There’s a report that the Dodgers are shopping Yasiel Puig. It makes no sense.

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We tend to avoid highlighting dubious rumors around these parts, but since this is the first dubious rumor of the (for most teams) offseason, let’s use it to get our offseason debunking skills back into game shape, shall we?

So I saw this last night, from a sports anchor at WBBM radio in Chicago, George Ofman:

With the caveat that, sure, I suppose weirder things have happened, this makes no damn sense. Partially because Puig, his NLDS Game 4 benching aside, is still the Dodgers best every day player and the most versatile member of an outfield that needs to be made-over to some degree, making him far less expendable than, say, Andre Ethier or Carl Crawford. Partially because he’s a pretty marketable face which Dodgers’ ownership has increasingly used to promote the team.

But it makes less sense from a bigger picture perspective. As was reported yesterday, GM Ned Colletti is on the hot seat, with people speculating that he may be fired. It’s preposterous to think that a GM who may be on the outs in two weeks would be allowed to make a move so significant. That a team who is considering not allowing this man to decide who gets non-roster invites for spring training would be allowed to trade away one of the biggest stars in the game. Especially when the dust hasn’t even settled from the Dodgers’ playoff exit yet.

The only way this would make sense to me is if something big happened between the Dodgers and Puig recently. Something so big that it led to his benching for Game 4 and has made Dodgers ownership decide that they need to part with Puig as soon as possible. But if something like that happened, we’d have heard about it by now, don’t you think?

I don’t know George Ofman. He may be a crack reporter. But it’s rare that local radio guys are the first ones in on major transaction news like this. Maybe once in a while this sort of thing will be borne out, but when it comes to transactional stuff of this magnitude, remember that there are really only two pools of folks who tend to get this kind of news: (a) the national hot stove reporters like Heyman, Rosenthal and Olney; and (b) the beat reporters who cover baseball teams on the regs such as Dylan Hernandez for the Dodgers, Andy McCullough for the Royals, Nick Piecoro for the Dbacks, etc. etc. After that you’re most likely to hear the news from teams themselves and way, way, way down that list come local radio and TV guys.

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%.