The annual letdown
It's about this time every year where I start shaking off my winter doldrums and start feeling alive again. I start waking up to daylight again, the temperatures start reaching up into sixties and the smell of spring (aka pollen) is in the air.
But I always start feeling spring a little bit sooner than that. To me, spring is when the baseball magazines start coming out. From the team preview magazines to the fantasy baseball ones, just the mere thought of baseball refreshes my soul.
But the funny thing is that I can't figure out why. I kind of have a love-hate relationship with baseball. I follow the sport religiously, I play in way too many fantasy leagues but, for the love of God, I can't stand sitting through an entire game. No matter how much I try, I seem to lose interest by the 5th or 6th inning. And it's not just being a Royals fan either...although I'm sure no one would blame me for not being able to sit through one of their games. I have this problem with the playoffs and the World Series too.
I know baseball can be boring to a lot of people, but if you pay attention, it's really an exciting game. Each pitch is a move in a chess game, with the batter trying to guess the pitchers next attack while countering with one of his own. The casual viewer usually doesn't notice, but if you're really in tune with the game there's so many little nuances to be found that you can really get sucked in. It's like of those stereograms that were popular in the mid-nineties...once you see the hidden image it's hard to look away.
But It's like I can't stay focused recently. My mind drifts from pitch to pitch until I don't remember what happened to the last three batters. It's like I can't let myself relax during a game and I'm always thinking about something else. Part of that is probably the curse of being a Royals fan. The team hasn't been a true contender in over a decade, their roster has hardly even been worth getting excited about recently and they're usually mathematically eliminated by May.
Anyway, I'm going to try to change that this year. Since DirecTV usually offers the first week free of all of it's sports packages in order to attract potential buyers, I've taken off from work on Monday so that I can watch the first full slate of games across the country, and especially the first Royal game of the year. Hey, I usually only get to see the Royals when they play the Yankees, and even then only when it's over a weekend. So, what the hell, why not get one game out of the way now at the beginning of the year before they fall out of contention?
And I'll sit through at least one game, even if I need the help of Mister Sam Adams to do it.
Besides, spring is in the air...maybe I'll even put my TV out on the back patio and watch it there!