MLB Week in Review (May 24-30)

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The MLB would celebrate an important milestone this week when they played the 8th annual Civil Rights Game. It is a game that is meant to highlight the history of African-American players in the game. That history was not always the best for the MLB as they would not fully break the colour barrier until the 1950s. There is a long history of African-American baseball and it is a very rich one with some amazing players that were never allowed to play in the MLB. As the world still believed that only one race was good enough to play there was a lot of amazing talent missed. This amazing talent would decide that if they were going to be ignored because of the colour of their skin that they would create their own league. In the 1880s the Negro League would form and provide a place for African-American players to play professionally. It was not the MLB as it had a lot less glamour and pay but it was still a place to play. The goal the entire time was to prove that African-Americans can play baseball and can play it as good, if not better than the people allowed in the MLB. The names that highlighted the Negro leagues have become the names of the legends of baseball. They will always be legends as well with no real records or documentation of the players like they would have received if they were in the MLB. There were a number if great players in the Negro Leagues that would have been just as good in the MLB but were never given the shot. The MLB would correct their mistake in the 1950s when Jackie Robinson became the first African-American player to play in the MLB. The integration of baseball would see the gates begin to open for players who had been forced to play in the Negro Leagues and that would change the game forever. Robinson himself would play in the Negro Leagues before he was brought to New York to play on the Dodgers. Meanwhile players like Hank Aaron and Willie Hayes would make the jump as well and would quickly become two of the greatest players in the history of baseball. It would confirm the thought of many in the Negro Leagues, that African-American players were just as good if not better than those in the MLB. Other players would make the jump to the major leagues as well but unfortunately for them and for the fans their best days were behind them. One of these players was Satchel Paige who would be one of the greatest Negro League pitchers ever. Unfortunately by the time he was able to play in the major leagues he was not the dominant pitcher he used to be as being able to play in the MLB years earlier may have made him an MLB legend and not just a Negro League legend. Baseball’s history is not the greatest when it comes to integration as like most things in baseball it took them some time to change. Still they did change and now are a league that welcomes all players from every corner of the earth and is one of the most international sports in the world. As they continue to expand throughout the rest of the world there is a strange pattern in the major leagues. African-American players are becoming less and less common in the major leagues. The sport has not been growing in those communities and the Civil Rights Game is as much about celebrating the past of African-American baseball but by also growing the sport in the these communities now. The Civil Rights game is a chance for the MLB to show how far the game in these communities have come where baseball in these communities is going.

 

Extra Innings
(Extra Thoughts on this week in baseball)

First non-no of the year
Josh Beckett has not seen his best years as of late as he has started the eventual decline of a pitcher but this week he would show the dominance he had for years earning the first no-hitter of the year

In Search of some Power
As the pitchers continue to take over the MLB teams are trying to look for some offence and two teams would look to make a change to find that as the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers fired their hitting coaches

Homer Drought finally over
Home runs are not the easiest thing to come by but there is usually one or two pitches that a batter can get to in order to hit a home run but that would not be the case for Ben Revere who broke a streak of 1,565 straight at bats without a home run to start his career

Spectacular Record
Edwin Encarnacion has been the hottest player in the MLB through the month of May and now he is alongside a legend for his great month hitting his 16th home run in the month tying Micky Mantle for the most home runs in the month of May in the American League

standings_w9

Key Scores:
Texas Rangers 12 – 2 Detroit Tigers
– The Texas Rangers would visit Detroit in what was supposed to be the return of Prince Fielder but an injury would keep Fielder out of the game although that wouldn’t stop the Rangers from putting up 12 runs in a dominant win

New York Yankees 6 – 4 St. Louis Cardinals
– Two of the oldest franchises in baseball are also two of the most successful and although they have two very different management styles they are forever linked making this series a special one with the Yankees taking this game

Toronto Blue Jays 3 – 2 Tampa Bay Rays
– The Blue Jays have been the best team in May with a great streak and the streak would continue when they took on the Tampa Bay Rays and beat them one a bunt by Anthony Gose that was misplayed to bring in the winning run in the 9th inning

Houston Astros 2 – 1 Baltimore Orioles
– The Civil Rights Game would see the MLB honour the history of the game and African-Americans in the game as Houston would host and win the game in a matchup of small ball with no home runs on the night

 

Next Week:
Los Angeles Angels vs. Oakland Athletics (Saturday May 31st; 10:05 pm ET)
– A battle of California continues as the Angels and the A’s are the two top teams in the West and are looking to gain a leg up on the competition as both hope to be sitting on top of the division when the season ends

Kansas City Royals vs. St. Louis Cardinals (Monday June 2nd; 8:10 pm ET)
– The I-70 rivalry gets underway again as the two Missouri teams face off but this time it should be better as the Cards are their steady selves while the Royals are looking better than ever and hoping to gain in-state bragging rights

New York Mets vs. Chicago Cubs (Thursday June 5th; 7:05 pm ET)
– This series could easily be named many things as it pits two teams that have continued to struggle year after year and they face off again with both teams playing better but still not good enough to compete as they face off to gain some momentum

Oakland Athletics vs. Baltimore Orioles (Friday June 6th; 7:05 pm ET)
– The A’s and the orioles have been connected as of late as both would begin to climb back into the World Series conversation in recent years and they will face of this time with the Orioles trying to gain ground in the East while the A’s are hoping to stay atop the West division

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