The Baseball Desert

Monday, March 06, 2006

Back In The Saddle Again

When baseball pretty much takes over your life for seven months of the year, the offseason can seem interminable. This is one of the reasons that I've been enthusiastic about the WBC - if nothing else, it's competitive baseball in the month of March (and if you think that the participants are taking it easy, check out the delight of the South Korean team after their upset of Japan):

I've watched some of the WBC games so far and have thoroughly enjoyed them - not that that's any kind of reference, because as long as there are nine guys chasing a little white ball around a field, I'll watch. And I'll certainly be in front of my PC tonight to check out the Dominican Republic vs. Venezuela and Mexico vs. the US. However, it was only on Saturday evening that I saw one of the true indicators that the baseball season is really approaching: a spring training game on NESN, and the return of Remy and Orsillo.

From what I read and hear across Red Sox Nation Rem Dawg and Orsillo are almost universally loved. During the regular season, they are a great team to have covering a game, with a perfect balance of knowledge, insight and humour, but during spring training, they seem to turn it up one notch. They are the broadcasting team that goes up to 11 - they're still broadcasting the game, but the pauses in between the baseball action are filled with everything from musings on Olympic figure skating to lobbying for better conditions in their booth at Fenway.

I presume it's tough for them to let rip during the regular season, except in blowouts where there's nothing much left to say, but spring training is, literally, an entirely different ballgame. By the fifth inning, nobody outside of scouts and players' close relatives is really watching the game, but Don and Jerry give you a reason to stay with the broadcast. All of a sudden, you're not sat watching the game all alone in your living-room - you're in your favourite bar, listening to two guys for whom the game is an excuse to talk about life, the universe and everything.

If you think that baseball is boring to watch, think again and try tuning in to NESN.