Jerry Dipoto loses power struggle with Mike Scioscia, steps down as Angels general manager

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Making official what was reported last night, Jerry Dipoto has resigned as Angels general manager, stepping down from the job he’s held since 2011 after losing an apparent power struggle with manager Mike Scioscia.

Stories about Dipoto and Scioscia not getting along well have been common for the past 2-3 years, but the relationship apparently reached a boiling point recently and Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com documented the drama in a lengthy article detailing the feud.

Some reports today suggested that Angels owner Arte Moreno would try to talk Dipoto out of leaving the job, hoping to salvage the relationship or at least keep other members of the front office from leaving along with him, but that apparently failed.

Dipoto’s decision-making track record is a mixed bag, but it’s worth noting that some of his least successful moves–and specifically signing Josh Hamilton for $125 million–were forced upon him by Moreno and Scioscia has also played a role in some prominent personnel changes that turned out poorly for the Angels.

Scioscia is the longest-tenured manager in baseball with 16 years on the job and also reportedly had star first baseman Albert Pujols on his side, so it’s no surprise that Moreno picked them over Dipoto. In fact, Dipoto’s predecessor, Tony Reagins, was fired at least in part because he clashed with Scioscia.

For better or worse, Moreno is standing with Scioscia.

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%.