Chris Core sig new

It’s all over. Now what?

Oh, I’ll survive. I always do. But my life daily life now has to change. Baseball is done for the year.

I once estimated that I spent about a third of my awake time thinking about baseball. And I spend most evenings during the season watching or listening to the Rays games. Dave and Andy and Dewayne and Brian are the soundtrack of my life for six months a year. I even managed to dodge COVID and attend five games at The Trop in 2021. It’s been especially enjoyable this year with the magical season the Rays had, even if it ended in bitter disappointment.

With the Rays out, at least I still had an interest in the rest of the post-season drama. But now that’s over too. Sure, there will still be baseball action over the next few months. First the awards: AL Rookie of the Year (it better be Randy Arozarena, yellow shoes and all). AL Manager of the Year (if it’s not Kevin Cash there should be a congressional investigation). And the Golden Gloves: Certainly catcher Mike Zunino and centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier will be major contenders.

After the awards come the trades and the Rays will be quite active as they usually are. But then we settle in to the long, cold non-baseball winter. What will I do with my time? My wonderful baseball-rhythmic life has come to a predictable, but still melancholy end.

But enough moping about the past. Let’s move forward. First a rant: The idea of splitting the baseball season between Montreal and the Tampa Bay area is idiotic. Now that we’ll have a new mayor in St. Petersburg, let’s restart the conversation with the Rays about how we keep them here.

Of course, I would prefer a new stadium to be built on the Tropicana Field site. It’s only 15 minutes from my house. But I can live with it in Ybor City or elsewhere in the Bay area. How serious am I about this? Well, a few weeks ago when the Lottery prize was about 800 million dollars, I had the fantasy of winning it and then calling the Rays front office and offering to pay for the stadium myself! Of course the chances of my winning the Lottery are very slim, especially because I never buy the tickets, but my heart is in the right place.

Look, summers around here are pretty rough as it is. The only things that make the heat and humidity bearable are air conditioning, our beaches and the Rays. They are a huge plus for our economy and something that brings all of us together. We must keep them here. If Montreal wants a team, let them speak with Mr. Jeter down in Miami.

The Bucs and the Bolts are great teams. And they are fun to root for. But baseball is something more than a sport to me and I’ll miss it terribly until spring training starts in a little over three months. See you in March, Wander.