MLB Week in Review (April 7-13)

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The Miami Marlins have changed a lot this year as they looked to change the entire attitude around the team. First they changed their name from the Florida Marlins to the Miami Marlins in order to give the city a stronger connection to the team. Then they changed their look going from the teal colours to the more Miami appropriate Technicolour and black uniforms this year. Then the Marlins opened a brand new stadium with new amenities to attract more people and a new home run feature that has turned some heads, whether for good or bad. With all of this the Marlins also showed a new commitment to winning as they overhauled the team and went into the free agent pool head first. The Marlins signed starting pitchers Mark Buehrle, close Heath Bell, and shortstop Jose Reyes making the biggest splash in free agency. All three of these players were considered the top of the market and the Marlins were able to land all of them as they looked to make a real run at the playoffs. The Marlins did not stop on the field though as they signed the longtime Chicago White Sox manager in Ozzie Guillen. This signing had a few drivers behind it as the Marlins were looking for a manager that could push their new stars. With so much ego in the locker room, mainly between Jose Reyes and Hanley Ramirez, they needed a manager that doesn’t care how much people are being paid. That manager is Ozzie Guillen who treats everyone the same no matter who they are as he will help anyone who wants it but call anyone out if they screw up. This was another reason why the Marlins signed the manager as he would get people talking about the Marlins with his tendency to be very outspoken. This past week this outspokenness made itself known as Guillen made some comments about how he respected Cuban dictator Fidel Castro for lasting so long even with so many people after him. In most cities this comment would not have been a good one but may have been a simple apology to fix it. That is not the case in Miami where there is a large population of Cuban ex-patriots who were forced out of their home country because of Castro’s regime. With the comment Guillen immediately angered a large part of the fan base for his new team and only did it in his first week as a manager. The Marlins responded as best they could suspending Guillen for five games and setting up a press conference for Guillen to apologize. Guillen did just that as he apologized in both English and Spanish for the comments he made and genuinely looked sorry for what he had said, which is a rare sight for Guillen. With only one week gone in the season Guillen has already made news for the Marlins giving them what they wanted but probably not how they wanted it. The Marlins may not lose too many fans from this event as they handled it very well and many believed that Guillen was truly sorry for his comments. The biggest issue though is the fact that this will not be the last we hear from Guillen who will continue to make comments and say what he feels, even if the Marlins tell him not to. If the Marlins can accept that Guillen will be outspoken and try to tell him to watch what he says and keep it to talking about baseball the team will be talked about and not for the wrong reasons. The Marlins need to understand that Guillen will continue to talk, it is what makes him who he is, but if they can live with it then this partnership could be a good one with plenty of games left in the season.

The MLB has seen a shift in the dominance of the game after the steroid era was unofficially finished. During the steroid era the batters took control hitting home runs at a rapid pace, for obvious reasons, and leaving the pitchers in the dust. With the exposure of the steroid era batting began to fall off and the pitchers began to take over the game. 2011 was dubbed the Year of the Pitcher with so many great seasons including the MVP season of Justin Verlander and the dominance of so many other pitchers. The batters still had their time with Jose Bautista and Curtis Granderson fighting it out for the HR title but there were far less great batters than great pitchers. This year the trend has continued as the pitchers have again been dominant through the first week of games. Of course it is far too early to claim that 2012 is the Year of the Pitcher 2.0 with months left in the season. Many people have said that it will be the year of the pitcher again but it is hard to judge as pitchers always come out more prepared for the regular season than batters. Every year pitchers are further along in their development throughout spring training while batters take longer to get their bat speed and swing in order. This is what is happening in the first week of the season as the pitchers are dominating most games. For the year to go to the pitchers again the season will need to be near the end as the batters will start to catch up at the end of the month. For now the fans of pitching will enjoy the game but soon the batters will be back and with some hints of offence coming back already this could be a much more even year.


MLB Standings


American League


1. Baltimore Orioles (.571)

2. New York Yankees (.571)

3. Tampa Bay Rays (.571)

4. Toronto Blue Jays (.571)

5. Boston Red Sox (.286)


1. Detroit Tigers (.714)

2. Chicago White Sox (.667)

3. Kansas City Royals (.429)

4. Cleveland Indians (.333)

5. Minnesota Twins (.286)


1. Texas Rangers (.750)

2. Oakland Athletics (.500)

3. Seattle Mariners (.444)

4. Los Angeles Angels (.286)


National League


1. Washington Nationals (.750)

2. New York Mets (.714)

3. Atlanta Braves (.429)

4. Philadelphia Phillies (.429)

5. Miami Marlins (.375)


1. St. Louis Cardinals (.625)

2. Milwaukee Brewers (.500)

3. Houston Astros (.429)

4. Chicago Cubs (.375)

5. Cincinnati Reds (.375)

6. Pittsburgh Pirates (.286)


1. Los Angeles Dodgers (.875)

2. Arizona Diamondbacks (.714)

3. Colorado Rockies (.429)

4. San Francisco Giants (.429)

5. San Diego Padres (.250)


Key Scores:

Pittsburgh Pirates 2 – 1 Philadelphia Phillies (10th)

– The battle of Pennsylvania entered the MLB for the first time this year as the Pirates took on the Phillies and instead of the Phillies dominating both teams played a close game that the Pirates won giving them some confidence in their team


Detroit Tigers 13 – 12 Boston Red Sox (11th)

– The Tigers and Red Sox exploded for 25 runs in the game and went 11 innings with the Red Sox ready to take the win after scoring two runs in the 11th until Miguel Cabrera hit a game tying HR and Alex Avila hit a walk off home run in the bottom of the 11th


Colorado Rockies 17 – 8 San Francisco Giants

– The giants continued to struggle out of the gate going down the Rockies in a big way as the usually stellar pitching of the Giants collapsed in the 5th inning when the Rockies scored 7 runs to put them ahead for good


Washington National 2 – 1 Cincinnati Reds (13th)

– The Nationals are looking good this year and they proved it taking on the Cincinnati Reds and matching them all game into the 13th inning until Jason Werth hit a walk-off single to continue the strong start to the season


Next Week:

Los Angeles Angels vs. New York Yankees (April 14th; 1:05 pm)

– The Yankees and Angels continue their series between two of the strongest teams in the American League as the Yankees look to continue to win in their first series at home and get back to the top of the division


Philadelphia Phillies vs. San Francisco Giants (April 16th; 10:15 pm)

– The Phillies and Giants have been two of the strongest teams in the National League in the last few years but both have not had the start they were hoping for this year and so they take each other on looking to get back to their winning ways


Oakland Athletics vs. Los Angeles Angels (April 18th; 10:15 pm)

– The team from the Bay takes on the big city as the Angels look to march towards the top of their division by beating their division rivals with both teams struggling this year but the Angles having a much bigger hopes this season


Miami Marlins vs. Washington Nationals (April 20th; 7:05 pm)

– The Marlins are their usual selves so far this season as the high hopes have been tempered with a rough start while the high hopes of the Nationals have been justified with the young team getting out to a great start

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