Mariano Rivera’s next save will break the all-time saves record he currently shares with Trevor Hoffman. Against that backdrop, there has been some general chatter about whether Joe Girardi will let Jorge Posada, Rivera’s longtime batterymate, catch save number 602. According to Marc Carig of the Star Ledger, Girardi isn’t inclined to do that.
May I note for the record that this sort of thing is something you only hear about with the Yankees? Really, no one cares about this stuff with any other team, but every time a Yankee is near some milestone or if there’s some other special occasion of some sort the manner of how it is accomplished, not just the accomplishment, becomes an issue. Who will catch? Will it be at home? It’s like the biggest first world problem of all time.
How about this: Mariano Rivera’s first-ever save came on May 17, 1996 against the Angels. Joe Girardi caught it. He should activate himself so he can catch it. If he can’t, we should write columns about how a special moment is being taken from us.
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%.