This Week in Baseball

-Taylor Ballinger, Matt Korte, Jeff Gangloff

Good morning and Happy Independence Day, Nation! I hope you have a weekend full of fun, family, and fireworks on the horizon. We’re back with our weekly installment of “This Week in Baseball”, where Taylor, Matt, and Jeff will highlight interesting and/or important stories happening throughout baseball. As always, hope you enjoy – and let us know what you’ve been reading by posting in the comment section below.

2015 MLB All-Rookie Team at the Midseason Mark by Zach Rymer, Bleacher Report

Baseball has always been a kid’s sport played by men…but the ever-changing face of baseball would lead us to believe that baseball at the professional level is a kid’s game played by kid’s; big, strong, fast kids.  As we approach the mid-summer classic, this list details the best rookie’s in the first half of the 2015 season.  Most players on this list have only been able to buy a beer within the past year, and the talent they posses is scary good.  Of course, as a Reds fan its depressing not to be represented on this list, but never the less, with uber prospects now turned pros like Kris Bryant, Joc Pedersen and Carlos Correa…I’m excited to see these young stars develop in the coming seasons. (Korte)

As Bar Codes Replace Tickets, Something Is Lost Before the First Pitch by Seth Berkman, New York Times

Over the past few seasons, baseball has slowly started the transformation of shedding its historic and antiquated ways in favor of more modern upgrades.  Umpire reviews, pace of play rules, etc…all coming into our historic game.  One area that can be and has been overshadowed at times has to do more with how we get into the games rather than how the games are played.  More often than not, we enter the gates of our favorite stadiums by scanning our smartphones or bringing digital tickets printed from our home computers…but this raises an interesting question and one that is tackled in this article.  As a kid I can remember going to games and keeping my tickets afterwards, even for meaningless games…but what about in 2015?  What are kids (and adults) keeping as mementos from their first big league game or a no hitter? Is this an area where technology is actually hurting one of the great traditions of the sport we love? (Korte)

Why June was MLB’s wildest month by Paul Casella, Sports on Earth

Baseball isn’t as fun when the Reds are struggling, but last month had its fair share of interesting accomplishments and stories. Here’s a compilation of 10 of the best moments from a wild June, including Billy Hamilton’s five-steal masterpiece on June 14. It also has videos, for the reading-averse. (Ballinger)

Just in time for Canada Day, our 15th annual all-Canadian baseball team by Bob Elliott, Toronto Sun

In the hullabaloo that surrounds our nation’s Independence Day, it’s easy to forget about America’s hat.  But, with everyone’s favorite Canadian playing for our beloved Redlegs, I thought I’d throw out this list for your enjoyment. Canada, thank you for giving us hockey, poutine, and Joey Votto. (Ballinger)

MLB All-Star voting 2015: Latest ballot results before roster reveal by Andrew Gould, Bleacher Report

It was great seeing Redleg Nation get behind Todd Frazier in the last-second blitz to get him a spot in the starting lineup for the All-Star Game. Not only does he deserve to start based on his performance, having him start would be great for the city of Cincinnati and for Reds fans in what has been a difficult season thus far. And now…we wait. I’ve got a good feeling about this one. (Ballinger)

MLB’s gaudy 4th of July hats, yes or no?

Baseball and America go hand in hand. And this year, as always, teams will be wearing special 4th of July hats to commemorate our nation’s independence (and capitalism). These hats, as the title strongly suggests, are extremely ugly. Please don’t buy them. Can we stop monetizing patriotism? These hats are $37 online. A better use of your $37 would be a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project. But, hey, it’s a free country. Spend your money however you want. USA! USA! USA! (Ballinger)