The Longest Month of the Year

It’s funny, everyone has their own assessment of how long a day, a week, or a month is. Oh sure, we have the scientists who will tell us that a day is 24 hours, a week is seven days, and a month is anywhere from 28 to 31 days but we all no that not every day, week, or month is created equally. Besides, if it really is a standardized length, why do we have to throw an extra day in on leap year?

The End is NearFor baseball fans, the longest day is literally the day after the final day of the season. You see, it’s only been a day since we were sitting in our seats at our favorite stadium basking in the glory of the world’s greatest game. Even on days when our team is getting soundly trounced, a bad day of baseball is greater than any day of not having baseball.

The longest week is a less exact science. During the season, a week where the Diamondbacks are out of town feels like an eternity. Oh sure there are games on television but baseball is not something to be enjoyed in the comfort of your own living room. No baseball is best when you are at the stadium watching your team take the field.

The smell of freshly cut grass rises from the playing surface. As soon as your nostrils catch a whiff, it mixes with the smell of a roasting hot dog, warm peanuts, and cold beer. Now that is a baseball game. But even worse for me than a road trip is All-Star break.

I’m not a huge fan of the mid-summer classic. It’s not that I am against the All-Star game, it’s just that I get frustrated that Major League Baseball has placed such importance on the outcome of an exhibition game. I enjoy seeing the games best on the field but to have the winning team decide who gets World Series home field advantage? That’s just wrong.

It’s not just that which makes the All-Star break seem like the longest week of the year. It’s the fact that from Sunday through Thursday that week there is just one game, the All-Star game. No other baseball is being played. Even the minor leagues are on hiatus during that stretch meaning that for diehard fans it is the equivalent of trying to go cold turkey for an addiction. I don’t think that’s healthy.

As we look at defining the longest month of the year it starts to get a little bit more subjective. For me personally, January is the longest month of the year. It starts out with New Years, which is supposed to ring in a new beginning. But from there we have 30 more days to try and remember the happier times when we were dressed up, watching the giant ball drop in Time Square, and kissing the one we love.

The temperatures are well below comfortable (even in Arizona) and with the exception of Martin Luther King Day there is not much else to look forward to. But that alone doesn’t make January the longest month for me.

No, it is the last full month of no baseball for the year. When the calendar rolls over to February we have Spring Training to look forward to as pitchers and catchers report. That is followed by Cactus League and Grapefruit League games, which leads to Opening Day. We then have six months of baseball followed by a month of post season. Then there is Arizona Fall League that stretches into November. December is filled with family and holiday parties and if you are lucky you will get a baseball gift for Christmas which will keep you going until the first of the year.

But then there’s January. Cold temperatures and most of the country covered in snow are about as far away from baseball as you can get. I’d love to say I get through this month by going to the Dominican Republic or Mexico for Winter Ball but so far my wife has put her foot down pretty hard on that. She may be adventurous but she draws the line at moving to a country where we don’t speak the language just to go to a few more baseball games. Yeah, I know, she really needs to work on her priorities.

For now January will remain the longest month of my life. The good news is that I have survived it and in less than a week pitchers and catchers will begin gathering at Salt River Fields and life will once again start fresh and new. And that’s what makes this great.

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