Jim Leyland doesn't like the redeye flights

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Up in the Air.jpgThe Tigers played a night game in Anaheim on Thursday and took a late night flight that got them into Dallas early Friday morning before a game against the Rangers that evening.  Then they played a night game against the Rangers last night and took a late night flight that got them into Detroit early this morning before a game against the Twins tonight.

Jim Leyland doesn’t like it one bit:

“I’m not knocking anybody in general, but you also need to take care of
your product. Two times in five days (red-eye flights). That’s just not
reasonable. That’s no good, just no good. This has been ridiculous, to
be honest with you.”

The wraparound series with the Rangers is perplexing to me, because yesterday probably should have been an offday, what with it being a transition between a west coast trip and the return to divisional play (the next Tigers off-day is May 6th, between games in Minnesota and Cleveland). I know they’re not flying commercial and carrying their own bags and stuff, but even relatively posh travel can be exhausting.

There are so many spinning plates when it comes to doing the schedule — you have to keep teams from two-team cities apart if you can; you have to deal with TV stuff; you have to worry about rainouts; — but tiring out a team with a couple of poorly planned-out stretches of travel can have competitive implications, and that’s unacceptable.

Pitch clock cut minor league games by 25 minutes to 2:38

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NEW YORK — Use of pitch clocks cut the average time of minor league games by 25 minutes this year, a reduction Major League Baseball hopes is replicated when the devices are installed in the big leagues next season.

The average time of minor league games dropped to 2 hours, 38 minutes in the season that ended Wednesday, according to the commissioner’s office. That was down from 3:03 during the 2021 season.

Clocks at Triple-A were set at 14 seconds with no runners on base and 19 with runners. At lower levels, the clocks were at 18 seconds with runners.

Big league nine-inning games are averaging 3:04 this season.

MLB announced on Sept. 9 that clocks will be introduced in the major leagues next year at 15 seconds with no runners and 20 seconds with runners, a decision opposed by the players’ association.

Pitchers are penalized a ball for violating the clock. In the minors, violations decreased from an average of 1.73 per game in the second week to 0.41 in week 24.

There will be a limit of two pickoff attempts or stepoffs per plate appearance, a rule that also was part of the minor league experiment this season. A third pickoff throw that is not successful would result in a balk.

Stolen bases increased to an average of 2.81 per game from 2.23 in the minors this year and the success rate rose to 78% from 68%.

Many offensive measurements were relatively stable: runs per team per game increased to 5.13 from 5.11 and batting average to .249 from .247.

Plate appearances resulting in home runs dropped to 2.7% from 2.8%, strikeouts declined to 24.4% from 25.4% and walks rose to 10.5% from 10.2%. Hit batters remained at 1.6%.