MLB Week in Review (Sept. 18-24)

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The MLB lost one of the greatest players in the history of the game this week when it was announced that Yogi Berra had passed away at the age of 90.

Berra is one of the greatest catchers to ever play the game and was recognized as such with the 1975 induction into the baseball hall of fame.

With a total of 18 All-Start appearances, 13 total World Series Championships and a career batting average of .285 it was clear that he was one of the best.

He spent almost his entire career with the New York Yankees and is a large part of their legendary run from 1949-53.

As great a player as Berra was he may be just as famous for the character that he brought to the Yankees and to the league in general.

His sayings were legendary but not because they were particularly insightful. In fact his sayings were so famous because they often made absolutely no sense.

Sayings like “People don’t go there anymore, it’s always packed,” or “It’s Déjà vu all over again” just don’t make much sense but also kind of do.

It is the weird world of Yogisms and part of the reason why he was so loved throughout the league.

He remained loved throughout the league until his death this week and the love was clearly shown with teams everywhere honouring the Yankee legend.

His passing also brought about the thought of great characters in the league’s history.

There have been plenty of great characters in the history of the league and Berra accounts as one of the best.

There was Babe Ruth who was known for drinking beer, smoking cigars, and hitting home runs as one of the biggest players and personalities in the league.

Guys like Dock Ellis, who pitched while high on LSD, or Manny Ramirez who frustrated his own team so much they had to just say “Manny being Manny.”

The characters in baseball have created some of the most memorable games and moments in baseball history.

Some of the greatest memories are from those players who were larger than life and whether they were hated or loved by most they still provided plenty of interest.

Those type of players have been few and far between lately as the sports world in general has changed.

In an era of political correctness and where there is always somebody watching players have to be more careful than ever before.baseball-sidebar

The last player that ever received special treatment from anyone and everyone was Derek Jeter.

No matter where he went out or who it was with it never made the papers as the entire city had an understanding with their captain.

There is nobody like that anymore as every player is constantly under surveillance whether they know it or not.

No matter what they do there are people watching with phones out ready for them to make a mistake.

Not only is that scrutiny out there in their everyday life but it is also around the field at all time as even the locker room is no longer sacred.

Reports of the Boston Red Sox years ago drinking and not paying attention to games reached the media breaking that wall.

Every player has to be on their best behaviour all the time in case they say or do the wrong thing to make fans and organizations turn on them.

If they happen to be on the wrong side of things they may be cut by a team for being a locker room cancer.

They have to make sure that they are desirable players for the rest of the league and so their personalities are often subdued.

There have been a handful of great personalities in baseball but more often than not they are eventually seen as a distraction and are done away with.

So personalities like Berra are hard to come by and the passing of the legend reminded everyone that back in the day players were allowed to be players without having everyone criticize them for every move.

It was a dose of reality this week as a legend was gone and so too was one of the greatest personalities that baseball has ever seen.

Extra Innings
(More on this week in baseball)

New Men in Charge
A flurry of signings highlighted this week but none on the field as new GMs found their homes with Mike Hazen taking over in Boston and David Stearns earning the role in Milwaukee was team prepare for the future with the season closing down

Cano Moving Quickly
Cano is one of the few stars in Seattle and he showed it this week when he reached 2,000 hits and became the first second basemen to do so in only 11 seasons as he moves up the rankings quickly as one of the best hitters in the world

Another Legend Lost
Berra was a tragic loss for so many in the MLB world but he wasn’t the only legend lost this week when long-time Houston Astros announcer Milo Hamilton also passed away at the age of 88 years old

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Key Series:
Los Angeles Angels 2 – 1 Minnesota Twins
– The Twins and Angels are trying to fight their way into the postseason with the wild card looking like their best bet and they took on each other in an attempt to get closer to the wild card with the Angels gaining a game on their run to the postseason

St. Louis Cardinals 3 – 0 Cincinnati Reds
– The Cardinals are the best team in the MLB and when they took on the Reds they were looking to continue their run towards the best record in baseball as they swept the Reds and moved closer to sitting at the top of the league

Toronto Blue Jays 2 – 1 New York Yankees
– It is still one of the best division battles in the league and after the Jays won the first and the Yankees won the second it came down to the rubber match were the Jays took the game and a bigger lead in the division with just over a week left in the season

Pittsburgh Pirates 4 – 0 Colorado Rockies
– The Pirates could easily be the top of any division this year but they are in the Central where the best team in baseball leads the way but the Pirates still will find their way into the postseason after sweeping the Rockies and clinching a postseason spot

Upcoming Series:
Texas Rangers vs. Houston Astros [Sept. 25/26/27]
– It is another great battle in the American League as the Rangers just overtook the Astros for the division lead and now the Astros will try to take it back in a four game series that could be the difference in the battle

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates [Sept. 28/29/30]
– The cards are the best team in baseball but they haven’t clinched their division yet and the Pirates are hoping to make it more difficult as they play three games against the only team ahead of them for the division

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Baltimore Orioles [Sept. 28/29/30/Oct. 1]
– The Blue Jays may have taken out the Yankees in their final series but they haven’t clinched yet and they will take on the Orioles who would love nothing more than to beat the Jays and make it more difficult with plenty of bad blood between both teams this year

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants [Sept. 28/29/30/Oct. 1]
– The Giants are still hanging on to postseason hopes and they hope that this four-game series against their division rivals can lift them to a postseason spot as a good showing might get them in while a bad showing will likely see them miss the postseason this year

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