MLB Week in Review (August 5-12)

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This week in baseball may go down as one of the stranger ones this year as the talk turned from the postseason race to the end of two amazing careers.

In the MLB there has been a trend over the last few years are beginning to announce their retirements before their last season.

Those last seasons turn out to be a farewell tour for these players as they find themselves being praised and being given presents every time they play their last game at another stadium.

One of the first major ones was Derek Jeter who announced that he was set to retire and received tributes everywhere he went including the All-Star Game.

This year it is David Ortiz who announced that he will retire after 2016 and has been doing his own farewell tour throughout the MLB.

It has become the tradition in baseball to go through a farewell tour and the bigger name they are the bigger the farewell tour gets.

This week though two legends of the game saw a bit of an abrupt end to their careers as they were somewhat forced to retire before the season comes to an end.

In New York Alex Rodriguez has been a very controversial figure for his steroid use and his inconsistent play.

He came into the league as one of the best prospects in baseball with expectations as being one of the best players in all of baseball.

He had good defence and a great bat as many teams were looking to take the future superstar as a centrepiece to their team.

He made good on most of his expectations becoming a feared bat in Seattle and Texas.

His superstardom didn’t get full blown until the New York Yankees traded for him after their third basemen went down with an injury. Since he joined the Yankees he has been one of the most hated and loved players in the Bronx.

He always seemed like an entitled player who knew just how good he was as almost the opposite of Jeter.

Still, he backed it up putting up massive numbers while in the pinstripes.

Then came the steroids as he tested positive twice for PEDs and many began to wonder how much of his great numbers could be attributed to the drugs and how much could be from him.

After returning from the PED suspensions A-Rod has not been the same as he has made headlines for pursuits of big career numbers and not much else.

This year talk began surrounding his place on the team as rumours of a trade were swirling.baseball-sidebar

When they couldn’t move him the talk turned to the Yankees releasing Rodriguez and that seems to be where things turned around for the ageing third basemen.

Rodriguez seemed to have made a decision to go out on his own terms by announcing his retirement rather than being released only to wait for another team to pick him up.

In a way, he was forced out of the Bronx as it seemed like he had little option but to retire or risk becoming a formerly great player that nobody wanted.

He wasn’t the only player being forced out though as one of the best pure home run hitters is also ending his career.

Prince Fielder has always been the butt of jokes as a big man playing baseball as a star.

He was the person most pointed to when saying that baseball is not a sport. Then again he could hit home runs better than most and that big body helped him to be one of the best power hitters in the league.

He was also a constant starter playing in 540 straight games at one point in his career.

Then he got older and the injuries started to pile up including neck surgery that shortened his 2014 season.

This year that neck was once again an issue as he underwent his second neck surgery in three years.

After his latest surgeries, the prognosis was not good as doctors told hi his career was over after he did tests and couldn’t walk in a straight line.

As a result, he announced his retirement from baseball taking away a true power hitter from the game slightly too early.

Neither A-Rod nor Fielder was at the start of their careers as they were closer to the end but both may have had a few more years in them.

Nobody will get to see that now as both went out in the same week in similar situations as their careers did not have a farewell tour or much fanfare.

Both walked out of the game somewhat reluctantly and unceremoniously.

Extra Innings
(More on this week in baseball)

Making Headlines Again
Yasiel Puig has always been a controversial figure and when he was sent to the minors it was once again big news but even in the minors he makes headlines as he has posted to social media videos of him making the best of things which have not gone over well with the Dodgers

Failure to Report
Yasiel Puig continues to make headlines even in the minors but silently another player has been doing things much worse as Tommy La Stella was demoted to Triple-A by the Cubs but failed to report to the minor league club and hasn’t reported to this day

Another Milestone
Despite the continued debate regarding the proficiency of Ichiro Suzuki and the legitimacy of his Japanese league hits he continues to rack up accomplishments earning his 3,000th hit this week and solidifying his spot among the best

standings-w50

Key Series:
Texas Rangers 2-1 Houston Astros
– The Battle of Texas has continued to make it interesting in the west as the Astros started this series with a big win to try to hunt the Rangers down but Texas came out on top taking the last two and staying in first

Kansas City Royals 2-1 Toronto Blue Jays
– In the ALCS rematch the series ended much the same as last October as the Jays put up a fight but fell short as they continued to try to make up ground on the Orioles in the fight for the AL East while the Royals got a small boost in their fight for the Central

Seattle Mariners 3-0 Detroit Tigers
– With the Central and the West both looking like the fight may be winding down the fight for the wild card is only heating up as the Mariners got some very important wins over the Tigers with both fighting for the final postseason spot

San Francisco Giants 2-1 Miami Marlins
– The Giants are not heading into the postseason race doing all that well as they are beginning to see the Dodgers nipping at their heels but they got two important wins against the Marlins as they took back first place in the west this week

Upcoming Series:
Houston Astros vs. Toronto Blue Jays [Aug 12-14]
– The Astros and Jays are in a fight right now but for entirely different divisions as the Jays try to stay ahead of the Orioles for first in the East while the Astros are trying to get into the fight in the west and in the wild card

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Chicago Cubs [Aug 12-14]
– The Cubs look to be in a comfortable position to clinch the central division soon as they hope to continue to pile up the wins while the Cards are looking to fight for second place and a spot in the wild card

Boston Red Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles [Aug 16-17]
– The Red Sox are in the thick of things in the east and despite most reducing the race to two teams they can make an impact if they can take this series against the Orioles as Boston can creep closer to the postseason

Kansas City Royals vs. Detroit Tigers [Aug 15-17]
– The defending champions are running the risk of missing the postseason a year after taking home the top prize but they still have time and they will look to get back in the postseason fight as they take on the Tigers

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