Some tips for Cubs fans as our baseball withdrawal continues
I saw a headline this week that said MLB owners had again offered a proposal to the Player’s Association, but, it continued, “the sides remain far apart”. This is disappointing.
If you, like me, find yourself sitting in front of a TV that isn’t turned on, for three-and-a-half to four hours, or you wander around your house picking up random pieces of Chicago Cubs memorabilia with no idea why. Perhaps you watch four identical SportsCenter programs, listening to the same commentary over and over again, while simultaneously straining your ears, waiting to hear something different, and welcome.
You, my friend, are suffering from spring training withdrawal.
It’s a common complaint these days, early in March, when yellow daffodils are brightly sprouting and multitudes of tulips are in bloom. Somewhere, we all know, are favorite players should be loosening up their arms and sharpening their hitter’s eyes.
Fortunately for you, I have some suggestions to offer that may help alleviate the undue stress this time is causing for us all.
Chicago Cubs: Some ideas that could help my fellow fans suffering out there
First up: College baseball!
If you are independently wealthy, and thus able to have a subscription to ESPN+ in addition to your HBO, Showtime, AppleTV, Disney+, Hulu, and Paramount+; ESPN offers a plethora of college baseball games available for viewing.
The college game is admittedly a lot different from MLB, for example, there is that ‘ding’ when the aluminum bat strikes the ball that might take some getting used to. In general though, the college game looks a lot like spring training for the pros: there is a lot of offense, pitching is inconsistent, double plays are an adventure and there are some really unusual plays.
Another suggestion I can offer is one more dear to my heart: Women’s College Softball. As a resident of Tucson, Arizona for more than half a century, I spent over a decade playing fastpitch softball. There was a time in the seventies and eighties when Tucson had more than 200 men’s fast-pitch softball teams.
Additionally, as the father of four daughters, I subsequently coached my girls in Bobby Sox softball for many years. I even spent two seasons as an umpire for city league women’s games.
The women’s game is very different from men’s baseball, but it does make for some interesting sports entertainment once you get into it.
I have spent quite a bit of time recently watching both the men’s and women’s teams for the University of Arizona (I also write for ZonaZealots). Pac12 Network, among other sources, live streams both softball and baseball, offering additional possibilities to see games.
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I hope these suggestions help you survive these dark times. I remain confident that MLB baseball will yet occur, though the number of games and the form that the season will take, remains uncertain. Hang in there!