MLB Week in Review (May 8-14)

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Only a week after Alex Rodriguez became the fourth best home run hitter in MLB history to once again complicate the history of the MLB another complicated home run hitter is making news.

Barry Bonds is a name known by most fans of the MLB and depending on personal thoughts he is the greatest or most disgraceful hitter in MLB history.

This week he entered the headlines again when he put together a lawsuit against the MLB for collusion.

The claim stems from the end of his career when the San Francisco Giants decided not to re-sign the 43-year-old home run leader.

The refusal to re-sign put one of the greatest home run hitters in the history of the game onto the free agent market in what seemed to be a bidding war waiting to happen.

Then the off-season came and went with no suitors for the aging home run hitter and as a result he went on without a team for two years and eventually retired.

His inability to get work in 2008 and 2009 is the basis behind his lawsuit against the MLB as he claims that the MLB colluded to prevent him from working in those years.

The story is not that simple though as it really al began in 2003 when Bonds became one of the faces of the BALCO scandal.

After news broke about Greg Anderson providing steroids to athletes all of his athletes were implicated in the investigation.

Bonds was one of them and while under oath he claimed that he used supplements and cream that only contained flaxseed oil.

Those two items were strongly believed to be steroids and the question was whether or not Bonds knew that they were illegal substances or not.

Bonds claimed that he had no knowledge of the substances and that he had never taken steroids.

baseball-sidebarIn 2007 he was indicted by a grand jury that claimed he lied under oath and that he truly did know what those substances were and that he knowingly cheated.

Bonds has never been proven guilty of cheating and never failed a drug test as he maintains his innocence to this day.

The problem is though, that from 1999 to 2000 Bonds’ physique was massively changed as he went from a more slender physique to a much bigger physique.

The change was fast but nobody batted an eye without the true threat of steroids at the time.

His home run rate began taking off and his quickly became the best power hitter at a time of power hitters.

He rose to be the greatest power hitter ever earning 762 career home runs, far surpassing Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth on the all-time list.

When he was implicated in the BALCO scandal many people looked at the physical changes and the performance on the field and saw Bonds as the face of the steroid age.

He was the embodiment of the issue that unknowingly plagued the MLB throughout the 1990s and 2000s and in many minds is not the true home run king.

After his 2007 indictment it was clear that the Giants did not want to deal with the publicity that Bonds brought and so they decided not to re-sign him.

Presumably that was the same thought by every other MLB team in 2008 as they passed on that home run hitter.

That publicity plus his age was somewhat of a concern for every MLB team but according to Bonds that was not the reason why he was never signed.

Instead it was the MLB telling teams not to sign him thanks to his alleged steroid use and for that he wants compensation.

The rumours, only rumours because nothing has been proven, ended his career and could keep him out of the Hall of Fame and bonds wants something out of his time in the MLB whether he has to sue for it or not.

Extra Innings
(More on this week in baseball)

The Next Cuban Star?
The Los Angeles Dodgers are getting ready to add another Cuban star to their roster as Hector Oliveira seems only a few short weeks away from defecting from Cuba to the USA in order to become the latest super star from the island

Kluber on fire
Corey Kluber is only a year removed from winning the Cy Young but has not shown Cy Young numbers so far that was until this week when he struck out 18 batters against the Cardinals and flashing that skill that made him the best pitcher in the National League last year

Orioles to Compensate Workers
The Orioles competed in one of the strangest games two weeks ago with no fans watching a regular season game due to the riots in Baltimore and in a classy move they will not punish the workers that did not get to work the game as they will all receive compensation for that game

Tulowitzki on the Move?
After being the face of the Rockies for the last decade Troy Tulowitzki may be out of Colorado in the near future with rumours swirling that he might be traded any day and some rumours stating that he wants to be traded

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Key Series:
Pittsburgh Pirates 2 – 1 St. Louis Cardinals
– The Pirates gained some ground this week when they beat the Cardinals in two of three games gaining some confidence against the team with the best record in baseball but will need to do a lot more to catch the Cards

Washington Nationals 3 – 0 Atlanta Braves
– The Braves were near the top of the division at the start of the week but had a rough week this week starting with a series sweep by the Nationals who helped themselves to a big move up to the top of the division

Pittsburgh Pirates 2 – 2 Philadelphia Phillies
– The Phillies have struggled along with the Pirates as the Battle of Philadelphia did not mean a lot aside from both teams trying to move up which ended up not being the case for either as they split the four game series

Detroit Tigers 2 – 1 Minnesota Twins
– The Tigers are still one of the best teams in the league but they cannot get past the Royals for the top in the division although they did get closer in winning this series where the Twins put up a fight but couldn’t get the series win

Upcoming Series:
New York Yankees vs. Kansas City Royals [May 15/16/17]
– The Yankees and Royals are leading their divisions and playing better than most expected at this time of the year as two of the AL’s best face-off in what should be a great series as both teas try to stay atop their divisions

Oakland Athletics vs. Houston Astros [May 18/19/20]
– Two teams at the opposite end of their divisions were both not supposed to be in this position right now as they face off with the Astros looking to stay at the top of the West and the A’s trying to get out of the basement

St. Louis Cardinals vs. New York Mets [May 18/19/20/21]
– The Cards have the best record in baseball while the Mets are leading their division with the worst record of any division leader as the Mets try to show that they belong among the best in the league by taking on the Cards

Texas Rangers vs. Boston Red Sox [May 19/20/21]
– The Rangers and Red Sox are two teams that are expected to be successful but this year have not met those expectations as both sit near the bottom of their divisions and face-off trying to make their way back up the ladder

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