I don't know if it's fair to say the offseason usually passes by quickly. I'd say the offseason usually passes by at the same rate as any other equivalent period of time. But the offseason definitely passes by quickly, relative to what you think at the beginning. At the beginning of the offseason, you feel like baseball is hundreds of miles ahead, which is stupid in no small part because miles are not a measure of time. But baseball's fairly close, even though it's never further away, and when the games start up, you'll wonder where the winter went.*
* you'll wonder
And about those games - the final game of the 2011 season was Game 7 of the World Series between theand the . The game itself was not particularly fantastic, but the context was fantastic, and the story was fantastic.
The first game of the 2012 season is between theand the , in the Tokyo Dome. The second game of the 2012 season is between the Seattle Mariners and the Oakland Athletics, in the Tokyo Dome.
So to summarize, as if that paragraph needs a summary, the next baseball game you watch could be any baseball game. But the next meaningful baseball game you watch will be a Mariners game.
It's weird, of course, that next season is starting up with the Mariners and A's. You'd think Major League Baseball would want to start with good teams that people like to watch. But then I remembered thinking a few years ago it was weird that a season started with the. Well, I just checked, and that season didn't start with the Washington Nationals - it started with the Oakland Athletics and the , days earlier, in the Tokyo Dome. Completely slipped my mind!
And these Mariners/A's games will slip minds, too. Five days pass between the second Mariners/A's game in Japan and the first stateside game of the regular season. Over those five days, most everyone will forget who kicked the season off. But we won't forget, because the Mariners will have a record. Hopefully it isn't 0-2. If it's 0-2 we're going to have an awful lot of time to dwell on the fact that oh shit not again
Many of you are sad that baseball is gone. The offseason is a long dark tunnel with only occasional lights in the ceiling. But the Mariners are there at the other end, and they're even closer than they'd usually be. Unless something horrible happens, the Mariners will be one of the first two teams to come back, and they'll come back before you know it.
I guess it wouldn't have to be something horrible. People always say 'unless something horrible happens." What if something awesome and amazing happens? What if the Mariners and A's don't kick off next season because the Red Sox andhave all their head-to-head games rescheduled for January and they play in a graveyard? Haha, that's so shitty!