End of day score: England 275-3. The hero for England was Alastair Cook, who scored his twentieth century at the age of only twenty-seven. Cook is not an exciting batsman; I (Martin) think even he would admit that. But he’s incredibly solid. Jonathan Trott (also low in the wowza quotient) made a patient 71, while Kevin Pietersen provided one of his cameos of 42. England should expect to push on to something over 400 for their first innings total. Question of the day: Who are (or have been) the Alastair Cooks of baseball: great stats, no great excitement; sterling performers with minimal charisma; the sort of guy you want on your team but the crowd just can’t get that thrilled about?
I will take a crack at Martin’s question. The number-one baseball player of all time conforming to the criteria would be Hank Aaron. A close second is Honus Wagner. Lou Gehrig is on the list as are Tommy Henrich (“Old Reliable”) and Elston Howard. Newer guys? First baseman Paul Konerko always seems to have the big stats in a quiet way.