I don’t believe in 4 seasons. For me, there are only 2: Baseball and No Baseball.
There is an overlap with the usual 4 that most people subscribe to. Baseball season starts in late Winter when pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training and ends in mid Fall. No Baseball season starts in mid Fall when the World Series is over. Some fans ignore that last month and go right into No Baseball if their team isn’t in the playoffs, or if a hated rival is. With only 2 seasons to work with, I’m either talking stats and cheering for my team, or spending too many dreary hours dissecting what went wrong during Baseball.
As a Giants fan, I’ve had many long No Baseball seasons and a disproportionate number of seemingly long Baseball seasons. In 1985, the team lost 100 of their 162 games, a dismal record to say the least. Two years later, the team turned it around and won the division. Go figure – that’s baseball for you.
In 2010, everything changed. An exciting team had a nail-biting finish that tortured the fans, but ended well. San Francisco had finally won a World Series and the exhilaration of Baseball season carried us through the first part of No Baseball season. I used my time well: a trip to Antarctica, proudly sporting my Giants stocking cap in every picture; re-watching playoff and World Series games multiple times; scouring eBay for ornaments for my baseball themed Christmas tree; and making Santa hats for my favorite bobble-heads. But in January, the yearning for the sound of a ball hitting a glove, the smell of ballpark food, and the energy of the crowd was overwhelming. I couldn’t wait to get back to the park.
The 2011 season wasn’t very good. Plagued with injuries, including that devastating ankle injury to future MVP Buster Posey, the team literally limped along. In spite of the torture of watching the champions play a less than average season, I still made it to 45 of the 81 home games. A new record, even if Baseball that year was quite challenging.
No Baseball season 2011 was a long one. There was nothing to do but ponder what happened, set up my baseball tree, and hope that 2012 would be another good year.
And it was! Baseball 2012 ended with a second championship and a new ring, followed by another seemingly long No Baseball season although the actually time between the last game and Opening Day was shorter.
But everyone was tired by the time Baseball 2013 started. The players appeared to be exhausted and so did the fans. The team finished poorly overall, but ended in a flurry of excitement on the last weekend. No Baseball season 2013-14 was a time of reflection and renewal. I spent my time relaxing, reliving past successes, and rearranging my growing collection of bobble-heads. I also did some of my regular pre-season conditioning, including the occasional trip to Costco for the unmistakable smell and taste of a hot dog.
Now, with Baseball 2014 finally here, I can say I’m rested and ready for another good year. Players have reported to camp. and Spring Training games have started. No Baseball season is finally over. Bring it on, boys — I’m ready!!