To be followed in, say, early March with a “Dontrelle Willis released by ___” post and subsequent “Dontrelle Willis signed by ____” post come June. We may overlook the “Dontrelle Willis released by ____” post in September, as those tend to get lost in the shuffle:
He has not pitched in the bigs since 2011. He has not been a good big league pitcher since 2006.
Jayson Stark reports from the front lines of the pace-of-play war:
Under a new proposal by Major League Baseball, pitchers would be required to finish their warm-up pitches and be ready to make their first pitch of an inning 30 seconds before the end of all between-inning commercial breaks, sources told ESPN.com.
Similarly, hitters would have to be in the batter’s box, ready to start their at-bats, 20 seconds before the end of each break.
There would be the same amount of commercial time, but less of the messing around with warmup pitches and walkups and all of that. Back from commercial and — bam! — game play.
Which would be a good idea, I think. It would have way more impact on TV production crews, I reckon, than the players or game itself. Fewer crowd shots over the scoreboard and less time for introductions of relief pitchers and things with stat overlays as we wait for the warmup pitches to be completed. As Stark notes, it’ll also squeeze the time available for kiss-cams and other on-field nonsense at the park.
Which, in addition to the 10-15 minute game time savings Stark mentions MLB officials believe this will create, make it a win-win, right?
All last season, the only way you could see Dodgers games in the Los Angels market is if you were a Time-Warner subscriber, because that’s the only cable carrier in the area that carried SportsNet, the Dodgers TV network. Most people in Los Angeles are not Time-Warner subscribers, however, so most L.A.-dwelling Dodgers fans could not see their team.
While there is potential movement on all of this [see note below], Bill Shaikin and Meg James of the Los Angeles Times report today that it’s unlikely that things will be different by the time Opening Day rolls around, leaving Dodgers fans in Los Angeles stuck with either radio or nothing for the boys in blue.
That note: the movement I mentioned stems from the pending Time-Warner/Comcast merger which would, presumably, mean that SportsNet would eventually find its way to way more subscribers in Los Angeles. As the article notes, however, federal approval of that merger is not set to be determined until just before the season starts, and various regulations prevent the parties from negotiating deals while approval is pending, so it’s unlikely that the merger changes the prospects for L.A. people to see Dodgers games until at least after the season starts.
And, of course: NBC is a Comcast company and I work for NBC, so I’m not going to say anything substantive about any of that apart from link this informative article for your edification and enjoyment.