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The Weekend in Baseball

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
May/04/2021

The first month of the MLB season is behind us, and teams are settling in for the long summer marathon, with the hopes of making it to October.

Yankees Righting the Ship

The struggles that were plaguing the American League-favorite Yankees the first three weeks of the season seem to be a thing of the past. As bad as New York has been, they begin the baseball week at .500 (14-14) and on a three-game win streak. Despite the dismal start, they never wavered as the sportsbook choice to win the American League East, still boasting -125 odds.

Corey Kluber was outstanding on Sunday, throwing eight scoreless innings and lowering his ERA to 3.03. The offense isn’t all the way on track, only backing Kluber’s effort with a pair of runs. But on Friday, they scored a season-high 10 runs, so there are signs of life.

Royals Watch

When the season began, Kansas City to win the American League Central was paying +3500. Today that same bet on the Royals pays just +375.

Kansas City has the best record in the American League, and Danny Duffy looks like the best starting pitcher in the league. He has an ERA of 0.60 through five starts, only trailing Zack Grienke’s start in 2009 for best in franchise history. Grienke won the Cy Young that year.

Duffy has shown these flashes of brilliance in the past, but they’ve never been sustained to this level or length. He’s never made more than 28 starts in a season, so it’s not likely sustainable for much longer into this year. But the entire team is playing great baseball, and Kansas City’s young pitching staff is going to remain competitive throughout the summer.

Braves Lose Travis d’Arnaud

It was not a good April for the Braves. They were the favorite to win the division on Opening Day, but they are now behind the Mets with that distinction. They enter Monday on a four-game losing streak, in fourth place in the division, and now find themselves in search of a catcher.

Travis d’Arnaud injured his thumb on Saturday night, and on Sunday he was put on the 60-day injured list. Making matters worse, backup catcher Alex Jackson also landed on the 10-day injured list with a bad hamstring.

D’Arnaud has been one of the many Braves struggling this year. He was hitting just .220 at the time of the injury, compared to the .321 he hit in 2020. Replacing d’Arnaud in the lineup will be a combination of 23-year-old William Contreras and 38-year-old Jeff Mathis. 

Roberto Alomar Kicked Out of Baseball

The Toronto Blue Jays and Major League Baseball have completed their investigation into sexual harassment allegations involving Roberto Alomar, and he has been placed on the league’s ineligible list. That means that Alomar is banned from working in any league office or for any Major League team or affiliated minor league team.

Alomar was working on commissioner Rob Manfred’s competition committee and was a league consultant in Puerto Rico. He was also serving as a special assistant to the Blue Jays, but all of those positions have been terminated.

The allegations of misconduct were made recently, but the incident in question occurred in 2014. In a statement released by the Blue Jays, the team said, “Based upon [Commissioner Manfred’s] conclusion and our review of the investigation’s findings, the Blue Jays are severing all ties with Alomar, effective immediately.”

The team has also decided to remove the two-time World Series champion from its Level of Excellence and take down his Hall of Fame banner.

Alomar released his own statement, in which he said, “I am disappointed, surprised, and upset with today’s news. With the current social climate, I understand why Major League Baseball has taken the position they have. My hope is that the allegation can be heard in a venue that will allow me to address the accusation directly.”

Major League Baseball has been criticized in the past for how it has dealt with claims of sexual harassment in the workplace, although it is working to change that history. In 2019 Astros assistant GM Brandon Taubman was put on the ineligible list after a rant against women reporters surfaced.

This past offseason Mets GM Jared Porter was forced to resign for his treatment of a woman reporter, and former Angels pitching coach Mickey Callaway was suspended in February for allegations of misconduct from five different women.

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