MLB Week in Review (September 21-27)

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The Season is wrapping up with few teams still able to earn a postseason spot and the rest of the teas preparing for what comes next. In the National League there are no spots left as the postseason is set and most teams know where they stands. The Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers will enter the playoffs as division champions while the Cincinnati Reds are sent to the Wild Card game. The Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals continue to fight for the Central Division with the loser moving to the wild card game against the Reds. In the American League there are still some spots available although only three teams will be fighting for the two remaining spots. The Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, and Oakland Athletics are sitting in the division championship spots while the wild card s still up for grabs. The Tampa Bay Rays, Cleveland Indians, and Texas Rangers all fight it out for a chance at the Wild Card game. The fight continues in the last weekend of the regular season is here and teams prepare for the postseason or the offseason. There is sure to be plenty of changes for those teams who didn’t make it and changes to the teams that did make it once they finish their season. For some teams the changes will be big and others they will be small but they will be changes nonetheless. No team will be safe from the change in the offseason and soon the entire league will not be free from the changes. This coming after commissioner Bud Selig confirmed that 2014 will be his last season as the head of the MLB. Selig would make the announcement official after signing a 2-year deal in the offseason instead of the 5-year deal he was offered. When Selig signed the deal the writing was on the wall as he was not going to be staying as the head of the MLB past this deal. This week he made it official releasing a statement that would confirm that his last day will be January 24th 2015. Selig will have one more season before he leaves and that season will likely be a season that has plenty of debate over his influence on the league. There will be people on both sides of the argument whether Selig was good or bad for baseball. The true answer to this is that Selig was both for baseball as he oversaw plenty of good and plenty of bad in his time as the head of the league. Under Selig the MLB would grow and advance, albeit slowly, to become one of the biggest leagues in North America. TV Deals became the true life blood of sports as Selig watched over the league and the MLB would take full advantage signing massive deals. Meanwhile technology would become a big part of the league despite the resistance that Selig and the league as a whole would show. The league became big under Selig and continues to grow but Selig’s time was not without controversy though. Selig would preside over one of the biggest scandal in North American sports during the Mitchell Report. Baseball would take a massive hit during the 1990s when the news of rampant steroid in the MLB first came out. The growth that the MLB would see with the offensive battles in the ‘90s would all come in to questions when the biggest stars were accused of cheating. Selig’s response to the situation would end with mixed reviews as he would work to eliminate steroids from baseball but would bring suspensions that many thought would not go far enough. Selig would be a commissioner that brought plenty of debate from fans and analysts during his time. In the end Selig is a commissioner and if there were nobody debating whether they were doing a good job they are clearly not worthy of talking about. The legacy of Selig will be a complicated one and will be debated for years but the fact is he was a commissioner that presided over one of the most successful periods of baseball making him a big part of the history and legacy of baseball.

 

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

Mo Says Goodbye
Mariano Rivera would pitch an emotional game this week when he came out to close his last game ever in the Bronx as he finishes out his career and takes his last step on the mound this weekend

Let the Bidding Begins
The Yankees are out of the playoffs this year and that means business begins early for them as Robinson Cano will be a free agent this year and is reportedly seeking a 10-year $305 million deal that someone will pay especially with the Yankees trying to cut pay

Nats lose their Leader
Rivera was not the only person entering his last week of his career as Nationals manager Davey Johnson will end his career after this week leaving a big job in the MLB with a team full of talent waiting for someone who can take them to the next level

 

MLB Standings

American League
Division Leaders:
1. y-Boston Red Sox (.606)
2. y-Detroit Tigers (.581)
3. y-Oakland Athletics (.594)
Wild Card:
4. Cleveland Indians (.563)
5. Tampa Bay Rays (.563)
In the Hunt (GB):
6. Texas Rangers (1.0)
Out of the Running:
7. Kansas City Royals (5.0)
8. Baltimore Orioles (7.0)
9. New York Yankees (7.0)
10. Los Angeles Angels (12.0)
11. Toronto Blue Jays (17.0)
12. Seattle Mariners (20.0)
13. Minnesota Twins (24.0)
14. Chicago White Sox (28.0)
15. Houston Astros (39.0)

 

National League
Division Leaders:
1. y-Atlanta Braves (.594)
2. y-St. Louis Cardinals (.594)
3. y-Los Angeles Dodgers (.575)
Wild Card:
4. w-Pittsburgh Pirates (.575)
5. w-Cincinnati Reds (.563)
Out of the Running:
6. Washington Nationals (5.0)
7. Arizona Diamondbacks (10.0)
8. San Diego Padres (15.0)
9. San Francisco Giants (15.0)
10. Milwaukee Brewers (17.0)
11. New York Mets (17.0)
12. Colorado Rockies (18.0)
13. Philadelphia Phillies (18.0)
14. Chicago Cubs (24.0)
15. Miami Marlins (30.0)

x-Clinched Playoff Spot
y-Clinched Division
w-Clinched Wild Card

 

Scores:
Atlanta Braves 5 – 2 Chicago Cubs
– The Braves have dominated the NL East the entire season as they would prove everyone that thought that the Nationals would win the division as the Braves would beat the Cubs and clinch the division

Oakland Athletics 11 – 7 Minnesota Twins
– The A’s had one of the best battles in the league as they would take until the last week to clinch the AL West with the help of a slide by the Texas Rangers as the Athletics go back to the postseason for the second year in a row

Pittsburgh Pirates 2 – 1 Chicago Cubs
– The Pittsburgh Pirates already broke their 20 year losing season streak earlier in the month but they would take that one step further beating the Cubs to clinch a playoff spot for a team that has been out for a very long time

Detroit Tigers 1 – 0 Minnesota Twins
– The Detroit Tigers have silently found it tough to clinch their division as they were clearly the best team in the division this year but the pesky Indians would not go away until this week when they would beat the Twins to clinch the AL Central

 

Next Week:
Los Angeles Angels vs. Texas Rangers (Saturday September 28th; 12:05 pm ET)
– The hope is not over for Texas as they continue to fight for the wild card game sitting only one game back and hoping that they can erase the memory of their slide that sent them out of the postseason

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays (Sunday September 29th; 1:07 pm ET)
– The Rays are clinging on to the wild card spot and while the Blue Jays are just looking to play spoilers by beating the Rays and giving the Rangers an opening to take a postseason spot in the last game of the season

Cincinnati Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (Tuesday October 1st; TBD)
– The Pirates gave everything they could to try to win the division and avoid this game but they are in it now as they take on the Reds to try to continue their first successful season in 20 years

American League Wild Card Game (Wednesday October 2nd; TBD)
– The Rangers, Rays, and Indians are still fighting for the chance to play this game as the Rangers are hoping that they can overcome the collapse, the Rays are hoping they can once again make an impact on the postseason, and the Indians are hoping to surprise everyone and move on in the postseason

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