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Why are World Series games so long?

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This is some must-click link material. It’s from Sam Miller at ESPN who, along with a healthy amount of research help from Baseball Prospectus, broke down a single game of the 2019 World Series to determine why World Series games take so dang long.

The game in question: Houston’s 4-1 victory over the Nationals in Game 3, which took four hours and three minutes. Miller notes that there were 65 games in the 2019 regular season, but they averaged only two hours and fifty-five minutes. Where did the 68 extra minutes come from in Game 3?

For that full breakdown you’ll have to read the whole article, but it’s worth noting that, no, it’s not all TV commercial time, which usually gets all the blame. Some of it definitely is — a good bit of it in fact — but there’s a lot more going on there too, some of which could be fixed with simple tweaks but much of it which either could not be or should not be.

A good read that should give MLB a lot to think about.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).