MLB Week in Review (April 13-19)

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Like every other major league in North America, the MLB is looking beyond the borders of the UFC and Canada to help grow the game.

Major League Baseball already has a strong following outside of their natural borders as they are truly one of the more international sports in North America.

Although the USA still provides most of the talent the amount of countries represented in the league is great.

Many of the islands in the Caribbean are well represented along with a number of countries in Asia.

Although Europe gets less representation there are still players from certain countries while the Blue Jays’ Gift Ngoepe is the first African-Born player in the league.

The league is full of representation from around the world that other leagues don’t see but they are a team that has been somewhat late in their exposure around the world.

In every other league, management has decided to host games outside of their natural borders to try to grow their sports and their leagues.

As the sports world in North America is reaching its capacity with only so many all-sports channels and rights deals to sign along with the fan bases that they have capture leagues are looking outside.

The NFL is putting all of their focus on England where they regularly host multiple games in London.

The games have led to endless rumours that they will be placing a team in the city soon and permanently set up shop.

The NHL has constantly looked to their base in Europe holding games there off and on for a number of years.

Lately, they are looking towards Asia as they played multiple games in China and will continue that path in the coming years.

The NBA has long been a strong contender in China and has played multiple games in recent years in the country.

This year they played in London while also heading to Mexico last season following a long-standing pattern of hosting international games.

The MLB, as usual, has been the one league slow to take up the same strategy and look to bring the game to their fans.

They have massive opportunity to do so as they are massive in so many places that no other league is looking at right now.

Part of the problem has been infrastructure in many of the Caribbean Islands the don’t have a number of stadiums to host big games.

They hosted game sparkly beginning in 1996 but haven’t really committed to an international plan for games outside of the USA and Canada.

That is beginning to change as the league started to ramp up their plans for games that were different than the rest.baseball-sidebar

New places to play included cities without a presence in the sport but with plenty of roots as the league planned games in Mexico and Puerto Rico.

Although neither are that far away from the USA they are places with a serious love of the game and some great talent in the league.

All along thee games were meant to be exactly what they were for the other major leagues, growing the game beyond their own borders.

They wanted to bring the game to people who love the sport and give them a glimpse into the best in the world.

This year the first games were headed to Puerto Rico but they took on a different meaning for the people of Puerto Rico and the players in the league.

On September 20 Hurricane Maria made landfall on the island and proceeded to destroy the everything in its way.

It was the worst natural disaster in the history of the island, knocking out power across the country.

The recovery effort is still underway and has been a massive point of concern for so many who trace their roots to Puerto Rico as power remains out for many Puerto Ricans.

Although the MLB taking their show to the island wasn’t going to fix things it did what sports often do, provide an escape.

It was a chance for the Puerto Rican players to head back and see family while the games provided Puerto Ricans with a reason to cheer even if it was only for a few hours.

These games were meant to help the game grow and in doing that they also helped to distract from a disaster which will only help to endear the league to the island.

Extra Innings

No Patience

The Cincinnati Reds were never supposed to be all that good this year as they were in the midst of a rebuild. Nobody seemed to tell the management that rebuilds usually suffer through as a bad start to the season has led to the first major change in the league. The Red fired manager Bryan Price, not even a month into the season which isn’t likely to change the path of the Reds who will continue a rebuild no matter who their next manager will be this year.

Another Expansion Option

The MLB has regularly talked about expanding the league when things are more settled in Tampa Bay and Oakland. One of the big areas that the league has looked to has always been Montreal where the demand has been seen to bring the Expos back. Now there is another area looking to be the next team to expand as a group from Portland, Oregon has thrown their hats into the ring proposing two areas to build a stadium in order to bring the MLB to the city.

Weather Issues Continue

The MLB has been hit with some pretty terrible weather over the first few weeks of the season and it only got worse this past week. The weekend saw a massive storm hit parts of the USA leading to multiple cancellations. The strangest one might have been in Toronto who had to cancel a game after a weekend where they had two more games cancelled. What makes it so strange is that the Rogers Centre is a domed stadium that never sees cancellations but this time a weekend ice storm saw the roof pierced after a chunk of ice broke through the roof.

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