MLB Week in Review (June 12-18)

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The sports world is just getting over “Deflategate,” at least until the NFL returns in September, but leave to MLB to fill the gap in sports controversy.

The MLB has long been a source of controversy whether it be the Chicago “Black Sox” in 1919 or the steroid era of the 1990s that led into massive suspensions in the 2000s.

There have always been players and teams pushing the limits and more often than not it is to get an edge on their competition.

Most of the scandals in baseball have been about players or teams getting an edge in a way that goes far against the rules of baseball.

This week another team entered the fold of scandals in baseball and brought the scandal to the new age.

Earlier in the week the FBI revealed that they were investigating the St. Louis Cardinals for hacking into the Houston Astros database.

It is a new age scandal as teams continue to try to find that edge and now could be using technology to get it done.

The Cardinals themselves are new to this type of media attention as they are the model franchise in the MLB.

The Cardinals have rarely been a part of controversy and have consistently been one of the better teams in the league.

They have built a powerhouse of farm systems where they rarely have bad seasons without replacements for departing or retiring players.

For them to steal information from other teams seems almost absurd with it being more likely that other teams would steal from them.

That is until you realize that one of the main brains behind converting the Cardinals into a sabermetrics powerhouse is now with the Houston Astros.

Clearly the Astros have now built a great farm system based on sabermetrics and teams are beginning to build their systems around what the Astros have done.

Apparently the Cardinals are one of these teams and they are interested in what the Astros have gathered.

Whether the information stolen is about prospects or Astros players or any other number of things is yet to be known as the details of the investigation by the FBI have not yet been revealed.

The FBI have said that they are only focusing on a few individuals, though and for the Cardinals that is welcome news from a PR stand-point.baseball-sidebar

They have come out and said that as an organization they had no knowledge of the alleged actions.

Whether they did or not the FBI has seemed to give them a clean break from whoever in the organization committed these acts.

The scarier part though, might just be that according to some experts this is likely not the only time this has ever happened.

Some believe that it has been going on and continues to go on even as the FBI investigation has been revealed.

It is a fact that every team now uses computers rather than paper to hold any information and some may not realize the dangers of having everything readily available to someone with serious computer skills.

Hacking many of these teams could be a simple thing to do for many people and information that they value could be seen by any other team.

With that in mind after the FBI is finished with the Cardinals who is to say that something more may come out of it.

There may be nothing that comes out of the Cardinals scandal then again the FBI may find that more than one team is doing it on a regular basis.

For Rob Manfred it could end up being the biggest test of his career after only a few months on the job.

For the Cardinals it could mean serious sanctions but none more than what will happen to the individuals who perpetrated the acts.

Those few people could be facing jail time for violating anti-trust laws. It could end up being a very serious issue for the MLB and for the Cardinals and once again the league enters another major scandal that they will need to deal with once the investigation is over.

Extra Innings
(More on this week in baseball)

Position Players on the Mound
This week was a strange one for the MLB as multiple position players took to the mound as teams were down big and didn’t want to waste their bullpen instead choosing to take a bench player and put him in the game

Kings of Going Yard
The Baltimore Orioles may not lead the league as the top home run hitters but they did make history hitting eight home runs in one game becoming the first team to do that in the history of the MLB

Padres find their man
The San Diego Padres had some serious expectations this year but they have yet to follow through and that cost Bud Black his job as the Padres named Triple-A manager Pat Murphy to the major leagues as interim manager

Instagram Suspension
Pablo Sandoval will think twice before he uses his phone in the bathroom again as he has received a one-game suspension after liking images on Instagram while using the bathroom during the seventh inning of Boston’s game on Wednesday

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Key Series:
Pittsburgh Pirates 3 – 0 Philadelphia Phillies
– The Battle of Pennsylvania did not go well for the Phillies who dropped all three games to their in-state rivals and fell to the bottom of their division and the bottom of the league as the MLB’s worst team

St. Louis Cardinals 2 – 0 Kansas City Royals
– The Cardinals and the Royals went into the game as two of the best teams in the MLB but the Cardinals got the best of the Royals winning two games with the third being postponed as the Cards tried to prove that the classic powers are the best

Toronto Blue Jays 2 – 2 New York Mets
– The New York Mets started the series by snapping the 11-game win streak of the Blue Jays but when the Mets went to Toronto the Blue Jays got them back winning both games in Toronto with their familiar offensive output

San Francisco Giants 3 – 1 Seattle Mariners
– In another home and home series the Mariners and Giants travelled north and south along the Pacific coast with the Giants taking three games of the four game series pushing their way closer to the top of the Western division

Upcoming Series:
Los Angeles Angels vs. Oakland Athletics [June 19/20/21]
– The Angels and Athletics are both underperforming this year after battling it out last year for the division title as they face-off looking to get back into the division hunt this year before it is too late for either to be a part of the fight

San Francisco Giants vs. Los Angeles Dodgers [June 19/20/21]
– The Dodgers and Giants continue to fight it out for the West year after year and they get back to it for another time this season as they continue their season series with the Dodgers continuing to lead the division

Chicago White Sox vs. Minnesota Twins [June 22/23/24]
– The Twins know what the White Sox are going through after sitting in the basement for years and they hope not to return as they try to take advantage of the worst team in the division to remain in the hunt in the Central

Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals [June 23/24/25]
– The Braves and Nats were supposed to be fighting for the lead in the NL East but both are sitting behind the New York Mets as they look to take an advantage in their season series and move closer to the Mets

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