MLB Week in Review (April 28-May 4)

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The MLB is not a league that is known for being on the cutting edge as they have been slow to change in every aspect.

The most recent example is the attempt by the league to speed up the game which has caused plenty to wonder where the game is going.

The league including players and managers as well as executives and fans are just not every happy when things change.

A massive fight back against the automatic walk that was brought in showed just how little anyone wants change.

When the league decided to eliminate the four pitches on intentional walks there was an outcry from purists saying that those four pitches are not as predictable as some think.

They said that eliminating those pitches, more often than not four pointless pitches, takes away an essential part of the game.

It then turned to the league ruining the game of baseball by bending to the demands of a new generation of fans and bending to the broadcasters.

In reality, the league needs to adjust to stay relevant and eliminating parts of the game like this can help them stay among the top leagues in the world.

Still, many in the league do not like the change and it has been a pattern of the MLB for years that they have always liked things the way they were.

Whether it was the introduction of replay or changing in rules it has always been a struggle against purists to evolve the game.

The same can be said on the field as traditional thoughts rule the league and because they work more often than not things stay that way.

The introduction of money ball was a massive development but there are still a lot of teams that ignore that altogether and pay big money for the biggest names.

That development also led to the rise of advanced stats but there are still teams that don’t believe those advanced stats do anything.

Shifts on the field had the same development as there were years when the league saw only a few teams actually put on a shift before then seeing a massive fall in the numbers.

Now shifts are a part of the game and there are still some people who believe that the shift doesn’t work as well as some say.

Changing the way that things are done is never an easy thing to do in the league and a lot of that has to do with the fact that there is a lot on the line.

Anybody in an organisation that wants to try something new puts their job on the line and potentially their career if it didn’t go right.

But the league will be tested and it will come soon as league managers may all have to start thinking about a two-way player.

The league is about to see two potentially great players enter the league but neither will be looking to be a one-trick pony when they get there.

That goes against everything that the MLB wants in a player as the league has developed a thought process that pitchers need to pitch and do nothing else.

They are too valuable to risk themselves in the field and with the proliferation of pitch counts, the rest period for pitchers has become even more important.

That attitude has left many pitchers to abandon their hitting to focus on pitching and in turn, it has made pitchers the easiest outs in the game.

There are some good hitting pitchers but not even Madison Bumgarner or Jake Arrieta are considered good enough to give any consideration to playing a different position.

That is where Shohei Ohtani and Hunter Greene might come in though, as both are on the edge of the MLB and both are exceptional hitters.

Greene is currently pitching in high school and looks like the next can’t miss prospect in the league.baseball-sidebar

He throws a massive fastball that has topped out at 102 mph and has a bat that would get him drafted despite his pitching ability.

He won’t be making an impact soon and whichever MLB team takes him might try to steer him one way or the other.

With a bat like he has at this point in his MLB life, it might be short-sighted for a team to force him to simply pitch rather than trying to find a way to use him in all aspects.

The mould for that might come to the majors next season which is when Ohtani is expected to make his MLB debut after a sure bidding war throughout this year and into the winter.

Ohtani is the next Japanese star and at 22-year-old he is the best pitcher and a top hitter in the Nippon league.

With 22 home runs last year and a .300+ average he can hit with the best of them while he also is the next big arm from the league.

He seems sure to sign with an MLB team next year but according to many, he will require the team that signs him to allow him to hit and pitch.

He wants to play in the MLB but doesn’t need to and if no team is willing to let him do what he wants he might just stay in Japan.

If an MLB team does let him do both and they find success, Greene might have the template he needs to play two-ways.

These talents are rare but if the league is willing to adjust they might be able to take advantage and could change things.

There are sure to be teams that won’t want to adjust and there will be critics at every step but the payoff could be great for a team willing to adjust rather than stay the course.

 

Extra Innings

Trouble in Boston

This week’s series between Baltimore and Boston was not necessarily the greatest thing for the game. Both teams continued to throw at each other almost coming to blows multiple times and seeing a few ejections throughout the games. What was worse though was what Adam jones experienced in the stadium when he was on the receiving end of racial slurs throughout the game. That fan was kicked out and banned for life while later in the series another fan was kicked out for racist slurs towards another fan showing that there is still a lot of work to do.

Vin’s Day in L.A.

 Last year one of the greatest announcers in baseball took his final curtain call when Vin Scully began his final season as the Dodger’s announcer. It was a sad day for many as Scully had been the voice of their baseball lives with his unique and classic way of going about painting the picture of the game. This week he was back in Dodger Stadium as he was honoured by the organisation being added to the ring of honour as the voice that so many grew up listening to.

An Unexpected Danger

 This week at the Milwaukee Brewers-St. Louis Cardinals game had an unexpected injury when a woman was grazed by a bullet while watching the game. She was treated at the ballpark and was not seriously injured but the bullet reportedly came from outside of the stadium. It was not what anybody expected when sitting in a stadium to watch the game and is somewhat concerning for the city of St. Louis.

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