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October 31 2000: Withdrawal Symptoms

It’s hard to believe, but the huge empty hole I felt when last year’s season ended doesn’t seem to be quite as huge or as empty-seeming this year. Yet.

Part of this may be the fatigue I feel after following the season so intensely since March, especially given how exhausting the Yankee run became, as the team stumbled and “backed in” to the postseason, keeping us all on the edge of our seats with a long losing streak in September, and then some flashes of vulnerability in the Division series…

To put it succinctly, there wasn’t much chance to relax. If they were cruising through September I might have taken it easy, let some games slide, figuring the box score would take care of itself. But no, we really did have to watch/listen to/follow just about every game the past two months of the season, and then there were the two rounds of playoffs, in which losses extended them to more games, as well.

So I’m fatigued, but I definitely cannot say that I am tired of baseball.

I am missing it, just not as much. Last year, the day after the world series ended, I walked around in a daze, saying “I can’t believe there’s no baseball,” at least a dozen times. I must have said it the next day, and the next, for quite some time, before I started to accept it.

I think the yearning I felt last year (1999) was also because I felt I had to make up for lost time. I hadn’t been following things the entire year, and only really picked up the story in earnest in August. So the season seemed too short last year.

Not so this year. I am ready for a bit of a break from four hour long games every night. But I am saying that less than a week after the World Series ended. What will I be like in another week?

First, I’m sure I’m going to start wishing I did have games to listen to while I make my dinner or clean my office.

Then, I’m going to start to miss the excitement and intensity of the season. It’s almost enough to make me start following another sport… a winter sport. ALMOST. But not quite.

Then I’ll start to miss the individual players, some of whom I’ll miss for a very long time, if they don’t return to the team.

I’ll know it’s really bad when I start humming the jingles from the ads they play during the games all the time… (Ford, built for the way you l-i-i-i-ve…. )

Next entry, I’ll try to list some of the “cures” for baseball withdrawal I’ve tried.

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