“What would life be like without baseball?”
On the eve of Truck Day, I don’t have to think too hard to answer this question… a description of what my life has been like the last couple of months will suffice.
Without baseball, the daily newspaper has no treat inside. No box scores? No interest.
Without baseball, the flat screen on the wall of the family room is a shiny gray ornament. The remote is stashed deep in the coffee table drawer.
Without baseball, I have to make up things to do at night after I put the kids to bed. Read a book. Clean the furnace room. Eat a big bowl of cereal. Write a blog article about life without baseball. Watch the Baylor-Oklahoma basketball game on ESPN. Strum on my guitar. Go to bed early.
Without baseball, there’s no temptation to manage my online fantasy baseball team when I need a mental break. Instead, I just trudge up and down the hill outside my office and think about calls I have to make.
Without baseball, I lose touch with my dad, my brothers, and my sister. The Red Sox are our family’s lifeblood.
Without baseball, talk radio is spirited noise.
Without baseball, lunch conversations with colleagues are hard to sustain for more than five minutes. There’s no game to talk about. No slumps to analyze. No standings to lament. No managerial moves to criticize. No rookies to compare to Dewey, Fisk, and Nomar.
Without baseball, my multiple Rawlings gloves lie in a bin in the cold garage. I sometimes put one of them on for a moment when I’m putting trash in the garbage cans.
Without baseball, the kids don’t beg me to play catch or wiffle ball with them when I get home from work. They don’t beg me to do anything. There are no little league teams to coach. No fungoes to hit.
Without baseball, there are no extra-inning, West Coast games to keep me up until the middle of the night. I am well rested. Yet restless.
Without baseball, the magnet that draws me to Fenway Park shuts down. No one calls with an extra ticket. I give away my Charlie Cards for the Green Line.
It’s February 11. Hot stove talk is dead. My backyard is a frozen tundra. There hasn’t been a major league baseball game in over three months.
But Truck Day is finally here. Spring training won’t start for another week, but just knowing that the Red Sox’s baseball equipment is en route to Fort Myers will improve the quality of fans’ lives in a measurable way.
Allelulia! Life without baseball is almost over! In about 50 days, they’ll be Shipping Up to Boston!