A fun reminder from Joel Sherman of the Post. If A-Rod is suspended, the current rules of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and Joint Drug Agreement allow him to still attend spring training. He just can’t be in uniform for regular season games. What’s more:
Players Association executives told me if MLB or the Yankees attempted to bar Rodriguez from spring training, they would file a grievance arguing it is punishment beyond what is in the JDA.
I sorta feel like an agreement would be reached in which A-Rod simply didn’t go and the Yankees didn’t expect him. Heck, he wasn’t around last year and all he was was injured, not suspended. Veterans hate spring training as it is. If he’s out for the season or more he’s not going to want to be there.
Still: part of me wishes that A-Rod would just embrace all of the silliness and potential chaos his situation will allow. Show up. Go on road trips on busses. Sit for interviews all day. Talk about the Yankees 2014 chances as if he’s gonna be there. Offer up a lot of “just going to take it one game at a time cliches.”
Then sit back and watch the reporters try to figure out what to make of it.
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%.