“People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.” ~Rogers Hornsby
Winter is the time of waiting in baseball, and with all due respect to Rogers Hornsby, winter is the time of optimism in baseball. Winter is when the basement dwellers bring in the pieces to being rebuilding. This is when teams who have hovered around the middle of the pack add the missing player to push them over the top. This is when World Series Champions try to recreate the magic, which led them to the title. Every team is looking to improve, every fan base truly believe this year will be the year they get to the next level; whether it means getting to .500, making the playoffs, winning the Division, winning the Pennant, or win the World Series.
Optimism is what every team holds on to regardless if they just won the World Series, like the Giants, or posted the worst record in the league, like the Rangers and Diamondbacks. Baseball is unpredictable. A team can sign all the big free agents or trade for better players, but more often than not, that team will not even make it to the World Series. The game of baseball can make your dreams come true one day and the next it can humble you and make you feel like you know nothing about the game.
Baseball is about equality. One day the ball will bounce your way, and the next you cannot catch a break. Baseball gives and takes without caring who you are, how big your trophy case is, or how large your contract is. It is this equality, which gives players, coaches, teams, and fans their optimism. Everyone in baseball begins as equals,; this equality is restored each winter. It is what you do from beginning on this level playing field, which determines your success or failure. People in the workforce and baseball players are the same; work hard and you will be successful. Optimism is the driving force in reaching success.
Winter is the time when anyone connected to baseball feel hopeful and optimistic. The ball will bounce their way this year, and they know they will be successful. Winter is full of optimism because the hopes and dreams for this coming year are new and undisturbed. Enjoy the optimism while it lasts. it will disappear for many teams almost as soon as pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training. This pristine optimism can, and most likely will, begin taking hits from every conceivable direction once the winter gives way to spring.