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.

What would Babe Ruth’s walk-up song have been? by Dave Schoenfeld, ESPN

Walk up songs weren’t around back in the day, but what if some of the best players in history did have a walk up song? Dave Schoenfeld speculates what those songs could have been and how they fit the player and era they’re associated with. While we’re at it, can you suggest a good walk up song for Pete Rose? I’m going to go with Jay-Z’s “I’m A Hustler Baby”, for obvious reasons. (Gangloff)

Picking seven biggest storylines from season’s last month by Cliff Corcoran, Sports Illustrated

The last month of the season can be a drag for some. With our beloved Reds completely out of contention, the above article lists some intriguing baseball storylines that may be worth paying attention to. From Big Papi’s pursuit of 500 home runs, to Paul Goldschmidt’s outside shot at a triple crown, September is brewing with opportunity for a fun close to the season. (Gangloff)

More than Iron Man: Cal Ripken’s Second Basemen Remember a Legend by Jesse Spector, Sporting News

It’s hard to think that it was 20 years ago that Cal Ripken Jr became the new age iron-man as he took the crown for most consecutive games played; it’s even harder to imagine that streak ever being threatened in the modern age of baseball.  But beyond the number of 2131, was a player that was truly unique and one of a kind in many ways.  This article outlines Ripken’s exceptionalism not through the eyes of a writer or fan, but through the eyes of four men who had the pleasure to play with Cal, four different second basemen (Korte).

MLB Position-by-Position Player Power Rankings, September Edition by Joel Reuter, Bleacher Report

Power Rankings. As the season winds down as we head into the final month, and fans in Chicago, New York and LA gear up for playoff runs, the rest of us need something to keep us busy as we qualify what happened this year.  Why not take a look at the top 10 players at each position in the Majors?  At least as Reds fans we get to see Votto streaking to #2 amongst first basemen with Todd Frazier, Aroldis Chapman and Brandon Phillips making cameos on the list.  What I like about this list; it’s a what-have-you-done for me lately list…based solely on players performances this season.  No lifetime achievement awards here! (Korte)

Bill Murray, minor-league baseball team gave car with 285,000 miles on it as a prize by Pete Grathoff, Kansas City Star

I love minor league baseball shenanigans. From funky uniforms (my Lexington Legends are wearing these wicked American Pharoah jerseys this weekend) to strange promotions (remember the Lennay Kekua bobblehead night from the Florence Freedom), minor league teams have to get creative to drive attendance and keep people engaged. In South Carolina, where Bill Murray is part-owner and “Director of Fun” for the Charleston River Dogs, one lucky fan walked away with a 1998 Honda Civic with over 285,000 miles in recognition of the River Dogs topping the 285,000 attendance mark on the season. Baseball is fun. (Ballinger)

Bat flipping draws shrugs in South Korea but scorn in America by Andrew Keh, NY Times

I say again, baseball is fun. It’s entertainment. It’s not life or death or something to be taken overly seriously. This is why I’m pro-bat flip, and anti-stodgy, unwritten “codes” that seem to govern baseball in America. This article explores the bat flipping phenomenon in South Korea…and has some great videos to boot. If you can hit a baseball 400+ feet then you should be within your rights to bat flip the heck out of it. (Ballinger)