In my opinion the team that will win the 2018 World Series is the New York Yankees. I believe that 2018 will be the year that the Yankees will be champions of baseball for the 28th time. There are a multitude of factors that lead me to believe it will be the Yankees who will the World Series. The first reason is based off of the success they had as a team last year. The Yankees were one game away from the World Series last year as they went into Game 6 of the ALCS against the Houston Astros up 3 games to 2. Unfortunately for them they were not able to capitalize on the advantage and dropped the last two games to the Astros. This is not the same Yankees team as last year though. First off this was a very talented but very young team. For many of the key players on this team that was their first time in the playoffs and thus were very inexperienced. Plus last year’s Yankees did not win their division, so they had to make this playoff run as a wild card team. That will most likely not be the case this year as the Yankees have a very good shot of winning their division. Last year the Yankees only finished two games behind the Red Sox for the division title without the help of a full season of mid-year acquisitions Sonny Gray, David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle. The Yankees look to be set in every aspect of their team. They have a very good rotation with Cy Young contender Luis Severino as the ace, Mashahiro Tanaka and Sonny Gray who could be aces on many teams, and finishing off with two very solid pitchers in CC Sabathia and Jordan Montgomery. Despite all this talent in the starting rotation it actually looks to be the weakest part of this Yankees team. They have a bullpen that features all-star caliber relievers Aroldis Chapman, David Robertson, Dellin Betances, and Tommy Kahnle. The thing is that despite all these big names none of them are even the best reliever in the Yankees bullpen. That honor would go to Chad Green who quietly pitched his way to a 1.83 ERA in almost 70 innings of work. Having a bullpen this deep puts pressure on many teams because they know they have to score early and often because once you get into the bullpen you have a very small chance of scoring. Last year the Yankees had the second best offense in baseball, scoring 858 runs. Now you would think it would be very difficult to improve a lineup led by AL Rookie of the Year Aaron Judge, Silver Slugger Gary Sanchez, Didi Gregorius who set a single-season homerun record by a Yankee shortstop, and many other very good hitters. The Yankees did just that by trading for NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton who lead the MLB last year with 59 homeruns. With full seasons from Sanchez and Gregorius plus the addition of Stanton the Yankees look to have a very good chance to challenge the single-season homerun record by a team. All of these factors combine to make the Yankees a favorite to win the 2018 World Series.
It has been hotly debated recently whether Ichiro Suzuki should be considered the all-time hit leader in baseball history. His 4367 professional hits are the most of any player in the history of the sport. The reason that there is a debate over this is because 1278 of those hits came when Ichiro was playing over in Japan. The most a player has gotten while playing in the MLB is 4256 hits, a record held by Pete Rose. People are split about whether to consider Ichiro or Pete Rose the all-time hit leader. There are some very good arguments for both candidates. Many people argue that Pete Rose should be considered the all-time hit leader because he got all his hits in the MLB, the most elite professional league in the world. It is much harder to hit in the MLB than it is to hit in other leagues such as the Japanese professional league. There are some very good arguments in Ichiro’s defense too though. The first is that his 1278 hits in Japan should still be considered pro hits as Japan’s professional league is probably second in the world to the MLB. Japan has produced many MLB quality pitchers, some of who have been all-stars and Cy Young Award finalists. Another argument is that the Japanese pro leagues regular season is only 144 games which means he had less games to collect hits in. A final argument is that he was an MVP, Rookie of the Year, and many time all-star while setting the single-season record for hits so he proved that he was not coasting off of lesser competition in that he was the best hitter in the best professional league in the world for many years despite missing a few years of his prime playing in Japan. So to conclude, in my opinion Ichiro Suzuki should be considered the all-time leader in hits for baseball history.
In the MLB right now the trade deadline is July 31st. After this date teams must place a player on waivers and can only trade a team once a player has cleared waivers. While a player is on waivers any team can “claim” that player if they want to. When a player is claimed from waivers the team can do three things: take back the player, work out a trade with the team who claimed that player, or let the team who claimed him take the player and pay the rest of his salary. Most of the time a team will put all their players through waivers so that they can be eligible to be traded or if they want to dump salary. Teams can trade a player anytime from August 1st through the end of the season using waivers but if a player is not traded before August 31st they cannot play in the postseason. In my opinion the MLB should keep the trade deadline July 31st as it incentivizes teams to hurry up and make trades to avoid having to deal with waivers. I do believe that there should be no deadline for when a player has to be traded to make the postseason. I think that teams should be able to trade up until game 162 as this will create new strategies that GM’s will have to employ over the course of the season.
Recently the Miami Marlins were bought by a group of investors, headlined by Derek Jeter, former New York Yankees shortstop. The Marlins have been a struggling team ever since their last World Series victory in 2003. They have looked to be a very promising team in recent years with stars such as pitcher Jose Fernandez, outfielders Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, and Christian Yelich, and second baseman Dee Gordon. They also had some very good supplemental players such as Wei-Yin Chen, J.T. Realmuto, Steve Chisek, Henderson Alvarez, and A.J. Ramos. This was a team that looked to potentially be a perennial contender in the near future. Things went south for this promising team pretty quickly though. It all started in 2015 when multiple things started to go wrong for the team. The biggest problem was pitcher Henderson Alvarez had to go through many shoulder surgeries, which he never was able to fully recover from. The Marlins also traded away closer Steve Chisek to the Cardinals that season despite being a standout closer. Lastly they signed Giancarlo Stanton to a 13 year, $325 Million dollar contract. Now yes Stanton is the star of the team and was the 2017 NL MVP but for a team that is trying to rebuild they do not want such a large contract on the books, especially since the Marlins are not a large market team. This contract leaves the Marlins with essentially no cap space to go out and buy new players. As if things were not going badly already the team hit rock-bottom when their ace Jose Fernandez died in a boat crash in 2016. The new owners of the Marlins took over a team in distress that was in great financial debt and lacking in prospects, and thus much of a future. So the owners have started a fire sale, trading away their star players Dee Gordon, Giancarlo Stanton, and Marcell Ozuna. Many people have been complaining that the new owners are sabotaging the team. People are most enraged with the Giancarlo Stanton trade as he was traded to Derek Jeter’s former team , the New York Yankees, and the Marlins did not get as much in return for him as they hoped. The reason that people should not be talking about collusion between Jeter and his former team is that it was Stanton’s choice to be traded to the Yankees. Stanton had a full no-trade clause in his contract, meaning he could control which team he was traded too. He refused trades to teams such as the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals. With Stanton commanding such a large portion of the Marlins payroll they had to trade him away and he was only willing to accept trades to either the Yankees or the Los Angeles Dodgers. So the Marlins decided to trade Stanton to the Yankees who were willing to give up All-Star Starlin Castro, two prospects and take on all but $30 Million dollars of Stanton’s contract to receive him. Despite what it may look like, trading Stanton to the Yankees was actually the best option available for the Marlins.
Recently there has been a major scandal surrounding the Atlanta Braves and their baseball executives. President of Baseball Operations John Hart, GM John Coppolella and special assistant Gordon Blakeley were all forced to resign from their positions in the front office as a result of the Commissioner’s investigation. The team is being investigated for manipulating the domestic draft and for cheating on the international market. The team is being persecuted for giving signees less than the minimum signing bonus in return for “benefits” which the players never received. The Braves were also able to sign players for less money by making “package agreements” with the players’ agents where in return for the smaller signing bonuses the team would sign additional players under the same agent so the agent would receive more money. As a result of these actions John Copolella was banned from baseball for life and Gordon Blakeley was suspended for a year. John Hart got away without any punishments but was still forced to resign from his position with the Braves. The punishments handed to the braves were that they were restricted severely in the amount of money they can spend in the next two signing periods and lost half of their $4.75 million bonus signing pool for 2020-2021. The Braves also lost the 13 players that they signed as a result of these methods, including two top 30 prospects in Kevin Maitan and Abrahan Gutierrez. In my opinion the Atlanta Braves deserved the punishments that they received because they cheated the system and need to be punished strictly. Commissioner Manfred has to set a precedent that these actions will not be tolerated by the MLB.
If you’ve been paying attention to the free agency market the past few off seasons you may have noticed a growing trend. Each off season the top free agents seem to be taking longer than ever to sign a new contract with a team. It often comes down to the week before spring training starts for these stars to sign with a new team. This is causing many players to miss out on better deals because they waited too long to accept a deal. There are a few factors that are playing into this trend. The first factor is that more and more stars each year are signing big name agents to represent them in their journey through free agency. These agents always try to get the most money they can for their clients and try to sign them to big long-term deals. You would expect this to be great for the players. This brings us to another factor which is teams’ reluctance to sign players to long-term deals. There was a time where most teams if they had the financial capabilities would dish out long-term deals to superstars in their late 20’s or early 30’s in a heartbeat. Many teams are becoming more hesitant to hand out long-term deals to players, especially ones over the age of 30. With recent contract disasters like the ones given to Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, Prince Fielder, etc., teams are less likely to take the large risk that comes with signing a player to a long-term contract. That is why even the best free agents often are left waiting until right before spring training to sign a contract. Most free agents either end up with a long-term deal with a lot less money than they were hoping for, sign a short deal for a high annual value, or worst case scenario sign a one or two year deal with a team and hope they have better luck in free agency the next offseason. Of course with the recent trends, the odds are not looking in their favor.
There has been a lot of debate over the years about whether or not steroid users should be allowed to enter the Hall of Fame. There are many people on both sides of the argument. Some people believe that steroid users should be allowed into the Hall of Fame because many of the steroid users were the stars of the “Steroid Era” in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, a time in which baseball returned to the spotlight in America. It was a thrilling period in baseball as players were blasting the ball out of the park at rates never seen before in the history of baseball. People love to see homeruns which was the reason the Steroid Era was such a popular era in baseball. There are also the people on the other side who acknowledge that these players cheated and despite bringing the game of baseball back into mass popularity they still broke the rules. I am on the side that believes steroid users should not be allowed into the Hall of Fame. They intentionally broke the rules to get an unfair upper hand on their competition. These players should not be rewarded for blatantly breaking the rules. They knew what they were doing was illegal and still decided to do it. People are not supposed to be rewarded for doing the wrong thing so convicted steroid users thus should not be allowed to be elected into the Hall of Fame.
With the MLB draft happening on June 4th we are getting to see the future stars of the MLB and the beginnings of their pro careers. MLB teams will choose between drafting a player out of high school or out of college. There are often pros and cons for drafting players out of either setting. The pros of drafting a player out of high school is they often will be the players with the highest potential and since they are so young they have a lot of time and room to grow. The cons are that sometimes players will choose to go to college than going straight to the pros and often high school players are untested against higher levels of competition so you don’t know how they’ll handle it. The pros of drafting a college player are that they have a lot of experience against higher competition, they tend to reach the majors faster and they are more mature than their high school counterparts. The cons are that they are very close to their potential so what you see is what you’re getting, there is less of a chance for a huge growth in ability. In my opinion it is the state of the team that matters when deciding which type of player they should draft. Teams that are rebuilding should go with high school players as they are in no rush to get Major League help and are trying to find future stars, plus rebuilding teams often get higher drafts picks. Contenders or teams a year or so out of contention should go with players as they are more dependable so you know what you’re getting and they can reach the majors faster and help their major league squads.
During Game 3 of the 2017 World Series Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel hit a homerun off of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish. Even though it was a huge homerun for the Astros it seemed like any normal playoff homerun. That was until Yuli Gurriel went back to the Houston dugout and made a slant eyes gesture about Yu Darvish, who is a native of Japan. This was an extremely racist gesture which has no place in Major League Baseball. Obviously Gurriel deserved to be punished for his actions. The question was should he be suspended during the World Series or at the start of next season. Many people believe that he should have been suspended during the World Series because a serious action deserves a harsh punishment. They believe that if he is not suspended until the following season it will set a precedent that these racist gestures will not be met with harsh consequences. Other people believe that Gurriel shouldn’t be suspended until the start of next season because the rest of the team shouldn’t be punished for his actions after all the work they put in up to this point. The commissioner of baseball also reasoned that suspending him during the regular season would have more of an effect because he is going without pay. In my opinion Yuli Gurriel should have been suspended for the World Series for his racist gestures. Baseball is a very diverse sport with players of many nationalities coming together to form teams, so it should not be accepted that one of the players is performing racist gestures. I also disagree with what the commissioner said about him going without pay would have more of an effect. With the season being as long as it is going without pay for 5 games is nothing when he’s making 9.5 million dollars a year. I think it would be a greater and more lasting punishment if he was suspended during the World Series because that is the ultimate goal for all MLB players so I believe any major leaguer would rather go without pay for 5 of 162 games rather than miss 3-5 games of the World Series.
Recently the MLB made a major change to the format of the all-star game in which it went from a game to decide home field advantage in the World Series to essentially an exhibition game. People are very split over whether this was a good move or not. There are some very good arguments for both sides. The people who want to go back to the old format argue that removing a reward from the game removes the players motivation to play their hardest. Also they argue that the team whose league wins the all-star game has stronger competition in their league so they deserve to be rewarded for making it through the World Series. The other side argues that it is only fair that the team with the highest record gets home field advantage because they are the best team. There is also the argument that whether or not your team gets home field advantage should not be based off of one game in which it is mostly players from other teams. Also now the game can be about having fun and can be less serious and over-competitive. In my opinion the MLB should go back to the old format because it rewards the team with the more competitive league and brings back a more competitive aspect so they are closer games with the competitive drive being involved. Also this would incentivize players to play and not skip out on the game cause they don’t feel like participating.
On August 31st the Cleveland Indians shocked the baseball world by pulling off a last-minute trade for former MVP Josh Donaldson. This trade helped to fortify the already potent Indians lineup by addressing one of their weak spots which was at third base. This trade caused a lot of controversy though because of the logistics of the trade. Donaldson was on his way back from a calf injury and had been on the DL for a long time and was only reactivated recently. There is a rule that the MLB has that states a player can’t be traded if he is not healthy enough to play. You are not allowed to trade a player who is on the disabled list. While he was technically not on the DL when the trade occurred the Indians immediately placed him back on the DL indicating that he was not healthy enough to play again. Three of the major contenders in the AL complained to the commissioner’s office about how the trade was shady and bending the rules. This is a major deal because Donaldson is the type of impact player that can shape the course of the AL pennant race and if he wasn’t healthy he shouldn’t have been allowed to have been traded before August 31st and since he would’ve been traded after that date it would render him ineligible for the playoffs. I think that this was definitely a shady trade and the Indians probably shouldn’t have been allowed to trade for Donaldson at that time so they shouldn’t be allowed to have him for the playoffs. Unfortunately for other AL playoff teams there isn’t too much that can be done at this point to counteract the trade as it wasn’t “technically” illegal. believe that there should be no deadline for when a player has to be traded to make the postseason. I think that teams should be able to trade up until game 162 as this will create new strategies that GM’s will have to employ over the course of the season.
Please Note: The opinions expressed here are individual opinions and should not be considered the opinions of the organization.
"Baseball was, is and always will be the best game in the world"
- Babe Ruth
The matchup in the 2018 World Series pits the Boston Red Sox against the Los Angeles Dodgers. This is going to be a matchup between two iconic, big-market teams with the Red Sox having the highest payroll in baseball and the Dodgers having the fourth highest payroll in baseball. The Red Sox are looking to prove their place as one of the best teams in history after a 108 win season while the Dodgers are looking to find redemption after their crushing defeat in Game 7 of the World Series last year. In terms of offense Boston has the advantage as they lead the MLB in runs this past season with the help of MVP candidates Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez. Now the Dodgers are no slackers on offense finishing 5th in the MLB in runs scored plus they only got part of a season out of trade deadline acquisitions of All-Stars Manny Machado and Brian Dozier. As for starting pitching the advantage would definitely go to the Dodgers as starting pitching in the playoffs is about having star power up front and the Dodgers have plenty of that. Their rotation is fronted by 3-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw, phenom rookie Walker Buehler, and Hyun-Jin Ryu who pitched to a 1.97 ERA in 15 starts this year. Buehler has proved that he has ice in his veins with amazing performances in Game 163 against the Rockies and in Game 7 of the NLCS against the Brewers. Kershaw and Ryu have also put in stellar performances this year in the postseason. As for the Red Sox they have a very weakened starting rotation. Their ace Chris Sale has been dealing with many health issues recently, their number two pitcher David Price has infamously has had issues when it comes to pitching in the postseason only getting his first postseason win in the ALCS, and Nathan Eovaldi has looked stellar since coming over to the Red Sox via trade but still has been a league average pitcher most of his career. Look to the starting rotation to be possibly the deciding factor in this series. Now onto the bullpens. Both bullpens for these teams are very even. Both teams have elite closers who have tendencies to be pretty shaky in the postseason with the Red Sox having Craig Kimbrel and the Dodgers having Kenley Jansen. Both teams have very solid middle relievers with the Red Sox being fronted by Ryan Brasier and Matt Barnes with the Dodgers being fronted by Pedro Baez and Ryan Madson. I would say these teams bullpens are pretty similar to each other. The last category is the defenses of the two teams and this is where the Red Sox have a huge advantage. The Red Sox have great defenders all over the field. The Red Sox have one of the best defensive outfields of all time with potential gold glovers at every position while the Dodgers outfield is often full of platoon players who are all solid fielders but do not compare to the gold glovers on the Red Sox. When it comes to the infield both teams have solid fielders at every position but none of them would be in the rank of a top fielders. Catcher is where the differences become really apparent as the Red Sox have very good defensive catchers in Sandy Leon and Christian Vasquez while the Dodgers main catcher is Yasmani Grandal whose defensive struggles were put in the spotlight during the NLCS against the Brewers. In my opinion this will be a very close World Series between two very good teams but I have to give a slight advantage to the Red Sox with their lethal offense and phenomenal defense. The Red Sox one weak spot is their pitching but their defense really helps to alleviate this issue and make it not seem as evident as if they didn’t have such a great defense.