Marc Carig – The Athletic ($): Super teams don’t come along all that often. Having an Under-18 Unites States National Team full of not just major leaguers, but two of the best to ever play the game, well, that’s even rarer. The 2009 U-18 US team was something to behold, and hearing how they ran through tough opponents while still making time to be kids is the sort of baseball story one needs to read every once in a while.
Joseph Bien-Kahn – Gen: I’m in the middle of greatly enjoying Serie del Rey games this week. That’s the championship series for Liga Mexicana de Béisbol, and since the 2016 season, it has had quite a different look. Baseball is coming more global, and a corollary of that has been the desire of vast numbers of American born players to play abroad. In some leagues roster limitation on the number of foreigners a team can carry make that difficult. LMB has found a way around that, by counting players with Mexican heritage as homegrown Mexican players. This has resulted in an influx of such players into the league, but at what cost? Sure, baseball is global, but is it really helping baseball in Mexico if more and more roster spots are being taken up by Americans? I’m not sure I know the answer to that question, and neither does LMB.
Jon Tayler – Sports Illustrated: Tanking remains a hot button topic in Major League Baseball. I’ve beaten this drum many times, but I’m not about to stop anytime soon. The reality is that MLB is facing a real crisis of competitiveness. Fans don’t care about market inefficiencies, years of control, or the owners’ bank accounts. They care about their team trying to win as many games as possible. At some point, the sheer number of MLB teams tanking will cause a financial backlash from fans. By the time MLB owners realize what their penny-pinching ways have caused it may be too late.
Lead photo courtesy of Unknown – AGP Deportes