I think after a few bad games or tough losses a team can get too used to failure. They just don't expect to win anymore. And it takes a special performance by an individual to break this mindset. Everyone on my team is asking themselves if they can muster themselves to perfection. Eventually someone will have a great game and the idea is that the other players will feed off this positive energy.
One bright note has been our fans have continued to support of us regardless of our record. It really makes the players feel better when we get a loud crowd at the game. I must say the Israeli fans are really awesome. They stay for the entire time, get loud, and really seem to be absorbing the game. Watching the "Wave" go around the field was a little surreal. The last time I saw that was back in Toronto, watching the Blue Jays. But the best part is the kids. Watching their eyes light up when you sign their ball and ask them if they're having fun makes everything worth it.
The president of the league, Martin Berger sent out an email to the players recently. He wanted to share with us the exposure this league is receiving. Over the past week, there have been over 200 articles written on this league, from Kalamazoo, Michigan to mainland China. Feature stories have been run by every major newspaper and news agency, including Al Jazeera.
The broadcast of opening day was seen by millions of people. People were brought to tears when they heard Hatikva played in Israel on a baseball field. The Jordanian Baseball Association is now thinking of starting a league to run in tandem with our league (how cool would it be for the champs of both leagues to play in a Mid-East Classic?) He also had a chance to spend time with Clive Russel, the director of MLB International in Europe, at Gezer and he proclaimed that without question, this was the most talented league in Europe.
The Chinese Tapei League has already inquired about our players and how they can sign some of our guys. Dan Duquette has been approached about where we got everyone and how they can have access to the players as well. Clearly we are making an impact around the world right now and we're proud of what we are doing. People are watching this league. People are simply blown away by the talent in this league.
On a personal note, I faced some filthy pitching. This just in: Domincans are good. I faced a guy on the Modi'in Miracle named Maximo Nelson. This guy brings the heat. Somewhere in the low to mid '90s. I had never faced someone of this ability, so needless to say I was a little nervous. I'd love to tell you that I faired well off Maximo, that I got a base hit, but Mr. Nelson (as I'll be calling him until I get a hit off him) had my number. Its kind of hard describing the fastball scorching past you at that velocity.