We’ve reached the off-season: now what?

 

If you’re reading this: congratulations, you made it a full week without baseball. Chicago fans, you’re probably almost fully recovered from you multiple day hangover. Cleveland fans you’re likely still miserable, join the club.

As baseball fans we were lucky to witness one of the greatest moments in sports last Wednesday. And then Thursday came and the reality started to set in that championships don’t go past seven games, and there will be no baseball until March.

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If you’re feeling lost without a selection of games to flip through, I’m here to help. I’ll admit now that nothing can fully fill the void of baseball’s absence, but let’s talk about what you can do to keep yourself busy until pitchers and catchers rolls around.

The easy way out is to pick up another sport. You’ve got three big ones to choose from: NBA, NFL, or NHL. Football is great don’t get me wrong, but 16 games don’t get you too far. Hockey and basketball seasons run 82 games each and could cruise you right through the off-season if you’re interested.

Rebounds are nice but they leave you thinking about the one you really want. So let’s get back to baseball related distractions.

Some people think that baseball comes to a halt in the off-season. Sure there are no games, but any given day of the off-season there is guaranteed to be a rumor, a trade, an offer, or something to keep you going. General manager meetings are officially underway, and we’re starting to hear what free agents are asking, what teams are looking for and what they’re pursuing.

Davey Dombrowski has basically said Boston won’t be making any crazy deals this off-season, especially compared to last winter. We’ll possibly pick up a “replacement” for Ortiz, but picking a DH from within seems more likely.

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With a quiet winter on our horizon, Sox fans must look for other distractions. That’s where Winter Weekend comes into play. Three days at Foxwoods alone could provide a fairly decent distraction. Add in a flood of Red Sox Nation, players walking around, baseball panels and more. If you’re under red-sox-winter-weekendthe age of 12 throw in a breakfast with Red Sox mascot Wally and a kid’s baseball clinic. For everyone else, this is a good opportunity to surround yourself with other Sox fans, meet some players and make the winter a little less terrible. Winter Weekend takes place January 20-22, roughly marking the one month mark until pitchers and catchers report. If you’ve made it this far then keep going, you’re in the home stretch. Once pitchers and catchers get rolling and we start to get glimpses of the preseason, time starts moving a little faster. March comes around and spring training begins. We get to see how wisely (or not) players used their off-season, and whether or not players slimmed down as much as their Instagram posts would suggest. Preseason games start up and baseball has almost fully returned. One month of exhibition games seems like a gold mine after months of resorting to re watching past playoff games and games of years past on YouTube.

And if all else fails, you can always count on Hanley’s Instagram for a good pick me up. You might get Hanley singing Bieber, Hanley playing shirtless ping pong in the DR, or Hanley riding a donkey. But be careful not to drift into Yoan Moncada’s story. The repetitive selfies taken back to back at slightly different angles with varying filters is almost as frustrating as his strikeout tour in Boston.

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One week down, just a few more months to go.

 

 

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