MLB Week in Review (July 10-16)

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The All-Star Game is done and the second half is ready to start with the trade deadline weeks away and the postseason race ready to heat up.

The break also provided everybody with more time to discuss things off of the field as much as on the field.

Without any games the Commissioner of Baseball, Rob Manfred, had a few other questions to answer.

That can lead to some interesting talk around the league as plans can sometimes be revealed and lead to plenty of speculation.

The downtime this year led to just that as Manfred revealed that he is open to expanding the league in the future.

He didn’t guarantee that new teams will come into the league and that it will be through expansion but he does believe that there could be an option in the future.

Those comments immediately began the debate over whether or not the MLB should expand and where they should expand.

First of all is the debate over whether they should expand and that is a tricky question to answer.

The MLB is not a league in trouble but they are having an issue in drawing younger fans consistently throughout all of their markets.

They do have some issues though as a few teams are not doing great and so expansion might not be the best option.

Instead the best option might be to move these struggling teams to new, promising markets before thinking of adding two new teams.

In particular the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays are struggling with new stadium deals while the Rays are struggling in attendance.

Moving either of these teams, if they can’t get new stadiums. Moving the Rays might just be a smart idea regardless of the stadium and there are cities waiting to get a franchise.

One in particular seems to be a sure thing if the MLB does decide to bring new teams into the league.

baseball-sidebarMontreal lost the Expos in 2004 largely due to an owner that was less than committed, a crumbling stadium, and a lack luster fan base that all made it tough to operate in Canada with the Canadian dollar exchange.

When Jeffrey Loria bought the Marlins he sold the Expos to the MLB who were tasked with finding a new owner.

That process proved difficult especially when Loria moved the entire staff of the Expos to Florida leaving them with nothing and forcing a new owner to essentially start from scratch.

The Expos were moved to Washington for the 2005 season and Montreal was without their baseball team.

In the last two years the Toronto Blue Jays have shown that those fans that were not around at the end of the Expos were ready to show up and support a team.

The Jays have sold out two pre-season games at Olympic Stadium in Montreal for two straight years and Manfred along with the league has taken notice.

It seems like Manfred is sure to put Montreal in the running if expansion were to take place.

He has already visited the mayor of Montreal and has said that he has been impressed with the turnout and that a new stadium might be the only thing standing in the way.

The Expos could be on their way back although it may take some time. There are plenty of other places that want a team as well and a few are true frontrunners for expansion.

As with every expansion talk Las Vegas leads the way as one of the biggest cities with no major sports franchise.

They will be interested in a baseball team along with Charlotte, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Portland, and even Mexico City.

All could be very successful and some are more interesting than others. The fact is Manfred is trying to make his mark on the league as he continues to attempt to grow the game and could lead the charge for expansion in the future.

Any of these cities can’t get too excited though as expansion or relocation could be a few years off as they look into potential options.

Extra Innings
(More on this week in baseball)

Welcomed Back
The Cincinnati Reds hosted the All-Star game this year and after a reprieve from the new commissioner they welcomed back their greatest talent as Pete Rose was allowed to attend activities and was welcomed back with a standing ovation

Two in a row
Mike Trout solidified himself as the best player in the MLB right now as he won the All-Star Game MVP for the second straight year as he became the second straight player to be chosen as the best of the best in the game

Domestic Violence Policy
The MLB and MLBPA are trying to get up to date on the sports world right now and are doing so with a domestic violence policy that will lay out the ground rules for how to deal with issues of domestic violence in the MLB

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MLB All-Star Break:
MLB All-Star Home Run Derby
– The derby took on a new look this year as the MLB decided to turn to a bracket tournament rather than the usual cut down method and in the end it was a home town hero in Todd Frazier that took the derby title in front of his Cincinnati fans

American League 6 – 3 National League
– The American League started off early as their offence overcame the great pitching group of the National League with Mike Trout leaning the way as the eventual MVP and helping the AL to earn home series advantage in the World Series

Upcoming Series:
Texas Rangers vs. Houston Astros [July 17/18/19]
– The Astros’ great start seems to be coming to a close they have fallen out of first place and the Rangers are trying to make that trend continue as they sit right behind their in-state rivals and hope that they can make some ground in this weekend series

Minnesota Twins vs. Oakland Athletics [July 17/18/19]
– The Twins are having a great run right now and they hope to start off their second half on a good note as they take on a struggling A’s team with the hope that they can make up some ground on the division leading Royals

New York Mets vs. Washington Nationals [July 20/21/22]
– The Mets are trying to catch the Nationals in the East in what is shaping up to be the best division race as the Mets sit right behind the Nats in the East and both teams head into this series trying to get some advantage

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Kansas City Royals [July 20/21/22]
– The Pirates are trying to make a run at one of the best teams in the league in the Cardinals and they are taking on the another one of the best teams in the league as they hope to prove they belong against the Royals

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