It's taken me three days to put words on the screen this week, and I'm not sure why. Partly, it's because I just don't know where to start. The Raptors took what a Norwegian football commentator once called “a hell of a beating”, but as I mull over it constantly it's still hard to see where it all went wrong. Visions of errors — some of them my own — drift through my mind, but not enough visions to add up to a thirty-run loss. We were not outclassed this week, although we faced a good team. More, we were beaten by our own inability to land the killer blow — stranding runners on base, and giving up too many runs with two outs. It's a cliche to say that baseball is a game of inches, but it is an unforgiving game. It's about executing the plays, with precision. There is lots for us to work on.

I must add that team spirit is still extremely strong. This was a blowy, wet and grey day at the Grovehill ballpark but an admirable number of players turned up and endured the worst that the British spring could throw at us. In my capacity as stand-in manager, I had to rotate lots of players in and out of the game and they all took it with good grace. I remain optimistic for our future.

And how did I get on, as manager, and first baseman again? As I said, the mistakes were there. I don't know if they were scored as errors but your job on first base is to deal with whatever throw comes your way and on a few occasions I didn't do that. Mainly, it was when I needed to tag a runner — on one play, I turned my head away from the catch before I had the ball secure, too eager to make the tag; on another I was too distracted by the guy bearing down on me and failed to stand firm and receive the ball. It's easy to dismiss the distractions that are there in a busy baseball diamond, but not so hard to actually ignore them. As a manager … well, it's great fun and a great pleasure to take the reins when needed, but I will certainly join the team in welcoming back our fearless leader Slater for next week's game!


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