Jorge Cantu

Jorge Cantu got in trouble for retweeting racist things


You remember Jorge Cantu, right? He had one pretty decent year with the Rays about a decade ago, bounced around and last played in the majors in 2011. After a stint in Mexico he’s playing in the KBO. And the only reason we’re hearing about him now is because he got into Twitter Trouble.

Seems he retweted what was, in effect, a “Koreans all look alike joke” in which one person’s face was photoshopped onto different bodies and you’re supposed to try to tell the people apart. From the Korea Times:

The 32-year-old former Major League player immediately removed the posting since it started to draw strong criticism on the Internet. Later, he said he had no intention of making racist comments through the post.

But Internet users strongly criticized his careless action, and it was disappointing news for his fans, who have praised his impressive performance and contributions to the team.

His actual apology said that he meant to delete the tweet but accidentally retweeted it. Which, well, that’s not how Twitter works, but go with what you feel, Jorge.

In other news, when you’re 32 and you’re playing for $250K in Korea, you probably don’t have many more chances left, so perhaps it’s a good idea not to offend the people who give you one.

Which teams improved and declined the most in 2015?

Joe Maddon

I was curious about which MLB teams changed their fortunes the most this season compared to last year, so I crunched the numbers.

First, here are the biggest win total improvements from 2014 to 2015:

+24 Cubs
+21 Rangers
+16 Astros
+15 Diamondbacks
+13 Twins
+11 Mets
+10 Blue Jays
+10 Cardinals
+10 Pirates

The top five teams on the biggest-improvement list all had managers in their first season on the job, led by Joe Maddon joining the Cubs after tons of success with the Rays. Also worth noting: Of the nine teams with the biggest win total improvement, eight made the playoffs. Only the Twins improved to double-digit games and still failed to make the playoffs.

Now, here are the biggest win total declines from 2014 to 2015:

-20 Athletics
-16 Tigers
-15 Orioles
-14 Brewers
-13 Nationals
-13 Angels
-12 Braves
-12 Reds
-11 Mariners

Not surprisingly, a whole lot of those teams have changed managers, general managers, or both. And a couple more may still do so before the offseason gets underway. Oakland retained manager Bob Melvin despite an MLB-high 20-win dropoff and just promoted Billy Beane from general manager to vice president of baseball operations.

MLB games were six minutes shorter this year

Pitch Clock
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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.