Baseball Jones: How Long Until Pitchers and Catchers Report?

Eddie DzurillaCorrespondent IDecember 12, 2009

BOSTON - OCTOBER 11:  Pitcher Billy Wagner #13 of the Boston Red Sox pitches in the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in Game Three of the ALDS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Fenway Park on October 11, 2009 in Boston,  Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

This is when it sets in.  Same time every year.  The leaves fall.  The skies turn cold and grey.  The winds of November whip across the Great Lakes.  And baseball fanatics …the kind that subscribe to the Sporting News , play fantasy baseball and always read the line scores….go into withdrawal mode.

Oh, they try to stay involved….keeping up with the NFL, rooting for their nearest hockey team, even paying attention to the occasional college football or NBA game.  But to baseball junkies, winter is the season of despair.

No daily fix, no pondering upcoming pitching rotations, no checking to see who took two out of three in the latest home stand. 

You’re at some holiday cocktail party where the guests are discussing issues like health care, Afghanistan and the nut jobs who run Korea , and you blurt out something like, “Hell, who cares about the war and all that health care stuff.  Think that Lackey will stay with the Angels, or will somebody else pick him up in free agency?”

Dr. Diz understands.   I’ve been a member of BA (Baseball Anonymous) since I was thirteen, and I can say…I’m Dr. Diz and I’m a baseball addict (all together now…hi Dr. Diz…).

Baseball addiction cannot be cured.   It can only be treated, and held in check each year until pitchers and catchers report.  But there are some simple steps, some righteous steps that the founders of BA have found will work to get ya all through the off season.  Follow these twelve steps, and before you know it, spring will be here with the cry of “batter up”

1)  Don’t talk about baseball from Thanksgiving thru Early February.   After the Cy Young is awarded, anything you have to say is just useless speculation anyways.

2)  Find another sport to obsess about.   Make believe you really give a rats behind about who wins the Stanley Cup, Final Four, the Olympics, or other such stuff. 

3)  Practice mediation.   Put yourself in a quiet, well lit room, seat yourself comfortably, and chant softly Yankees suck, Yankees suck” to alleviate pressure and worry.  You can even do this at your desk during breaks at work.

4)  Get out and do something constructive for your community.   Get out to your local bar and do your part to stimulate the economy via the consumption of massive amount of bourbon, whiskey, beer and rum.

5)  Yell at your spouse.   That way, when the season starts again and you are glued to the set, they will be thankful and leave you alone.

6)   Tell you in-laws what you really think of them.   Truthfully, this doesn’t help much with the baseball withdrawal, but it just feels so dang good I had to throw it in.

7)  Go skiing.  Or ice fishing.  Or skating.   The frostbite will make you forget about baseball…..come to think of it, it will make you forget about just about anything other than “Jesus H. Christ, this hurts like no tomorrow”.

8)   Go to a go-go bar.   Put singles in mouth.  Snuggle.  Repeat.  Feel better now?

9)  Eat.  Lots.   Hit your favorite stake house and indulge in a big fat juicy prime washed down with some St. Pauli’s.  Burp and fart after.  Smoke a cigar.  Wonder what the poor people do for fun.

10)  In February, start easing yourself back into it.   Get yourself some baseball magazines and start looking at who to stock up on for your fantasy team.

11)  Go to spring training.   Tell the spouse you always thought Central Florida and/or Arizona would be a fine place to take the kids. Repeat the mantra to yourself “opening day, opening day”

12)  And, no matter where, who for, or what you work at, get yourself and your buddies and/or kids some tickets and go see your team when they open up in April.

Now, Dr. Diz knows that this isn’t easy for you.  Studies have shown that baseball addiction is as severe and hard to control as addiction to nicotine and opiates.  There is no cure.  But if you follow these guidelines, the off season will pass quickly, and you’ll be back singing take me out to the ballgame in no time.