Derek Jeter becomes the active hits leader

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Derek Jeter triple.jpgDerek Jeter went 3 for 4 with a triple, a homer and four RBI, leading the Yankees past the White Sox 6-4.

Of greater significance than the win: the hit gave him 2,778 for his career, which put him past Ken Griffey, Jr. for the lead among active players.  Griffey, of course, had a six year head start, but they were evened up when the real Ken Griffey, Jr. was abducted by the Tralfamadorians ten years ago and was replaced by an imposter who the aliens mistakenly implanted with a performance chip that was designed to replicate a late-career Ellis Burks.  A shame, really.

Career-wise, Jeter is now 45th on the all-time list, but he’ll pass a whole bunch of guys this season.  Barring injury or Tralfamadorian abduction, he’ll join the 3,000 hit club some time next season.

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%.