MLB Notes: Manfred could focus on game length

MLB Notes: Manfred could focus on game length
August 15, 2014, 8:30 pm
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Rob Manfred was elected as MLB's 10th commissioner on Thursday. (USA Today Images)

BALTIMORE -- Kenesaw Mountain Landis is remembered for throwing out the Black Sox, Ford Frick for an asterisk, and Bowie Kuhn for squabbles with players and owners.

A. Bartlett Giamatti ran Pete Rose out of baseball, Fay Vincent suspended George Steinbrenner, and Bud Selig presided over the cancellation of a World Series, supersized Steroids Era sluggers, increasingly strong drug-testing agreements, and instant replay to aid umpires.

Minutes after he was elected baseball's 10th commissioner, Rob Manfred didn't want to discuss what great issues he expects to take on when he succeeds Selig on Jan. 25.

"I really don't want to get too deeply today into agendas," he said Thursday after winning a three-way race.

Others speculated the length of games will be a top priority.

Some pitchers step on and off the rubber so much you'd think they were on a StairMaster, and hitters move in and out of the batter's box as if they were rhythm gymnasts. All the pausing and preening -- along with the expanded use of relief pitchers -- has led to the average time of a nine-inning game expanding 30 minutes since 1981 to 3:03.

"That's going to be toward the top of his list, I would think," San Francisco Giants President Larry Baer said. "I'm not going to comment specifically on pitch clock. I think that's one of several ideas. Every candidate talked about it, and every owner wants it. Obviously, there will need to be player input" (see full story).

Yankees: Tanaka to throw off mound
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- New York Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka is scheduled to throw 25 pitches Saturday in his first bullpen session since going on the disabled list with a partial tear in his right elbow.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi announced the session before Friday night's game at Tampa Bay.

Tanaka is 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA in 18 starts. This is the Japanese right-hander's first season in the major leagues.

The Yankees put Tanaka on the disabled list on July 9 and hope he can return next month. Tanaka says he has "no pain" in his comeback work and Girardi says "everything has been positive" so far.

Tanaka threw on level ground for 12 minutes Friday. He also took grounders for 4 minutes and made pickoff throws to first base.

Indians: Bourn activated from DL
CLEVELAND -- The Indians have activated center fielder Michael Bourn from the 15-day disabled list.

Bourn has been slowed by a nagging hamstring injury all season. He has been on the DL since July 6 because of the hamstring, which he had surgery on last October. He recently had rehab stints with Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus.

Bourn is batting .267 with 7 triples, 3 home runs, 21 RBIs and 37 runs in his second season with Cleveland.

He's returning to the Indians in time for the opener of a three-game series with the AL East-leading Baltimore Orioles. The Indians head into the weekend six games out of first place in the AL Central.

The speedy Bourn will take the roster spot vacated Thursday when reliever John Axford was awarded to the Pittsburgh Pirates on waivers (see full story).

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