Skip to content

Into the offseason we go

Oct 31, 2011, 5:56 AM EDT

Autumn

As is always the case at this time of year, I’m at a bit of a loss. My brain and body still think it’s baseball season. The hot stove stuff doesn’t seem very real yet. And, even though we’ll totally get into it like crazy now, it does feel like a step down from where we’ve been.

Indeed, I feel like someone who just came back from a grand adventure or a fantastic journey who has trouble slipping back into the ho-hum of daily life. Free agency is fun, but it’s not a baseball game. Damn far from it. And it seems even farther from it this year, what with just how thrilling the playoffs and World Series were.  How did a medieval French soldier go back to farming after surviving the Second Crusade? How did Neil Armstrong teach undergrads at the University of Cincinnati after walking on the moon? How do you come back down from something that harrowing and wonderful?

I have no idea, but onward we must go.

If you missed it over the weekend, we learned that Bud Selig is going to step in and deal with Theo-compensation. We also heard that the Angels’ 2012 payroll isn’t going up.  Jason Giambi and the Rockies decided to stay together, making him one of the only gigantic stars to actually have a third act to his career. The Indians kept Fausto Carmona because they realized that pitching does not grow on trees. The Yankees exercised their options on Nick Swisher and Robinson Cano. Javier Lopez (Giants) and Marco Scutaro (Red Sox) learned that they’d be staying put. In the biggest news so far — though when it’s all done it will likely be no big deal — we learned that CC Sabathia will opt out of his contract.

There will be other twists and turns. Pujols. Darvish. The new collective bargaining agreement. Big splashy free agent signings that we’ll talk about as if Carl Crawford and Adam Dunn never happened. Some deals so minor that we’ll almost completely overlook them as if Mike Napoli never happened. I’ll go to the Winter Meetings and once again realize that it’s far more interesting to talk about them as a happening than it is to talk about what actually happens there. I’ll devote a solid two weeks to alienating the entire professional baseball press when I rail against the Hall of Fame voting.  I assume that a good two dozen guys will be in The Best Shape of Their Lives. It will all be fun. And within a few days I’ll be totally into it and the 2011 season will seem like a distant memory.

But I’m not quite there yet.  For now, I want to close my eyes and try to recapture the wonder of everything we just experienced. I want to savor the 2011 season for one last moment before it ceases to be a present happening and, instead, becomes forever consigned to history …

… There. OK. Forward. Onward. Into the offseason we go.

  1. baseballisboring - Oct 31, 2011 at 6:55 AM

    The end of the baseball season never feels right…it’s like having a 162 game season makes you take it for granted, then the end of the year comes and I realize I didn’t tune into nearly as many games as I wanted to. I still followed it closely of course, and tuned into plenty of games, but I’m also busy with school and work and whatnot like everyone else and I can’t help but feel like I missed a lot. I actually kinda regret going out and partying instead of watching game 7 of the World Series. But the season’s been decided…once the hot stove stuff starts in earnest, hell, real baseball is a lot better, but I probably read sites like this one even more during the hot stove season. It’s always exciting to think about what crazy stuff might happen. I enjoy all the rumors, whether because they interest me or because they’re so stupid it gives me a chance to ridicule Jon Heyman on various messageboards. But I also enjoy the process of watching where guys end up and watching teams construct the rosters. The offseason can be exciting too, damnit. Or maybe I should try to leave my mother’s basement…

  2. sknut - Oct 31, 2011 at 7:21 AM

    well said Craig, well said

    Even this weekend I was yearning for more world series games. That’s all good a postaeason it was leaving u wanting more.

  3. shaggylocks - Oct 31, 2011 at 8:36 AM

    It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart…

    • Francisco (FC) - Oct 31, 2011 at 11:09 AM

      Chanelling a little Tears for Fears there?

      • shaggylocks - Oct 31, 2011 at 12:39 PM

        Channeling the late philosopher-king of baseball, actually.

  4. dapperdan50 - Oct 31, 2011 at 8:38 AM

    Nice post. And the unspoken part was that, even though (as is extremely likely) you were dedicated to one of the teams NOT located in St. Louis, you have to love and cherish the game. Even if you followed the Braves or Red Sox, who had such disastrous endings. If you’re a true baseball fan (and almost everyone reading HBT comments is), you love the game and now, officially miss it, even as you look ahead with hope to the 2012 season and the offseason that will lead up to it.

  5. levistahl - Oct 31, 2011 at 9:09 AM

    I woke from a dream this morning in which I’d been checking the scores and found the Cardinals and Mets locked in a 3-3 tie in the 27th. Seems appropriate for the entry to the offseason, to pretend that there’s a game going on that just won’t end.

    (Of course, I also still can’t quite believe that my favorite team came out on top of the most exciting couple of months of baseball in my lifetime. What fun.)

    • kopy - Oct 31, 2011 at 9:16 AM

      If I can find a time machine, I’m going to September 6th, 2011, and betting lots of money on St. Louis to win the World Series. That’s when they were getting 999 to 1 odds.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 31, 2011 at 10:33 AM

        You mean like this guy?

        http://deadspin.com/5854422/tonight-one-shy-gamblers-impossible-quarter+million+dollar+dream-lives-or-dies

  6. Jonny 5 - Oct 31, 2011 at 9:44 AM

    It seemed fated, almost. Didn’t it? From the craziness of the Cards getting into the playoffs in the first place, to the nuttiness of the NLDS, the lackluster NLCS, to the rain out which allowed Carp to pitch on 3 days rest in game 7. Almost as if it was a predetermined sequence of events…. Hmmm?

  7. badmamainphilliesjamas - Oct 31, 2011 at 9:53 AM

    The only thing that makes the end of baseball season tolerable is a parade for your team. Euphoria is an antidote for withdrawal.

    To think that in mid-September some thought that all the races were settled . . . who would have thought that next month and a half would provide such memorable baseball?

    It should be an interesting offseason, but I’m still counting the days until pitchers & catchers.

  8. PanchoHerreraFanClub - Oct 31, 2011 at 9:55 AM

    First prediction of the off season. Craig, this year someone won’t dare you to eat the worm in the bottle of mescal during spring training in AZ. As a result you won’t pick the Cubs to win the NL Central.

  9. kiwicricket - Oct 31, 2011 at 10:02 AM

    Darwin said it’s not the strongest of the species that survives, or the most intelligent. It’s the one most adaptable to change.

    Tremendous season. Well played everyone.
    Nice post Mr C.

  10. mcs7584 - Oct 31, 2011 at 10:20 AM

    Time to pull out the stash of baseball movie DVDs, light the fireplace and ready the snow shovel. Bring on winter and then bring on spring training!

  11. yankeesgameday - Oct 31, 2011 at 10:47 AM

    For like one second I just thought to myself, week now that baseball is over i might as well try to watch the lakers and then I laughed because those dumb asses are locked out and I really couldn’t care less. Lol.

  12. paperlions - Oct 31, 2011 at 10:49 AM

    The end of the season has not hit me yet. When I woke up this morning, it still felt like the game 7 victory was last night, and I am still on the high from the previous nights triumph. I don’t think my emotional off-season will start for some time yet.

  13. sportsdrenched.com - Oct 31, 2011 at 11:40 AM

    Where are the meeting for Baseball-Offseason-Affective-Disorder?

    Just keep telling yourself it’s only 4 months. It’ll be OK.

  14. antlerclaws - Oct 31, 2011 at 12:37 PM

    I’m kinda sorta glad season is over, I need some time to decompress. As a Rangers fan, it was a great season right up until those last 2 WS games, but I became kind of obsessed to the point where I was putting in way too much time thinking about baseball. I just need a little break then I’ll be able to do it all over again come Spring Training (which BTW I attended this year for the first time in AZ; had a blast and plan to do it again). Part of it comes from Rangers heartbreak I guess, but as a Rangers fan, we are used to that. Just to get so close….so, so close.

  15. goawaydog - Oct 31, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    I caught myself watching football this weekend, smacked myself across the face and went out and mowed the lawn.

  16. Old Gator - Oct 31, 2011 at 3:15 PM

    Sad to see the season go
    I’ll miss the crackling of the air
    The loss of all I know
    Sad to see the season go….

    Indian corn, the bitter taste
    of envy in the air
    Mired now in cyclic decay
    The nag of conquest
    With skeletal arms embrace the withering day

    Sad to see the season go
    I’ll miss the crackling of the air
    The loss of all I know
    Sad to see the season go….

    Locked here these dreams of you
    Imperfect dormant seeds
    There is dignity in this solitude
    A sparkling ambiguity
    Both liquid and solid at one time….

    Michael Timmins
    (Cowboy Junkies)

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Patience finally paying off for Royals fans
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. R. Castillo (3277)
  2. C. Kershaw (2409)
  3. D. Ortiz (2403)
  4. G. Stanton (2382)
  5. J. Hamilton (2320)
  1. N. Arenado (2255)
  2. A. Rizzo (2196)
  3. M. Trout (2155)
  4. A. Pujols (1942)
  5. H. Ryu (1865)