MLB…Vacuum.

As a baseball fan, I think that I can speak for most, if not all of us when I say that the few weeks between Super Bowl Sunday and the first televised MLB spring training games constitute the worst time of the year. In general, it is cold. Depending on where you live, there is probably snow on the ground. You long for images of sun-drenched fields in Florida or Arizona. If you are like me, you are not a basketball fan, and the hockey coverage where I live is not exactly spectacular, so there is this void in your life. A vacuum has been created, and it feels like it will never end. The days drag by and seem longer and longer all the time. You look at the calendar and notice that it is still a few weeks until pitchers and catchers report, which by the way, are among the 4 happiest words in the English language…
You begin to wonder if the sun will ever come up again. You look at the sports pages of the papers and on the internet. You read every baseball blog that you can get your hands on (including this one…). If you are married, your wife (or your husband, significant other, maybe your therapist…) tries to help you get your mind off of your misery by offering you various distractions. Does ‘honey, since you have no plans today, why don’t we go antiquing…’sound familiar? Or, how about ‘Now you can clean out the garage’…Sigh. I miss Florida and Arizona so much, that as I write this, I have PGA Golf on TV…Hey, at least it is sunshine and palm trees, okay?
I know that it sounds crazy, but for me it is a real thing. As soon as the World Series wraps up, I am already scouring the news from the post-season baseball universe for news of firings, retirements, and other such information. During this time, I am grateful for football, and it is better still that football is played on Monday nights, Wednesday nights (college), Thursday night (college and pro), Friday nights (college and high school), Saturday all day and well into the night (college), and Sunday afternoon and night. But once that all ends, we are forlornly looking into an empty abyss. College football is done by the end of the second week in January, and the NFL is done by the beginning of February. So, from then until early April, we are in the badlands. No baseball, no football…just antique shops, garage sales, and cleaning out the garage…
So, what is a baseball junkie to do? For me, I have a regular job that keeps me very busy with things and responsibilities that are much more important than baseball in the grand scheme of things. But even at this job, I have a lot of baseball junkie friends, some of which are even more gone than I am. That is helpful. There is MLB Network, which for me has been an absolute Godsend. However, I know that we need to get back to real bats and glove issues when they start playing ‘The Sandlot’ and ‘Brewster’s Millions’ over and over again.
I know that there needs to be an off-season. Players need to heal and rest. Grass needs to regrow. Other things need to push in and have their time. But I miss baseball. There’s just a sad emptiness when it is not around. It will be back in a few weeks. Come back soon, baseball…I will be right here waiting.

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