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Red Sox Hall Of Famer Joe Morgan Give His Opinion On The Pace Of Play

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Red Sox Hall Of Famer Joe Morgan Give His Opinion On The Pace Of Play

On Sunday, July 23rd, the Pawtucket Red Sox introduced Joe Morgan and Mo Vaughn into their teams hall of fame. During a media portion of the day, Joe Morgan was asked about the pace of play.

The average time of game this season is 3:09, an all time high. When Joe Morgan was the manager for the Red Sox, the average major league game ranged from 2:49-2:54. That’s more then 15 minutes per game.

Over the course of a 162 game season, that leads to an extra 40 hours and 30 minutes of playing time on the field (assuming I did the math right). Playing that much more baseball over the course of a 162 game season isn’t good for your brand. Your fans will get bored and not want to watch the games.

Morgan’s First Thought

During a major league game, I personally think that one of the most annoying things a manager can do is have a mound visit. Every mound visit can last about 90 seconds. If there are four to five mound visits per game, that adds about 6 minutes per game.

“The first thing I’d do is what Tim McCarver said. No visits to the mound. None. Just the manager goes out. You’re in or out. Why do I say that? Who’s listening out there when they come out? The pitcher ain’t. He’s mad” says Joe Morgan

Any time a coach goes out to the mound and tries to talk to his pitcher, he’s not going to listen. Say the previous batter hit a home run around 450 feet. A pitcher doesn’t care what the manager or pitching coach is going to say. He wants to throw the next pitch or get out of there. He doesn’t care what the manager says. Yes, there comes a point where the coach is just going out there to give the bull pen more time to warm up.

But giving the bullpen more time to warm up is a way to give yourself an advantage over the other team. Saying that, that’s another reason why a game can extend another 10-15 minutes. In a typical pitching change during an inning, it’s usually two minutes and twenty seconds between the time the manager comes out of the dugout and the first pitch by the replacement pitcher. Not to mention, a replacement pitcher usually brings down the pace of a game a lot.

Pace Between Pitches

The other thing that goes along with the pitcher pitching the ball is how long it takes them to throw the pitch. A pitcher who throws the ball right away like Chris Sale will always have a shorter game time. When Chris Sale pitches, it takes his no more then 15 seconds between pitches. When a guy like David Price pitches, it can take him 30 seconds between pitches. When you spread that over 100 pitches, that can extend the game 20-25 minutes, 15 seconds at a time.

“I time pitchers all the time. Most of them, with nobody on base, will throw the ball around 12 seconds or a little less. But then they go on 40 some of them. I don’t know how fans stay there and watch a four and a half hour game every night” says Joe Morgan regarding time between pitches.

That basically tells me, you need to have the pitch clock at the major league level. They have had the pitch clock in the minor leagues for a few seasons now. But you need it at the major league level. Yes, eventually every pitcher will be accustomed to the pitch clock since they had it in the minor leagues, but you need it in the major leagues now. Off the bat, you will easily get the average time of game below three hours. No one has the time to sit down and watch a baseball game for 3 hours. They just don’t.

Being In The Batters Box

Before the 2015 season, Major League Baseball put in a rule that the batter must have one foot in the batters box at all times. It’s rarely enforced. If the batter stays in the batters box, the pitcher will work faster. This will speed up the game if the batter stays in the batters box.

“I blame the home plate umpire because there is a rule in there that says hey get in the batters box. And if you don’t do it, the pitcher throws a ball and no matter where it is, it’s an automatic strike. They put in a rule 2 years ago that you can’t leave the batters box. You got to have at least one foot in. That didn’t last long because they didn’t enforce it. Which is irony because they are standing out there for four and a half hours. You’d think they want to do it for two and a half wouldn’t you? Case closed” says Morgan

It makes complete sense to start enforcing batters to stay in the batters box. There is no reason for the batter to get out of the batters box. For a fan, they want to see the pitcher get in the box and swing the bat. Otherwise there is no reason to have the rule in the rule book. They just need to get the game going.

If Major League Baseball doesn’t do something serious soon to get the game going, the game will fail. Kids aren’t falling in love with the game like they used to. They need to fix it to make it more entertaining or quicker to give people a reason to want to watch the game.

Evan is a attending Bryant University and joined the Trifecta Network as an Editor in February of 2016 and is a guest on Down to the WIRE Sports Talk.

Boston Red Sox

Red Sox Name Alex Cora As The New Manager

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Since the firing of John Farrell, the rumor mill has pegged former player Alex Cora as the clear frontrunner. Over the weekend it was being reported that Boston had decided on Cora but was waiting for the right time to announce the decision.

On Sunday the naming of the 47th manager in team history was made official.

“We were very impressed when we interviewed Alex,” said Dombrowski. “He came to us as a highly-regarded candidate, and from speaking with him throughout this process, we found him to be very knowledgeable, driven, and deserving of this opportunity. He is a highly respected and hardworking individual who has experience playing in Boston.”

Cora played in Boston from 2005 to 2008, and is currently a bench coach with the World Series-bound Houston Astros.

“I am extremely honored and humbled to be named manager of the Boston Red Sox and I want to thank Dave, John Henry, Tom Werner, and Sam Kennedy for giving me such a tremendous opportunity,” Cora said. “Returning to the Red Sox and the city of Boston is a dream come true for me and my family and I look forward to working towards the ultimate goal of winning another championship for this city and its great fans.”

“In Alex we have found a natural leader to guide our clubhouse,” said Henry. “He is extremely smart with a dedication to what it takes to be successful in today’s game on the field. His baseball acumen and his ability to think strategically are uncommon for someone his age. We could not have found a better match for our players, our front office and for where we intend to go over the coming years as an organization.”

“Alex also has a full appreciation for the use of analytical information in today’s game and his ability to communicate and relate to both young players and veterans is a plus,” added Dombrowski. “Finally, the fact that he is bilingual is very significant for our club.”

The official press conference on the hiring will take place after the conclusion of the Fall Classic.

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Boston Red Sox

Red Sox Managerial Decision Seemingly Made Up

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Did anyone think that the Boston Red Sox would take their time when hiring their new field manager? According to one report the team is moving rather quickly

According to one report, the team is moving rather quickly to the point where their minds are already made up.

“There is a 99.9 percent chance of [Cora] being named Red Sox leader,” a source told Puerto Rico’s El Nuevo Dia. “They want him for the job. That post is for him. Alex is very beloved there. And he would love to run Boston. They want to make the fast decision.”

Cora is currently serving as the bench coach for the Houston Astros, a team that is battling it out with the New York Yankees for the chance to go to the World Series. Boston isn’t the only suitor for the former player however. Cora is set to meet with the New York Mets on Tuesday and is also expected to be of interest to other teams like the Philadelphia Phillies.

But the interest between Boston and Cora is mutual and a report from Puerto Rico confirms that. Cora played for the Red Sox during his career and was part of the 2007 Wolrd Series team. At the time he was considered an excellent leader on the team that had all the intangible qualities of one daying being an excellent coach. Since his playing days, he has served as an ESPN Analyst, GM of Puerto Rico national team, coach in Puerto Rico’s baseball league, and now a bench coach for Houston.

If the Red Sox are able to bring in Cora it would be seen as if they had been grooming him for years and that he is their guy. With other suitors in tow, it looks like an offer from the Boston Red Sox to Cora is going to come rather quickly. And quite frankly, this is the best decision for the team.

Acquiring Cora is far superior to a long time mediocre manager like Ron Gardenhire or a failed first coach stinter like Brad Ausmus. Cora is both young and has some prior experience to bring to the table. The one real question with him is if he will be too buddy-buddy with the players, a very real possibility.

Red Sox fans seem to be rather torn on this topic, many seem to like the idea of an old manager like Gardenhire, while others favor Cora who was a fan favorite as a player. In reality the true intentions or favorite of the Red Sox is unknown, but for the moment, Cora looks like the lock.

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Red Sox Manager Contestants Stepping Right Up

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Red Sox

On Wednesday the Boston Red Sox fired field manager John Farrell. With the departure of Farrell, the Red Sox must now conduct a full and wide search for their next manager. There are dozens of potential candidates for the job. The one choice that will have to be made is to either to go young or go old.

Fortunately for us, Dave Dombrowski gave a general outline of what he will be looking for in the next manager. In his post-firing presser, he mentioned that the candidate is unlikely to come from within.

That comment seemingly rules out a candidate like Chili Davis or Gary Ddisarcina.

In terms of experience, Dombrowski said “I think managerial experience helps. I don’t think it’s a 100% necessity.”. He also mentioned the importance of being in the dugout as experience. The last time Dombrowski hired a field manager he was in charge of the Detroit Tigers. The coach he hired at the time was Brad Asmus. So maybe that means he will go on the younger side.

If he goes young in terms of experience here is the list of potential candidates:

  • Brad Asmus: Asmus was let go by Detriot after having a rather shaky first tenure as a manager. He was hired by Dombrowski and has plenty of connections to New England. He will land somewhere this offseason.
  • Alex Cora: Direct connections to Boston and knows how the media is here. Well respected by players and has coached in Puerto Rico and is the bench coach for AJ Hinch’s Houston Astros.
  • Jason Varitek: Obvious connections here. But he has no actual experience as a coach in the dugout. He has helped with player development and scouting as a special assistant to the gm in Boston. But chances are he isn’t in the conversation.
  • Hensley Meulens: Speaks Spanish, English (and other languages), has extensive coaching experience and serves as the hitting coach for the Giants. Has coached the Netherlands in the WBC. There has been a rumor that Major League Baseball is encouraging the Red Sox to hire a coach of minority status. Meulens fits that bill.

In terms of an older/experiences option, there are a few. There is an opportunity here for Dombrowksi. That opportunity is to convince the well respected Jim Leyland to come out of retirement. Leyland though doesn’t seem interested in coaching again and decline to come to Boston a long time ago.

Below are few options for an experienced field manager:

  • Leyland
  • Torey Luvullo: Had a 93 win first season at the helm of Arizona. Could be convinced to leave to come back to Boston.
  • Joe Girardi: Could be on his way out of New York. Is a noted good in-game manager.
  • Ron Gardenhire: Former Twins manager and currently a bench coach for the Diamondbacks. This kind of smells to me though.

What way will Dombrowski go with is anyone’s guess. This process can take awhile with the team needing to lock down a list and start the interview process. According to Dombrowski he always has a list of people for every position he might have to hire for. So, in theory, this could happen fairly quickly.

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