Quinn writes that the case against Rodriguez includes the possibility that he interfered with the investigation, so MLB is expected to go after him harder than they did Braun. Bill Madden and Teri Thompson of the New York Daily News reported last weekend that lawyers for Rodriguez were internally discussing the possibility of a plea agreement with MLB — possibly settling on a 150-game suspension — though he and his representatives have denied the story.
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.