MLB Week in Review (June 19-26)

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When a new commissioner took over in the MLB a new group of possibilities opened up for the future of baseball.

It wasn’t that Bud Selig was not a good commissioner but he was somewhat stuck in the past like most of baseball.

With the appointment of Rob Manfred there were plenty of options to be opened up with potential new rules and new technology coming to the league.

Along with all of this, a debate was fired up that has been going on in relative silence for the past few decades.

The debate had gone mostly silent because Selig had not shown any signs of overturning a decision made in 1989.

That is the banishment of Pete Rose from the game of baseball. It is the harshest punishment that the MLB has handed out and when Rose was suspended it was the biggest banishment since the Chicago “Black Sox” in 1920.

The majority of other banishments from the MLB had been overturned through various roads. Rose was the greatest hitter in baseball when he played for the Cincinnati Reds and remains at the top of the record books for most hits all-time.

He was a player who was known more for his heart and hustle than his physical abilities and he became a fan favourite in Cincinnati.

He went on to manage the Reds after his playing career and this is where everything fell apart for Rose.

In 1989 commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti banned Rose from baseball for life after evidence was found that he bet on baseball as a manager.

Before PEDs destroyed the integrity of baseball the biggest issue was gambling by players and executives alike.

Rose reminded the league of that and so he was banned from the game meaning that he could be in no way involved with Major League Baseball and will never enter the Baseball Hall of Fame even though he was a sure first ballot nominee.

Rose has always claimed that he is innocent and that he never bet on baseball whether as a manager or as a player.

The evidence seemed to be too much and Rose voluntarily accepted the punishment as long as the findings of the MLB investigation were not released.

Many believed that if he had bet as a manager he likely bet as a player and bet against his own team.

There was never any evidence of him betting against the Reds as a manager or a player and there had never been evidence of him betting at all as a player, a claim that Rose continues to this day.baseball-sidebar

Rose was allowed to apply to be reinstated after he served 10 years of his ban and so far he has applied in every single year without any change.

When the question was brought to Selig in 1999, the first year of Rose’s allowed applications, there was never any movement from the commissioner who held the same beliefs about gambling as everyone before him.

When Manfred took over for Selig a new debate began as many wondered if a new commissioner that had a different perspective after the steroid era, an offence that has yet to result in a ban, may have changed many people’s minds about Rose.

It seemed like reinstatement was a possibility as Manfred had allowed Rose to re-enter baseball for one brief moment.

With the All-Star game in Cincinnati this year Manfred stated that Rose would be allowed to participate in the All-Star Game festivities in the city where he made his name.

That change may have led some to believe that reinstatement was a possibility then just before the all-star break a new file showed what many had suspected all along.

ESPN’s Outside the Lines revealed a journal that had bets in it from 1986 under the name “PETE.”

Not only were these bets made by Rose while he was playing but they also tied Rose to organized crime in New York.

Any hope of reinstatement to the league was gone as Rose had bet on baseball as a player and as a manager and lied to every fan in the MLB for over two decades about it.

All of the Rose doubters were given their reason to hate him and were proven right that he had been lying.

All of the Rose supporters now have little to say as he clearly bet on baseball, a major rule violation, and the only thing left is the debate between gambling and steroid use.

Either way his reinstatement doesn’t seem like it will ever happen as Manfred has more reason to continue the ban while his involvement in the All-Star game could be in doubt.

Extra Innings
(More on this week in baseball)

The New Dave Stieb
Stieb was a great Blue Jays pitcher who threw five one-hitters including two no-hitters broken up with two outs in the ninth inning and this year it seems that Blue Jay Marco Estrada is on the same path pitching two games where no-hitters were broken up in the eighth

Trade Talk Brewing
There is plenty of trade talk brewing as the July 31st trade deadline approaches and names like Jonny Cueto, Scott Kazmir, and Cole Hammels continue to be talked about with teams getting ready for the All-Star break and the deadline

College Champions
The Virginia Cavaliers took home the NCAA’s top prize as they went to three games with the defending champion Vanderbilt Commodores in a thrilling College World Series that gave the Cavaliers their first title in school history

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Key Series:
San Francisco Giants 2 – 1 Los Angeles Dodgers
– The Giants have had the number of their divisional rivals in the Dodgers and they had it once again on the weekend with the Giants winning two of the three game series keeping the West battle a tight one

Oakland Athletics 2 – 1 Los Angeles Angels
– The A’s and the Angels where set to fight for another season to earn the AL West division but their season has not gone as they planned so far with the athletics taking this series but staying at the bottom of the division at the end of the week

Washington Nationals 3 – 0 Atlanta Braves
– The Nationals and Braves have always fought for the top of the division but this year they were looking to make some ground on the Mets and the Nats did just that, passing the Mets with a sweep of the Braves

Cincinnati Reds 2 – 1 Pittsburgh Pirates
– The Pirates have come back into the fold in the Central as they have risen to second place but they struggled to get any closer to the Cardinals after dropping two games to the Reds who are sitting near the bottom of the division

Upcoming Series:
Kansas City Royals vs. Oakland Athletics [June 26/27/28]
– The Royals are one of the best teams in baseball and the Athletics are making a midseason run as the two teams collide with the A’s looking to make up more ground and the Royals trying to stay on top of the Central division

Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals [June 26/27/28]
– The Cubs where one of the best teams at the start of the season but have fallen off while the Cards have risen to the top record in baseball as the two teams faceoff with the Cubs trying to return to the top of the division

Boston Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays [June 29/30 | July 1/2]
– The Blue Jays try to stay on track in the Al East after a great month of June as they take on a struggling Boston team in a series that includes the tradition Canada Day afternoon showdown on July 1st

Kansas City Royals vs. Houston Astros [June 29/30 | July 1]
– The Houston Astros have been one of the most surprising teams in the league this year while the Royals have proven that 2014 wasn’t a fluke and both teams face off as both teams try to keep their hold of their respective divisions

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