The next season is four months away. In the meantime, we can look forward to the cold, the gray and the otherwise blustery of what the offseason has in store.
It’s a tough cookie to swallow–this early in the offseason–to face the fact that the baseball part of my life is in hibernation. In the summer, there’s always something to look forward to after work–a ballgame.
Of course, the offseason, like baseball itself, has its lessons in life.
We wait for something better, something more exciting, to come.
We grow excited in the possibilities, and this helps us.
We learn to be patient, to focus our minds on other pursuits and other distractions.
More than anything else, though, we learn that those chilly December days without baseball are part of the game.
In a tie game in the bottom of the 9th, you don’t swing on a 3-0 count with the bases loaded.
And you hope good things will come.
Alfonso Soriano, who needs him?
Of course the Phils wanted him. Of course he could have helped the team. But let’s keep our eyes on a bigger picture here—Pat Burrell is still on the team!
The Phils signed Wes Helms, an improvment over Nunez at third base. Our infield now, I think, is top notch.
With the exception of Burrell, I really like our outfield too. Victorino has shown himself to be a big league player.
Soriano would have helped the team, but now he’s playing with the Chicago Cubs. And the Cubs aren’t going to win anything.
PS: Howard for MVP!
ODE TO MITCH: "I bought a doughnut, and they gave me a receipt for the doughnut. I’m like, man, I give you the money, and you give me the doughnut–end of transaction. There’s no need to bring ink and paper into this.
I can’t even imagine the scenario where I would have to prove to someone that I bought a doughnut.
Like some skeptical friend– "Hey man! Don’t you even act like I didn’t buy that doughnut. I have the receipt right here. No wait, it’s at home in the file.
ODES TO MITCH
—"I bought myself a parrot. The parrot talked, but it did not say "I’m hungry", so it died.
—I saw a commercial for an above-ground pool. It was 30 seconds long. You know why? Because that’s the maximum amount of time you can depict youself having fun in an above ground pool.
—I hate flossing.
People who smoke cigarettes say, "You don’t know how hard it is to quit smoking."
Yes I do.
It’s as hard as it is to start flossing.
At work, I have on my computer some wallpaper I downloaded.
I like it, because it applies to baseball season after baseball season as a Philadelphia Phillies fan. But it applies to life to, and how we deal with new situations, new hopes, and new disappointments.
The wallpaper is of a hedgehog in the middle of the road.
It says, "Everything is going to be alright."
Is everything going to be alright?
Of course not. It’s in the middle of the road, oblivious.
The Phillies are no closer to making a World Series than they were a year ago. However, there’s something soothing in those words, "Everything is going to be alright."
Maybe it will.
Having no vested interest in either World Series team, it’s hard to select a team for which to root.
Standard policy dictates that, as a National Leauge team fan, I cheer for the Cardinals.
However, I also want the underdog–the Tigers–to win. Rocky, the eternal underdog, is my fictional hero. And Rocky used to wear a leather jacket with a tiger on the back. Coincidence?
It’s a tough call.
I have one day to decide.
ODE TO MITCH: "My apartment is infested with Koala Bears. It is the cutest infestation ever. When I turn on the lights, a bunch of Koala Bears scatter. But I don’t want them to. I say, ‘hey, hold on fellas. Hang around, and let me feed you a leaf."
Rest in Peace, Cory Lidle
Same to you, Mitch.
…We root against the Mets.
Anybody but New York. (The Yankees too)
It’s a mentality spawned from years of watching New York teams win national championships.
I don’t consider New York fans in the same category as other fans, including myself, a die-hard Phillies fan.
When the Phillies make the playoffs, it’s special. The Phils don’t have unlimited bankrolls. Philadelphia teams in general have a tendency to be pretty awful, actually. But fans stick through these tough times, because we believe in the magic of baseball.
In 1993, I believed in the Phillies. That was the best baseball I’ve watched in my life. It was also one of the best times in my life.
The Phillies haven’t made it to the playoffs since—that’s including baseball’s Wildcard rule, which means more teams make the playoffs. But every season I watch and I hope, all with the belief I don’t expect my team to make the playoffs. I expect them to play hard. I expect them to represent Philadelphia with pride. I expect them to try to win each game.
For a true fan, that’s enough–the hope.
For New York fans, I believe, they expect their teams to make the playoffs each year–and win. I don’t think it’s as special. I don’t think they work as hard following their teams, because their teams are easy to follow.
Try to continue to watch television when Pat Burrell comes to bat and you know–oh God do you know–that he will strike out on a breaking ball 2 feet out of the strike zone. That’s dedication bandwagon fans will not understand.
New York fans are all bandwagon fans, I believe, because the bandwagon almost never stops.
Am I bitter?
One World Series victory in 100 years will do that to a person.
(On the plus side, former Phils and current Yankees Corey Lidle and Bobby Abreu both went down on the sinking ship that was The Bronx Bombers. Maybe they were cursed. It’s happened before.)
ODE TO MITCH:
"I was in a casino, and this man told me to move. He said ‘you’re blocking a fire exit.’ As if there was a fire, I wasn’t going to run. If you are flammable and have legs, you are never blocking a fire exit."
"Waffles are like pancakes with a syrup trap."
"I’ve always wanted to have a suitcase handcuffed to my wrist … all right."