MLB Week in Review (July 6-12)

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This year the home run derby has been a hot topic as the MLB All-Star break approaches with a lot of controversy surrounding the fun part of the week.

The Home Run Derby was created as a way to build some excitement around the All-Star Game, something that every league has struggled with.

All-Star games are notoriously bad games where nothing is on the line and players tend not to go all out.

There is no reason for them to go all out and despite the fact that these are games involving the best players they rarely put on a show like they do throughout the season.

Every league struggled to put on a good show but in the end, it always turns out as the worst part of any schedule.

There are some highlights for the break though as every major league has been able to put on something that people actually want to see.

In the NHL it is the Skills competition while in the NBA it is the dunk competition and those successes translated to the NFL who began their skills competition two years ago.

These are often the best parts of the all-star break as they allow the players to show their personality and show the fans some of the best parts of the game.

Everyone wants to see how creative NBA players can get with their dunks or how accurate and fast NHL players can be.

In the MLB that one event that people actually look forward to is the Home Run Derby where the hardest hitters get to show what they have.

The derby is the one event in the all-star break that fans love to watch as the home run is the most popular play in the league.

Although the traditionalists don’t necessarily love this new era of baseball there are more home runs than ever and it is being noticed.

It has always been the loudest cheer in stadiums and so the MLB decided to bring it to the all-star game as their big event.

It was a chance for fans to see the biggest hitters in the league and see just how many home runs they could hit.

As the event has moved on it has gained a bit of a controversial reputation from the people who have done well.

It may only be one night but for some, it is enough to bring a drought to that player due to the fact that his swing might be an issue afterwards.mma-sidebar.fw

Swinging for the fences rarely gets anyone home runs as it is more about the right pitch with the right swing and the right contact.

All of that combined with some strength will put the ball out of most parks while looking for the long ball usually results in a strikeout because batters are simply swinging too hard.

That is essentially what every participant in the Home Run Derby is doing though as they are swinging for the fences.

They are assisted a bit by getting really good pitches to hit and so they launch these balls out of the park at a rapid pace.

Doing this for a couple of ours can change someone’s swing and although it shouldn’t have a massive effect it could for at least the first few weeks when they’re back playing.

There have been a number of players who have seen a dip in production after the Home Run Derby and although none have been permanently affected it can hurt as the postseason race begins.

As a result, it has become a place where many players don’t want to go as they would prefer to keep their swing intact.

This year that was a problem as the MLB really wanted to see Bryce Harper walk to the plate in the derby.

The All-Star festivities were taking place in Washington and with Harper as the biggest baseball star in the city they wanted him to be visible in the thing he is great at doing.

Harper did not want to be involved as he was going through a drought while the Nationals were struggling along with him.

It would have taken him out of the most visible part of the all-star break in front of his home crowd.

In the end, he would sign on to do it but there will be some big names missing including Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.

The roster for this year’s derby doesn’t have any of the top five home run hitters in the league with Jesus Aguilar the closest at sixth.

Although all of these hitters are able to put the ball out of the park the fact is that they are not the big names that most people want to see.

The top hitters have their reasons for staying out of the derby and it is becoming a problem as the best home run hitters are not participating and that makes for a less than exciting derby.

 

Extra Innings

Final Additions

The move for all-stars has shifted to allow the fans to play a role and when that happens some weird things can occur. There will always be snubs and the MLB knows this which is why they let the fans select the starters while the rest of the roster is selected by players. The MLB also allows the teams and fellow players to get involved with their final vote process. That vote is done by the fans who elect the final two players and often their own teams take on the advertising trying to get there guys on the roster. This year those two guys were Jean Segura and Jesus Aguilar who will join the other All-Stars in Washington this year.

Going for Machado

 Manny Machado has been one of the top targets for teams looking for something extra as they approach the postseason race. He has been rumoured to be going to any number of places although the price has also reportedly been extremely high. One team that doesn’t seem to care about the price tag is the New York Yankees. They are currently the frontrunners for the infielder giving some people a reason to believe that not much will stop them. Already with one of the most potent attacks, adding another big hitter seems almost unfair.

A New Home

The MLB has always said that they are interested in expansion but Commissioner Rob Manfred has always said that he wants to focus on the currently out-of-date stadiums first. One of those stadiums is in Tampa Bay where Tropicana Field remains one of the oldest and most out-of-date stadiums in the league. This week the team released a concept for a new stadium where they would reduce the seating to be the smallest stadium in the MLB. They would also like to put a transparent roof over the stadium. It could be the best stadium in the league but it will need to get funding and begin building and for a team that is constantly rumoured to be moving it could just be a stadium that is never made.

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