Nolan Ryan to accept a job with the Houston Astros

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Mark Berman of FOX 26 Sports reports that Nolan Ryan will join the Houston Astros as an advisor to owner Jim Crane, general manager Jeff Luhnow, and his son Reid Ryan, president of business operations. The job is supposed to have both business operations and baseball operations roles.

Which is interesting, as Ryan stepping on baseball operations toes — or having others step on his toes, depending on who you listen to — was one of the reasons he left the Rangers. I’m guessing, though, that Ryan will get along with his son pretty well, OK. At least one would hope.

Report: MLB likely to unilaterally implement pace of play changes

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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that talks between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players’ Association concerning pace of play changes have stalled, which makes it more likely that commissioner Rob Manfred unilaterally implements the changes he seeks. Those changes include a pitch clock and a restriction on catcher mound visits.

Manfred said, “My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players. But if we can’t get an agreement, we are going to have rule changes in 2018, one way or the other.”

The players have made several suggestions aimed at reducing the length of games, such as amending replay review rules, strictly monitoring down time between innings, and bringing back bullpen carts.

It is believed that MLB is proposing a pitch clock of 20 seconds. If a pitcher takes too long between pitches, he will have a ball added to the count. If the hitter takes too long, then he will have a strike added to the count.