The Baseball Desert

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Welcome to my life

As suspected, a start-time of 11:05am CET didn't actually work out too well for me. During my lunch hour I managed to catch the radio broadcast of the last inning-and-a-half (speaking of which, a question for Papelbon: "WTF??!!"), and then I saw some of the condensed game last night on NASN (only some, because my meeting went on for, erm, THREE-AND-A-HALF HOURS!), but it wasn't quite the Opening Day experience I would have hoped.

However, without wishing to gloat or to set myself on some kind of pedestal, I have to admit that some of the articles and blog posts about yesterday's game, which make a lot of the fact that the game began at the unearthly hour of 6:05am ET, have provoked a wry smile or two here in the Desert. The comments are fair enough, because that's a pretty early Monday morning kick-off, and it's slap bang in the middle of the time people are getting ready for work, commuting etc., but there is a part of me that just wants to say: "Welcome to my life, Red Sox Nation."

Outside of weekend day games, that is pretty much how I watch the Red Sox all season long. In fact, 6:05am would actually be an improvement on the start-times I generally have, which are: 1:05am, 2:05am and the ultimate Iain-killers, those 4:05am West Coast games. I know that 95% of Red Sox Nation is able to switch on the TV at 7:05pm and watch the games on NESN or ESPN, but it's nice to know that people occasionally get a glimpse of what it's like for us poor bastards who don't live in the U.S. and for whom watching the Red Sox really does mean putting in a lot of unsocial hours.

When the Sox won it all in '04, I felt a little bit guilty that I didn't have all those years of suffering stowed away in my Sox account, but I took - and still take - some comfort from the fact that I do 'suffer' for my team in the here and now, putting in some David Eckstein-style gritty performances just to get through the games in one piece.

So when you get up this morning at the crack of dawn to watch Game 2, remember those of us who live in baseball deserts across the world, and raise a glass to us next time you come home from work at 7, switch on the TV and hear Carl Beane utter the magical phrase: "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to Fenway Park."