MLB Week in Review (June 3-9)

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The MLB is having a strange season this year as those unwritten rules are being debated almost every week.

Sometimes the unwritten rules don’t even come into play and old school baseball takes over.

Only a few weeks ago the Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers got into a fight that dated back to last year’s playoffs.

The debate raged on about whether or not Jose Bautista deserved to be hit by a pitch, if his slide warranted a punch from Odor, or if Bautista just deserved to get hit for the attitude he plays with.

The debate is still going on about that incident and there are plenty of people on either side of the debate.

That incident was an example of the old school punishment system and the unwritten rules of baseball.

Generally, if somebody does something that you don’t like you hit them with a pitch.

It has been debated for years as players seem to be getting more offended by lesser things every year.

In Bautista’s case, he simply tossed a bat in a very emotional game and that resulted in him being hit by a pitch.

This week that shift became much more evident as Yordani Ventura was one again in the middle of controversy.

In a game against the Orioles Manny Machado hit a line drive just about Ventura’s head in his first at-bat.

For the most part, that is just a routine play as the batter took advantage of a mistake and got on base.

For Ventura, it seemed like it was a personal slight against him when Machado hit a ball close to him.

In the next at-bat Machado was brushed back multiple times by Ventura who pitched in close almost hitting him.

The next time up Ventura took it a step further and hit Machado with a 97 mph fastball and Machado had, had enough.

The Oriole third baseman charged the mound and a bench-clearing brawl ensued, a sight becoming much more common lately.

It may go down as one of the only bench clearing brawls where most people were on the same side.

Most people thought what Ventura did was ridiculous because there really was no reason to throw at Machado.

Not to mention that it is the latest in a pattern of immature decisions by Ventura who has thrown at people his entire career.

Then there is Machado who has sparked a little more debate about whether or not he should have charged the mound which then sparked the fight.baseball-sidebar

Both players were suspended as Ventura receive a 9-game suspension and Machado a 4-game suspension.

Regardless of the punishment or how much anyone agrees with any of the actions it seems like the league is heading in a dangerous direction.

Players and teams seem to be becoming more sensitive to things that never matter red before.

Then when they take offence to something as innocent as a bat flip or a single up the middle they use the unwritten rules of baseball to hide behind.

There is something to be said about taking care of things on the field when nothing can be done off of it.

Then again throwing at someone has some very specific rules in that you never throw to injure anyone.

Throwing 97 mph or throwing too high or too low is just not how it has ever been done.

Then there is the constant talk about what deserves a ball being thrown at someone as there never seems to be a rule book on what deserves it.

That might be the biggest issue as players are getting more sensitive and seeing more thing as a slight against them rather than just part of the game.

With more sensitive players and more issues coming up the league is dealing with fights more than usual.

That is not a good thing for a league trying to be the family friendly alternative to a sport like football or hockey where violence rules.

Whether it be an issue with the pressure that players are under or just simply immaturity with a younger player base something is changing and it is not changing for the better.

Extra Innings
(More on this week in baseball)

The Draft Drop
Leading up the MLB draft this year most saw that there was a clear #1 in the draft as lefthander A.J. Puk was seen as a consensus #1 in the draft but that wasn’t the case as not only was he not selected in the top pick but he fell to Oakland at #6 overall

Top of a New Era
The Philadelphia Phillies ignored the experts from the outside and concentrated on their needs as they bypassed Puk at the top pick in the draft and went for high school outfielder Mickey Moniak with the first overall pick in the MLB draft

Pitcher in the Derby
Madison Bumgarner has been a fan favourite in San Francisco for a while but part of it is due to his bat as he leads pitchers in home runs over the last few years and that home run prowess he wants to join the Home Run Derby although it doesn’t seem like the team will let him

standings-w10.fw

Key Series:
Chicago Cubs 2-1 Arizona Diamondback
– It was clear that both of these teams were the most hyped teams in the MLB but they have gone entirely different paths and continued to as the Cubs took two games and continued their run while the D-backs took two losses and continued to struggle

Texas Rangers 3-0 Seattle Mariners
– In the battle for the west, the Rangers are in a familiar spot while Seattle isn’t as used to it and it might have shown as the Rangers took three straight from the Mariners overtaking them for the lead in the west

New York Yankees 4-0 Los Angeles Angels
– The cross-country series wasn’t what it used to be but both teams had plenty to play for as the Yankees and Angels both needed wins to begin a move up the standings in their division with the Yankees coming out on top taking four games and the series sweep

Washington Nationals 2-0 Chicago White Sox
– When the week began this series was set to be between two of the top teams in the division but the White Sox fell off fast and the Nationals helped them out taking two games and the series win over a struggling team

Upcoming Series:
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates [June 10-12]
– The Cardinals are not used to this as they are not sitting at the top of the division this year but they will try to get back to the top as they take on one of the teams that seem to be fighting for the division throughout the year

Kansas City Royals vs. Chicago White Sox [June 10-12]
– The Royals have figured things out and they are back at the top of the division while the White Sox have fallen far off of their pace and are slipping out of the division race as they try to take a chunk out of the Royals’ lead

Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals [June 13-15]
– Two teams that have received their fair share of hype over the last few years met up with both looking to prove that they may very well be the best team in the league in what could be a postseason matchup later this year

Baltimore Orioles vs. Boston Red Sox [June 14-16]
– Not many had these two teams at the top of the AL east this year but so far they have looked like the best teams in the division as they face-off looking to take some wins in the season series which could prove to be valuable at season’s end

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