Between a pandemic, limited holiday travel and the chance that some of us may not have a so-called normal Christmas in two days, there is enough disappointment and anxiety out there to fill any ballpark. Maybe a few times.
Hopefully, we all realize that we should not let baseball contribute to the long list of worries that 2020 created for many people. But there are concerns about if the season will start on time, how many games will they play, can fans attend? Plenty of questions without definite answers right now.
So here is what you should do about the baseball part of this: nothing. Don’t worry about it. Let it all play out. Nothing is in our control anyway, so worrying or being concerned doesn’t do any good. This coming from someone who works in the sport and is impacted by it pretty much daily.
I hope you take my advice. Also hope you swiped your credit card before you sat on the couch. But I’m here for you.
When I look back upon the 2020 baseball season, almost nothing was normal or as it once was. But we got to see baseball and we saw an entire 60-game regular season followed by a 16-team playoff. For me, that was great. Credit to everyone in the sport for the sacrifices they made so we could watch the games, talk about them and write about them. It was baseball on my TV. I understand it was very different, but there was baseball on my TV!
The Orioles were playing nearly .500 ball late in the year. Several young players were introduced to the majors and played well when they got there. Sure, there were losses, blown leads and fan frustration over what happened on the field. But they got out there at a time when some, maybe many, doubted this would ever happen.
Major League Baseball officials, as it turned out, were very smart to wrap up the season around the same date on the calendar. Trying to extend the season and have a World Series around Thanksgiving may have been extremely difficult and maybe not possible. That had once been a consideration.
I feel confident we will see baseball - and hopefully a lot of it - in 2021. I remain very hopeful that at some point, the fans will return and maybe by the end of the 2021 season, we are close to back to normal, if not there already. That will be great.
Baseball is a wonderful diversion for sports fans right now and a wonderful way of life for some of us. When we get to hear the crack of the bat again, I’ll be very ready. Ready even if opening day is delayed. Ready even if I’m not in the ballpark. Ready even if the start of a new season looks very much like the end of the last one.
This all will end at some point. Better days are ahead. If 2020 taught us one thing, maybe it hammered home that we can take things for granted sometimes. Like family, friends, jobs and travel - and even baseball.
Amid tough times, we should not forget the blessings that keep us going. Especially this time of year. Especially while we are still knee-deep in the tough times.
You know what? Put that credit card away. No charge.