Games are longer this year than last year


In 2015 Major League Baseball implemented measures to speed up the game, both in terms of pace and in terms of overall length. A between innings clock, warnings to pitchers and batters and threats to call balls and/or strikes if they dilly-dallied too much were imposed. It worked too: game length was reduced for the first time in a long time and there was little if any blowback from the players.

Jayson Stark of ESPN reports that this year, however, game length is back up again. Seven minutes up, which more than erases the six minute reduction in games realized last year. Stark speaks to Rob Manfred about it, who voices his displeasure and says that MLB will make better efforts to speed things up. Primarily getting on players’ cases.

As Stark notes, the biggest culprit appears to be pitches per game. Which tracks the increase in strikeouts per game. All of which adds to the time and takes away from moments when the ball is in play, which makes things a lot more . . . static. Not sure what Manfred can do about that with memos. That’s about the strike zone and guys who throw 97 all the dang time. And, of course, about how all of those max effort pitches take longer to gear up for, especially from relievers.


Cardinals sign pitcher Miles Mikolas to 3-year, $55.75M deal

cardinals mikolas
Rhona Wise/USA TODAY Sports

ST. LOUIS — Miles Mikolas is sticking with the St. Louis Cardinals.

The right-hander signed a three-year, $55.75 million contract on Friday that will carry through the 2025 season.

The new deal replaces a $68 million, four-year contract signed in February 2019 that covered the 2020-23 seasons and was set to pay $15.75 million this year.

Mikolas will receive a $5 million signing bonus payable July 1 and will make $18.75 million in 2023 and $16 million in each of the following two seasons. Mikolas can earn a $250,000 bonus for winning a Cy Young Award, $50,000 for All-Star election or selection or winning a Gold Glove, $100,000 for League Championship Series MVP and $150,000 for World Series MVP.

Mikolas is scheduled to make the second opening-day start of his big league career next Thursday when the Cardinals host Toronto. Mikolas went 12-13 with a 3.29 ERA last season while helping St. Louis to the NL Central title.

“Miles stands among the top pitchers in the game today, and has continued to provide a steady presence for us both in the rotation and inside the clubhouse,” St. Louis general manager John Mozeliak said in a statement.

Mikolas is 45-40 with a 3.79 in 143 games with San Diego, Texas and St. Louis. He recently pitched six shutout innings in two appearances for the U.S. in the World Baseball Classic.