MLB Week in Review (May 12-18)

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Baseball has always been a bit of a controversial sport among the broader sports world as it has gained a reputation for being a lazy sport. With players sometimes overweight and the slow speed of the game baseball has sometimes been seen as a sport on the fringes. It is sometimes considered outside of the big four sports, football, basketball, hockey, for the lack of intensity in many players. Of course this is the perception from the outside as many players keep their emotions in check but in reality are as intense as other athletes. The big difference is that this intensity is not seen throughout the game as they keep their emotions bottled. The only times that emotion is seen in baseball is usually when someone blows up and cannot keep it together anymore. It seems to be one or the other in baseball as emotion is not shown but when it is it becomes headline news because someone blew their top. Although this is generally true throughout the years in baseball there have been certain moments where the intensity does come out but not in a bad way. Fans see glimpses of this intensity throughout the year as certain players will bring a certain level with them every game. One position that has some of the most intense players is the closer as they tend to let their emotions go more often than others. Then there are the players that seem to be 100% intensity in every moment of the game from their first at bat to their last. These players have been few and far between in the MLB with Pete Rose being the top of the list, even with all of his faults off the field. Lately though the MLB has seen a shift in the new crop of players as the intensity is beginning to show. The unwritten rules of the game may look to keep many of these players down but more and more young players have come into the MLB forgetting about these rules. Leading the way are two of the brightest young stars in the MLB today. Brett Lawrie and Bryce Harper are the new breed in the MLB and both have changed the rules of the game. They are both very young, Lawrie is 22 and Harper is 19, and have everyday roles on an MLB club which was rarely seen in the slow to develop league. In the past players would make debuts late as they moved through the multi-tier farm system but both Lawrie and Harper have surpassed this system to enter into the major leagues. This is not what makes them special though as they both play in a very specific way that is rarely seen. Both players sprint to first base whether they hit the ball or they get a walk. They play all-out every day and on every play as they are the definition of intensity in baseball. They lead the young talent in the league showing that there is a spot for the player who attacks the game. They bring a new level to the intensity in the league as Lawrie can regularly be seen yelling and celebrating in the dugout after a big hit and Harper shows his willingness to take risks just to move ahead one base. These players are the new breed and some baseball fans are thrilled to see more intensity in the game that these players can bring. They do have their downside of course as that intensity that makes them great can sometimes get them in trouble. This week that happened as Brett Lawrie received a 4-game suspension after two questionable strike calls set him off throwing a helmet in anger and accidentally hitting the umpire. Harper is not immune either as last week after a bad few at bats he threw his bat against a wall only to have it comeback and hit him in the face causing a cut on his forehead. The intensity is a great thing for baseball but the fact that they are so young means there will be some immature moments along the way. These two players are rising stars that will be talked about for years to come and it will be fun to watch their careers develop and if they can continue to bring the intensity that they have become known for.

This weekend one of these players will get their first experience in the tradition of the MLB, Interleague play. Interleague play is nothing special in most leagues as playing in between their two “conferences” or leagues is common practice. For the MLB interleague play is much different as this period allows teams to play other teams that they rarely get to see. More than this it allows some of the best rivals to face off for the rare grudge matches. With the MLB organized by separating teams on two leagues rather than East and West many teams are very close but do not get to play. The most glaring examples are the cities that hold two teams or the states that hold two teams. This is the wonder of interleague play as series like The Windy City Showdown, The Subway Series, The Lonestar Series, The Bay Bridge Series, and many more make fans circle their calendars for this time of year. Interleague play is a chance for the fans to see rare teams and for the MLB it has been a great idea. It was first established in 1997 when the MLB decided to have their two leagues face off and showcase the talent in both leagues. Lately though the American League has shown their strength winning the battle in the last 8 years. This year the National League will look to show their strength as the new season of interleague play begins.


MLB Standings

American League


1. Baltimore Orioles (.650)

2. Tampa Bay Rays (.600)

3. Toronto Blue Jays (.550)

4. New York Yankees (.538)

5. Boston Red Sox (.462)


1. Cleveland Indians (.564)

2. Detroit Tigers (.487)

3. Chicago White Sox (.475)

4. Kansas City Royals (.395)

5. Minnesota Twins (.333)


1. Texas Rangers (.625)

2. Oakland Athletics (.500)

3. Los Angeles Angels (.450)

4. Seattle Mariners (.415)


National League


1. Atlanta Braves (.625)

2. Washington Nationals (.590)

3. Miami Marlins (.538)

4. New York Mets (.538)

5. Philadelphia Phillies (.525)


1. St. Louis Cardinals (.564)

2. Cincinnati Reds (.500)

3. Pittsburgh Pirates (.462)

4. Houston Astros (.436)

5. Milwaukee Brewers (.410)

6. Chicago Cubs (.385)


1. Los Angeles Dodgers (.667)

2. San Francisco Giants (.513)

3. Arizona Diamondbacks (.450)

4. Colorado Rockies (.395)

5. San Diego Padres (.350)


Key Scores:

Los Angeles Angels 4 – 2 Texas Rangers

– These two teams were expected to fight it out for the division crown but the Angels have not met expectations recently though the Angels have started to look better and a win against the very good Rangers has brought them back to the fight


Chicago White Sox 7 – 5 Detroit Tigers

– Chi-Town vs. Motown has been a classic rivalry throughout every sport and baseball is no difference and both teams faced off again with the Tigers looking to make an impact this year but dropping this game to the struggling White Sox


Tampa Bay Rays 4 – 3 Toronto Blue Jays

– The Toronto Blue Jays have been up and down all season and a number of mistakes against the Rays ramping up their frustrations as it came to a head when Brett Lawrie threw his helmet and accidentally hit an umpire after striking out on two questionable strike calls


Chicago White Sox 3 – 2 Chicago Cubs

– The Windy City Rivalry got underway as the Cubbies and White Sox faced off for the first time this year with the White Sox coming out on top thanks to a HR in the 8th inning by Gordon Beckham


Next Week:

Texas Rangers vs. Houston Astros (May 19th; 7:15 pm ET)

– Interleague play continues as the Lonestar Series kicks off this weekend with the Texas Rangers sitting at the top of the league and the Astros fighting for the National League Central as both face off for bragging rights in the Lonestar State


Oakland Athletics vs. San Francisco Giants (May 20th; 4:05 pm ET)

– The Bay Bridge Series will get underway with interleague play as both teams are sitting in second place in their divisions with the Giants looking to get back to their dominance and the Athletics looking to become the Cinderella story


Washington Nationals vs. Philadelphia Phillies (May 22nd; 7:05 pm ET)

– The Philadelphia Phillies have been a great team in the National League in the last few years but a new challenger has come up as the Nationals look to end the reign of the Phillies in the NL East


Philadelphia Phillies vs. St. Louis Cardinals (May 24th; 8:15 pm ET)

– The St. Louis Cardinals are looking to get back to the World Series and are on the right track while the Phillies are looking for the same but have not been able to get into a groove as they look to start a winning streak against the defending champions

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