The absence of posts during the last month has not been a product of sheer laziness, more a sad reflection on how my interest has dipped during the period. The World Cup has played a part, particularly refuelling my appetite for football which was somewhat lost due to a disappointing and demoralising season for my team, Norwich City.
Still, even in a non- football tournament summer, a mid-season Baseball lull is not unusual for me. I think it’s because I’m so used to the format in football where games generally come along once or twice a week, and each individual match-up is unique and important. 162 games is a long hard slog and after a while it can all merge into one. As the season springs to life, the best part of six months of frustration are released and I throw myself into watching as many games as possible. Then I hit a brick wall.
In International Cricket they have brought in a power play rule designed to make the middle overs of a one-day game more exciting. Often the first fifteen overs coast along and the final ten are gripping. In between there is a bit of a plateau where nothing much of note happens. The batting team rolls along picking up runs at a steady if unspectacular pace; the fielding team takes a few wickets which slows the run rate down. That opening period is important because you need to get off to a good start. The last section is crucial as the pressure is intense. The middle section is just a bridge between the two.
In a sense, the baseball season is like a one-day innings in cricket. I’ve enjoyed the opening overs but have lost concentration and I’m waiting for the excitement to pick up again. Of course, this is my fault alone rather than anything being wrong with baseball. The tough regular season schedule is a big part of what baseball such a gruelling sport.
My sabbatical has filled me with a renewed enthusiasm as I look ahead to the post-All Star half of the season. No doubt there will be many twists and turns and I can’t wait to watch them.