Jan
09

Waiting for pitchers and catchers

By

Later this afternoon, when the Jets and Bengals face off in Cincinnati, this baseball fan will be reminded how we are so close and yet so far to the start of Spring Training. Of course, a brisk walk around the city in these sub-freezing temperatures would accomplish the same thing, but the NFL playoffs are a more visual reminder.

For sports fans, the year is divided into different leagues and games. For me, the year starts in April when Opening Day arrives. Already, my interest in the immediacy of the baseball through Spring Training roster battles, and when April rolls around, despite the ongoing hockey and basketball seasons, I’m ready for seven months of bliss. After baseball season ends, football takes as much of center stage as it can. I enjoy watching the games but find it hard to root too hard for anyone.

As football plows onward, Sunday to Sunday, the NBA and NHL flit into and out of my consciousness. Sometimes, I remember to watch the Knicks. Sometimes, I remember to check the hockey standings. As January rolls around, the NFL playoff takes center stage, and these weeks of games are all that separates us from pitchers and catchers. After the Super Bowl, this year at least, we get the Olympics, but those are more spectacle than sport.

When mid-February rolls around, I want spring to be on the horizon, but we are handed only some full-team workouts and pitcher fielding practice. It is but an amuse bouche well before the appetizers are even ordered. In March, the NCAA’s tournament sweeps through the sports world. Some live for Bracketology and the 65th team. Others wait the Sweet Sixteen, cheer for the Cinderella story and await the national championship game. And then it’s baseball’s time to shine.

Today, we sit amidst a slow time in baseball. A caution and sluggish market has come to a near-freeze, and although many players are teamless and jobless, they figure to remain so for a few more weeks before a pre-Spring Training glut of signings are announced. So we wait for football. We wait for spring. We count down the days until players trickle into Arizona and Florida. And we wonder which team will make the next move, which GM will surprise us all, which domino will fall next.

Categories : Musings

44 Comments»

  1. Just to let everyone up north feel better, it’s sleeting right now in Daytona Beach. See? It’s not always sunny here.

  2. TAFKAsic says:

    Beautifully put.

  3. As football plows onward, Sunday to Sunday, the NBA and NHL flit into and out of my consciousness. Sometimes, I remember to watch the Knicks.

    Knicks, November: 3-14
    Knicks, December and January: 12-6

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frisky

  4. Jake H says:

    I need me some baseball. I love college basketball but baseball is my first love.

  5. LarryM, FL. says:

    Yes, I too await the Sring Training. I have been a Yankee fan since ’56 as best as I can remember. I was a very big fan of all New York sports but Yankee baseball has been my addiction. The Giants are a distant second with the Rangers and Knicks fading fast from memory. I wonder why?

    Spring Training brings about the first phase of the team until the playoff roster is formed come July or later. I would love to see who the missing piece will be in Left field because I don’t believe Gardner can hit to remain the main guy in left field. Jamie Hoffman might be a pleasant surprise if given the opportunity.

    • I like how those two girls next to him are clearly overlaughing at his joke. Probably buttering up to him in an attempt to get some of the world-renowned SwishLovin.

      • Riddering says:

        Look at that body language: the way they are holding their hands together is a silent prayer to the baseball gods that Swisher’s stamina is all it’s reputed to be. Or they are just being polite by digging their fingernails into their skin to keep from touching themselves right then and there due to the Swishermones in the air.

        • Brian says:

          Why is Swish hanging out with ugly chicks? He’s a World Champ.

          • JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

            They’re decent looking. It’s not like he’s chillin’ with Rosie O’Donnell look-a-likes.

            • Brian says:

              He’s a pro ballplayer…he can do a lot better than “decent looking.” Just check out Joanna Garcia (his gf)

              • Whitey14 says:

                Every time my wife wants to watch “Reba” I feign disgust so she feels like she’s getting her way and then I sit and drool like a retard whenever Garcia comes on screen…she’s gorgeous. He’s a lucky sonofabitch!

  6. LarryM, FL. says:

    Thank you, “NN”.

  7. pete says:

    it’s just frustrating watching everybody else get so much joy out of other sports right now while I sit here and simply wait. It just isn’t fair.

    • Solution: Start liking other sports.

      Problem solved.

    • Jon in Residential Port Orange says:

      Try soccer. Pick an English Premier League team and watch them every week for free online. Their season lines up pretty well opposite of baseball (August to May.) If you have the attention span to watch a modern baseball game, you can stand soccer for 90 minutes.

      • pete says:

        disagree. I’ve watched plenty of soccer but I find it painfully boring. The game is filmed from like 1000 feet away, and you still can’t see everything you need to to see plays actually unfold (and, of course, inevitably fail). A lot of people would say the same thing about baseball, but as a former pitcher, I like nothing better than watching pitching.

        • Jon in Residential Port Orange says:

          I guess you’re going to have a hard time switching over to a different sport when there is no regional team attachment to pull you along. I was lucky enough to be randomly watching the 2005 Champions League Final when Liverpool came back from 3-0 to beat Milan on penalties, and I’ve followed Liverpool since.

          But the “boring” quality of soccer is what makes it great. For the same reasons that a pitcher’s duel is exciting, soccer is exciting. Having watched just about every major sport, IMO there’s very few sports outcomes that can match the emotional release of your team scoring a goal in extra time.

          • Evilest Empire says:

            I’ve never been a fan of soccer, but have always respected it. I find myself being pretty excited for the World Cup.

    • steve (different one) says:

      just keep reminding yourself that your team are World Champions.

      the offseason is really quite tolerable after a championship

  8. JM says:

    \/\/4!7!/\/6 F0R B453B411 !5 50 /\/07 1337.

  9. Tony says:

    This is one of the reasons I love baseball. Some people complain that baseball has to many games – for me its the opposite. In football you have to wait a whole week to watch a game. In baseball you have a game to enjoy almost every day. There is nothing better than coming home after working all day & watching the Yanks.

    • steve (different one) says:

      word. that’s the best part about it after a bad loss. you get another chance the very next day.

  10. Riddering says:

    I was just getting myself pumped for NFL playoffs but one gander out the window to where it looks like perfect baseball weather has made me sad and longing.

    Oh, baseball, why must thou abadon us?

  11. Reggie C. says:

    Stanley Robinson (UCONN) is making for an interesting afternoon game. Did you see that dunk?Waiting for pitchers and catchers not so bad right now.

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