MLB Week in Review (April 26-May 2)

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The MLB is steeped in tradition as they are a league that leads every league in their connection to their history. They are a league that looks back to over 100 years of tradition to find out how to play the game and how to carry themselves. The players who make it into the MLB enter into a contract with every other player they take the field with. These players immediately enter into the world of the unwritten rules of baseball where right and wrong are more of a blurred line. It is the same thing in every sport as the players follow the rule book published by the league and their own rules passed down from generation to generation. For the MLB their history plays a large role in their unwritten rulebook. The MLB takes the majority of their unwritten rules from their history and many times that can mean the rules are somewhat outdated. The unwritten rules of baseball go back years and are more about the way to play with respect for the game than anything else. There are the rules that no player should overshadow any other player as all players should remain humble. Admiring a home run is a no-no and chirping at the pitcher or the batter is almost always going to lead to a bench clearing brawl. Then there are rules of players able to skirt the official rulebook as long as it doesn’t go too far. That is what would happen the last week to Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda who would take his rule breaking too far. Pineda has had a great season so far for the Yankees but there was something suspicious about his performances. It seemed like his right hand was a little darker and shinier than normal. For many it was clear evidence that he was using Pine Tar to get extra grip on his pitches. The Boston Red Sox would notice it and bring it to light first as manager John Farrell would claim that Pineda was using something extra to get a better grip on his pitches in the cold weather. Then the Yankees would play the Red Sox again with Pineda on the mound and this time his hands were clean. Instead there was a substance on his neck that was shining and that Pineda was touching regularly. The Red Sox would call him out on it and Pineda would be thrown out and suspended for 10 days. This is where the unwritten rule came into play as the Red Sox were somewhat breaking a rule among teams. Pine Tar is generally accepted among pitchers as a legitimate way to increase grip especially in cold weather. It is still against the rule book and will earn a suspension but teams will not report on players that use it because all players use it. All that teams ask for is for the player that is using it to not make it so obvious that it embarrasses the opposing team. When Pineda put the Pine Tar on his neck for everyone to see he broke that contract and so the Red Sox broke their side too. It was just one example of the unwritten rules that are in baseball and what can happen when teams and players break those rules. This time the punishment was reporting the player to the umpire and seeing what happened from that point on. Most of the time the punishment will not involve the league or the umpire as the unwritten rule book has its own set of results. When breaking an unwritten rule the punishment can sometimes be swift and painful. The bean pitch is often the favourite solution to breaking an unwritten rule as the pitchers take it into their own hands to hurt someone who tried to show them up earlier in the game. The unwritten rules in the game remain with the old school players but a shift is beginning. Whether you are a traditionalist or a new age thinker in baseball the younger generation is coming and changing things. Many may hate the changes and other may love them but the unwritten rules are changing and the players and teams are continuing to evolve.

 

Extra Innings
(Extra Thoughts on this week in baseball)

A New Closer in Detroit
The Detroit Tigers are in some serious need of an upgrade in their bullpen and they would look to get it in signing former closer Joel Hanrahan to a one-year deal that will give him the chance to prove that Tommy John Surgery will not keep him down

Black Sox Footage unveiled
Museums can hide some of true gems and a museum in Canada would reveal one of theirs as they would release footage from the 1919 World Series in the infamous Black Sox game where members of the Chicago White Sox would accept money to throw the series

The Next Big Deal
Chris Johnson grew up idolizing the Braves and Chipper Jones and now he gets the chance to remain on his favourite team when the Braves signed Jones to a three-year $23 million contract allowing him to keep his dream job

 

standings_w5

 

Key Scores:
St. Louis Cardinals 7 – 0 Pittsburgh Pirates
– The Pirates were hoping that they could continue to be a strong team in the division but the would fall in a big way to one of the top teams in the division and would continue their fall to last place

Seattle Mariners 6 – 3 New York Yankees
– The Yankees fans would give a former pinstripe superstar a warm Bronx welcome as Robinson Cano would return to New York for the first time since leaving during the offseason and would get booed every time he came up but still would help the Mariners to the win

Oakland Athletics 12 – 1 Texas Rangers
– The Rangers and the A’s have been putting together a great rivalry over the past few years and this year they were both looking to do the same thing but the Rangers would put up much of a fight being blown out by the A’s

Cincinnati Reds 8 – 3 Milwaukee Brewers
– The Brewers are sitting at the top of the central division in a bit of a surprise run at the start of the season but the other teams are making a run as the Reds would eat away at their lead by earning the win

 

Next Week:
Oakland Athletics vs. Boston Red Sox (Saturday May 3rd; 1:35 pm ET)
– The Athletics travel to Boston for the first time this year looking to remain at the top of the West division while the Red Sox are trying to beat the A’s in the hopes that they can move their way back from the bottom of the AL East

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Washington Nationals (Monday April 5th; 7:05 pm ET)
– The Dodgers remain one of the top teams in the league this year as they look to cut away at the lead in the west division while the Nationals are looking to try to do the same in the East division

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Atlanta Braves (Wednesday May 7th; 7:10 pm ET)
– The Cardinals and the Braves have a reputation of being two of the best run franchises in the MLB as they continue to put together winning records year after year and now they face off for some pride in being that franchise

San Francisco Giants vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (Friday May 9th; 10:10 pm ET)
– The Giants and the Dodgers are both looking to be the West champions and as they both begin to put some distance between themselves and everyone else they will fight it out in a classic division rivalry

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