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. This will be our final post of the year and we thank you for keeping up with our weekly stories throughout the season. We look forward to being back next season and keeping you all up to date on whats going on weekly in Major League Baseball. 

The Great American Pitching Experiment: Why the Reds Won’t Stop Starting Rookies by Jonah Keri, Grantland

Assuming nothing changes, your Redlegs will close out the 2015 season with rookie pitchers starting the final 64 games of the year. The previous record was 41. Over that time span, the Reds have a winning percentage of around .333. Jonah Keri digs into the Reds’ mindset into why they keep running out rookie starters, despite poor results. Keri also provides some analysis of the key rookie starters who’ve seen significant playing time the past couple of months. “Thanks to injuries, trades, and a bit of a “screw it” mentality, the Reds have kept rolling with the rooks. The goal is simple: try to expedite the rebuilding process by giving young starting pitchers big league innings they might never find on other teams,” Keri said. (Ballinger)

MLB Power Rankings: Jays, Cardinals Best Teams Entering MLB Playoffs by Matt Snyder, CBS Sports

It’s playoff time, and in Cincinnati that old familiar feeling of late-season emptiness has long-since set in. There is hope, as highlighted above…but not for this year. So, for those of you that haven’t already checked out on this year’s baseball season, here’s a final (subjective) ranking of teams heading into the playoffs. I’m cheering for any team except the Cardinals, but will cheer most for KC and Toronto. How about you all? (Ballinger)

Bud Norris Comments Indicate that Baseball in Midst of Clash of Cultures by Dayn Perry, CBS Sports

For the past several years, we have seen an escalation in batters being hit by pitches; on many occasions following an at-bat where the batter show boated after hitting a home run.  This article highlights a trend in baseball where a clash of cultures has caused a great schism amongst players.  As the game continues to evolve, a greater percentage of players hail from Latin American countries…and as they come to America, they bring with them a flair in how they play the game…a flair that hasn’t always been warmly received.  The article is rooted in comments made by pitcher Bud Norris, who doesn’t seem to think Latin players are coming to America and respecting “how the game should be played.”  And apparently he isn’t alone.  While I do consider myself somewhat of a traditionalist when it comes to our national pastime, I certainly don’t mind players having a little fun while playing a “game.” (Korte)

Selecting Every MLB Team’s 2015 Regular-Season MVP by Joel Reuter, Bleacher Report

We have reached the end of the line; in a few days, two thirds of the league will be packing up their club houses and players will be going home.  Many of these teams ending the year disappointed after having underachieved; look at teams like the Tigers, Mariners and Nationals…all teams that had post-season on the mind when the season started in April.  Or teams like the Reds and Braves who are limping towards the finish line.  But, all is not lost on these teams who will not be playing deeper into October as this article highlights an MVP for each MLB team, the individual shining beacons on otherwise lost teams.  As a Reds fan, it’s obvious…Joey Votto has been a monster, especially in the second half.  But for other teams there are some surprising names on this list.  When the season began, who would have thought J.D. Martinez would have been the most valuable player for the Tigers?  Or Mookie Betts for the Reds Sox? (Korte)

Has Taylor Swift cursed your baseball team? by Adam Chandler, The Atlantic

Taylor Swift: Singer, songwriter, and…baseball hex. The lovely pop star can do it all, even curse teams from making the playoffs. A number of cities Swift was scheduled to perform in were sitting pretty to make the playoffs…until she showed up. Since then, nothing good has seemed to happen to those teams including everything from a dramatic slide in the standings to power outages. (Gangloff)