The Baseball Desert

Monday, May 05, 2008

Change of speed

I don't know where the days and weeks go, but they seem to be going there at a hell of a lick right now. I looked at the calendar this weekend and suddenly realised we are already into the month of May.

That realisation had me thinking back to this time last year, when I was preparing to go back to Boston on my second Fenway pilgrimage. That in turn brought on an acute bout of baseball depression, since I won't be going anywhere near the Commonwealth of Massachusetts anytime soon, so I thought I'd try to cheer myself up by reading over some of the posts and reliving some of the magical moments from that homestand.

As I started to look over the posts from last May's trip, it struck me that my whole baseball rhythm has altered dramatically over the course of the past twelve months. I already knew it had done, because the new job has been such a drain on the time and energy I have available to devote to the game, but it was only when looking over those posts that I realised to what extent. By May 5th of last year, I had already watched 26 Red Sox games. (Not just highlights, but 26 complete games. If you need a yardstick, the Sox had played 29 games at that point. 'Obsession' doesn't even come close...). This year, what with work, vacation and my broadband connection having bad hair days (always on Sunday evenings, when I have the time to watch the game) if I've seen 10 games, that would be about it.

I'm not trying to win any prizes, so the number itself is not a problem, but I will say this: I miss those damn games, even if for the most part they left me feeling tired the next morning. I have a good, comfortable life that I am happy with, but nothing in that life gives me the same sense of belonging that watching the Red Sox does. It doesn't matter that I'm half a world away from the action, or that the games begin in the middle of the night. If anything, those things just make the feeling of belonging all that more intense, since differences in geography and time zones are erased by the simple fact of rooting for the same team.

I still feel connected to the Sox, but if I could have a wish for the rest of the season, it would be to rediscover the time and energy that would allow me once more to become a full-time member of Red Sox Nation.

Keep your fingers crossed for me.