What Do You Need?

My daily routine consists of waking up and after checking to make sure I am still breathing I get out of bed and go downstairs. After a quick glance at my email to make sure I didn’t miss anything during the 3 hours I have been asleep; I go to the desk pick up my Arizona Diamondbacks pen and walk to the calendar. There I put a big Sedona Red “X” over the date and once again count how many days before pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training. January is always the hardest month for me.

First of all it feels as though it lasts forever. Although the calendar shows that January only has 31 days in it; it feels as though the month has at least 62 days. This is probably because it is the last full month without Major League Baseball. Next month pitchers and catchers will report to Tucson and the long off-season will finally be done. It will signal that winter is finally over and spring is just around the corner. Secondly, January is always the coldest month of the year. After multiple shoulder, knee, wrist, and ankle surgeries I don’t get along with cold at all. The warm weather of Arizona was one of the biggest reasons we moved here; that and the fact that I had a much better chance of seeing a major league baseball game than I ever would living in Idaho. Getting through January with some amount of sanity is always a challenge every year.

By this time I am usually getting very antsy and pacing back and forth waiting for the calendar to turn. This year I find I am not nearly as prepared as I have been in the past. I have barely cataloged the scorebooks from last season and haven’t even thought about picking up new scorebooks for the upcoming regular season. The seat cushions have not been emptied since the last game of the 2008 season. I am usually diligent about getting things out of the cushions and have them stored for the winter. Every time I think about it I can’t seem to talk myself into looking at the seat cushions. The way the 2008 season ended is still too painful to think about. No matter how many times I play it out I still cannot comprehend how the Diamondbacks could fall apart like they did that first week of September. I feel like I am trapped in the movie Groundhog Day. No matter how much I want to wake up to find a new day has dawned and the Diamondbacks did not lose to the Dodgers; it never works out.

Maybe this is why I want January over so quickly. I need Spring Training to come and with it a new beginning. I need to see the youthful excitement of the young Diamondbacks players who have not forgotten the pain of last September but are instead using it to drive them to be better than they were a year ago. I need the next 37 days 22 hours and 58 minutes to go faster; that’s what I need.

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