They think it’s all over… it is now!

Cards win! Cards win! NL wins again!

Wow! What a game! What a World Series! What a season!

Our beloved sport has come to the end of its long, long run for another year. It’s time to swap out rally caps for santa hats, wooden bats for Christmas trees, and catcher’s mitts for woolly mittens.

I’ve been following this season with the Radio 5 live sports extra crew, at first due to having no other way of following the sport, and then even after I got MLB.tv (once the priced dropped about half-way through the season) I still chose to switch the audio off and put the radio 5 guys on for Sunday evening games.
I’m glad I did it that way as they have been as entertaining and informative as ever and I will certainly do so again next year! That is of course if I remember to cancel my MLB.tv subscription before next season starts so they don’t charge me for the whole shebang… I think I’ll come in about half-way through again as a little mid-summer treat for myself.

My Brewers got as far as I have ever seen them go and I’m proud of them all, along with being a little sad that certain players, one in particular, have come to the end of their contract with the Crew.
I am however pleased that, although they were just pipped to the post, it was by the team who went on to win the WS. The Brewers also had a big part to play in the NL ASG team which allowed the Cardinals to have that one extra home game in the World Series, perhaps tipping the balance of the whole thing in their favour.

Well, we hibernate now until Spring training, or like myself some of us will be following the NFL and perhaps NHL for our American sports fix (we won’t even go into the NBA…)
Thanks for reading, listening, watching, talking, being part of this whole community of us here in the UK who have fallen under the spell of America’s pastime!

Oh, and in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!

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9 Responses to They think it’s all over… it is now!

  1. David October 30, 2011 at 8:42 am #

    It’s not quite over yet, Mark.
    Nippon Professional Baseball play offs are in full swing in Japan right now due to the delayed season because of the disaster in March.
    Fighters and Lions are doing battle as I write.
    Although you can’t watch or listen you can stay up to date on the web.
    I enjoyed your article though, all the best.

  2. Mark Baker October 30, 2011 at 9:35 am #

    Ah, touché!

    You are of course completely right in that the NPB is still in play. I did indeed say ‘Our beloved sport’ which is inaccurate, though the article is filed under ‘MLB’ so it should perhaps say ‘our beloved legue.’

    For many people MLB *is* the sport. Personally, the leagues I follow beyond our of shores are MLB, MiLB and an independent league also based in America. I would follow NPB too but as you say it’s virtually impossible to follow that league here in the UK.

    We seem to be forgetting the Southern Hemisphere leagues, which obviusly would run over what is our winter, their summer. Australia has a baseball League, as do several nations in South America.

    There are also the Winter Leagues in the Northern Hemisphere, at least one in the United States, Dominican Republic, and a scattering of other places which slip my mind.

    So all in all it’s possible to watch baseball all year round… if you had a private plane and more money and free time than you could shake a bat at!

  3. Matt Smith October 30, 2011 at 5:22 pm #

    Hi Mark. It was a great season and the Brewers undoubtedly played their part. Now there are other leagues to follow and the Hot Stove to enjoy, but the 2012 MLB season can’t come soon enough!

  4. Chico17 October 30, 2011 at 8:51 pm #

    First of all: Nice article Mark. Second: Hello to Matt Smith and Joe Gray from Chico here in the States.

    I haven’t commented in a long time because of a busy baseball season that just ended for our Wisconsin Allstars College Select Team. I was on the road off and on for 6 months! I hadn’t been home for a weekend since the middle of June.

    Bus trips took us from New York (basically the whole East Coast) to Charleston, South Carolina (the whole Southeast Coast) to Omaha, Nebraska (including the Southwest) to virtually the whole Midwest.

    Our 17U team of select (tryout) players come from every part of Wisconsin. The organization’s goal is to give our kids exposure to professional scouts and college coaches at National Select Tournaments featuring some of the best players in the country.

    Virtually every one of our players from the fall 2010 team are in college right now as freshmen student athlete baseball university players. They were recruited from Division 1 to JUCO schools.

    Our summer and fall players from 2011 are being recruited and are accepting scholarships to play baseball as I write this.

    We had a few players drafted in the June 2011 MLB draft, which we are really proud of.

    We have played teams from Japan, Mexico and Canada. By the way, Canada is improving by leaps and bounds. As you know, they just won the Pan Am Games tournament beating Cuba and the U.S. We played some Ontario teams this past season that were as good as anybody. It’s kind of amazing: Hockey is getting really world class in the U.S. and baseball is becoming world class in Canada…The border simply doesn’t stop sports…

    I continue to be extremely interested in British baseball and continue to read Baseball Great Britain. Now that I am in the “off season” (which it really isn’t because of tryouts and clinics), I hope to comment occasionally.

    By the way, my son is playing at NCAA Division 3 Carroll University as a freshman. Because of our British roots, we hope he someday gets a chance to play for GB internationally.

    Who would I contact about that?

    Thanks Joe and Matt!

    Chico

    • Joe Gray October 30, 2011 at 9:53 pm #

      Hi Chico,

      It’s good to have you back. Sounds like you had a lot of time on the road.

      That’s very exciting about your son’s progression.

      The best way to get in touch with the Team GB programme is via the webpage linked to below (you can contact GM Jason Greenberg through the “Click to Email Jason” link at the top-right of the page):
      http://www.britishbaseball.org/page/show/316311-team-gb-roster

      With best wishes,

      Joe

    • Will Lintern November 1, 2011 at 11:27 pm #

      Hi Chico,

      My name is Will Lintern, I am the current head coach of the GB Junior (Under 19) baseball team. I hope that you and your son are able to connect with Jason Greenberg and the GB Senior team, if you have any trouble feel free to drop me an email will.lintern@britishbaseball.org

      Also I am very keen to try and place some of our graduating seniors into a US College programme either JC or 4 year. I have some contacts from when I played D3 in California, but the way I see it the more people we can talk to the better.

      Hope to hear from you soon.

      Will

  5. Chico17 October 30, 2011 at 9:32 pm #

    Joe and Matt,

    I thought you (or anyone else) might like to visit our websites:

    wisconsinallstarsbaseball.com
    wisconsinbaseballreport.com

    There is one team picture that my son and I am in. I believe it is on the home page of Wisconsin Baseball Report site. I am standing at the extreme left (as you view the photo). My son Logan is at the extreme right in the back row (partially hidden).

    You can find both our bios somewhere in either site. I also go by Chuck.

    We are an example of many, many amateur organizations that promote top players.

    Hope you get a better feel for this level of baseball.

    Chico Jeffrey

    • Matt Smith October 31, 2011 at 8:12 pm #

      Hi Chico.

      Always great to hear from you. Very glad to read that you’ve been so busy helping the next generation learn to play baseball the right way. Sounds like you’ve had plenty to do, but I’m sure that’s exactly how you like it. Hope your son’s baseball keeps going well too.

      Cheers
      Matt

  6. Mark Baker November 8, 2011 at 10:50 pm #

    Hey Chico!

    I have so many questions!
    Are you British or a ‘Sconnie? If British – how did you end up involved in baseball in Wisconsin? If a Wisconsinite – how did you hear of and get involved with us Brits? How are you keeping busy during the ‘off-season’?

    If you or anyone else for that matter is interested I have created a page on facebook for UK fans of the Milwaukee Brewers.

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Brew-Crew-UK/154897394608688

    I only just made the page yesterday so there are only a couple of us on there as of yet, but I’m hoping to drum up some interest via various facebook groups and have a small community of British Brewers fans on there by Spring Training ’12.

    All the best!
    Mark

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