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?