MLB Week in Review (April 20-26)

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There seemed to be no question heading into the season that the Miami Marlins were going to be one of the worst teams in the league.

They had traded away most of their talent and brought in almost nobody to replace the massive holes left.

When they got rid of Giancarlo Stanton, the only reason to watch the Marlins, it was seemed to be a clear message that new owners were not all that interested in winning.

They were immediately seen as a team that was tanking in order to rebuild but of course, they will never admit to that strategy.

This week the face of the new ownership group took a stand against that thought when he was asked in an interview.

Derek Jeter has been under fire since becoming the new face of the Miami ownership group after the trades and the firing of many of the front office staff.

When asked if his team was tanking throughout the season Jeter took some major offence and refused the claims that the team was hoping to finish last.

It fits with his playing career as Jeter is known as one of the more intense competitors in sports when he played for the Yankees.

He could be put among the likes of Kobe Bryant and Tom Brady for their attitude of hating losing more than they liked to win.

There is little doubt that it would be tough to stomach for a man like Jeter to simply admit defeat in order to start over.

It is not necessarily the worst idea though as the Houston Astros are proof that taking that path can result in big things.

The Astros lost 100 games for three straight seasons putting them at the bottom of the league each year.

It allowed them to restock their farm system and a few years later they were at the top of the league with a World Series Championship.

There are a lot of teams that are looking to that strategy in order to get back to being successful but there are few teams that want to admit that it is what they are doing.

The MLB isn’t the only league that sees that type of thought process from teams as every major league has the same issues.

In every league, it is the worst teams that get the best talent in the draft and so teams have been accused multiple times of tanking in order to get the chance at that talent.

Being able to draft that talent can completely change a team but in the MLB it is a far different story.

Unlike in the NBA, NFL or NHL the MLB draft doesn’t have as direct an effect on the team with a much longer path.

Development in baseball is so far different from the others as it takes some time for a player to find their way to the major leagues.baseball-sidebar

When a player is drafted it often takes more than a few years for them to find their way to the league and only a few great ones can get there in a shortened timeline.

That extended timeline can also lead to a lot more room for error when taking players at the top of the draft.

Busts are far more common in the MLB as there are very few players who enter the draft as the clear number one and a future star.

Unlike other leagues, these players are not the biggest stars with massive names before even heading into the league.

With baseball being the game it is there are so many variables that can change everything about a prospect.

A bad injury can end a career or failing to catch up to the speed and talent in the MLB can easily find them stuck in the minor leagues for years.

So tanking can be a risky strategy for MLB teams as they need to make sure they make the right decisions when it comes to the draft.

Like many of the other years, there are some good potential players available for the draft but nobody stands out as a can’t-miss prospect.

If Miami is tanking there is no guarantee that it makes them a better team in the next few years as they still have to make the right decisions along the way.

Although Jeter is not one known for accepting losing it does seem pretty hard to argue that they aren’t tanking.

They may go out every day believing they can take a win and making sure they do everything in order to get that win.

The reality is that their talent is gone and no matter what their attitude is on a day-to-day basis they are still a team not prepared to compete with the best in the league.

The moves they made at the start of the season are what have many believing that they are tanking no matter what they do in games.

Extra Innings

Scary Moment in the Bullpen

It is always scary when a player gets hurt but sometimes things can be dangerous even if they are some of the healthiest people in the world. That scary moment happened this week when the Chicago White Sox when relief pitcher Danny Farquhar collapsed in the bullpen. The reasoning was not one that you hear often as the 31-year-old collapsed due to a brain haemorrhage after an aneurysm ruptured. He remains in the hospital and is recovering but will be in the hospital for about three weeks with his future still unsure.

The First of the Season

A few players have come close in this first month of the season but it wasn’t until this week that a pitcher joined an exceptional club. Sean Manaea threw the season’s first no-hitter and did it against one of the best teams in the league, the Boston Red Sox. It was already a great year for the 26-year-old pitcher as he was proving to be a future star for the Athletics and adding this to his short but growing resume has him as someone to watch the rest of the way.

An Epic At-Bat

Most teams love a player that can extend a bat and wear a pitcher out as the at-bat goes on. It is a good advantage to have as a number of those players can shorten the night for a pitcher really quickly. Brandon Belt took that to a new level this week when he battled with Jaime Barria in the most epic at-bat in MLB history. Belt survived for a league-record 21 pitches in an at-bat that took a total of 12 minutes and 23 seconds. Unfortunately for Belt, the at-bat didn’t result in a lot of success as the 21st pitch was a lineout to right field.

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