MLB Week in Review (August 25-31)

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The MLB is enjoying a home run surge this year as there are more home runs this year than ever before.

It is an unexpected power surge at the tail-end of an era that many were considering the dead ball era 2.0.

It had come just after the steroid era and with a cleaner league, the balls were no longer flying out of parks around the league.

That began to shift and in 2016 all of a sudden balls are flying again with some believing that the reason for the increase in power has been a change in the balls used.

Nothing has been proven yet on that front but the balls are still flying out of the parks at a rate unlike the league has seen before.

Regardless of how it is happening, the home runs are bringing an excitement back to the league that they haven’t seen since the steroid era.

People are turning in to see the big hits every night and seeing the home run numbers climb throughout the season.

Just like the last time these numbers were seen the fans are also tuning in to see a home run race by one of the best hitters of the era.

Giancarlo Stanton has come alive in the second half of the season putting up massive numbers and getting to 51 home runs by the end of August.

Those number broke a record for most home runs in the month of August with 18 throughout the month.

For many he is also closing in on a much bigger record, the most home runs in a single season.

It is a little complicated though as the single season record for home runs is one of the most debated records in the game.

In fact, any home run record has become a debated one as many of the records standing right now came during the steroid era.

The people that set those records, namely Barry Bonds, have been connected with steroids and have been considered the biggest cheaters in the game.

According to the MLB, the official single-season home run record is held by Bonds with 73 total home runs.

It is the official record because Bonds has never been proven to have talent steroids throughout his career.

He has been accused many times of using and has been to court for lying about using steroids but there was never an officially failed test and he has never been proven to be lying.

Therefore, his record stands as the official record for the most home runs put up in a single seasonbaseball-sidebar

Right behind him is an even more complicated group as the next five best seasons are all held by Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa.

Both were among the best in the league during the steroid era and brought one of the best home run battles ever as they went back and forth for a number of years.

Yet after they retired both admitted to using PEDs during their home run races leaving their great seasons up in the air as to whether or not they are legitimate.

With everyone questioning the record set and held by Bonds and the McGuire and Sosa seasons it really only leaves one more season.

That would be the season by Roger Maris who hit 61 home runs and who held the single season record from 1961 until 1998.

To many that 61-home run season is still the real record for the MLB as it is the last great home run season without the questions of steroids hanging around.

Right now it stands as the 7th best single season in MLB history but the debate rages on about what is the real record.

If Bonds, McGuire and Sosa all used steroids can they really have a legitimate record or should all of them be wiped out because of the era and the use of steroids, or alleged use in the case of Bonds.

Stanton is on the side of Maris as like many fans he agrees that the real record is 61 although that is also somewhat convenient.

He has one full month of the season left and if his hot streak continues he will likely be able to put up another 10 home runs in September.

That would help him tie Maris and if he can hit 11 he will pass Maris with 62 home runs.

For some that will be the record and for others it will be far short of the record as the debate will continue on for a long time.

The steroid era will always have a spot in the MLB and until someone can find a way to eliminate Bonds’ records the debate about the recognized record will never end.

 

Extra Innings

International Champion

The World Series often gets a bit of a bad rap as the title doesn’t really express what the championship is all about as the world is not involved. The Little League World Series is different though as the world is involved and international teams have a shot at winning the title. Which is exactly what happened this year as for the third time in five years Japan took home the Little League World Series.

Pete Rose Out at FOX

He has always been one of the most controversial figures in the sport as Pete Rose has been banned from the game of baseball for years due to his gambling. Many were willing to forgive him for those issues including FOX who gave him a broadcast career to keep him in the conversation. His latest controversy is a lot less forgivable as he has been accused of statutory rape and for FOX the accusations are too much. He was set to be a part of the FOX postseason coverage but will not join the team this year.

Scouting Begins

For a number of teams, the season is already a little out of reach and they are beginning to prepare for next season. A big part of that preparation for a lot of teams is to travel to Japan to scout the most exciting international prospect since Yu Darvish. Shohei Ohtani is a rare breed as a he is a top tier pitcher and a power hitter. Nobody knows exactly how he will be used but there are a lot of teams that want to sign him and the scouting has already started.

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