MLB Week in Review (July 13-19)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The MLB All-Star break is usually the worst time on the sports calendar but this year it became one of the most active.

The couple of days where the best in the league have the spotlight turned into a time of speculation.

It wasn’t just the MLB though as a number of big deals took place this week throughout the major four sports.

The NBA had a lot of big deals and rumours and dominated the headlines but the MLB was not entirely left out.

Heading into the all-star game there are always trade rumours as the trade deadline is only weeks away and the all-star break counts as an unofficial halfway point to the season.

This is the point where teams know what the rest of their season looks like at least somewhat.

They know whether they will be competing for a postseason spot or whether they should be preparing for the future.

With that in mind, teams start to look to offload their biggest talent and get a return that can help them in the future.

There are always the teams looking for that rental play through as the team sitting in postseason spots with a chance to play in October are all looking for something extra.

It is a prevalent theory through the sporting world as teams that have looked good all season seem to believe they need something extra to help them reach the championship.

They have put together great records throughout the season with the team they have now but instead of trusting that lineup they go to add another piece.

It’s as if they don’t really believe that they can make it with the team that has driven them through the first half of the season.

There is something behind this as it is one thing to put together a team that can be great in the regular season and another altogether to put a team together that can be good in the postseason.

The postseason is a different beast and when you begin playing only the best teams the small weaknesses in your team begin to get exposed.

Whether it is the back of your rotation, your bullpen or the hitting great teams will always expose the weaknesses.

No team is perfect but teams will always be looking to get there and beef up parts of their teams to overcome their issues.

There are always players available to help any issue for any team but there are usually one or two that everyone is going after.

With the entire league in Washington for the All-Star festivities, the focus turned to the representative from Baltimore.

The Orioles have not been competitive this year and they are struggling to find their rhythm causing many to look at blowing up the team as an option.baseball-sidebar

They are not about to make the postseason and in order to rebuild there was really only one chip they could play, Manny Machado.

The star third baseman is one of the best hitters in the game and is a multiple-time gold glove award winner.

He is the type of player that every postseason-bound team is looking for to boost their chances of making a deep run.

Before the postseason it seemed like the chances were good that he was headed somewhere he could compete for the postseason.

Before the break, it was the Yankees in the front as many thought that he was going to join an already impressive group of hitters.

With Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez making up the best power hitting team in baseball it seemed like it was going to be another one for the Bronx Bombers 2.0.

That would have made them the most feared team in baseball as four hitters with major power is far more than most and pitchers having to go through the heart of that lineup were going to have issues.

When the break began the focus shifted to another powerful team but this time one out west looking for their first title in decades.

The Dodgers were coming in hot with their offers and as the game progressed it became even more likely that he was headed to Los Angeles.

Shortly after the game, it was announced that Machado was headed to LA to play for the Dodgers.

With a solid pitching group, this might be the power bat they need to finally get over the hump after years of coming so close but falling short.

He is the latest name to move but won’t be the last one as there are plenty more players that will be moved before the deadline.

Teams will continue to look for that player that can help them move from a postseason team to a championship team.

 

Extra Innings

King of the Dinger

It took a while for the MBL to convince Bryce Harper to commit to the Home Run Derby but it may have just worked out. The league wanted Harper in the derby because the game was in front of his home crowd with Harper representing one of the biggest star athletes in the city. Without him, the local star power would be non-existent and home fans wouldn’t have a dog in the fight for one of the most entertaining nights of the year. Eventually, Harper agreed to participate and throughout the tournament he was able to get through the fatigue and take the win. It will go down as a great moment in the sports history of the city with the image of his bat flip surely lasting for years to come.

Looking Ahead

After the Tampa Bay Rays revealed plans for a new stadium the league continues their initial assessment of expansion. Rob Manfred has always said that he wants to expand by two more teams but that they will not start the process until they assure that Tampa Bay and Oakland can find new places to play. With the Rays taking a step towards that new stadium, the league was going to get those questions during the break. Manfred took it a step further than usual saying that they will be looking to expand to 32 teams and listing a number of cities with a chance. Canadian baseball fans might be happy to see that both Montreal and Vancouver were among the list of potential cities.

Stars vs. the League

This week Rob Manfred was asked about the league’s issue when it comes to selling their players. It has been a criticism of the league for years as they do not market their players as well as other leagues. It is one of the many opinions people have about why the league is not as big as it could be with many fans wanted a better connection to the stars. This criticism specifically came around the best player in baseball, Mike Trout. When asked about why they don’t market him better, Manfred said that Trout would need to want to participate and do some of that work himself. Trout fired back saying his focus is on playing baseball and should be about baseball, bringing a bigger divide between league and player.

Hot Water for Hader

This week it was discovered that Milwaukee reliever, Josh Hader had sent out some controversial tweets years ago. Those tweets landed him in hot water as many thought that the MLB would take action on him for tweets that included racist and homophobic language. So many people jumped on him and he apologized but the MLB did nothing. This is largely due to the fact that Hader sent these tweets when he was 17 years old and although it is not entirely a good excuse people are allowed to make mistakes when they are young and know no better. He can be forgiven for these comments as long as he has learned from his stupidity and evolved his thinking, which was clear in his apology.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 146 other followers

%d bloggers like this: