GQ has released its Men of the Year issue. One of the sub-categories: Phenom of the Year. And the winner is Yasiel Puig. Because, with all due respect to Mr. Trout and Mr. Harper, Puig is way more interesting.
GQ spoke with the wonderfully-named Tim Bravo, who was tasked with looking out for Puig and keeping him out of trouble. Bravo makes it sound like it was a hard job, and I imagine it was. But there were some fun times too. Times of wonder:
At first, he couldn’t believe the big-league Gatorade selection—’Ay, Teacher, muchos colores de Gatorade!’ He loved that he could watch The Three Stooges whenever he wanted.
Based on his love of Gatorade and the Three Stooges, Puig is the second player I can compare to my eight year-old son this year.
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%.