Cutting to the chase, my friends, we're getting well and truly hammered by Yorkshire in this one.
It isn't the first and won't be the last time that happens as they are, quite frankly, a massively bigger club than we are. Look at the quality of the side they have out, even when several of their best players are with England and you realise how big that difference is.
Take the attack. Former England man Ryan Sidebottom, big winter signings in Liam Plunkett and Jack Brooks. It is a different level to the guys in our attack and I mean no disrespect to them in saying so. They are decent cricketers, but when 'decent' plays 'very good' there is usually only one result.
Our batting is depleted by injury and poor form but at full capacity it would struggle against a top attack. Wayne Madsen will hold his own, as will Shiv, but the rest are struggling and have done all season. While the players will continue to fight until the last ball is bowled in September, the summer has been a reality check and they will need to work hard and regroup over the winter.
Ben Slater battled well today and Madsen showed his integrity by walking when given not out by the umpire. In doing so he placed himself in a very small minority of first-class batsmen, but we should not be surprised at such an action by the skipper. I've said before that we are lucky to have him and, a few years from now, he will probably say he's learned more about captaincy this year in adversity than he did last year when things were a good bit easier.
The game will probably finish before lunch on Saturday at the present rate, but there shouldn't be too much surprise at that. Certainly, as you will remember from my pre-match write up, I held little hope for anything other than a hammering. So it has transpired, though I did hope for greater resilience with the bat.
Now for a couple of observations after my first foray onto the Forum in a week or two.
For those who want to know the answers:
No, we don't get parachute payments on relegation, as there's little difference financially in the two divisions.
Albie Morkel isn't playing this game as he's contracted for T20 and has a similar contract to come in the Caribbean. He wouldn't want an injury ahead of that, nor one that would rule him out of the still important T20 games to come.
On a different tack, one correspondent should be ashamed of making ridiculous insinuations with regard to Jon Clare and pulling Paul Borrington and Mark Eklid into his puerile argument.
For his information, Eklid, a good journalist who knows his cricket, suggested Clare might be dropped simply because he doesn't appear fit enough to take on the workload of third seamer in a four-day match at present, not because of a 'conspiracy theory'. Anyone who has watched him bowl in recent weeks and compared it to his usual pace should know that. Nor was Eklid 'belittling' him by saying that he couldn't hit it off the square. He was stating fact. He couldn't and didn't, as he's not in form. It is a common enough cricket comment and should be taken as nothing more than that.
Then for the biggest guff I have read in years. Paul Borrington was 'poking fun while making Twitter reports about Clare swinging and missing again'. For the record, m'lud, I give you exhibit A, the transcript of those comments in the 19th over of our innings. They're still up on Twitter, just in case you doubt the veracity of the comments:
Sidebottom to bowl
2 singles off the first two balls
Another 1 - 111-5 off 18.3
Clare swings and misses
Dot ball - Clare hits it back to the bowler
Clare misses again. 111-5 off 19. Sidebottom 4 overs for 27
Anyone else see 'poking fun' rather than reporting the facts? As I said on Sunday and many others echoed, Borrington did a very good job that he didn't have to do in keeping people updated on the game, especially at the end when it got quite exciting. What exactly do you expect him to say when Clare swings and misses? If he'd written that 'Clare winds up and plays a glorious, expansive drive, straight back to the bowler' I might take the point, but there are some among the Derbyshire 'support' who for their own perverse reasons try to stir it at each and every opportunity. When there is no issue, they try to manufacture it.
I'll tell you something. No matter how bad the team plays on occasion, I don't think they could ever embarrass me more than such outpourings, as they leave you and I tarred by association.
To think such people have the temerity to criticise young lads and honest professionals who are trying their best, then put that nonsense in the public domain.
Words, for once, fail me.