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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 1:00 am

Baseball

White Sox owner: Speed up game

Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. – Puffing on a cigar, Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf said what many fans believe.

“It doesn't matter if the game is 31/2 hours if it was an exciting game. But if it's a 2-1 game, it takes 4 hours, nobody's too happy with it,” he said Tuesday. “I believe we should speed up the game. That's one of the things we should do, is limit the number of trips that a catcher can take to the mound in the course of an inning or a game. We could easily cut 20 minutes off the time of a game if we really wanted to.”

The average time of a nine-inning contest was a record 3 hours, 5 minutes this season, up from 2:56 in 2015. The postseason average was 3:29.

Many owners and general managers want to cut down trips to the mound by catchers. Whether the reason is changing signs, talking about pitch selection or just giving a pitcher a breather during long plate appearances, management wants to cut back.

Pitchers and catchers say they are being extra cautious in an era where dozens of high-definition cameras are focused on them, and each team has employees in video rooms seeking any advantage.

MLB proposed three changes to address game length last offseason that the players' union didn't accept, and management can start them next year without player approval: restricting catchers to one trip to the mound per pitcher each inning; employing a 20-second pitch clock; and raising the bottom of the strike zone from just beneath the kneecap to its pre-1996 level – at the top of the kneecap.

Rivera dies at 96

“Jungle Jim” Rivera, an outfielder on the 1959 “Go-Go” White Sox pennant-winning team, died. He was 96. The team said he died Monday in Fort Wayne.

“Jungle Jim” played for the White Sox from 1952 to 1961. He was part of the 1959 team that – led by Nellie Fox, Luis Aparicio and Early Wynn – captured the franchise's first pennant since 1919.

Doerr dies at 99

Bobby Doerr, a Hall of Fame second baseman who was dubbed the “Silent Captain” by longtime Boston Red Sox teammate and life-long friend Ted Williams, died. He was 99.

A sweet-fielding, hard-hitting player, Doerr was signed on the same scouting trip that brought Williams to Fenway Park, where the latter established himself as one of the greatest hitters in baseball history.

Doerr played 14 seasons with the Red Sox from 1937 to 1951, posting a .288 career average with 2,042 hits, 223 homers, and 1,247 RBI.