My somewhat curmudgeonly article yesterday, in which I dismissed the AL Wild Card race as being a battle between a bunch of mediocre teams, might have given the impression that I’m not excited about the rest of the MLB season.
That’s far from the case; in fact, I’m looking forward to it more than I have for a while.
For a whole boat-load of reasons, over the past couple of years things have panned out so that as the season moved into August and beyond, so my ability to follow the action – and write about it – has decreased.
Thankfully that should be different this year.
The thing about MLB is that most of the time there were 15 games yesterday, 15 games today and there will be 15 tomorrow. That’s a huge part of the fun, but when you factor in other commitments and the time difference, so that many of those games take place whilst you’re fast asleep, you do have to put some effort in so that you don’t get lost.
Like most fans, I try to make a point of going through all the box scores and game reports to keep a check on it all.
It wasn’t too long ago, eight or nine years perhaps, that one of my favourite web resources was a site that produced a daily two-page MLB box score report (in my head it was linked to the Baseball Toaster site, which closed down in 2009, but I may be wrong). It rarely had been published by the time I was eating breakfast – as we all know, sometimes there is still an extra-innings game going on to provide some #BonusBreakfastBaseball – so I used to print it off and devour all the info during my lunch break.
Nowadays I can sit on the train on the way to work and use MLB At Bat on my phone to get all the info, even watching some video clips depending on the signal as it chugs through the countryside. I would still like to have that simple two-page print-out, but as no one provides that any more (as far as I’m aware, I do occasionally search on Google in the vain hope that someone has resurrected it) then I guess I’m firmly in the minority and need to accept the wonders of modern technology.
The point of taking the time every day to go through the box-scores is that even if you can’t watch a game for several days, you’re still up to speed when you are able to rather than lose track and potentially then be less caught up in it all.
What I’ve been doing for a few years is jotting down notes every day from the box scores so that I can keep track of which teams and players are in good form and who is on a down-turn. It helps me to keep on top of things whilst being busy and I thought it might be something of benefit to other Brits too.
So, I’m going to introduce it as a regular feature for the rest of the season and see how it pans out. Doing it every day has the danger of it becoming repetitive, so I’ll aim to do a round-up a couple of times a week (tentatively every Monday and Friday) and would welcome comments on how useful it is and what could be added.
There definitely seems to be an increase in interest in baseball here and in particular an increase in UK baseball fans coming together as a community, as shown in the London and Manchester meet-ups.
I’ve had plenty of people tell me over the years that their interest in MLB has gone up and down due to struggling to follow the action every day at times, so hopefully this will be something that will help to keep more people – especially the newcomers – fully engaged with the sport.