I don't function well without baseball. And that's when there is a full hockey season. So you can imagine how rough it's been. But don't worry, baseball fans! There is only one week until pitchers and catchers report. Which means spring training is essentially upon us. And then comes the final countdown to the best day of the year: Opening day. [hallelujah chorus]
So what do I do in the off-season with all of this down time? Oh, lots of things. And I wanted to share them with you in case you were going crazy as well. These few tips will certainly help to change your outlook on life during the off-season.
Move closer to the ballpark. I once lived four blocks from Comerica Park. It took approximately nine minutes to walk over, what with traffic lights and all. It wasn't cutting it. So after the dust settled from our World Series bay-area beat down, I moved. I now live one block from the park. I have to cross over a freeway. Big deal. I can see the park from my living room. There are seriously no places you can reside that are closer. Why is this a good off-season trick? Because every day I drive by the park and think "baseball season is going to be even better this year because I live so damn close." That's just positive energy overload right there, folks.
Upgrade your cable to include MLB network and watch said network with regularity. You don't just get MLB my friends, you get other networks too. But I did cancel Showtime in order to prevent my bill from going up, which might have been a bad move. As far as the MLB network goes, they have great programming. For example, they still cover the off-season stories that are important to big-time fans, like the Miami testosterone injected patient notebook they recently found with none other than A-Rod listed on it. Shocking. And if you're lucky enough, you might flip over to it and discover they are replaying the World Series again and then you freak out and flip on reruns of Chopped, but then you flip back to see if you can catch an inning where we actually got a hit, then you get pissed again (cause we couldn't get any hits), and then you go back to Chopped but it's a commercial, and when you go back to MLB Buster Posey is making some unbelievable catch and Tim Lincecum is yet again, hit-less. FML.
Find Justin Verlander (or random position player) and pretend to be doing something nearby so you can watch him. Stalking? No way. Just being in the right place at the right time ("... Officer"). So I happen to be at the casino and he also happens to be at the casino. Pure coincidence. Now, did someone see him the night before in the same place and alert me? Maybe. And were there interactions with other Tigers prior to this sighting, leading me to believe this Verlander sighting was a major possibility? Maybe. But the point is this: if you are jonesing for a season, just accidentally run into a Tiger and you will make it a few weeks longer. Please note: Kate Upton was not at the casino. But Max Scherzer was. And Austin Jackson. And a backup catcher who was a little full of himself, even though he probably doesn't make much and no one knows who the hell he is.
So remember kids: Though four months without baseball is too many months, there are ways to make the time pass quickly, and less painfully. And if Gary Bettman wasn't such a [offensive adjective], we would all be in much better shape. See you on April 5th at Comerica Park. Go Tigers.