It’s been nearly 30 years since I went an entire summer without watching baseball. I’ve been a fan of the game since my dad took me to my first White Sox game as a kid, and I’ve spent many summers since then watching and playing baseball. I love the game. That’s why it feels so weird not watching baseball this year.
The summer after the MLB strike in 1994-95 was the last time I gave up watching baseball for a season. The Sox had the best record in the American League when the strike ended it, but at least I could follow Michael Jordan’s progress in the minor leagues. Things could not be more different this time around. As I write this, the Sox are 19 games below .500 after six years of a major rebuild that should have produced something by now. There are days when these guys couldn’t beat the Little Sisters of the Poor.
As a Chicago sports fan, I’ve watched more than my share of losing sports teams because they were my team and because they were still fun to watch. I’ve even greatly enjoyed watching teams with terrible records. As a recent example, I had a blast watching the Bears win just three games last year. Why? Justin Fields is fun to watch. There’s nothing fun about watching these White Sox.
Listing the team’s problems would make for a lengthy read, so I won’t. Besides, this isn’t a baseball post. It’s a summer post. A summer without baseball post. A summer without one of the very things that make it summer post. I’d forgotten what a summer without baseball feels like. I haven’t forgotten what optimism feels like, though. My favorite football team starts training camp today, and I look forward to cheering on a team again. Go Bears!