10 Ways to Make Baseball's Offseason Fly By
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Barely three weeks removed from the baseball season and you're going through withdrawal.
The offseason has begun.
Sure, you're occasionally stimulated by trade rumors and free agent signings, but it all seems like meaningless banter until players return to the diamond.
You've considered leasing a winter home in Boca Raton as you anticipate the mid-February start to spring training, but then reconsider when you realize you need to keep your job.
The grueling, baseball-less offseason is tough.
You might put on a few pounds as you wolf down Christmas cookies and watch your team's final game of the season, which you recorded on DVR and have already seen countless times.
If you're feeling down, I'm here to help.
Here are 10 ways to make the baseball offseason fly by.
Check MLB Trade Rumors
Photo courtesy of MLB Trade Rumors Facebook page
If you need a quick baseball fix, get into the habit of checking MLB Trade Rumors.
The site is updated daily, 365 days a year, and features viable hot stove rumors from respected journalists. Their stories are always cited with links to where the story broke first, usually Twitter.
Since its founding in November of 2005, MLB Trade Rumors has grown its following tremendously. The site even boasts MLB players as readers, including Dustin Pedroia, Dan Haren and C.J. Wilson.
I visit the site at least once a day to gather the newest rumors circulating in the baseball world.
Relive Classic Games
Joe Carter's walk-off home run during the 1993 World Series
Rick Stewart/Getty Images
There are a couple of easy ways to relive some of the most classic matchups in MLB history.
First, with a subscription to the MLB Network, not only will you receive baseball coverage 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but part of their regular programming is showing MLB's 20 Greatest Games.
The show is hosted by Bob Costas and Tom Verducci and features games such as Joe Carter's 1993 World Series walk-off home run, the Boston Red Sox's 2004 ALCS Game 4 victory and the Arizona Diamondbacks' 2001 World Series-clinching game.
You can view highlights from each game here.
Second, iTunes offers MLB.com's Baseball's Best.
For $1.99 you can purchase one of 146 memorable games. The collection features perfect games, All-Star games and even Game 7 of the 1952 World Series between the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers.
The list can be found here.
Play MLB: The Show
Photo courtesy of Amazon
If you like video games, Sony's MLB: The Show is worth your time.
Often overlooked due to the popularity of games like Madden, FIFA and NBA games, MLB: The Show benefits from nuances that the game of baseball alone possesses.
The realistic nature of the gameplay and the inherent strategy make the entire experience just like the real thing. Not to mention the game's Road to the Show format that allows the player to start a career in the minors and attempt to become a superstar.
If you're being forced to stay inside during the winter, you might as well give the game a shot.
Start a Blog
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You're a baseball fan, and most baseball fans have opinions.
That is the perfect reason to start a baseball blog.
It's easy, and you are your own motivator. If you don't have anything to say or don't feel like writing on a particular day, you don't have to. That's the beauty of it.
If you do decide to start one, you'll need people to read it. Post the link on your social media pages, email the link to friends and relatives or just use the space as a way to blow off steam after that idiotic trade your team made.
It's fun, and since you won't be spending your time in the offseason watching baseball, why not spend your time writing about baseball?
Watch a Baseball Movie
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
I am ashamed as a baseball fan to admit that I had not seen Bull Durham until this year.
Don't let this happen to you.
While you have time this offseason, sit down and watch a baseball movie. It can be one you've yet to see or one you've seen a hundred times over.
You could even make a marathon of it. Get some buddies together, laugh during Major Leagues and cry during Field of Dreams.
Did I say cry? I meant...oh c'mon, it's a great movie!
Here's Baseball Almanac's Top Ten Baseball Movies.
Gear Up for Other Big Sporting Events
The two spots in the 2013 BCS National Championship game are up for grabs
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Baseball may be over, but the world of sports never rests.
The NBA and college basketball seasons are freshly underway and have filled the void nicely so far.
College football is nearing the conclusion of the regular season and Bowl season will soon be upon us, carrying us through the New Year.
By that time the NFL playoffs will have begun and continue to keep our minds off of the superior sport that is baseball.
The excitement surrounding the Super Bowl can carry us through the doldrums of February until Spring Training starts and all becomes right with the world.
Dust off Those MLB Showdown Cards
Photo courtesy of Amazon
Remember back in the day (circa 2002) when you would unfold the MLB Showdown game board, set your nine-man lineup, roll the 20-sided die and allow your managerial expertise to overwhelm your best friends?
The MLB Showdown series lasted only seven years but debuted at just the right time for my childhood. I remember getting together with friends on football Sunday and playing MLB Showdown during halftime.
So dig around in the basement for those old cards, find the game board crumpled in a pile somewhere and relive your younger days—but no Super Season cards. That's weak.
Run, Trout, run!
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There is always an excuse not to start exercising, but now watching baseball can't be one of them.
Get off your butt and get that heart rate pumping. You've been sitting down watching baseball all summer, and even if you made it to a game or two, you sat at the stadium like a lazy bum too!
To make it more fun, turn a jog into a challenge. Pretend you're your favorite team and that park two miles away is Josh Hamilton at a reasonable price. If you make it there in under 18 minutes, you're the hottest new GM in baseball.
If you can't, at least you killed some time.
Off you go, Theo!
Call into a Local Radio Show
Photo courtesy of ESPN
As dark and gloomy as the baseball offseason can be, you're not the only one suffering.
There are thousands of other baseball fans forced to listen to Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith argue over what color headband LeBron James should have worn in last night's game.
However, great offseason baseball chatter can always be found on local radio shows.
Whether you're a long-time listener or are just beginning to appreciate the unfiltered banter of sports radio, consider calling in and sharing your opinion. It's a great way to stay involved in the offseason, and will keep you well-informed leading up to Opening Day.
Start a Countdown
Photo courtesy of Diamond Diaries
If all else fails, start a countdown.
Just as little children have a countdown to Christmas beginning in July, my countdown to Opening Day begins the day after the World Series concludes.
Pitchers and catchers can report as early as February 12th, 2013 and spring training games and the World Baseball Classic start at the beginning of March.
The true test of sanity, though, culminates in our ability to make it to Opening Day.
As of today, Tuesday, November 20th, 2012, we are 132 days away from Opening Day on April 1st, 2013 (though the official start to the season will be the night before on March 31st with ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball).
Stay strong, my friends.