Write Derek at drksmart @ gmail.com
Write Phil at phil.bencomo @ gmail.com
by Derek Smart
This might be my least favorite time of year. Not just from a baseball perspective, but in general. It is the point in the annual agenda where the length and depth of the winter one is about to experience becomes most clear. There are no big Winter Meetings to look forward to, no holidays with celebrations filled with food and family. It's all one long, bleak road stretching out to a spring that is somewhere unseen over the horizon.
In short, January is the calendar's equivalent to a DMV waiting room. It is dark, it is dingy, you will be there seemingly forever, and while you can recognize the necessity of passing through to get to where you want to be, you still wish you could be anywhere else, and spend nearly all of your time in that dank hole dreaming of more pleasant climes.
So here we are, waiting for spring, or at the very least some sort of baseball news or action worth our attention. Because even with the cold wind chafing our faces, and the snow pelting our eyes to slits, nothing makes baseball fans flip into a spring-time reverie like news of a big trade and the contemplation of their team's newly-minted lineup.
That's what we're listening for, straining to hear through the stillness - some word that something has happened, something big that can turn this offseason into something other than the thudding failure it has been. I have hope - I always have hope - but I'm not stupid. I invited some crickets in from the cold. I'd rather have peace from the company of their song than the restlessness of silence.