The Oberlin Review

For Baseball Players in Cuba, a Unique Naming Convention

Julie Schreiber, Staff Writer

September 7, 2018

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

For many people in the United States, the happenings of everyday life in Cuba are nothing short of mysterious. Although the two countries are separated by a mere 103 miles, a half-century of socially-and-economically-restrictive international policy has made it difficult for most citizens of either country to understand what goes on in the other. One way in which Cuba has managed to exert its influence in American culture over the past 50 years is through Major League Baseball. Cuba is one of four major countries in Latin America (the others being Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Venezuela) that have produced some of the most successful baseball players worldwide in recent decades, including many who ...

Harvey’s Rollercoaster Mets Career Comes to a Close

Alex McNicoll, Sports Editor

May 11, 2018

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

The New York Mets traded their once-star pitcher Matt Harvey to the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday, signaling the end of one of the most frustrating eras in a franchise that is not averse to failure. Whether it was the injuries — he had Tommy John surgery in 2013 and was diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome in 2016 — his terrible attitude, or the unrelenting storm that is the New York media to blame, what all fans can agree on is that as amazing as he was, he was twice as maddening. When Harvey debuted in July 2012, he turned heads from the get-go, striking out 11 batters in his first appearance. The Mets had not been relevant since losing to the Cardinals in the National League Championship Series in 2006, and their fan b...

MLB Should Expand Influence in Latin America

Alexis Dill, Sports Editor

April 27, 2018

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Editorials & Features

One month into the 2018 Major League Baseball season, fans have had plenty to marvel at. Last week, they saw Oakland Athletics left-hander Sean Manaea no-hit the Boston Red Sox, the team that currently boasts the best record in the league at 19–5. They watched Los Angeles Angels superstar Mike Trout lift his 10th home run of the season over the fence Tuesday, making him the first player this season to enter double digits in the category. However, nothing made fans cheer louder than when Cleveland’s shortstop, Francisco Lindor, hit a two-run bomb in an exhibition game against the Minnesota Twins in Puerto Rico last week. Lindor, who was born in Caguas, Puerto Rico, is considered a hero there. As he walked past h...

Shohei Ohtani Defies Asian-Athlete Stereotypes in MLB Debut

Jane Agler, Staff Writer

April 6, 2018

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

Major League Baseball’s opening day is not only a signifier that spring weather is fast approaching; it is also a celebration of clean slates and the purest of hopes for the oncoming season. Baseball franchises and fans alike approached the day with full hearts and the mentality that anything could happen this season. But while there are 30 teams in the MLB with 25-player active rosters that all competed on this day, there seemed to be a massive spotlight shining on a single member of the league: the Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani. Not only is he an instant star in the MLB, but he is also just as important to the Asian athletic community in the U.S. and an inspiration to me as an Asian-American sports fan. Standin...

MLB Offseason Spending Highlights Change in Values

Alex McNicoll, Sports Editor

February 23, 2018

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

The Boston Red Sox signed outfielder J.D. Martinez to a five-year $110 million mega-deal Monday. On the surface, the deal will help them contend with their American League East rival New York Yankees this season, after they made headlines by acquiring National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins. However, with the contract finalization so close to the start of the season — spring training starts today — it highlights an alarming trend of MLB teams choosing not to sign blue-chip free agents, opting instead to pocket extra cash. With four of the top 10 free agents of this offseason still unsigned, MLB teams appear to have adopted the strategy of tanking. Thirty-year-old Martinez comes off a career yea...

Chief Wahoo Logo Overhaul Long Overdue, Despite Fan Disappointment

Alexis Dill, Sports Editor

February 9, 2018

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Editorials & Features

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced Jan. 29 that Cleveland baseball will stop sporting the Chief Wahoo logo on uniforms after the 2018 season. The cartoon caricature, first featured on players’ caps and jersey sleeves in 1948, has sparked controversy since the 1970s. The statement, which read, “the logo is no longer appropriate for on-field use in Major League Baseball,” appeared to have split baseball fans and others into two categories: “racists” bummed by the news and “soft liberals” offended by the fact that the logo ever existed in the first place. Neither side is more correct than the other, and being able to understand and appreciate both sides of an argument is a skill that most of us need...

Write-In Votes for Athletes Must Consider Qualifications

Alex McNicoll, Sports Editor

December 1, 2017

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Editorials & Features

New York sports fans found a novel way of honoring their athletes off the field last month, as the New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge and Knick’s Kristaps Porzingis received write-in votes for mayor of New York City in November’s election. Judge, the Rookie of the Year who came in second place for American League MVP; and Porzingis, the Latvian-born phenom averaging 27 points a game this year, were not the first — and certainly won’t be the last — athletes to earn this sort of appreciation from fans. Instead, their write-ins indicate how athletes play multifaceted roles in fans’ lives beyond in the sports themselves. Fresh off a Boston Red Sox world series win, World Series MVP David Ortiz came in third place...

Manfred, MLB Must Rid Baseball of Discrimination

Julie Schreiber, Sports Editor

November 10, 2017

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Editorials & Features

During game three of the 2017 World Series, Houston Astros’ first baseman Yuli Gurriel made a racist gesture in the dugout after hitting a homerun off of Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish, a native of Japan. The camera displayed Gurriel pulling his eyes back and mouthing the term “chinito” to a teammate, a slang term for “little Chinese boy.” Gurriel — who later apologized and tipped his helmet to Darvish in game seven of the series — didn’t face immediate punishment from the MLB, but eventually was suspended for the first five games of the 2018 baseball season and will have to undergo mandatory sensitivity training before playing again. While Gurriel should have been reprimanded more severely, the...

Beltrán Champions Houston Astros, Puerto Rican Relief Efforts

Alex McNicoll, Sports Editor

October 27, 2017

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

Carlos Beltrán is a surefire Hall of Fame baseball player, with nine All-Star appearances and 2,725 career hits and counting in his 20-year career in the MLB. However, for more than 10 years, Beltrán has been marred by one moment. In 2006, Beltrán was playing for the New York Mets as they battled through the National League playoffs. In game seven of the league’s championship series, down two runs, he stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the ninth. With two outs and bases loaded, he struck out looking. Beltrán now travels with the Houston Astros to the World Series, and while he finally has a chance to win a championship, he also finds his voice off the field in the twilight of his career. Despite Houston’s ...

MLB’s Departure From Traditional Values Detrimental to Culture

Alex McNicoll, Sports Editor

September 8, 2017

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

From Aaron Judge’s 500-foot blasts to Aroldis Chapman’s 103 mile-an-hour fastballs, there’s something about Major League Baseball that departs from its place in the bedrocks of American society for over 100 years. While baseball, like all sports, is constantly evolving, its growing overreliance on statistics is rapidly changing the sport’s foundation. Baseball has always been a game whose allure lies as much in the time between actions as it does in the actions themselves. Since there is no game-clock, before each pitch there is a building anticipation, and until the final out, there is potential for something great to happen. All of the life that exists between plays has given the MLB the character and quirk...

A Once-in-a-Century Season

Randy Ollie, Sports Editor

March 4, 2016

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Editorials & Features

With the Major League Baseball preseason in full swing, baseball fans across the country are gearing up for what looks to be another competitive and exciting year for America’s favorite pastime. Along with the excitement and jubilation that precede the start of the regular sea­son this summer, another feeling has been permeat­ing throughout Chicago’s north side: hope. Chicago Cubs fans have plenty of reasons to be hopeful after a 2015 sea­son that was chock-full of accolades and accom­plishments. In his MLB debut, third baseman Kris Bryant was named MLB Rookie of the Year, while manger Joe Maddon was named MLB Manager of the Year after only one season with the Cubs. Ace pitcher Jake Arrieta was also honored...

World Series Approaches

Nate Levinson, Sports Editor

October 3, 2014

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Editorials & Features

Last Wednesday marked the first day of October, which means one thing: It’s once again time for postseason baseball. This year’s edition features a few old staples, as well as some new faces searching for Major League Baseball’s ultimate prize. Neither the American nor the National League have a clear favorite, as the Tigers, Orioles and Angels all look capable of making a run in the AL, and both the Dodgers and Nationals stand out from the crowd in the NL. Despite winning 94 games and beating out the Giants for the NL West crown by six games, the Dodgers underperformed for most of the year, especially considering the fact that they had the league’s highest payroll and played in the same division as the t...

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