MLB Week in Review (April 3-7)

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It isn’t a new battle in sports as the old school and new regime are constantly fighting over the finer points of any sport.

It isn’t even limited to sports as the older generation is always looking down on the younger generation.

In baseball, it can often be somewhat more highlighted as the MLB is the league that loves their history more than anyone else.

There is plenty of it to be proud of as the league has been around more 100 years and have been America’s pastime for just as long.

The league and fans of the league truly listen to those legends that came before and want to see what they think.

A big part of that is changing though as many of the past players are beginning to sour on the new generation of stars in the league.

It is far from a new debate but this year it has taken on a new level when, in spring training, Goose Gossage called out Jose Bautista for his bat flip during the 2015 postseason.

The bat flip quickly became a point of debate last season and was the spark for this new level of debate.

There needs to be some context attached to the bat flip to fully get on one side or another, though.

The home run came at the end of one of the craziest innings in baseball history that had just about every emotion a player or fan could go through.

It was an emotionally charged series and although the bat flip was a little bit more than usual it seemed understandable with the emotion of the game and the emotion that Bautista plays with.

Here lies the issue though as players like Gossage and other from the past few decades seem to prefer the game to be played without emotion, regardless of how emotional they were when playing.

Past players continue to criticise players like Bautista, Bryce Harper, or Yoenis Cespedes for showing emotion when they make a big play at a big moment.

According to them flipping the bat or getting excited shows disrespect to the game and the others playing the game.

Yet many of these players never seemed to speak out against the massive use of steroids during the 1990s and the continued cheating that happens right now.

A player getting excited seems to pale in comparison to someone trying to get an illegal advantage over the rest of the players.

Instead, they are focusing on players having fun playing a game that everyone from kids to adults

This argument seems to be very familiar to one in the NFL this past year when Cam Newton was criticised for dancing when he scored touchdowns.

That debate is just as ridiculous as this game and plenty of players realise this including some of the older players in the league.

Players like Bautista, Harper, and Cespedes have clearly been against toning anything down and have been joined by David Ortiz who passionately came out against a lack of emotion.

Yes, to an older generation it might be disrespectful to get excited but those older players aren’t playing anymore and although they are entitled to their opinion after playing in the league they shouldn’t influence how players play the game.

If anything this new attitude coming into the league is only going to help the MLB. It has been a league that has struggled to attract young fans due the less than exciting nature of the game.

The new attitude from these players is making the game exciting again as it gets people to watch and gets people talking.

For the first time in a long time personalities are beginning to shine through and as a result, the younger generation is beginning to take notice.

Letting emotion come through in sports provides the biggest moments, whether positive or negative, and that is only a good thing for the league.

It gets people talking about baseball again and brings debate to the fans which are where popularity and interest grows.

There is simply a number of people wishing to keep the game to themselves and avoid the growth that it could enjoy.

That type of thinking will only sink the league as an entire generation is close to not caring about the game.

Instead, the league should let the attitude go and let excitement rule as the game continues to evolve as do the players.

Extra Innings
(More on this week in baseball)

New Rules in Effect
The new slide rule has been put into place and already used twice but this week the Blue Jays made it controversial when Bautista slid into second in the ninth inning putting his hand out and interfering with Logan Forsythe costing the Jays two runs and a win

Going Online
Sports leagues are attempting to find their way into the online market and the MLB is no different as Yahoo Sports is set to stream 180 games for free this year in the latest foray into a new media outlet

Al Jazeera Fallout
The Al Jazeera report continues the rumours of cheating in baseball and after the league launched an investigation into the reports Taylor Teagarden is the first casualty being suspended 80 games after being caught on tape admitting to using PEDs


Key Series:
Kansas City Royals 1 – 1 New York Mets
– In the World Series rematch the Royals invited the Mets to their celebrations and took care of business in the first game only to drop their second in an even series that gave some early hope to both sides

Tampa Bay Rays 2 – 2 Toronto Blue Jays
– They were one of the most talked about teams at the end of the year and heading into 2016 and they had their first chance to showcase their talents but the Blue Jays struggled to finish games ending the series with Tampa at two games apiece

New York Yankees 2 – 1 Houston Astros
– The Yankees and Astros have built reputations based on their offences and neither team disappointed with the two teams trading offence but the old guard of the Yankees came through in the end to take two games

Pittsburgh Pirates 3 – 0 St. Louis Cardinals
– The Pirates sent a clear message to the rest of the league that this year they are ready to compete after sweeping the Cardinals in their opening series and getting an early advantage in what is sure to be a great division battle

Upcoming Series:
Boston Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays [April 8-10]
– The Blue Jays were the talk of the league at the end of the season as people were exposed to the fact that baseball is alive and well in Canada and they will get that message again as the Jays host the Red Sox in their home opening series

Kansas City Royals vs. Houston Astros [April 11-14]
– The Astros are a rising team with a great offence and they will get an early test against the best team in the league, at least for now, in the defending champions who will look to take their brand of baseball and show that the Astros aren’t ready yet

Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Los Angeles Dodgers [April 12-14]
– The D-Backs were one of the most hyped teams heading into the new year and despite their managers thoughts on that hype they have a lot to live up to which they will try to do against a team they will need to beat to take the division this year

Los Angeles Angels vs. Oakland Athletics [April 11-13]
– This west coast battle gets underway again as the Athletics try to prove everyone wrong while the Angels try to show that they are ready to compete again as both teams look for a good start to the season

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