Wooden's World of Baseball

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Winter Blues

January and February are the two worst months of the year. There's no skipping around it.

It would help, perhaps, if I were a fan of hockey or basketball, but I'm not. Oh, I appreciate the pure skill of the former, and the amazing athleticism of the latter, and I'd never turn down an offer to see either in person, but I don't seek it out and I don't follow it very closely.

Football gets me through the first part of the offseason, and in days past it was college basketball that got me through the second. But moving away from Massachusetts has also coincided with the steady decline of UMass since their heyday in the mid-90s.

I think it's the sporadic nature of the basketball/hockey season. Baseball is every day; football is every week. And it doesn't help that these two winter sports overlap with the beginning and ending of the season, or the ugly half-truth that things don't really get going until the playoffs start.

Believe it or not, I don't like "the Hot Stove" part of the season. Maybe just because it's so protracted, or maybe because it's so fraught with people whining about spending. I think it may have meant more when the only way players changed teams was via trades, and I'm not advocating a return to that pseudoslavery.

Planning road trips seems to be my only solace. Last year, the big one was my jaunt to the Carolinas. This year, the hope is for Eastern Tennessee. In general, my goal this year is to see places I haven't seen yet while still visiting my usual stops in Hagerstown, Harrisburg, Bowie and Waldorf. And of course, completing the Carolina League circuit with a visit to Winston-Salem.

So with a forecast of rain tomorrow, I say: Go ahead. Get it over with. Just give me a drought from April 3rd to October 3rd.


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