Beautiful weekend for baseball, though not a happy Saturday for the birds of the Summer League variety, as Essendon overpowered Blackburn and Geelong strolled away from Sunshine, while Doncaster blanked Cheltenham on the sabbath, Waverley posted a narrow win over Preston, Sandringham crushed Malvern and Melbourne dealt Upwey a heavy loss.....
In baseball, as in life, there is no such thing as was or might have been.
There is only what is, and what might yet come to pass.
All too soon, we find ourselves approaching the realisation – or otherwise - of the baseball goals that we have set ourselves within the parameters of our own individual and club worlds.
What is, in that sense, is what we need accept. What might be is the set of intangibles and the possibilities that drive us forward in endeavour to be the best that we believe that we can – personally and collectively.
For many of our Summer League clubs and individual players, the season of 2012/13 is already over. For others, there are still challenges to be faced and obstacles to be overcome for clubs and individuals to achieve the goals that they may consciously or intuitively have set for themselves several months ago.
As lower senior grades, Women’s, Masters and Junior competitions embark upon finals campaigns, there is still plenty happening in Division One and Division Two competition, where finalists are far from settled and ladder placings may have a definitive impact on club positioning leading to next season.
Geelong (twenty two wins, with six losses and two drawn) retained top placing in DIVISION ONE with its win over eleventh-placed Sunshine (ten, nineteen and one), while reigning champion Essendon (twenty-one, seven and two) is strong in second after dealing a hefty loss to third-placed Blackburn (twenty, nine and one).
Still clearly favoured for a top-four finish, Cheltenham (seventeen and thirteen) stumbled against seventh-placed Doncaster (thirteen, sixteen and one), leaving a creaky door oh so slightly ajar for Waverley (thirteen, thirteen and three) – after its narrow win over Preston (ninth, at twelve and eighteen) - and Melbourne (fourteen, fourteen and one), which smacked tenth-placed Upwey Ferntree Gully (ten, seventeen and three).
While out of finals contention, Sandringham (thirteen and seventeen) is enjoying a terrific season back in Division One and this week packed too many guns for cellar-dwelling Malvern (seven and twenty-three), which will face relegation and the challenge of rebuilding should the current competition structure be retained into next season.
With three games still to play in this division, there are several possible scenarios that might occur. Notwithstanding any particular outcome, what we can say without contradiction is that the 2012/13 Summer League season has been one of the closest and the most remarkable in recent years. A season that may yet provide some twists and turns.
Looking in real strife prior to Christmas, Waverley and Doncaster have turned their seasons around in a quite dramatic manner, going from potential relegation to consolidating in the middle of the ladder and having the potential to help shape the season’s final few weeks.
With six wins and four narrow losses since the break, Doncaster has amassed forty-nine runs in offence while conceding just twenty-seven – a staggering turnaround on its early-season form, a trend reflected also with the Waverley Wildcats, where the club has posted six wins, a draw and three losses in its past ten games while scoring sixty-five runs and conceding a modest thirty-five.
A thirty-three game season is a tough gig. Although they may miss the playoffs, Doncaster and Waverley are two of the clubs that have demonstrated that there is always scope for improvement and development just as long as the structures, the will and the personnel are in place.
We look forward to an enthralling few weeks to come in Division One and Two competition. Our best wishes to lower grades, junior, women’s and Masters teams who have already qualified for their respective finals series.