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BP Out in Left Field

Back to Normal?

Now that we are over a week into the baseball season and some or most of us have either been to, or planned our first game of the year, are we all back to normal now?

It seems to me that this past off-season was especially long for a bunch of people. Isn't that odd? The off-season was the same length as it has been every year previous, but this one seemed to drag on. Why is that?

Maybe it's the fact that we're all looking at baseball differently. If you are a ballhawk (or think you are anyway) going to a game revolves around batting practice (i.e.: what is the weather doing, is today a day game following a night game, is there a huge promotion, is school out, etc.) All of these things now play into our decision of whether or not we are going to a specific game, and with it is the added weight and anticipation for the season to start.

For those of us that are true fans of the game, and if you're reading this I assume you are, the baseball season itself brings a sense of normalcy to us. By that I mean that you can have an average 9-5 or 8-6 job that you go to everyday and do the same thing, but if your team loses the night before, or they have a day game that you find out they lost, it effects your whole day. Your mood changes, you act differently, think differently, all because of the way the game moves you. During the off-season we don't have that. It's business as usual.

Let me give you a personal example. Today as I was driving to a restaurant on my lunch break I drive up to a railroad bridge that has a stopped train on it. All of the cars are exactly the same and look like this:

Sorry for the odd angle, but I took that picture with my phone as I was driving. Do you know what my first thought was when I saw that? Whitey Herzog. That's the effect the game of baseball has on people. I know I'm not the only one either, there's more out there like me. I read your blogs, and comments. I think you get my point.

If something as simple as that can happen to me during the first week of the season, I can just imagine what happens to the rest of us during the off-season. Heck, some of you might even start hallucinating about baseballs falling from the sky! I'm joking of course, but seriously, how does the game effect you?

Do you lose sleep the night before you go to a game? Do you write or read blogs and comments when you should actually be working? (That last one is me!) Do you read box scores of games between teams that you have no interest in? Do you use baseball metaphors in everyday life?

If you answered yes to all or some of these questions, then you've got it bad, at least from November through February anyway, because you can't get all of that until April. That's when we feel complete, or whole, or most like ourselves.

That's when we feel normal.

Brian Powell is a contributing columnist to and also maintains a Blog.

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