I don't know if it's life butting in, changes in my work hours, being more tired at night, not as enthused by the season, other ventures or some different excuse, but the game has remained at a slower pace.
But I've reached Aug. 1. It's a time when the seeming endless games of spring and summer begin culminating and there's that proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. Games take on more importance now with two-thirds of the season over.
All that said, here's a look at the season so far. The Yankees, led by the tandem of Joe DiMaggio and Johnny Mize, have taken over first place and are seemingly in the driver's seat for the rest of the season. Joltin' Joe has 30 home runs to lead the league and hit 11 in the month of July. Mize clouted 25 of his own. Ed Lopat leads all pitcher with a 16-2 record. Hitting and pitching will carry the Yankees, I'm sure.
Boston, Detroit and Cleveland are in a dogfight for second place, The three teams switch places after each three-game series. It'll be interesting to see how they play out. Early Wynn, like Lopat, is 16-2 on the mound and Art Houtteman is 15-3 on the mound for the Tigers.
Here are the standings for the league:
W L GB
New York 68 31 -
Boston 61 40 8
Detroit 58 39 9
Cleveland 59 43 10.5
Washington 43 57 25.5
Philadelphia 39 62 30
St. Louis 37 63 31.5
Chicago 36 66 33.5
The National League continues to be a close race and , like I said, the games take on more importance this late in the season. The Cardinals, which actually took over first place just before the All-Star break, have gone 9-9 since the three-day stoppage, including losing two of three games twice to the Giants and going 3-3 against the Dodgers.
Philadelphia remains the most frustrating team to play. In the real 1950 season, the Phillies won the division. In this replay, they are happy to have moved from seventh to sixth place by half a game. Cincinnati's team is one-dimensional. Ted Kluszeski hits two home runs a game, but the Reds typically lose, 9-4 or 7-5. They stunned the league winning five games in a row, but three of those contests were against the hapless Phillies.
Kluszewski and Hank Sauer lead the National League with 29 home runs each and Ralph Kiner has 28 for Pittsburgh.
Here are the National League standings through July 31, 1950:
W L GB
Boston 58 40 -
New York 58 43 1.5
St. Louis 54 43 3.5
Brooklyn 54 44 4
Pittsburgh 51 46 6.5
Philadelphia 46 58 15
Chicago 42 55 15.5
Cincinnati 32 66 26
There are still 436 games left to play. If I pick up the pace, I can complete this replay by late May, perhaps. I will try; there are other seasons waiting. I may have slowed because this season is similar to the 1942 campaign I competed last. Both seasons had dominating Yankee's teams and no Minnesota Twins teams. I know the Washington Senators moved to Minnesota in 1961, but it's not the same thing. I'm ready to roll some games for the Twins soon.
Maybe since I've reached the tipping point of the season, the time when games take on a bit more importance, I can roll more games and get fully back into the one.