It’s all over. The season is done and now there’s naught to do but count the days until pitchers and catchers report. We of baseball fandom are left to make due with other sports to satiate our need for competition. The holidays should be more than enough to keep us busy in the interim, but what about the players and staff? The offseason is a vacation of sorts and while we wouldn’t expect grown men to go buck wild like schoolchildren set free after that last June school bell, it’s no surprise that the team will be looking for activities in the offseason. Sure, there are workouts and conditioning to keep up, but they must be making some additional plans.
Albert Pujols is due a pretty big pay bump this year. Perhaps he will go on a spiritual journey to see some monks on the top of a mountain and they will teach him their ways of mental and physical health so that he may once again move with the speed and power of his younger days. To speak frankly, at his salary it’s either that, or he tries to find a doctor that will prescribe HGH *and* keep his mouth shut.
After a season peppered with injuries, Peter Bourjos may seek to strengthen his body. Peter may choose to marathon view all of the Rocky movies (yes, including the crappy one where he fought Tommy Gunn outside of the bar). He will see the training montages and he will be driven to build himself stronger against injury.
Perhaps CJ Wilson and Josh Hamilton will film another shampoo commercial. Maybe this shampoo will last the entire shower instead of sputtering through the first half and performing as advertised through the second half after the water’s already gone tepid.
Mike Trout will likely once again pay very close attention to the MVP voting so that he knows precisely how much Arte Moreno should be paying him. He will also begin to price homes in Boston, New York, Detroit, and even Arlington, just in case. Meanwhile, Howie Kendrick will sit in his home, mentally taking inventory of what should be garage sale fodder, what should be stored, and what should be packed while he checks home prices in Colorado and Kansas City.
Arte Moreno will swim in his money bin and count precisely how much he won’t pay Mike Trout after writing checks for contract increases for Pujols and Wilson.
Mike Scioscia will return to his home and immediately begin getting everything ready for next season. He will take time to polish up the bingo-ball cage he uses to make the lineups, put a fresh treatment of window cleaner on the mirror he uses to practice the Sciosciaface, and find a new alarm app for his smart phone to remind him to make pitching changes. With any luck, the new app will go off on time instead of forcing a change way too early, or way too late as his current one seems to do.
Finally, the younger Angels like Luis Jimenez, J.B. Shuck, and Grant Green will look to enter the beta testing for Google Glass. They’re not all that interested in technology, but having an eyepiece is far preferable to spending the winter with noses stuck to iPhones and computer screens as they await news of the next overpriced DiPoto-Moreno free agent acquisition that will keep at least one of them in Salt Lake for the foreseeable future.
Speaking in terms of baseball, the offseason reminds us of how winter used to be before modern conveniences: It is cold, barren, and there’s not a lot going on except for people sitting in their homes trying to ride out the seemingly endless grey days. Yet we endure. The sun will shine again, and when it does, the Angels will shake off the snow, and head to Phoenix to bring back the game we love. When that happens, we will rejoice as the harsh cold of the offseason is forgotten until next October.
Let’s hope autumn doesn’t leave us shut out of the playoffs again and can warm ourselves by the lights of the Big A.