I mean, I guess it makes sense from a professional sports focus standpoint, but it’s always made me sad that families tend to play football rather than our national pastime on Thanksgiving. Why? It’s cold out there, with leaves that aren’t even pretty anymore, whereas indoors tends to have alcohol and at least Chex Mix if the meal’s not ready. Plus, you’re with your family. Why set yourself up for three hours of standing in a tight circle with one another, broken only occasionally standing in a close line and staring either directly at each other or at your closest relative’s butts? Who started this?

Baseball, you have the benefit of standing at least 90 nice quiet feet from one another, and usually time to protect the wine glass if the play comes your way. It’s merely an increased sense of suffering, a reminder that the seasons have turned and we are on the wrong side of the sun.


Let us be thankful.

Somewhere in Arizona, the staff at Goodyear Ballpark is stirring, collecting resumes for ticket sellers and food vendors.

Joey Votto is taking grounders and standing around swinging an imaginary bat at 3 AM in between holding up bridges and calming earthquakes with his mind, probably.

The vendors of RedsFest are packing up their baseball card holders and autographed Riverfront seatbacks.

A fifth-grader is shoving a Reds cap on his head every morning on his way to the school bus even though a stocking hat is warmer.

The merchants of Findlay Market are holding Opening Day parade planning meetings.

The front office is testing the tensile strength of bobbleheads, calculating how many to ship in from Beijing.

You can still buy catcher’s masks and batting gloves at the sporting goods store.

Special events coordinators are meeting with brides and grooms who want to start their married lives at home plate.

The price of kettlecorn is being set.

The grounds crew of Great American Ball Park are anxiously peeking beneath the outfield’s warm winter blanket, monitoring soil temperatures and discussing nitrogen levels. They’re nurturing what we can’t see at the moment. They’re taking care of it all. It’s okay.

Pitchers are hunched over benches at the gym, strengthening each fiber of each muscle.

Minor leaguers labor in winter ball, because this is going to be the year. This one.

Members of coaching staffs from across the nation are nervously waiting at airport gates with CVG stamped on their ticket, wondering where all this might lead.

Little bats and tiny jersey replica onesies will appear under Christmas trees.

There is no offseason.

9 Responses

  1. Scott C

    I try to keep my mind off baseball with basketball. Its played indoors and you don’t have to worry about the weather. Still it is encouraging to be reminded that there are those who are already getting ready for 2019 baseball.

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      It’s already here, if you think about it 🙂

  2. Redsman

    Yessss, thanks for the reminders. Every little reminder helps the long winter go just a little bit faster.
    Like many others, I wonder whether or not the Reds are truly going to make good on the promising start to turning the page on the ‘Stone Ages’
    and finally getting back to relevance.
    Of course, the real action has yet to begin, whether it’s the trade or free agent market. Will our FO prove true to the early promise? Or once again succumb to the will of big bob and hang onto BHam, Homer, etc? Not to mention, fail to trade for or sign, some more pitching. And I don’t mean the Gallardo’s & Gallaraga’s of the world…but some honest to goodness REAL pitchers.
    Time will tell. In the mean time, I’ll continue checking back, in hopes of a little further morsel of hope through the tough part of the year!

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      Aw man I completely forgot about Homer Bailey.
      Thanks, alcohol!

  3. Mary Beth Ellis

    Alcohol usually is the prudent choice, my friend.

  4. Mary Beth Ellis

    I can recommend a fine campus yoga studio if she does indeed choose UC!

  5. Mike Adams

    My 36 year son and I played baseball with his boys and his nephew on Thanksgiving day in Joplin, MO. It was 60 degrees.
    They beat us 4 to 2 (my son and I had to walk the bases while the boys could run them).
    Beth, on my part I would add to your list “RLN followers are constantly checking RLN for news, updates and the tiniest scrap of info on the Reds and next season.”