If you didn’t get baseball for Christmas or Chanukah or any other occasion of late, don’t fret. It’s coming. And if you don’t mind extending your countdown a bit past 11:59:59 on New Year’s Eve, it’s coming that much sooner.
On the afternoon of January 1, at precisely (more or less) 3:59 PM EST, we will have arrived at the Baseball Equinox. That is the moment when we stand smack between the final out of the last Mets season and the first scheduled pitch of the next Mets season. Once we get to 4 in the afternoon this coming Thursday, we will officially be closer to playing ball in 2015 than we are to having had played ball in 2014. The coordinates are subject to change if television, precipitation or ceremonial hoo-ha gets in the way, but you can use 3:59 on New Year’s Day afternoon as your spiritual guide.
Pending a shootout, the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals should be done with their NHL Winter Classic (which, like Opening Day, will transpire at Nationals Park) and the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl pitting the Missouri Tigers against the Golden Gophers of the University of Minnesota will be winding down. Should you be watching either of those contests or engrossed in SyFy’s Twilight Zone marathon or, y’know, just hangin’ out, maybe think to look at your watch or your phone or the shadow on the floor. As the clock strikes four, you’ll know you have made it more than halfway through what we as baseball fans know annually as the longest winter eever.
Kind of gives you a reason to live, eh?