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Positive Times In 2010?

There has been a large amount of bad feeling around recently in the baseball scene. UK baseball has had letters, resignations, meetings and motions, while MLB this week had the shock news that Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington took cocaine. Although the UK infighting seems to have been around for a while and the drugs scandals are nothing new, we tend to forget that as baseball fans there is a lot to be positive about.

The first thing to look forward to is an exciting season of baseball both here in the UK and in the USA. The UK Teams are on the up and they are getting more people interested in playing. The MLB season ahead looks to be a great one with lots of potential.

Money has been given to BaseballSoftballUK to run the Play Ball scheme once again. I remember this from the first time it was in place and it provided a much needed grass-roots development scheme that kicked-started baseball in this country. I hope that once again we can start to get more young people interested in baseball and out there playing it.

While we have lost the coverage of MLB from Five.tv, what we do have is live games on the internet and pay-for TV on ESPN America. We have to be realistic in the current climate that sports with a smaller audience share are going to be cut. At least it is unlike when Channel 4 stopped showing American football back in years past. We do have the opportunity to watch MLB elsewhere.

Another thing that could be good for UK fans, especially as watching games often involves us staying up into the early hours and then getting up for work, is that MLB are looking at a number of rule changes. Some of them are designed to stop overly long games. Other rules that could be changed are the way that home field advantage for the World Series is decided and the usage of reply for fair-or-foul calls.

The off-the-field stories both at home and away can be a distraction, but as Opening day gets nearer, we as fans of baseball have a lot to be positive about. Let us forget for now the politics. Load up your PC or turn on your TV and fire up a spring training game.

What are you looking forward to about this coming season?

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8 Responses to “Positive Times In 2010?”

  1. Looking at the positives – particularly for British baseball – is so, so important. It’s very easy to find faults, because the set-up is never going to be perfect. We’re relying on a lot of volunteers, and so it’s not fair to demand a professional standard at all times.

    In Britain, there are a lot of things I’m looking forward to:
    - If Cody Cain returns to the hill for Richmond, I’d like to be present for his 500th top-tier regular-season strike-out – he’s five short.
    - The progressive Herts Baseball Club are going to open up a second diamond, meaning they will be in the running for hosting the biggest days in the British baseball calendar. If they want the gig and get it, a Final 4s (sorry, National Baseball Championship) at Hemel could be a great event (plus I could cycle to it).
    - It’s going to be fascinating to see if Bracknell are going to become a dominant force – continuing to combine experience with youth to offer the best depth of any team in Britain – or if they just happened to peak at the right time last year.
    - And, finally, I’m looking forward to seeing the exceptionally talented Maikel Azcuy crush some home runs and unleash his arm on the infield down at Roundshaw.

    In MLB, six words… Cliff Lee – Mariners uniform – competitive game.

    March 21, 2010 at 4:06 pm Reply
  2. Matt Smith #

    Good to have you back, Russ.

    Great list, Joe. What’s positive about the British set-up for me is that there are going to be more teams in the top tier and hopefully more teams will feed into the lower levels as well. Obviously we don’t want clubs to be overstretched and end up needing to forfeit any games, but it’s very good to see that teams feel they have the capacity and ability to keep on growing.

    As for MLB, I think it’s going to be another great season with interesting battles in all of the divisions.

    March 21, 2010 at 7:43 pm Reply
  3. I’m looking forward to another competitive season in MLB. Unlike many other sports, it is genuinely very difficult to pick who will come out on the top at the end of the season. It’s great to follow a sport that is fundamentally so unpredictable.

    Specifically, the AL East should be a close-run thing, and I’m particularly excited by the AL West – any of those sides could potentially win it.

    We may also see some pretty exciting rookies hit the major leagues at some point – Strasburg, Chapman, and Heyward could all make waves this year.

    As a Mets fan, I gotta believe, and am hoping that Francoeur and Bay have worked wonders in the locker room, that Johan, Beltran and Reyes return fit, well and better than ever, that Ike Davis and Jennry Mejia become rookie superstars and that David Wright gets his mojo back. Oh, and no more horrible injuries, either. Hope springs eternal!

    And generally, I’m looking forward to baseball day-in, day-out all summer. How good is that?

    March 22, 2010 at 3:14 pm Reply
  4. Russell Dyas #

    I should of said this in my post the one thing I am looking forward to is the Giants winning the world Series. :)

    Joe I think you are right the state of British baseball is good (forgetting all the politics).

    Just look at Leicester Blue Soxs this team is very young and this season is running a second team. This is no mean feet when think how difficult it has been in Leicester to keep baseball teams running.

    Russ

    March 22, 2010 at 9:34 pm Reply
  5. John Clark #

    Should be a busy season all round. In the MLB more clubs are spending big on the back end of their rotations along with investing in the young players and taking their arbitration years.

    I think Herts will continue to improve in their second turn in the National League and may surprise a few teams. And Joe, yes Herts looking to become one of the better venues and perfect for the NBC.
    Any word on how Croydon has gone in the off season in getting more players?

    March 25, 2010 at 1:36 am Reply
  6. Rod #

    I’m looking forward to reading all about the season rather than watching it on TV.

    I’m sorry Russell but it’s quite devious of ESPN to shift their MLB coverage away from their Freeview channel and on to the cable / satellite platforms making fans pay twice to watch games (in case you’re wondering – the monthly fee for hooking up with either Sky, Virgin or Talk Talk and then the monthly fee for ESPN America itself).

    I was going to sign up to ESPN via Freeview this summer for MLB, but there’s no way I’m paying over the odds. Bring back Baseball on Five…

    March 25, 2010 at 9:28 am Reply
  7. Hi John,

    Croydon should be good to continue in 2010 in the top tier, but I think a return to the glory years is unlikely this soon.

    Cheers,

    Joe

    March 25, 2010 at 1:14 pm Reply
  8. I was attracted to British Baseball after it was mentioned on Channel 5 a couple of years ago.

    I didn’t even realise there was a British Baseball scene! We have since found as a club there are plenty of likeminded individuals out there who are also prepared to take up the sport, if they actually knew there was a British league and a team local to them.

    We have made good use of the internet in reaching out to these potential players and have been able to grow the club to a completely new level.

    It would be great to see other clubs embrace this way of reaching out ie building a good website, creating facebook pages, use twitter for score updates etc. I know some other clubs presently do this and are already reaping the benefits.

    Hopefully in years to come, each and every club will have sufficient players to field teams at all levels (Herts Baseball Club being the standard to follow).

    There are lots of great people out there involved with British Baseball and some politics/negativity aside, the future is starting to look in good hands.

    As for the MLB, I follow Boston and am hoping they are more competitive in 2010 as last year’s World Series was painful watching!

    March 25, 2010 at 1:24 pm Reply

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