AND DOWN THE STRETCH THEY COME! With about 30 games left in the regular season, the MLB season gets ready for its stretch run before October takes in full effect. It heats up in the American League East as finally the A-Rod banter took its toll with Ryan Dempster as he decided to peg A-Rod on his 4th attempt of hitting him last Sunday. I found it amusing but at the same time was a big time no-go when it comes to sportsmanship in the way he did it. Hence why he got suspended even though he didn’t affect his playing time when it came to his position in the rotation. An even bigger story than this was the success of Ichiro Suzuki this past week.
Ichiro Suzuki is a man that will go down in MLB lore as the Seattle Mariners saver for the majority of his career. The sad part is he was the furthest thing from a team player when it came to his overall success on the Seattle Mariners. Before his historic season in 2004 he was a pretty good team player, but something struck in his mind after that 2004 season, when Edgar Martinez was finally ending an era in Seattle, and he decided to become this self-imposed me-me, I own this city type of mantra. His performance yearly was absolutely amazing and you cannot question his work ethic, but his ego did start affecting the potential movement of the team. It’s not his fault that Bill Bavasi ruined the entire growth of this team when they were going through a rebuilding process, but Ichiro denying relinquishment of his #1 spot in the batting order when the team clearly needed a contact hitter in the #3 hole was a sign of things to come in his ability to help the team as much as he could. He fired Mike Hargrove in the process of his heightened egotistical mentality when they got into a scuffle midway through his Mariners career. Again, the guy got the job done and was a phenomenal attribute to his hitting, but he started playing to improve himself as a product instead of doing what he could to improve the well-being of the team. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy that he reached this milestone that only 2 other men have reached and I was one of his biggest fans when he was in Seattle, but overtime you started to see an Ichiro that really gave less and less when it came to his overall team commitment to this franchise with his time in Seattle and it was quite evident especially in his final couple of seasons. Awesome career Ichiro, in-fact, one of the greatest ever, but you shouldn’t fool yourself that he didn’t do “EVERYTHING” he could to improve the state of the Seattle Mariners when they needed him to bat in other positions in the lineup.
Yasiel Puig decided to stay out late during this week in Miami with the likes of LeBron James, and other people within the Cuban community, then that night after showing up late to the ballpark win the game with a homerun. This guy can do nothing wrong. He is currently the Superman of major league baseball, and nobody can stop him anytime soon.
There was an 18 inning game on Saturday this week that was played while Max Scherzer also won his 19th game of the regular season. The chase for 25 wins is now in effect. This guy can do it with at least 6 to 7 more starts left for his season. Hopefully he gets it done as I’ve been saying the past month and a half.
Aaron Hernandez was formally indicted this week and nobody cared in the courtroom as the hearing only lasted about 10 minutes. Wake me up when the man actually speaks in the court and this thing gets rolling mid-2014.
Tokyo won the Little League World Series over some team in California on Sunday. Since that’s over now we can focus on real baseball the last couple months of the season.
I think the biggest news for me personally was the announced retirement of Allen Iverson. This was the man that defied the saying of to hurt, too small, and too much of a distraction. He showed up every night whether he had a broken foot, strained back, broken fingers, thigh contusions, stiff back, or twisted ankles, he balled till he could not ball anymore. Practice will be the main thing he’ll be remembered for, but this guy will go down as one of the badest dudes to ever lace up the sneakers. As a guy who refused to leave the court, a guy who could break anyone’s ankles, and dove on the floor whenever there was a loose ball weather his back was dorked up or his shoulders will messed up, he played hard. He had a trait very few athletes or even people hold in today’s world; Toughness. Pure and sheer toughness, a guy who played way past his size and had the heart of a warrior, and with all that being said and all those injuries happening in his life, he also finishes his career with almost the same average points per game higher than Kobe Bryant. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, this guy was a pound for pound stud beyond what others could bring especially when it came to his ability to stay on the court with guys almost a 6 inches taller than the position he played. Practice, hell yeah we talking about practice.
Live football action will be on this upcoming week. Let’s get it. See you next week. Make sure to check out my Preseason Prediction Blog that should be up sometime this week. You will get updates and will have full, in-depth analysis of each team throughout the 17 week season with postseason predictions and a Super Bowl pick all in one blog. It should be one heck of a write and I’m excited to share it with you all! Keep an eye out!