AT&T Park to host college football games

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AT&T Park football.jpgU.C. Berkeley is renovating its football stadium in 2011, and the Golden Bears need a place to squat for a year. They could go to the Oakland Coliseum, which happens to be nearby and happens to host football already, or they could go to Candlestick Park which, while farther away, has a full-time football configuration these days.

Nope, they’d rather bunk with the San Francisco Giants:

Of the three venues, AT&T Park has by far
the smallest football capacity (45,000). Candlestick holds 69,732, while
the Coliseum can accommodate 63,132. But athletic director Sandy Barbour said all of
the advantages that AT&T Park provides outweigh the potential for
smaller
crowds, especially because the move is for only
one season.

They lay the reasons all out, but they all seem to be euphemisms for “it’s just so much more fashionable to be in San Francisco than in the East Bay!”

Here’s hoping for a World Series with yardlines going across the outfield. We haven’t had one of those for a while.

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

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Rich Schultz/Getty Images
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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%.