Every-Thing Sports

MLB has middle child syndrome

MLB Official Twitter Account

Super Bowl LIV was still being celebrated on the field by the Kansas City Chiefs when MLB sent out the pic you see up above. Andy Reid was probably on the stage expounding his great love for the celebratory cheeseburger when they felt compelled to let everyone know that it's "Our turn." Really guys? This has been happening for the last few years. Similar tweets, similar timing, all the same message: it's time to pay attention to us now sports world. It's time someone sat MLB down and told them of their place in the pecking order.

Look at me guys!

The need to draw attention to one's self screams middle child syndrome. It's when the second of three kids feels left out with no defined role in the family because it's no longer the baby and not the first born. Why else would they feel the need to let the world know their season is about to start? People don't care enough about baseball and MLB is the reason why. They have a lot of work to do in order to bring organic attention to themselves. Tweets like this make them look thirsty.

Barely second

MLB, for now, is the second most popular sport in the country. If they're not careful, they'll fall to third behind basketball. There are a myriad of things they need to improve upon in order to stand firm in the two hole and fend off basketball, but that's another article for another day. Basketball, by some metrics, will appear to be third. But when you look at how modern the NBA is and how wildly popular the NCAA Tournament is, I don't see how baseball can rival that. Men literally plan vasectomies around the NCAA Tournament. When was the last time anyone planned anything around something baseball-related? Soccer is coming on strong with the youth movement and guys like Christian Pulisic are going to push it forward and could even surpass baseball if it isn't more careful.

It used to be the most popular

You ever sat around and talked about the good old days? If you're as old, or older, than I am, it's something you do quite often. Things that remind you of your youth when you're an old will give you some life, especially when the memories are good ones. MLB does this way too much. Its over-reliance on antiquated traditions are also what tends to hold the sport back. I love history so don't take this as a knock. But MLB needs to find a balance between honoring its traditions and coming into the 21st century. Don't be Al Bundy MLB.

If they aren't careful, MLB will wake up one day further towards the back of the line instead of the front. They're being pushed and challenged, but aren't fighting back much. This is like watching an MMA fight, but one fighter has on boxing gloves. The fans who once had baseball and MLB as the undisputed number one are literally dying off. The way we consume sports is changing. MLB has to continue to evolve or it will become a victim of it's middle child syndrome.

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Yordan Alvarez provided the offense to back up more stellar pitching by the Astros as they took ALCS game 6 to advance to the 2021 World Series. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

After splitting the first two games of this series in Houston then falling behind in the series 2-1 by dropping the first of three games in Boston, the Astros took over the ALCS in Games 4 and 5, sending them back to their home crowd with a chance to finish things off in Game 6 at Minute Maid Park. After another stellar performance by their pitching staff and more timely hitting, they would accomplish that mission, winning the series and moving on to the 2021 World Series.

Final Score: Astros 5, Red Sox 0

ALCS Series (Best of Seven): Houston wins 4-2

Winning Pitcher: Luis Garcia

Losing Pitcher: Nathan Eovaldi

Houston strikes first to start tightly-contested Game 6

After a scoreless top of the first inning by Boston's offense, the Astros capitalized on a chance to be first to score in the bottom of the frame. Alex Bregman started the two-out rally, reaching base on a single against Nathan Eovaldi for the first hit of the night. Yordan Alvarez followed, delivering his sixth RBI of the series with a double to put Houston on top 1-0.

That did not spark further immediate scoring, as the one-run score held while both starting pitchers provided solid outings for their team. For Eovaldi, he was able to limit Houston to just that single run through four frames. He returned in the bottom of the fifth, facing two batters, allowing a single, and getting a strikeout to end his night.

Garcia impresses in big start

For the home team, they were recipients of another expectation-exceeding performance from one of their young arms. Only anticipated to go a handful of innings, Luis Garcia worked efficiently and effectively against Boston, keeping them scoreless and hitless through five innings. He continued in the sixth, getting two more outs before allowing a two-out triple, ending his night as Phil Maton would enter to strand the tying run. Garcia's final line: 5.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 76 P.

With both teams dipping into their bullpens, the Astros took advantage of Boston's as Yordan Alvarez's dominance went on display once again. He led the inning off with a triple, then scored on a double-play ball to extend Houston's lead to 2-0. Kendall Graveman took over on the mound in the top of the seventh and worked himself into a big moment. He gave up a one-out walk, followed by a single, which put runners on the corners for Boston. He continued to struggle with the zone, falling behind the next batter 3-1, but was able to battle back to get the strikeout paired with a terrific throw by Martin Maldonado to cut down the runner from first trying to steal second, ending the inning and maintaining the two-run advantage.

Astros headed to the World Series

Ryne Stake was Houston's next reliever, and he put Houston three outs away by getting a 1-2-3 eighth. With Ryan Pressly warming, he watched and hoped that his offense could give him some more insurance to work with when he went to the mound in the top of the ninth. His wish would be granted, as after getting two on base, Kyle Tucker would put a major exclamation point on the night's offense, hitting a three-run opposite-field homer to the Crawford Boxes to push the lead to 5-0.

Pressly, now with the five-run lead, came on to try and start the celebration by getting the final three outs. Against the tougher part of Boston's order, he would get a 1-2-3 inning, giving the Astros the American League pennant, which along with those won in 2017 and 2019, puts them back in the World Series for the third time in five years.

Up Next: The Astros will have three days off before The Fall Classic kicks off. While Game 1 will be on Tuesday, October 26th, nothing else has yet been determined as Houston awaits to see which of the Dodgers and Braves will advance out of the NL, which will also dictate if the Astros will host or travel to World Series Game 1.

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