2013 MLB Year in Review

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The Boston Red Sox are standing at the top of the MLB world once again as they would win their 8th World Series in franchise history. The Red Sox would complete a worst to first season after it seemed that they were on the decline as a franchise. The year before the Red Sox had fallen to the bottom of the East division after revelations of the actions in the locker room known as the Beer and Chickengate by some. They would come back to their winning ways this year as they would finish with the best record in baseball with a number of new players and a new manager. The Red Sox would be one of the better stories of the 2013 season but it was far from the only one. The MLB season was an interesting one as teams fell and rose and answers to the biggest questions before the season would be answered. Before the season began there were a number of key stories to watch as the offseason brought plenty of new questions. The super sophomores, Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, would try to meet the expectations of their rookie seasons. They would not match the hype of their rookie seasons as they were good but they were not at the level that many expected. Instead a number of teams took over for the super sophomores and continued the youth revolution in the MLB. Yasiel Puig would shock the MLB as the young Cuban would make his name known this year. He would become one of the Dodgers biggest threats and along with the forgotten rookie from 2012, Manny Machado, would continue to lead the youth revolution in the 2013 season. Before the season another young player would have plenty of questions surrounding him as Stephen Strasburg would look to complete his first full season on the mound. A year after being shut down a week before the postseason Strasburg was back and given the green light to pitch the entire season leaving many to wonder whether or not he could be the dominant player he seemed to be. Strasburg would not be able to return to that level though as he would have a lack luster season as the young pitcher would not be what many expected. Instead another young pitcher would take over the headlines of the season with Matt Harvey dominating the National League. That was until his injury that would force him into Tommy John Surgery and putting his future in doubt. Harvey would be one of the many pitchers who would continue the decline of offence in the league this year. Along with Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer, Anibal Sanchez and Yu Darvish  Harvey would become a major reason for the lack of offence. It was a trend that continued from last year as pitching continued to get better while the offence began to suffer after the steroid era. That wouldn’t mean that no offence was had in the year though as Miguel Cabrera would have another great year as the best hitter in baseball. David Ortiz would also have a great year and along the way would prove the value of a good DH. Eventually he would take his good year and turn it great when he went to the postseason. There were plenty of great players that made their mark on the league this year with great performances and players emerging as true stars. With the season over the offseason begins and these stars will look to build up for another year while the next emerging stars are somewhere out there waiting for their opportunity.

The stories were not limited to the players though as many preseason questions surrounded teams in the league. The first and biggest was if the San Francisco Giants could continue their success to be the dynasty of the era. The Giants would not be able to do this as a year after they won the World Series they would find themselves at the bottom of their division. The dynasty took a hit this year and that title became less for sure. The Giants were no longer the team to watch and in the offseason will have to look to improve and get back to greatness. With the Giants out of the picture the focus went to a number of other teams who were trying to get to greatness. First there was the Toronto Blue Jays who rebuilt their team in a big way in the offseason in the hopes that they could make the playoffs for the first time since 1993. They would make some big changes and would see almost every position changed from the season before. Adding Cy Young Award winner RA Dickey along with Mark Beuhrle, Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes, and Melky Cabrera the Jays were hoping to be a force. That too would not come though as they would finish in last place in the AL East and would clearly show that rebuilding through trades and free agency was not the best strategy. Not all teams would struggle though as two teams who emerged as challengers last year became true contenders this year. The Baltimore Orioles would not make the postseason this year but they would still look like one of the better teams in baseball. They would constantly be among the top of the division and were far from pushovers all year. Meanwhile the Oakland Athletics would take their recent success into another year winning the AL West and moving into the postseason for the second year in a row. The MLB season was full of twists and turns again this year and with everything over teams go back to the drawing board. The Red Sox are champions and everyone else s now playing catch up. Another offseason is here and teams and players alike prepare for a new season only a few months away when another run at the World Series begins.

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