Big MLB Stories From the First Two Weeks

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Fans cheer as Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani (17), of Japan, heads to the dugout after the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics, Sunday, April 8, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Baseball is here, and it is glorious. The season is now two weeks old, and a lot has happened; the White Sox had a game where less than a thousand people showed up, the Dodgers are bad, the Mets are apparently going to win 125 games, and the Marlins had more fans show up to a AA game than an MLB game. So, let’s take a look at some of the funnest, strangest, and best story lines of the season thus far.

 

Shohei Ohtani is the best player in the history of the world.

shohei ohtani

Okay, this might be a bit of an overshoot, but not by much. The 23-year old 2-way Japanese phenom has been, well, phenomenal. He has looked like an ace on the mound and a top-tier DH when he’s in the lineup, and he has certainly shut his critics up (looking at you, Jeff Passan). Ohtani has already hit 3 bombs, is currently slashing .364/.417/.773 with a WRC+ of 168 (this was before Thursday’s game against the Royals where he had a bases-clearing triple). On top of that, he has a 2.08 ERA in 2 starts with 18 strikeouts and just 1 walk, including a start where he took a perfect game into the 7th. I think it’s safe to say he’s holding his own against major league competition. He is the star the MLB needs. It seems like everyone is tuning in to watch him.

 

MLB Fights: The good, the bad, and the Yadi.

yadier-molina-and-torey-lovullo_1uv113xtt6k1u1e1lnbmgloai6

There have already been 3 pretty serious altercations that resulted in suspensions for multiple players/a manager. The first came in a game between the Cardinals and the D-backs. Arizona manager, Torey Lovullo, was unhappy with a call and, I guess, Yadier Molina’s pitch framing. He proceeds to call Yadi a “motherfucker” twice right in front of him. After the 2nd, Yadi gets up to fight him and they have to be separated by the ump, whom Molina shoves (resulting in a 1 game suspension). To be honest, I can’t really blame Yadi for this one. Call me a motherfucker once, I’ll let it slide. Call me a motherfucker twice, I’m coming at your throat. This Cubs fan has to side with Molina.

Then, we had bench-clearing brawls between the Padres and Rockies, and the Red Sox and Yankees on the same day. You can check those out below. As of now, no suspension has been handed down for the Padres-Rockies altercation. Tyler Austin of the Yankees received a 5 game suspension, and Joe Kelly of the Red Sox received a 6 game suspension for their parts in the fight.

 

Bryce Harper continues to do Bryce Harper-y things.

bryce harper

Other than his ability to absolutely mash baseballs, which has been on full display so far this season, there are 3 things here that have been pretty fantastic involving Harper. First, while playing the Reds in Cinci, Harper is up to bat and as the pitch is being delivered, you can hear a fan yell “OVERRATED” at Harper. What does he do, you ask? He proceeds to hit said pitch about 450 feet. Just incredible timing. The 2nd thing is from their series in Atlanta. As most people know, it’s been widely rumored that Harper will be joining long-time friend Kris Bryant in Chicago this offseason, and the Braves’ organist had some fun with that. During the game, they would play a random song, somehow making fun of each player, and when Harper stepped to the plate, he heard “Go Cubs Go” ringing out from the loud speakers. I guess he should get used to hearing that. Lastly, we have the video that popped up on his twitter this week of him using not 1, but 2 hair dryers. I guess you gotta do what you gotta do if you want to have a head of hair like that.

 

Unwritten rules should be written down.

unwritten rules

I just want to take a second to tell Brian Dozier he can GTFO. To set the scene, it’s the 9th inning of a 7-0 game, the Orioles are getting 1-hit and rookie Chance Sisco steps to the plate. The Twins put on a big shift, so instead of trying to hit the ball oppo, Sisco drops down a bunt for a single. Nothing wrong with that, unless you’re Brian Dozier. After the game, he launched into a ridiculous rant saying that’s not how you play the game and there are unwritten rules against that. I guess they should be written down. Also, it’s not like it was a no-hitter(for the record, I still wouldn’t have had a problem with bunting to beat the shift in a no-no). There is absolutely nothing wrong with what Sisco did, and Brian Dozier can fuck off. Just absurd to be upset about a guy bunting to beat the shift.

 

James Paxton is now an American.

james-paxton-eagle

On April 5th, the Twins decided to put on a show for the National Anthem and released a Bald Eagle to fly majestically over the field. Unfortunately for Mariners pitcher James Paxton, it decided to land on his shoulder instead of the trainer. Now, Paxton remained calm and wasn’t injured during it, but imagine if something had happened? Good lord the Twins would never stop hearing about it. The best part is that the bird happened to land on the only Canadian player on the Mariners. James Paxton is now officially an American. In fact, he is arguable more American than any of us.

 

Thanks for reading! Be sure to follow me on twitter @ChiCubsCoverage, and check out my podcast, The Grand Slam, available on iTunes, Stitcher, and most major podcast apps.

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