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November 14, 2002

The Daily Prospectus

Things To Do in the Off-Season When You're Bored

by Derek Zumsteg

Like me, you may find yourself adrift after the World Series. In my case, I fell asleep on my kayak in McCovey Cove at some point during game 5 and are now stranded on a small island in the Pacific, filing stories on the last of your laptop power and sending them into the home office via coconut satellite. For most fans, though, the feeling comes from this boring period before spring training, when we're supposed to speculate endlessly on whether or not Tony Clark will get a minor-league invite or not, and twiddle our thumbs waiting for Baseball Prospectus 2003 to come out. We're here to help, with this handy list of what fans can do to tide themselves over before being blinded by the bliding optimism of this year's Expos chapter.

  • Angels: Wake. Open bottle of champagne. Drink bottle of champagne. Stagger to and fro. Pass out. Repeat.
  • Astros: Sneak into Enron Field (oooh, sorry, the Juice Box), set up tee, slug 40 HRs before security tackles you.
  • Athletics: Return to watching football.
  • Blue Jays: Celebrate franchise return to respectability with Doug Creek signing.
  • Braves: As AOL Time Warner contemplates payroll slashing, hope for synergistic corporate cross-matrixing. New pitcher to replace Maddux: Bugs Bunny. At first base: Bugs Bunny. Second base? You see where I'm going with this. Hilarity ensues.
  • Brewers: Hibernate with stockpiles of beer, bratwurst.
  • Cardinals: Recruit team of Vietnam vet barbers from the Los Angeles underground, chase LaRussa around country for months in action-packed serial.
  • Cubs: Go back to job, save up for next "sabbatical".
  • Devil Rays: Read up on past Lou Piniella managerial stints, speculate on which Piniella will step off plane, or if he'll be replaced by Dick Williams on the flight.
  • Diamondbacks: Pre-apply for another team equity loan to make payroll in event of Maddux signing.
  • Dodgers: Show up late at basketball games, refer to points as "runs", leave early.
  • Expos: File "friend of the court" briefs in RICO suit against Loria, Selig, MLB.
  • Indians: Complete work on time machine to transport you to 2004, when team should be good again.
  • Giants: Tally sportswriters crossing off "Bonds not clutch" and relying on "Bonds evil" for entire columns. Optional: sharpen knife collection.
  • Marlins: Plot elaborate and unworkable revenge plots on Jeff Loria and his inept cronies, submit to Rube Goldberg Competition. Use winnings to move to city with better team.
  • Mariners: Buy rosary beads, pray that the least-worst rumored managerial candidate is hired until the rosary beads are worn out. Repeat.
  • Mets: Launch in-depth investigation into why, exactly, the team gave Art Howe that monster deal.
  • Orioles: Hold call-in contests for worst thing Syd Thrift and the Brainless Trust can possibly do in the upcoming season.
  • Padres: If Kroc had succeeded in giving the Padres to San Diego, would that be better or worse than having a legally and financially challenged owner fighting off collapse with a stick and a fevered look in his eye?
  • Phillies: Contemplate whether off-season acquisitions can take your metropolitan city of six million from small-market obscurity to big market villain.
  • Pirates: Pass time blitzed on 'flip', favorite pirate drink of the 1800s: pour rum into glass, pour beer into glass. Drink. Repeat until season starts.
  • Rangers: Develop disturbing personal issues, begin training for 2003 pitching tryouts.
  • Reds: Feeling around on hands and knees, attempt to locate eyeballs that popped out of head on seeing new ticket prices.
  • Red Sox: Find suitable buyer for first-born child, send in season ticket deposit.
  • Rockies: Sketch new master plan for winning in Coors Field. Crumple sheet of paper, discard. Repeat. Alternately, mail master plan to Dan O'Dowd, c/o Colorado Rockies, 2001 Blake Street, Denver, CO 80205.
  • Royals: Remember those Whity Herzog-Dick Howser teams? They were pretty good. Sigh.
  • Tigers: Remember those Sparky Anderson teams in the mid-80s? They were pretty good. Sigh.
  • Twins: Was Bela Lugosi truly undead, and now living among us as Carl Pohlad? Check response to full-spectrum light, garlic.
  • White Sox: Find new jobs after bosses discover 'diminished skills' clauses in long-forgotten union bargaining agreements.
  • Yankees: Can money truly buy happiness? Contemplate.

Hope this helps!

Derek

Derek Zumsteg is an author of Baseball Prospectus. You can contact him by clicking here.

Related Content:  2002,  Off-season

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The Week in Quotes: No... (11/11)
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