TORRINGTON, CONNECTICUT – Here in the jewel of the Naugatuck Valley, this is when it sets in. Same time every year. The leaves fall. The skies turn cold and grey. The winds of November whip across the Great Lakes. And baseball fanatics – like the many that frequent MeetTheMatts.com, subscribe to the Sporting News, play fantasy baseball and always read the line scores – go into withdrawal.
You try to stay involved; keeping up with the NFL, rooting for the nearest hockey team, even paying attention to the occasional college football or NBA game. But to you baseball junkies, winter is the season of despair. No daily fix, no pondering upcoming pitching rotations, no checking to see who took two out of three in the latest home stand. Youâ€™re at some holiday cocktail party where the guests are discussing issues like health care, Afghanistan or the nut jobs who run Korea and you blurt out something like:
- â€œHell, who cares about the war and all that health care stuff? Think Lackey will stay with the Angels, or will somebody else pick him up? Halladay going to the Yanks?â€
Dr. Diz understands. Iâ€™ve been treating members of BA (Baseball Anonymous) for a long time. Baseball addiction cannot be cured. It can only be treated and held in check each year until pitchers and catchers report. But there are some simple prescriptions to get you over the worse symptoms of withdrawal, which is similar to football withdrawal, found in most locations south of the Mason Dixon line during the summer.
REPLACEMENT THERAPY: Find another sport to obsess about. Make believe you really give a rats behind about who wins the Stanley Cup, Final Four, The Olympics or other such stuff. If it’s real bad, watch futbol – it’ll make you sleepy and help you forget your woes.
MEDITATION: Put yourself in a quiet, well lit room, seat yourself comfortably, and chant softly â€œYankees suck, Yankees suckâ€ to alleviate pressure and worry. You can even do this at your desk during breaks at work. See? It even made Mr. Met happy:
SELF PRESCRIBE: Get out to your local bar and do your part to stimulate the economy via the consumption of massive amounts of bourbon, whiskey, beer and rum. For you youngsters, Dr. Diz also prescribes natural herbal inhalation to take the edge off.
PRIMAL SCREAM THERAPY: Yell at your spouse. That way, when the season starts again and you are glued to the set, they will be thankful and leave you alone. Tell you in-laws what you really think of them. Truthfully, this doesnâ€™t help much with the baseball withdrawal, but it just feels so dang good I had to throw it in.
GEOGRAPHICAL CURE.: Move. To someplace like Upstate New York or one of the cities around the Great Lakes. Soon, you’ll be freezing your rear end off and looking for work. Nothing like being in survivial mode to take your mind off other worries.
NUTRITIONAL THERAPY: Eat. Lots. Hit your favorite steak house and indulge in a big fat juicy prime washed down with some St. Paulieâ€™s. Burp and pass some gas. Smoke a cigar and wonder aloud what the poor people do for fun.
Dr. Diz knows that this isnâ€™t easy for you. Studies have shown that baseball addiction is as severe and hard to control as addiction to nicotine and opiates. There is no cure. But if you try these therapies the off season will pass quickly and youâ€™ll be back singing take me out to the ballgame in no time.
With this in mind, here are the picks for college football’s final games. I’ve indicated margin of victory since the lines bounce around so much. Besides, I don’t want to unduly patronize the addictive patterns of various degenerate gamblers who frequent this site (i.e. look up the line yerself).
Nebraska will upset Texas in the Big 12, Nebraska by 1
Pitt Panthers ruin Cincy’s bid for an undefeated season and becomes Big East champ, Panthers by 3
West Virginia stomps all over Rutgers, West Virginny by 7
Florida beats Alabammie by at least 3 in the SEC championship.
Clemson wins the ACC, beating the Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech by at least 4.
And Oregon State ends the Rose Bowl hopes of Oregon by beating them in the Civil War by at least 4
And, on December 12th, Navy takes on Army in the 110th game of this rivalry in Philadelphia at Lincoln Financial Field (2:30 PM kick off). For you East coasters, if you’ve never been to this spectacle, it is definately worth the ride down to Philly. Army will be game, but a strong Navy team will wear them down and win by at least 10.
ANGRY WARD, tomorrow.