On Friday night, the baseball season ended with the St. Louis Cardinals as the World Series champions. If they hadn't already hammered this point home in 2006, St. Louis reiterated that you always gun like hell for the playoffs if at all possible. Even if your rotation is sort of blegh, even if at any point in the season the words "Nick Punto-Ryan Theriot double play combination" were uttered without jest, or possibly even if you're hoplessly out of the race.
In the playoffs, things can happen.
But now things can't happen, because baseball is over. What is there to do in its wake? Is there more baseball?
YES! There is! There's the Arizona Fall League!
Wrong, ignore the Arizona Fall League. It's a small sample of games that can only give you the wrong idea about prospects - unless you're a scout, and you're not a scout. (Me neither!)
Perhaps it will be fun to check in on Brandon Short or Tyler Saladino, provided that it's realized that the only way even Short will get some play with the big club in 2012 is if things go alllllll the way to hell. In a hand-basket. At rocket speed.
As covered earlier this week, there is also the opportunity to observe the peculiarity that is Arnie Munoz' still-existing pitching career in the Dominican Winter League. I have word that it is viewable on "one of those Spanish channels". That is, if you have the sort of television package that features a large section of Spanish-language television just sitting there.
There's a 70% chance you've just moved on to football seamlessly like a well-oiled content absorption machine. If that's you, then fine. Enjoy spending your fall enjoying a popular sport with lots of other enjoyable people. (Jerk)
But, if your sports fanhood is tied to the pursuit of essential White Sox-ness, might I suggest your true alternative lies in the soon-to-emerge world of Men's College Basketball. And might I be so bold as to suggest my own alma mater.
Just like the White Sox, Notre Dame's team has an odd preference in players - The White Sox like veterans on the rebound, Notre Dame like players who can never rebound
Just like the White Sox, Notre Dame's team utilizes their resources stubbornly - The White Sox have their players bunt regardless of skill, Notre Dame has their players shoot three-pointers regardless of skill, or situation. They had a competent post player once, and they pushed him toward the perimeter....IT WAS A DISASTER!
Just like the White Sox, Notre Dame will get your hopes up with the occasional stretch of wins way above their talent level, their coach will be lauded for it, and for this stretch of dishonesty, their comeuppance will be all the more brutal.
Of course, this would require you to actually root for Notre Dame, which I will be the first to admit is the hardest part.
Other interests in life
Writing about a baseball team daily can kind of initiate a relationship that borders on "singular focus in life". For those making a similar adjustment to having an incredible void in their existence, here's a quick rundown of things to cover while re-adjusting.
Family - Apologize first, then stick to pronouns for a while as the names of everyone get tossed about and you slowly pick them up
Groceries - You're probably out of them. Get some more
Vegetables - Yes
Tobogganing - Look up what it is
In all seriousness
Well, as close to it as we'll get.
I should do something that I should have done at the end of the season, and maybe only doing now because I'm strapped for ideas. I'd like to thank everyone who's checked out White Sox Observer all season long, every fellow blogger that's lent me a hint of legitimacy by linking to my stuff or having me on for a guest spot (Jim, J.J., Mike, Wiz, Adam & Jeff, Tom, Cheryl, the guys at DTWLN), and especially everyone who's taken the time to comment. Those things absolutely make my day.
To that end, since I've decided that recapping every player for this past season would be needlessly exhaustive, I'm open to ideas for what type of focus posts should take on during the off-season when there's not relevant stories to cover. Provided they're not like...crazy.