MLB Week in Review (April 19-25)

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In sports many times it is thought that newer is better when it comes to any aspect of the game from players to uniforms to systems. That rings true for the stadiums in sports as well with leagues seeing newer and better stadiums going up almost every year. The stadiums for all of the leagues are beginning to become their own small theme parks. There are more seats than ever while the amenities inside can range from great and unique food to massive stores with any type of merchandise. It is a fast growing theme in sports to make the biggest and best stadiums with something that puts them above the rest. They are always competing to be the next best thing in sports as teams shell out record amounts of money to try to be that team with the best stadium. That is happening in baseball right now and the best expression is the Miami Marlins new park. The Marlins would create a retractable roof stadium with real grass and a number of fish tanks around the stadium. The amenities are some of the best in the MLB, despite the fact that nobody goes to the games. The MLB has a number of these stadiums as teams continue to try to create great stadiums that get people out and that are geared towards TV. In the MLB there is a special category of stadium though that goes against everything happening right now in ballparks. These parks are the unique few that will never be taken away to put in bigger and better stadiums. They will never be knocked down to make sure there was pace to build a stadium with more boxes to earn more money. In the MLB there are only two stadiums that fit into this category and both are now over 100 years old. The Boston Red Sox have played at the amazingly outdated Fenway Park since 1912 and after 102 years playing in the stadium there is no chance of them ever leaving. This week another stadium would join Fenway Park in the century mark as another amazingly outdated park in Wrigley Field would celebrate its 100th anniversary. Both stadiums have their own unique challenges, like the fact that Fenway has fully obstructed views and Wrigley has the ivy that eats balls during the season. They do not have the amenities that people enjoy in other parks and many times they can be uncomfortable. Still there is something about these parks that makes them irreplaceable and that puts them into a special place in the minds of fans and players. They are more than just the homes for teams and have become tourist attractions. People have made bucket lists to visit these ballparks and to see a game there. They have also become points of contention among fans when the talk of updates begins. The Chicago Cubs have been in the middle of this debate in recent years with Wrigley Field set to begin a 5-year renovation that will bring the stadium at least somewhat close to the 21st century. There will be updates to the concourse, bathrooms, press box, suites, and clubhouses. The biggest and most controversial of all of the changes will be the new jumbotron that will be replacing the current manual scoreboard. For many that is too far as the manual scoreboard is a part of the greatness of the ballpark but for others it is time to move on and begin doing things differently. The updates will be done over the next five years and Wrigley Field will change but the fact is that it will still be Wrigley. 100 years and still going Wrigley Field continues to be one of those special stadiums that has outlasted almost everyone else. These stadiums may not have all of the best amenities with them but they are the best places to watch the game because the environment made in these ballparks draws people in and keep people coming.

 

Extra Innings
(Extra Thoughts on this week in baseball)                        

The Pine Tar Debate
It was the second time that Michael Pineda had been seen with a foreign substance and this time it was on his neck forcing the Red Sox to call him out and get hi thrown out of the game along with earning a 10 game suspension

499 and 500 for Pujols
Albert Pujols is one of the best power hitters to come along since the steroid era and he would put his name into an elite group when he would hit his 499th and 500th home run to become the 26th person in MLB history to hit 500 HRs

The Japanese Takeover
Masahiro Tanaka came into the MLB with a lot of hype and was built as the next great Japanese star pitcher which is exactly what he has done so far as he has an amazing 35 strikeouts along with 2 walks so far this year

standings

 

Key Scores:
Tampa Bay Rays 16 – 1 New York Yankees
– Evan Longoria became the franchise leader in home runs with his 164th but it was only one of the 5 HRs hit in the game as the Rays went off on Ivan Nova putting up 16 runs on the night and overwhelming the Yankees

Baltimore Orioles 7 – 5 Boston Red Sox
– The Boston Red Sox would have an emotional game as they would host the Baltimore Orioles on their traditional Patriot’s Day Game one year after the Boston Bombings and that emotion may have gotten the better of them as they would fall to the O’s

Los Angeles Angels 7 – 2 Washington Nationals
– Albert Pujols has been under a lot of scrutiny as of late after earning a big contract and never reaching the same level of success at the plate but it wouldn’t stop him from putting up his 499th and 500th home run of his career becoming the 26th person to hit 500 HRs

Boston Red Sox 5 – 1 New York Yankees
– It wasn’t too long ago when Michael Pineda pitched against the Red Sox and Boston Manager John Farrell complained of a foreign substance on his hand but this time he wouldn’t get away with it after the umpire caught him with pine tar on his neck and tossed him from the game

 

Next Week:
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals (Sunday April 27th; 2:15 pm ET)
– This has become a great battle in baseball as the best-run franchise takes on the up and comers as the Pirates look to enter back into the race for the division while the Cards look to hold strong near the top of the central

Oakland Athletics vs. Texas Rangers (Monday April 28th; 8:05 pm ET)
– It is another new age rivalry that has come to be one of the best in this era as the Rangers and A’s continue to fight for the west division as they face off again with both teams sitting at the top of the West

Seattle Mariners vs. New York Yankees (Thursday May 1st; 7:15 pm ET)
– Robinson Cano set out to be his own man this offseason looking to become the star of a team rather than one of the many stars on the Yankees and now he returns to new York with his new team looking to show that he made the right decision

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Chicago Cubs (Friday May 2nd; 2:20 pm ET)
– Both teams are complete opposites as the Cubs are one of the worst run franchises while the Cards are one of the best but that doesn’t change that both teams will begin another Route 66 Rivalry series both looking to get respect in the Midwest

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