MLB Week in Review (August 30-September 5)

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It is that time again in the MLB as the season closes out and the time for many managers and general managers begins to wind down. As many teams prepare for one last run at the postseason or prepare for extra baseball in October more teams are looking to 2015. As the weeks move on more teams fall out of contention in for the postseason and with that they begin to prepare for the future. Teams call up some of the young prospects on their team to give them a chance at some MLB experience in case they need it for the next season. Those players get the chance to see MLB players and in some cases get to play spoilers for teams that are on their way to October baseball. These teams also begin looking internally at their team and try to figure out what exactly went wrong during the season. Some teams just don’t have the talent to compete and they will need to work to find that talent or develop that talent in the offseason. Other teams were decimated by injuries and will look to a new year as a new chance while trying to establish some better depth in their farm system. Then there are teams that have tried all of these things in the past and have yet to find their way to the postseason. There are also those teams that seem to have all of the talent that they need to be a postseason team but just can’t put everything together. These are the teams that look at their organization and look past the field for answers. General managers and managers enter the hot seat as teams that did not make the playoffs despite the talent or constant rebuilding look to these leaders as the reason. For general managers, team owners look to see what they have done to make a team better. If the rebuilding process has been done before by the same GM then an owner is likely looking at the front office as a problem. Missing the postseason multiple times without showing signs of an improved team is the quickest way for a GM to lose his job. That was the case this week when the Arizona Diamondbacks fired their general manager Kevin Towers. Only a few years after being considered one of the rising GMs in the league Towers could not keep things going and fell just short of the expectations. The D-backs had shown improvement in the last few years even finishing close to the postseason in 2013. It was expected that his year was the year that the D-backs make a real push for the postseason and yet they sit at the bottom of the National League 14 games out of the postseason. The regression from last year was enough for the Diamondbacks to bid farewell to their GM as the inch closer to being officially eliminated from the postseason race. The firing of Towers almost announced the beginning of the period where managers and GMs find out their fate for the 2015 season. There are a number of managers that will find out if they have a job this month or after this month with team performances putting them in the hot seat. One of the managers in the hot seat will be from a familiar team. The Arizona Diamondbacks may be getting ready to clean house after firing Towers as Kirk Gibson is one of the managers with the most talk surrounding him. After finishing so low only a year from being in contention he D-backs may change more than the front office and Gibson may be on his way out. Other managers that may find their way out could be Bud Black of the Padres, Terry Collins of the Mets, and Ryne Sandberg of the Phillies. All of these managers could be out of a job before September is up and if they stay through the end of the regular season there may be changes this offseason. It is that time of year again as teams prepare for the future which many times includes getting rid of the people they think will not help them in a new season.

Extra Innings
(More on the week that was in the MLB)

Beckett thinking retirement
Josh Beckett will miss the rest of the season for the Dodgers as he enters the DL for the third time this year and with the injuries piling up talk surrounding the former World Series MVP is that he is considering retirement

Washington steps down
In a time when managers are beginning to be fired for their performances one long-time manager is stepping down as Ron Washington has left the Texas Rangers for personal reasons as the Rangers lose one of the more steady managers in the MLB

Honouring Jeter
The New York Yankees continue their goodbye tour for Derek Jeter although it will be a strange one as Jeter himself will reportedly wear a patch honouring himself during the last home series of the Yankees this year

 

standings_week23

Key Scores:
Los Angeles Angels 2 – 0 Oakland Athletics
– The Angels and the Athletics continued their season long battle for the West division with the Angels coming out on top and building on their late season lead in the division as the get closer to clinching the West

Toronto Blue Jays 4 – 3 New York Yankees
– The Blue Jays have not had the best end to the season but they are making one final push at the playoffs starting with beating the Yankees who remain ahead of them in the fight for the AL Wild Card

Los Angeles Dodgers 4 – 1 Washington Nationals
– The Dodgers and the Nationals may be headed to a matchup in the postseason as they faced off in the regular season with the Dodgers coming out on top and possibly getting a mental edge if these teams face off in October

St. Louis Cardinals 3 – 2 Milwaukee Brewers
– The Brewers have had a commanding lead in the central division for most of the year but a late season fall put their lead in jeopardy while the Cardinals took full advantage winning this game and taking over the lead in the Central

Next Week:
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers (Saturday September 6th; 7:10 pm ET)
– The Cardinals and Brewers continue their battle for the Central with the Brewers trying to get back to the top and stop their slide while the Cards are hoping to finish the season strong and clinch the Central

Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals (Monday September 8th; 7:05 pm ET)
– The Braves and Nationals have been fighting for the division for the last few years and the Braves are hoping they can make the fight a bit closer as the season winds down as they take on their division rivals

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Philadelphia Phillies (Tuesday September 9th; 7:05 pm ET)
– The battle of Pennsylvania does not have the same meaning as it once did but for the Pirates the series against their in-state rivals is essential to them trying to take hold of the wild card and move closer to the division lead

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants (Friday September 12th; 10:15 pm ET)
– The Dodgers take on the Giants with a last chance for both teams to try to take control of the division as the Giants sit behind the Dodgers who are hoping to pull away and take the division lead for good

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