A-Rod walks out on his own arbitration, calls it a “farce”

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As the old saying goes: when the facts are on your side argue the facts. When the law is on your side argue the law. When neither are on your side pound your fist on the table and scream.

Or, in the case of Alex Rodriguez, just walk out. Which is what he did today after the arbitrator refused to force Bud Selig to testify. A-Rod issued a statement: “I am disgusted with this abusive process. The absurdity and injustice just became too much. I walked out and will not participate any further in this farce.”

As we noted last week, the idea of having Bud Selig testify was a crock to begin with. And thus walking out when he was not forced to testify is a crock too.  This is A-Rod treating his arbitration as theater. Refusing to argue the legitimate case he has in front of him — that MLB’s suspension of 211 games was too severe based on precedent — and instead trying to put all of Major League Baseball on trial. That was never going to happen in this arbitration. He should have known that or should have been told that by his lawyers.

Or perhaps he was. And perhaps he didn’t care and all of this is just prologue to the fight he’d rather have in a federal courtroom as opposed to a baseball arbitration.  There is no guarantee he’s going to even get that opportunity, however, so taking this stance is not bold, it’s reckless.

And if he had any shot of getting the benefit of the doubt from arbitrator Fredric Horowitz before, he can kiss that shot goodbye now.

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%.