While the Yankees World Series victory led to me experiencing unparalleled amounts of joy and lack of self-restraint, it also meant the end of the baseball season for what always seems like an eternity.
I think part of the reason that it hurts so much for baseball to be gone is the fact that the baseball season and playoffs are so long. In these months upon months, the fans are given the opportunity to develop substantive relationships with their team for a particular year, which makes baseball's abrupt and definitive exit all the more disruptive and saddening. At that point, as baseball is storming out of the house and taking the kids and the dog with it, we're left with little but a Madame Bovary-esque longing for our ideal world where baseball is always there to satisfy us. But in reality this just isn't possible, and so we wait while Spring Training approaches with a pace that would make snail baby blush in embarrassment.
So what can you do to help survive the offseason? Come with me after the jump and we'll explore some tried and true methods.
Football, basketball, and their fantasy equivalents: While baseball may be America's pastime, these two will do in a pinch. Sunday Night Football can easily fill the void left by Sunday Night Baseball, if only through sheer proximity of occurrence and similarity of titles / terrible commentary. More importantly though, unlike baseball on the weekends, you can quite literally spend the whole of Sunday parked in front of the TV watching the football and nobody will think less of you for it. In fact, they'll admire your devotion to laziness.
Basketball is necessary for the dog days of February after football has ended and before March Madness. That is quite literally the taint of the sports world. NOTHING goes on and we sports fans start to think that Job had it easy in the Bible because at least God wasn't cruel enough to test him with a such a ghastly dearth of sporting entertainment. Having a fantasy team for either of these sporting leagues can only help to keep you occupied. It's easy to ignore the fact there's no baseball when you're trying to figure out how why nobody but Kobe is performing on your team on a nightly basis. Just don't talk about these fantasy thingamabobs here, or Rob will have your head.
- Stalking a prospect on your favorite team:While finding non-baseball ventures to waste your time is nice, some people truly do need to stay connected to the game, even in the offseason. One way to abate this need is by spending massive amounts of time reading up on a prospect within your preferred organization. On the one hand this allows you to keep in contact with the baseball world and since you're limiting yourself to one very specific player, you have a definitive and guided purpose when you go onto the fickle thing they call the Internet. On the other hand, your dedicated research will enable you to be even more interested in Spring Training, when many prospects are given a moment in the spotlight. If you're guy happens to have a monster showing at that time, and earn the eye of mainstream reporters or maybe a highlight on Sportscenter, then you can always gloat that you expected this all along, and then explain to your annoyed friends the merit of your prospect over others. For me, this has been Austin Jackson, who I will welcome as the Yankees new CF overlord with open arms and an enormous mancrush.
- Sporcle: Proceed with caution on this one folks. The only reason I'm even mentioning it is because it's the weekend. No way would I feel safe bringing this up if you guys were at work. On the off chance that some of you don't know, Sporcle is a website that hosts reader-submitted quizzes. These are games, yes, but unlike other spots on the Internet, the emphasis here is not on mindless tasks, but on mental stimulation. This is the addicting lifeblood of college students like myself seeking to whittle away the minutes during particularly boring lectures. Sporcle is endowed with an extensive selection of baseball-centric quizzes than can help you pass the time during the cold days of winter sans National Pastime. Some are statistics-based, while others test your sense of history and attention to minute details. Simply search "baseball" for more options and get your fix!
- Monger those rumors: One of the only good times in the offseason is when free agency enters its peak time in December. This time period can be so busy that it makes one feel as if baseball never truly left. For especially devoted fans of the game like us, the rumor mill can be a way to re-connect with baseball without actually having the games themselves. Certain sites are wholly devoted to the goings on with trade and free agent markets round the clock. Checking up on these rumors can provide you with interesting or shocking moments that remind you baseball is never truly gone. Plus, some rumors can be inherently hilarious because of their sheer impracticality. ZOMG THE CARDINALS MIGHT TRADE ALBERT PUJOLS FOR THE OAKLAND As!
Pete Rose: Seriously, the guy is always an entertainer. Find him, and you'll never be bored. Case in point:
What about you, folks? Any personal experiences or suggestions to help you get through these heady days?
(A big tip of the hat to OMGreds for the Rose video)