Offseason journal: Day 42

Day 42: Winter, and the death of all signs of baseball

 

So much activity has taken place so far this offseason!  It’s the hottest hot stove I can remember, with a sizable news story or two (or more!) seemingly breaking each day.  From big free agent signings like the Cano deal to blockbuster trades like the one that included Prince Fielder to retirement of players like Roy Halladay and Chris Carpenter, to the Hall of Fame announcements for Tony LaRussa, Joe Torre, and Bobby Cox, it’s been busy!  Like I said, this is among the busier offseasons I can recall in recent years, especially when you consider that we’re just now getting the winter meetings underway.

But there’s nothing like live action baseball.  And I miss that a lot right now.

It’s great when players don a new team’s jersey at a press conference, or countdown shows depicting the greatest (everything from clutch doubles to bloopers) of the 2013 season air on our TV sets.  But, there’s just no substitute for live game action.

We’ve seen a little snow & ice in the St. Louis area over the past several days, and while it’s not been enough to really accumulate much, it has made some roads slick at times, especially (say it with me, locals) “bridges and overpasses”.  But the north winds bring more than just nasty weather.  The look and feel of a barren earth consumes you at every turn.  Trees are full of stark naked branches….not a leaf to be seen at all.  The portions of grass that are visible, between those patches of snow, aren’t a vibrant green so much as they’re more of a tan/beige color.

And there are no smells.

No smells of fresh-cut grass, or summer BBQs, not even the smell of burning piles of leaves in my neighborhood anymore.  Long gone are the smells of grilled foods, cotton candy, and cold beers at the ballpark.  The sounds of vendors, the buzz of the crowd, and even the roar of the occasional dreaded wave.  No, friends, there’s nothing but cold temperatures and a few hours of sunshine every couple of weeks, to break up weeks-at-a-time stretches of overcast weather and cloud cover.

The hot stove’s great, don’t get me wrong.  It’s good for keeping a feel of baseball somewhat intact.  But in other ways, man, baseball couldn’t feel any further away right now.

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