MLB Week in Review (July 14-20)

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Only a few weeks ago there was a major issue with a backup catcher speaking up against his pitcher and immediately getting cut.

Miguel Montero paid pretty heavily for his comments about a record breaking game where the Washington Nationals stole seven bases.

This week there was a very similar situation and yet it was so different and players like Montero could take a lesson.

The Miami Marlins have been struggling getting only one win in their first six games since the all-star break.

Their fifth loss after the break seemed to be the final straw for Miami’s biggest star especially since it was against one of the worst teams in baseball.

The Philadelphia Phillies have not been doing a great job this year and they were never expected to be that great as they are still in a rebuilding phase.

The Marlins meanwhile are fighting for the wild card in a tough National League battle where they are in need of a good run in the second half.

Starting this second half this way was not what they needed to make that run at the postseason.

Giancarlo Stanton knows that it wasn’t what they needed and after losing 10-3 to the Phillies he criticised his team.

He went after the fact that they dropped two of three games against the worst team in the league and that if they couldn’t pick it up there wasn’t going to be a lot to play for in the near future.

The comments drew some criticism from former players who said that it is not something you should be doing as the leader.

To some, it isn’t good leadership as he seemed to throw his team under the bus which is not what someone trying to lead a struggling team should do.

Then again Stanton was really the only player pulling his weight in that series as he did everything he could to get the win for the team.

The rest of the team struggled and to anyone watching it was clearly the fault of anyone but Stanton that they were struggling.

Stanton never really threw them under the bus though he just hinted that things need to get better or there won’t be much to play for.

He wasn’t necessarily wrong in that statement and he never said that the other players needed to match his level he just stated that as a team they need to be better.

The criticism was not anywhere near the level of Montero and that is clear for any number of reasons.

Firstly Montero did call out a player particularly and Stanton never mentioned any name when he criticised his team.

Secondly and most importantly is the standing of both of the players on their teams and throughout the league.baseball-sidebar

Montero is an MLB veteran but he is still a backup catcher that only played every now and then.

He was expendable and players like him sitting on the bench for the majority of the season are often not supposed to speak up.

The Cubs proved that when they let him go right after he spoke up about those stolen bases and the lack of help from his pitchers.

Stanton is in a different situation as he is a superstar in the league and the best player in Miami by far.

He is one of the best power hitters in the game and is clearly one of the faces of the game in this era.

He has put in his time and put up massive numbers that give him that freedom to make statements about the performance of his team.

When you are the best player there is little chance that you will be finding a new home because the team cut you.

There is no replacement for Stanton and cutting him to punish him would be the worst decision that the team could make.

He has a spot on the Marlins as long as they are still in the hunt as they may end up trading him but it won’t be because he spoke up.

That is the difference in the MLB and in all sports as certain players have far more leniency throughout the league than others.

There is a hierarchy and in any sport, that hierarchy is based simply on the talent that you have which can make you expendable or irreplaceable.

Extra Innings

Naming Right Debate

In this time of sports, sponsorship has taken over as teams and companies are always trying to get and spend money to get a brand’s name noticed. One of the biggest ways to do that is to purchase the naming rights for stadiums where the name is said multiple times a game and is seen constantly. Few stadiums still have non-sponsored names and one of the final holdouts might be gone. The Dodgers are reportedly looking for a sponsor for Dodger Stadium in what is sure to be a controversial decision no matter who buys the rights.

Sandoval back to the Coast

Pablo Sandoval became a fan favourite when he played for the San Francisco Giants and was one of the few offensive stars on the team. He was a serious power hitter on a team based more on pitching than offence and his uniqueness won crowds over. Known as the Panda, Sandoval took over San Francisco before leaving for a big contract in Boston. Now he is back as the Giants have signed him to a minor league deal as some fans are hoping he can return.

Pineda’s Season Done

 The New York Yankees have had a season for the ages largely due to their new generation of talent on offence. Their pitching has been more stable than in recent years as well but that might be coming under fire for the rest of the season. One of the top pitchers this year will no longer be a part of the rotation as he went down earlier this week. He underwent Tommy John Surgery ending his season.

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