MLB Week in Review (April 5-11)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This week would mark a very important date in the history of the MLB as April 8th would mark the 40th anniversary of Hank Aaron breaking Babe Ruth’s home run record. On April 8th 1974 “Hammerin’ Hank” would hit his 715th career home run breaking a record that had stood since Babe Ruth hit his last home run in 1935. It was a changing period for the MLB a time that the world was changing around the league. Babe Ruth has always been considered the best baseball player of all time and when a young black player approached his record it stirred up the dark side of the country. There were death threats on Aaron as he approached the record with many believing a black man could never surpass the great Babe Ruth. On April 8th Aaron would continue the path that Jackie Robinson had started in 1947 as Aaron became the first black player to put his name among the greatest players of all time. As good as Robinson was there were still no black players who became superstars from the time the colour barrier broke to the 1970s. Aaron was that player and with his 715th home run he would put his name in the thick history books of the MLB. It was an amazing accomplishment by Aaron who would go on to build on his amazing record ending his career with 755 career home runs. The new number would be one of the toughest to match as Aaron would sit alongside Babe Ruth in a very special category of players who hit over 700 home runs in their careers. The record would not be touched for years as it wasn’t until the 2000s when a player emerged that could surpass the massive number that Aaron had put up. That player would be Barry Bonds who would begin hitting home runs at a massive pace throughout the 2000s and 2004 would join Aaron and Ruth as the third player to hit 700 home runs. In 2006 the race would begin as Bonds began closing in on Hank Aaron’s record surpassing Babe Ruth on May 28th. On September 22nd Barry Bonds would tie Aaron hitting his 755th home run and in the very next day would pass Aaron hitting his 756th home run breaking one of the longest standing records in the history of the MLB. Bonds would go on to hit 762 home runs creating an even bigger goal to catch. The run towards the record was not the same for Bonds though as the controversy would swirl about the alleged steroid use that would be seen as the biggest reason that Bonds was able to break Aaron’s record. Bonds had been rumoured to be using steroids since he began a massive pace towards Aaron’s record. Just the shape of Bonds’ body was evidence enough for many as his young years in the 1980s and 1990s would see a skinnier but athletic build. In the 200s Bonds became a much bigger man and would begin to hit more home runs. The rumours around Bonds seemed to be proven when the BALCO scandal and the Mitchell report released names of players tied to steroid use. Bonds was one of the biggest names in these scandals and although nothing has been proven many consider Bonds to be a cheater and the fact that he hasn’t been elected to the hall of fame in two tries means it is almost generally accepted that his record as achieved through unnatural means. For that reason Hank Aaron has remained the man who any consider to be the unofficial home run king. Aaron did it without the use of PEDs and with his life being threatened on a daily basis because of the colour of his skin. Barry Bonds did it allegedly with the use of steroids and at a time when the only people who wanted him to fail were the people who didn’t want someone with extra chemical help to earn a record. This past week was all about Hank Aaron as the MLB and the Atlanta Braves would celebrate his accomplishment. It was so much of a celebration that it almost seemed as though they were accepting the belief that Aaron is the home run king and that Barry Bonds is a regrettable product of the steroid era. Officially the MLB will always say that Bonds is the home run king because he holds the record but this week would give a glimpse to what they and many fans might truly believe.

 

Extra Innings
(Extra Thoughts on this week in baseball)

Another Pine Tar Controversy
Michael Pineda would begin a comeback year this year with two great outings but there was something off about his appearance as his right hand would seem to have pine tar becoming the latest pitcher with a foreign substance on his hand

A Record Low
The Houston Astros are considered the worst team in the MLB and because of that they generally have not been able to pull many fans to the ballpark and apparently to the television as their game against the LA Dodgers would see a 0.0 Rating

The New Fireballer
Yordano Ventura has not been talked about too much this year but he became a pitcher to watch when he hit 102.9 mph on the radar gun marking the fastest pitch in MLB history since Pitch FX was brought into the league in 2006

Reliever Awards
The MLB would change their award names this week when they would give two legends some immortality in baseball renaming the National League and American League reliever of the year awards after Trevor Hoffman and Mariano Rivera

standings_w2

 

Key Scores:
San Francisco Giants 7 – 2 Los Angeles Dodgers
– The Dodgers would go into the season with lofty expectations while the Giants would go in to the season with tempered expectations but they would show that the battle for the West would not be too easy dominating their division rivals

St. Louis Cardinals 5 – 3 Cincinnati Reds
– The Cards and the Reds have fallen into a pattern of fighting for their division year after year and they continue to fight as the Cards would take the first part of the season series beating the Reds in their first time facing off

New York Yankees 4 – 1 Boston Red Sox
– One of the oldest rivalries in sports continued this year when the Yankees took the first game in the season series against the Red Sox thanks to another great performance by Michael Pineda, Pine Tar and all

Atlanta Braves 7 – 6 Washington Nationals
– The Braves and Nationals would start their season series off with a great game when the Braves would take the first win in a battle that might last a very long time before a winner is determined

 

Next Week:
Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees (Saturday April 12th; 1:05 pm ET)
– The rivalry continues as the Red Sox take on the Yankees in a battle that both teams hope will mean that they can stand at the top of the toughest division in baseball as they hope to continue their usual battle

Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers (Sunday April 13th; 3:05 pm ET)
– The newest division rivalry returns this year as the surprising Houston Astros look to keep their good season going against their bigger and badder in-state rivals the Rangers who are hoping to build a lead in their division early

Washington Nationals vs. Miami Marlins (Tuesday April 15th; 7:10 pm ET)
– The Nationals still have many people expecting them to win the World Series and they look to continue their hold of the NL East against the Marlins who are falling off after a prominsng start to the season that saw them rise to the top of the East

Colorado Rockies vs. San Diego Padres (Thursday April 17th; 6:40 pm ET)
– The Rockies and Padres may not be the superstars at the top of the division but as the Dodgers and giants fight it out at the top the Rockies and Padres are hoping to be the team that can be in the fight at the end

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 168 other followers

%d bloggers like this: