This Week in Baseball

-Taylor Ballinger, Matt Korte, Jeff Gangloff

Good morning, Nation. 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.

Ranking All 30 MLB Farm Systems Post-Trade Deadline by Luke Strickland via Bleacher Report

Every year major scouting services put out two to three updated sets of rankings in regards to individual prospects and the strength of team’s farm systems.  There are also de facto updates when major changes happen in organizations, and the July 31st trade deadline is one of those times as inevitably a flurry of moves are made, sending a plethora of prospects across the country.  This trade deadline, literally dozens of prospects were moved, and in such, how organizations’ farm systems are now viewed have greatly changed.  This article ranks each of the 30 farm systems after the trade deadline…the Reds come in closer to the middle of pact after acquiring some well-regarded pieces in exchange for Leake and Cueto. (Korte)

The Inside Story of How ‘This Week in Baseball’ got its Iconic Theme Music by Jason Foster via The Sporting News

Has it really taken us to August to find this article?  How was this not written about earlier?  If there was ever a perfect article for Jeff, Taylor or me to post to this blog…this has to be it.  Over the course of the season I have sifted through dozens, if not hundreds of articles and this one may take the cake.  The story here details how the This Week In Baseball theme song came to be…a tune now known to millions of baseball fans throughout the country. (Korte)

Missing From Baseball Fights: Fighting by Brian Costa and Geoff Foster via The Wall Street Journal

Bench clearing brawls in baseball are becoming a punchline. They produce more bark than bite and are more of a waste of time than anything. The Wall Street Journal analyzed all 32 fights since 2014 and discovered just how many of these “fights” had just that: actual fighting. (Gangloff)

Blind baseball fan gets vision of Senior League World Series in friendship by Ernie Clark, via BDN Maine

We often take for granted some of the simple pleasures that life has to offer: the pungent smell of hotdogs at the ballpark, the popping sound of an Aroldis Chapman fastball as it hits the catcher’s mitt, seeing Joey Votto reach base yet again. For one man in Maine, though, these simple pleasures don’t come easy. See how a newfound friendship reconnected him to the game that he loved and how it his given him a new view on baseball. (Gangloff)

The Improbable Story of Baseball’s Wildest Comeback by Paul Blest, via Deadspin

On August 5th, 2001, Cleveland came back from a 12-0 deficit to beat a Mariners team that would go on to win 116 games that season. Relive the incredible comeback through this in-depth analysis of the game itself, comments from participants, and video clips. I’m just waiting for when they write one of these about the Reds blowing a 9-0 lead a few years back to the Brewers…or was it the Cubs…or the Braves…? (Ballinger)

Ichiro’s Speech to All-Stars Revealed by Jeff Passan, via Yahoo Sports

The Cleveland story took me to a story about how much Ichiro hates Cleveland, which took me to this story about Ichiro’s impact on the All-Star Game during the first decade of the new century. This is an old one…but there are lots of great Ichiro stories out there. The article itself is pretty tame – because Ichiro’s legendary pre-game speeches aren’t fit for publication. If anyone has video/audio of this, I want it. Ichiro’s an international treasure. (Ballinger)