It pains me to type those five words. Beer and the MLB Network are the only winter remedies. And the writings of Roger Angell. That the season will end because my beloved St. Louis Cardinals can’t hit a Little Leaguer’s fastball if it’s thrown by a kid from Beantown only makes it worse. But that’s neither here nor there.
As splendid as October is -- and it is, so don’t argue foolishly -- October also births a winter blackout that baseball lovers barely survive. For all the glorious things about the sport, the inherent difficulty of hitting a 95-mph fastball with a round bat, the religiosity of debate -- NL baseball vs. AL baseball -- the season’s greatest strength, its most appealing feature, is itself.
Baseball is the weather; it happens every day -- pardon the pun -- weather permitting. Baseball fans exist on the ebb and flow the resembles a teenage fling: pleasant last month, disappointing last week, spectacularly awesome the night before. Baseball fans endure a six-month odyssey that’s geeky, emotional and tiresome, all at the same time. In April, you’re giddy. In June, you’re irate. In August, you think about quitting. In September, you can’t.
There’s always another game, another chance.
No other sport, not even hoops and hockey with their interminably long seasons, offers that everyday drama.
I have eternal hope, but little confidence, that the Cardinals will fare better in Boston tonight than did the British. But my real sadness can only be soothed by an enduring question:
When does spring training begin?
Contact Anniston Star Commentary Editor Phillip Tutor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @Ptutor_star.