Jesse Dougherty – The Washington Post: When people refer to America as a melting pot I tend to roll my eyes. It’s a phrase that gnaws at me for no other reason than it is very cliche. There is truth in that phrase, cliche-ridden or not. Baseball in America is truly the embodiment of the melting pot idea. Every league is full of players who speak different languages, come from different countries, and present wildly different worldviews. It makes sense then that American baseball clubs are moving away from antiquated ways and towards a system where English speaking players are expected to learn the languages of their non-English speaking teammates. Currently, there is a lot of work to be done in this regard, but American teams are finally starting to pay attention to the totality of the global game of baseball.
Emma Baccellieri – Sports Illustrated: Major League Baseball is notoriously hardwired against change. Even after changes have actually taken place on the field those in charge of the game are slow to react to those changes. The way the save was implemented is one such example of how the game being played changed even as those in power didn’t quite want to recognize the change. The backstory of how the save came to be is fascinating, and shows that change happens, even if those in charge are leery of the process.
Burly – Burly’s Baseball Musings: When I get the chance to pimp an article about the dominance of Mike Loree, pimp away I must. I’m a big fan of what Loree has been able to accomplish in the Chinese Professional Baseball League. Most baseball fans have never even heard of Loree, but in Taiwan, he has made a career for himself as a fantastic pitcher. In a hitter-friendly league, he continues to dominate and baffle hitters with his forkball. I can’t get enough of what Loree is doing on the mound, and until the day that father time finally catches up to him, I will enjoy every stellar year he manages to produce.
Lead photo courtesy of Unknown – Unknown