December 2009

BSAD… I’m Pretty Sure It’s Real

The last comment my friend Jefferson gave to me was, “Emmy, don’t slack.” I thought, “yeah, no problem Jefferson, there’s tons to write about during the off season.” So, what was the first thing I did after I read that? If you’re thinking, “you went and wrote a blog,” you would be wrong. No, I slacked. And slacked. And slacked a little bit more. So, while my dear readers were busy keeping up with me, I was not busy keeping up with them. My sincerest apologies, oh dear readers. I appreciate the love you’ve shown me by stopping by here still and making me number eight on the latest leaders board (holla!).

So, while I’m here, let us talk about the atrocity known as the offseason.
Handy Dandy Berry.jpg
Some time ago, I was messaging on my handy dandy… Blackberry!! (In case you didn’t get the reference, that was from Blue’s Clues… and I had to talk about my newest little gadget that has also become my newest obsession.) Anyway, I was messaging with a friend of mine who lives down in Blues Clues.jpgVenezuela and has the pleasure of covering winter ball for the Caribes. From what I’ve been learning about winter ball, it’s completely amazing, but the Caribes… they’re like the equivalent of the Washington Nationals.

So, we were messaging about this one game, and it was completely crazy: extra innings, bench clearing brawls, a manager ejection, and a high scoring game (Okay, I know what you’re thinking, “Emily, that’s nothing like the Nationals, a high scoring game? Maybe only for the opposing team, you liar” to which I would say, “hey, even the Nationals get their day… someday…” (but that’s beside the point)). Just reading theCaribes.jpg messages, I couldn’t help but get excited waiting for the next one. He kept me updated on the count, who was on base, who was up to bat. I was sitting there, glued to this little screen on my phone thinking, “WHAT’S HAPPENING?!?!” It didn’t matter that I didn’t know any of the players, that I didn’t know anything about the teams; no, it was wondering what pitch, where it’s located, did he swing? I was on the edge of my seat just waiting to read what would happen.

I spent Thanksgiving with my friend and her parents who live down in Colorado Springs. The Broncos game against the Giants wasn’t broadcast (for some ridiculous reason) so we had to listen to the game on the radio. Listening to any game on the radio is very different from watching a game in any sport (well, I guess I really only listen to baseball on the radio, that football thing was only once). When you listen to one on the radio, you hear something like, “here’s the pitch…” With a fastball, it takes approximately 0.4 seconds to travel those 60 feet six inches to get to the plate. But waiting to hear what will happen after the, “here’s the pitch…” waiting that 0.4 seconds is like agony. When listening to the football game, waiting to hear if Kyle Orton’s throw was completed or waiting to hear if Eli Manning completed… anything, playing that waiting game makes you so… anxious… I think that’s the word I’m looking for.

So waiting for that message, waiting for that pitch count, “3-0… 3-1… 3-2… swing and a miss.” Waiting for that was like listening to the radio… only harder.

To get to the point, I didn’t realize how detrimental the off season is to my health until I found myself huddled around this tiny screen waiting for a message about a pitch, to a player I’d never heard of, on a team I didn’t know anything about, in a country I’ve never been to, on a different continent.

So, while we’re on the subject of my health, let’s talk about something that I’m about 99% sure I have right now. Have you ever heard of seasonal affective disorder? It’s basically how people react to the amount of sunlight in their environment. The typical pattern is that people have a tendency to become depressed during the fall and winter seasons (when there’s less light) and then kind of normalize in the spring and summer.

I’m all for getting sunlight, I mean, Colorado is a state that does have all four seasons. But… is it possible to have seasonal affective disorder for baseball? I mean… granted, it does coincide with the timing of… regular.. seasonal affective disorder (I don’t know if you’d call it “regular” since I don’t really think “baseball seasonal affective disorder” would be found in the DSM).

However, I think BSAD could be a legitimate medical condition, and I think I have it. So, how does it compare to the regular SAD? Like I said, SAD is about the amount of light that you’re getting in your environment; therefore, BSAD would be like the amount of baseball you get inSunlight.jpgyour environment.

Let’s think about it this way, in Colorado, at least lately, we’ve been having like… sub zero type temperatures. Now, since it’s Colorado, it’s possible that in a weeks time it’ll be sunny and somewhere in the 60s. So right now, it’s always overcast, dark, and in general, kind of gloomy. Then there are those sunny days where things are a little bit brighter, nicer, it’s a day where you want to be outside.

Same thing with baseball. Right now, I don’t have any, it’s gloomy, dark, and in general, a bit depressing. But there areMLB Network logo.jpglittle things that can only keep you satisfied for so long, like MLB Network or messaging with my friend covering winter ball. I mean… it’s not having baseball, but it’s as close as you can get. It’s like that one sunny day out of the week of crappy ones.

So during the off season months, I lust after that spring training date or that opening day date. I mean, when we’re talking hot stove, it can get a little repetitive. So I roam through the days in this… zombie-esque manner, waiting for that warm, sunny spring day in April. Granted, “zombie-esque manner” is probably not a politically correct way to describe someone with BSAD, or SAD for that matter, but I trust you’ll get over it.

Being on Twitter, being surrounded by baseball fans, and being someone who received their BA in psychology, I feel qualified to diagnose most of us with BSAD. We’re all… well… a little depressed right now just waiting, counting down those days until spring training arrives, and the sun comes out and the snow melts away (at least for Colorado). The days where the sun shines perfectly on that baseball diamond, where a beer and nachos (or for most baseball goers, a hot dog) is the only food you need that day to be content, where the sound of a ball hitting the sweet spot on a bat is just the best sound in the world. Yes, we lust after those days, and like anyone with SAD, we have to wait. Wait for the cold, harsh winter to be over, wait for the sun to show its face again, and wait for the day where we won’t have
to say, “Man… I miss baseball,” because baseball would already be here.

Yes, dear friends, until that time comes, we must be the artificial light in each others lives while we wait for that day in spring. We will suffer through our BSAD together while we wait for that day that it seems we can only dream about.