It’s February 3rd, and I’m so desperate for baseball that I’m watching the MLB Channel’s coverage of the Caribbean World Series. I’m not only watching baseball that doesn’t matter, I’m watching baseball that doesn’t matter being played in another country. I’m counting the days until pitchers and catchers report to spring training; that would be ten. I have browsed the Angels and Cubs websites, checking the schedule for the season. I am planning my road trips. I am so ready for baseball it hurts.
Its not that I’m a pathetic loser with no other interests or hobbies. I’ve got plenty on my plate. It’s just that nothing is as satisfying as an afternoon in the sun, drinking a cold beer with my bare feet propped up on the seat in front of me, watching my favorite boys take the field. Maybe it’s the weather. Californians don’t get spring fever; we don’t have the right to it. But with the Santa Anas blowing balmy breezes off the desert, it turns my thoughts from football to baseball, from poinsettias to palm trees. It’s the only seasonal change that we really have.
Last week my husband and I enjoyed another January ritual, we picked out our season seats for the year. We drove to Angel Stadium, happy that we had actually moved up in the seniority of season ticket holders, and anxiously waited with other red-wearing fans to select the perfect spot. After we were issued our wristbands, we all casually “run-walked” to the field, hoping to find the perfect prime seats that some loser ticket holder had given up. But it was the same as it always was; only outfield seats and nosebleeds were there for the taking. We did move up to the Club level this year; a definite improvement even though we’ll have to turn our heads sideways to see home plate. At least they’ll bring me my beers.
As I sat in my new seat, looking over the torn up field that is ready for the Monster Truck show, I was filled with hope. A new season. A new chance for success. Maybe this will be the year…That’s the best part about baseball after all, the renewal that comes every spring, even if the thermometer shows no change.
So what do I do in the meantime? Buy a “Sporting News”, scour the fantasy baseball projections, and dust off my Rally Monkey? 40 years of being a Cubs fan has surely taught me patience. But soon, somebody please, just Take me out to the Ballgame.
Erik Aybar just hit a rope to center field in the Caribbean World Series. Maybe he’ll do that in the real World Series in October.