MLB Week in Review (May 13-19)

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In every rivalry, there is always one moment that fans can look back to which truly started the rivalry and made it something.

This week the Toronto-Texas rivalry got that moment as a new rivalry has officially arrived in the MLB.

There is no doubt that both teams have had their close games in the past and have seen each other plenty of times through the years.

This week what was just another series against another American League team turned into hate for both sides.

The rivalry really began a year ago in the MKB postseason when both teams faced off in the ALDS.

It was a close series where both teams had their good and their bad moments and had to play five games to figure out a winner.

In that fifth game during the seventh inning, all hell broke loose as mistakes and timely hitting had the fans on a roller coaster of emotions from confused, to angry, to extremely happy.

That happiness came when Jose Bautista hit a three-run home run to that would put the Jays ahead for good and give them their first postseason series win in twenty years.

After the home run, the emotion of the game and the inning clearly got to Bautista who launched the bat flip hear ’round the world.

That bat flip launched debate around baseball and certainly was something that the Rangers would remember for the next year.

In the first series between the teams, not a lot happened as the Rangers were expected to throw at Bautista but never did and the Jays took a series win.

This week was the last series between the two teams and once again not much happened at least until the final game of the series.

In his final at-bat against the Rangers, Bautista was hit by a pitch, essentially payback for the bat flip.

On the next hit, Bautista took a very late slide into second base where Rougned Odor was looking to turn a double play.

Odor took offence to the hard slide and immediately made it known talking to Bautista after the slide.

Then Odor launched a big right hand that landed square on the jaw of Bautista and cleared the benches.

When it was time for the Rangers to come up to bat the Jays threw at them immediately and once again the bases cleared.

The incident had the MLB offices busy handing out suspensions. Odor got 8-games for the punch while Bautista, somewhat unexpectedly, received a 1-game

Meanwhile, Jays manager John Gibbons received three games for his “instructions” to throw at the Rangers and the pitcher that threw at them, Jesse Chavez, got 1-game.

The MLB also gave Elvis Andrus 3-games for his involvement in the fight afterward.

There is plenty of talk surrounding the incident but it is pretty simple about what happened.

The Rangers got their revenge for the perceived disrespect Bautista showed in the postseason last year.

Bautista took exception and made the stupid move to slide late which was punished by the new slide rule in giving the Rangers an automatic double play, which is why his suspension seemed strange.

Odor then was completely out of line in throwing a punch from a play that has happened many times and a play that he has been on the other side of many times.

Saying something to him is not a big deal but bringing violence into baseball like that is entirely unnecessary.

Whether you think Bautista deserved it or not, which is ridiculous if you think flipping a bat is anything but showing emotion, the fact is that this is not over.

If it had ended at throwing at Bautista there may not be much to talk about in this budding rivalry.

The fight has launched it to another level and both teams will not soon forget what happened.

If they can both make the postseason and face-off the rivalry will only get more heated as the games get more important.

At the very least they will face each other next year and you can be sure that something will happen as this rivalry seems to be just starting to heat up.

Extra Innings
(More on this week in baseball)

An Awkward Parting
The Atlanta Braves made a move that many thought they should have a year ago in firing manager Fredi Gonzalez but they didn’t do it in the best way as Gonzalez learned of the firing when he was sent an email with plane tickets after an error in the front offices

Lincecum set to Return
Tim Lincecum had a fairly successful scout tryout two weeks ago and apparently impressed a few teams but the Angels seem to be the team in the front as reports have surfaced about the Angels and Lincecum finalising a deal to bring him back to the MLB

The Reyes Decision
The MLB had a big decision to make this week when they decided the fate of Jose Reyes after his domestic violence issues in the off-season despite the charges being dropped Reyes received a 51-games suspension in the first true test of their new domestic violence policy


Key Series:
Chicago Cubs 2-1 Pittsburgh Pirates
– The Cubs are looking more and more like the team that people thought they were going to be but they will have to fight a season-long battle to win the central division and one of the main competitors is the Pirates who they took two games from this week

Texas Rangers 2-1 Toronto Blue Jays
– It was a fairly normal series until the last game when this rivalry took a step forward and both teams can’t wait to see each other next but in the end the Rangers got the last laugh winning two games and starting a slide for the Jays

Washington 2-1 New York Mets
– The Mets had passed the Nationals for first in the east for the first time all year but they began to fall off as they took on their biggest divisional opponents as the Nationals took two games and sent the Mets further down the standings

Los Angeles Angels 3-1 Los Angeles Dodgers
– The Freeway series was more than just a bragging rights series as both teams were looking to get some very important wins as they continue to struggle to stay among the top teams in their divisions as the Angels took three games

Upcoming Series:
Texas Rangers vs. Houston Astros [May 20-22]
– The battle of Texas goes again with the Astros in a much different position as they try to get back into the fight in a bad season against the Rangers who have remained at the top of the division throughout the year

Chicago Cubs vs. San Francisco Giants [May 20-22]
– The Cubs are the best team in baseball right now and they look to continue that as they travel to San Francisco looking to continue their dominance of their division against another division leader

Kansas City Royals vs. Minnesota Twins [May 23-25]
– The Royals have not been nearly as dominant as last season and they are still trying to find their way to the top of the division as they take on the Twins hoping to get a sweep and help them compete for first

Los Angeles Angels vs. Texas Rangers [May 23-25]
– The Rangers are looking to continue staying at the top of the division while the Angels are trying to get out from the bottom as both teams face-off looking make some moves in the west and find better positioning

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