I was convinced that this year I just wasn't going to care about baseball. I wasn't going to get all worked up before the season began, counting the days to spring training and planning my entire life around the start times of two teams on opposite coasts.
Lindsay's death hit me hard. And after writing my post about her, I couldn't see a way of getting back into writing about baseball. And then not long after that, my nephew, Wilson Sawyer, came into the world. He was born January 10, 2010. That's 01-10-10, which makes him a binary baby, something I know the guys over at Sons of Steve Garvey will appreciate. And despite the fact that Wilson's mother (my sister) is a Cardinals fan (she went to high school in St. Louis; I, thankfully, did not), he already has several Dodger outfits. Some of you may remember last season when I made some Dodgers buttons with various sayings, player numbers, etc., mostly as a tribute to the SoSG boys. Well, Wilson doesn't know anything about anything yet, but luckily his aunts know good t-shirt material when they see it. So, I present to you Wilson Sawyer Peterson, Dodger fan:
Also, Wilson Sawyer Peterson, fan of his two aunts:
I've been in Denver since Wilson was three weeks old, hanging out. And despite what the Rockies want you to believe, Denver is not exactly a baseball town. Oh sure, there are billboards counting down to the Rockies home opener, but snow and freezing temperatures doesn't really conjure up images of green grass, Dodger Dogs, and sweating your ass off at a day game in July. I suppose I could drive over to Coors Field and just look at it, get a feel for the game again, but that's not exactly the same thing as taking a jaunt over to Dodger Stadium and sitting at the Top of the Park, watching players warm up in the outfield.
The point is, I've been having trouble getting into the season so far this year. But as they do every year (and as Jon Weisman so eloquently pointed out in his own post on the matter), things changed. Don't ask me what did it. Maybe I just needed a little more time this year. But whatever the reason, I'm ready for baseball. I like the break, because it makes me appreciate the beauty of seeing a hitter make contact with the ball and even just shoot a single between shortstop and third. I like the break because I will appreciate Kershaw's twelve-to-six curveball all the more as a result. And this year, unlike in years past, I like the break because I actually needed it. Not just because I was burned out on the season and the disappointing way in which it ended, but because I needed to be able to wind down and focus on more important matters. I needed baseball to go away so that I could miss it.
There's good news and bad news to go with this need for the game, though. The good news is, I'm going to Europe for two months. Christine is doing a movie in Venice right now, and on April 10 I'm flying over there to join her. After Venice, we'll head to Berlin for a few days, then to Paris. We'll fly back to the states from Paris on, tentatively, June 5 (which coincidentally is the same date I flew back from Puerto Rico last year). So, the bad news is that for the second year in a row I'll miss the first two months of the season. Luckily I've discovered that I can access my MLB.tv account in Europe, so I can watch Red Sox and Dodger games as long as I'm willing to wake up at 1 am and 4 am, respectively, to catch them live. And I gotta say, I think most of the time I will, in fact, be willing to do just that.
So, I'm back into this. I've been lurking at Sons of Steve Garvey and Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness and Surviving Grady, but I'm ready to be a more active member of this blogging community once again. I've had my offseason, I'm getting back in shape right now (not just a metaphor, thanks to Biggest Loser for the Wii and my grandmother's old treadmill), and come April 4, I'll be completely ready to get in the game.