Joe Torre resigns from his MLB post to join in a bid on the Dodgers

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Major League Baseball just announced that Joe Torre is resigning from his post as Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations, effective immediately, to explore opportunities with a group that will pursue ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

He’s had the job since last February. In that time he has dealt with umpires, replay and discipline for on-the-field stuff.  For now the job will be filled on an interim basis by MLB Senior Vice Presidents Joe Garagiola, Jr., Kim Ng and Peter Woodfork.  A permanent replacement will be found later.

If baseball is smart they’d give the job to Kim Ng full time because someone needs to break up the boys club. But if they don’t do that, the permanent replacement has to be Tony La Russa, right?  I have no idea how he’d do in the job, but on a selfish basis I think he’d be interesting.  Think about it: if there was a beanball war, La Russa would probably suspend the pitchers who did not retaliate.  There would be fines to any manager who didn’t change pitchers three times in an inning to gain a nearly-non-existent platoon advantage. What I’m saying is, Tony La Russa jokes would be able to live on, and I find that to be really important, personally speaking.

As we’ve previously mentioned, Torre has a chance to join in one of the groups looking to get in on the sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers. His comment:

“I am so appreciative of the chance the Commissioner gave me to see the game from a different perspective by working for Major League Baseball, especially during such a great time for our sport.  I have made this decision because of a unique chance to join a group that plans to bid for the Dodgers.  After leaving the field, this job was an incredible experience, one that I enjoyed very much.  I want to thank the Commissioner and all of my colleagues over the last year, particularly the members of the Baseball Operations group and the Major League Umpires.”

He doesn’t identify the group in the press release, but he has been linked with several, most notably one led by real estate developer Rick Caruso.  Whichever group gets him, you have to think that Torre’s close relationship with Bud Selig and the league office would make life easier in the approval process.

UPDATE: Multiple outlets have confirmed that Torre is, in fact, joining Caruso’s bid.

MLB investigation confirms that the baseball has changed

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You know the baseballs are different. We know the baseballs are different. Pitchers have been saying the baseballs are different. And now Major League Baseball has acknowledged that the baseballs are different in a report of findings by a team of scientists from some of the top universities in the world, like Stanford, Caltech, and M.I.T.

You can read the whole thing here in PDF form. Here’s the gist …

The ball is not bouncier — or “juiced” — but it is most definitely carrying farther. From MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince …

Though the study did not discover meaningful changes in the ball’s lift, it found that the drag coefficient of MLB balls has decreased since 2015. The researchers used a physics model to calculate that if the change in home run rate was attributable entirely to changes in drag, one would expect the drag coefficient to have decreased by approximately 0.012. The exact change in drag coefficient in the time period studied — if you’re scoring at home — was 0.0153.

It’s not the seams or the core that has changed — those aspects were tested — and it’s not the weather either. In fact, the commision couldn’t figure out what is causing the decrease in drag, despite numerous tests on all elements of the ball. It might simply come down to manufacturing advancements. Looking at you, Rawlings …

“Rawlings is always trying to improve the manufacturing process to make it more uniform,” Alan Nathan, professor emeritus of physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign told MLB.com. “So the interesting question that comes up is whether the goal should be to improve the manufacturing process or to keep the ball performing exactly the way it is, regardless of whether it’s improved or not.”

Baseball Prospectus began studying this three years ago, as home runs began to increase around the league. Their write-up on MLB’s report is a must-read.