MLB Week in Review (April 20-26)

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The sports world has seen a change in the players that step on the field or the ice or the diamond. The old way of doing things was always about bringing in experienced or older players because that is the way you won games. It was all about getting players who have been there before and who have experienced everything to experience in the sport. Young players were not as valued as they needed a lot more time to develop and become a good player in the pros. This has changed now though as young players are getting better and better every year as they continue to come into the league more prepared than ever for the pro game. This has moved into the MLB as well in a league that tends to have the longest road to the pros than any other league. The MLB has been one of the longest holdouts for the youth revolution as they have always valued the long road to the majors. They would believe in this for decades continuing to draft high school players to start in Single-A and work for years to make the major league club. That would all change when Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper came into the draft picture. Strasburg was the first Can’t miss prospect in the MLS and Harper followed it immediately the next year. Not before or since has there been two players with so much talent at such a young age. When the Nationals picked both of these players the only questions was when they would get to step on to an MLB field. It would not take long for either of them and both would make their presence known in the league since they began their careers. They would also start the youth movement in the MLB as teams began to look in their own systems to find those types of players. Many teams did find them by just giving players a chance to play in the major leagues rather than keeping them in the minors just because that was how it always has been done. Players like Mike Trout, Matt Harvey, Freddie Freemen, Brett Lawrie, and Giancarlo Stanton are all having an impact in the MLB and are all under 25. The youth revolution has come to the MLB which also means the older players are beginning to become less important for teams. This can be seen as some teams have come under fire for having too many veterans on their teams. The Yankees would take the heat before the season as they had one of the oldest teams in the MLB although injuries have brought about a mix of young and old that has surprised everyone. Another team that had been seen as a team with too many veterans, albeit good ones, is the Philadelphia Phillies. They have struggled to get started this year as pitchers like Roy Halladay have not been able to find their way yet after years of being dominant. The Phillies are a perfect example of why the MLB is shifting to young talent. Teams can get a lot more good play out of a young developed talent while signing veterans may give a team one or two years. The Youth movement is continuing to invade every league in North America including a league that continues to be the slowest one to adapt to any change. The MLB is getting younger with stars emerging every year and for fans it means more excitement from more athletic players as the sport continues to evolve even after over 100 years of playing.

 

Extra Innings:
(Thoughts on the past week in the MLB)

Jeter Determined
Derek Jeter got some bad news last week when a new crack in his ankle was found increasing his injury time and creating a lot of rumours about whether or not this injury will end his career although he remains determined to return

Uptons getting comfortable
BJ and Justin Upton decided to play on the same team this year as BJ would sign as a free agent and Justin would waive his no-trade clause to join his brother in Atlanta and now they are both beginning to get used to it as both brothers are becoming two of the hottest players in baseball

Spending Sprees not Paying off
A few teams went on massive spending sprees in the offseason as they tried to compete immediately with the biggest teams in the MLB but so far the Toronto Blue Jays and the Los Angeles Dodgers have struggled even with their inflated payrolls

O’s staying on the edge
The Baltimore Orioles spent most of 2011 winning one run games and hanging on the edge and in 2012 not much has changed as the Orioles continue to fight tooth and nail for close wins but how much longer can they continue this trend

 

MLB Standings

American League
AL East:
1. Boston Red Sox (.696)
2. Baltimore Orioles (.609)
3. New York Yankees (.591)
4. Tampa Bay Rays (.435)
5. Toronto Blue Jays (.375)
AL Central:
1. Kansas City Royals (.579)
2. Detroit Tigers (.524)
3. Minnesota Twins (.474)
4. Chicago White Sox (.455)
5. Cleveland Indians (.421)
AL West:
1. Texas Rangers (.696)
2. Oakland Athletics (.542)
3. Los Angeles Angels (.409)
4. Seattle Mariners (.360)
5. Houston Astros (.304)

 

National League
NL East:
1. Atlanta Braves (.682)
2. Washington Nationals (.522)
3. New York Mets (.476)
4. Philadelphia Phillies (.417)
5. Miami Marlins (.217)
NL Central:
1. St. Louis Cardinals (.636)
2. Pittsburgh Pirates (.565)
3. Cincinnati Reds (.542)
4. Milwaukee Brewers (.524)
5. Chicago Cubs (.364)
NL West:
1. Colorado Rockies (.652)
2. Arizona Diamondbacks (.565)
3. San Francisco Giants (.565)
4. Los Angeles Dodgers (.500)
5. San Diego Padres (.318)

 

Scores:
Washington Nationals 7 – 6 New York Mets
– Bryce Harper would come through in the clutch once again as he would hit two HRs as the Nationals tried to climb back into the fight with the Atlanta Braves for the division, a race that they have begun to fall behind in

Boston Red Sox 9 – 6 Oakland Athletics
– The Red Sox are taking their new role as inspiration for a city to heart as they have had a season that many people did not expect and it would continue against another very good team in the Oakland Athletics

Atlanta Braves 10 – 2 Colorado Rockies
– The Upton brothers came together to provide some extra offence for the Atlanta Braves and it has worked great so far especially against the Rockies when they hit back to back HRs to help the Braves to a 10-2 win

Pittsburgh Pirates 6 – 4 Philadelphia Phillies
– The battle of Pennsylvania continues one as the Phillies continued to try to gain some ground this season but they would have no luck against their in-state rivals as they would continue to struggle and lose to the Pirates

 

Next Week:
Los Angeles Angels vs. Seattle Mariners (Saturday April 27th; 9:10 pm ET)
– The Angels struggled out of the gate trying to get their new additions to the team to get going and now they are beginning to find a groove even without Josh Hamilton figuring it out as they try to continue to climb up the division against the Mariners

New York Mets vs. Miami Marlins (Monday April 29th; 7:10 pm ET)
– The Mets and Marlins have not had the best run as of late but the Mets seem to be firing things out with a host of new young talent as they try to continue their strong season by beating a team that is still trying to find their way

Cincinnati Reds vs. St. Louis Cardinals (Wednesday May 1st; 1:45 pm ET)
– The battle for the National League Central continues on as the Reds and the Cardinals continue to fight it out for the division and they face off once again this year with both teams trying to get an advantage on the other

Washington Nationals vs. Atlanta Braves (Thursday May 2nd; 7:10 pm ET)
– The Nats and the Braves were supposed to be fighting the entire season for the NL East crown but now it seems like they will play just so that Washington can stay in the fight as they have dropped off this year while the Braves have sprinted out front

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