As of 1 pm PST today (1/10/2016), Opening Day for the Mariners 2016 season will be exactly 85 days away. I'm appreciative that we're now into double digits for this countdown, but that is still a pretty long time to wait for baseball. Thankfully, Spring Training starts much sooner than that; pitchers and catchers report on February 19th, which is only 40 days away! For those keeping track, 40 is much more manageable than 85. It also lets us reference player numbers to represent the number of days left in our countdown, which is always fun. Right, Mike?
Nonetheless, 40 days is a non-trivial amount of time if you're just sitting around waiting for your M's to roll into Peoria. People always say that time passes more quickly when you're having fun/keeping busy, I've come up with a few suggestions of ways to occupy your time until Spring Training starts. All of your time. All 40 days or 960 hours or 57,600 minutes. #notimetosleep
First off, if you miss watching baseball so much, why don't you watch some baseball? Last season's baseball, to be exact. During their 162 games last year, the Mariners played for a total of 489 hours and 25 minutes. That's a little over 20 days. Between now and the beginning of Spring Training, you could actually re-watch every M's game from the 2015 season TWICE! That would be quite the feat of masochism. (Take a minute to let the idea sink in that if you catch every M's game you spend almost three weeks—or ~6% of your year—watching baseball. Yowza.)
If watching a bad M's team on repeat doesn't appeal to you, you could always watch a little bit of TV instead. Or maybe more than a little bit. In fact, you could watch these shows:
|Show||Episodes||Time to watch (days)|
|3||Buffy the Vampire Slayer||144||4.4|
|4||Friday Night Lights||76||2.3|
|8||Monty Python's Flying Circus||45||0.9|
|9||Parks and Recreation||125||1.9|
|11||Star Trek: DS9||176||5.5|
|13||The West Wing||156||4.6|
That is a lot of television. So many laughs. So many tears. So many opportunities to be frustrated with Ross and Rachel or Luke and Lorelai. You could also opt for any of the other Star Trek series instead, but I would heartily recommend sticking with DS9 because 1) I think it's the best and 2) Captain Sisko loves baseball and the show references the sport fairly often. For instance, in one episode, the crew of DS9 faces off against a team of Vulcans. In that game, Worf demonstrates how having a Klingon on your team would likely be very fun but also potentially troublesome.
(Another neat bit of Star Trek+baseball trivia is that Cirroc Lofton—the actor who plays Jake Sisko on the show—is the nephew of the supremely underrated Kenny Lofton.)
If you're more of a literary person, you could also read a book (or 36) to pass the time between now and the beginning of Spring Training. Here's a list of classic and contemporary novels that you could just manage to squeeze in before February 19th if you started RIGHT NOW.
|Book||Word count||Time to read* (days)|
|1||20,000 Leagues Under the Sea||138,138||0.5|
|2||A Song of Ice and Fire (5 books)||1,770,000||6.1|
|3||A Suitable Boy||593,674||2.1|
|4||A Tree Grows in Brooklyn||145,092||0.5|
|9||Crime and Punishment||211,591||0.7|
|10||East of Eden||225,395||0.8|
|12||Gone with the Wind||418,053||1.5|
|13||Grapes of Wrath||169,481||0.6|
|14||His Dark Materials Trilogy||329,000||1.1|
|17||Last of the Mohicans||145,469||0.5|
|21||One Hundred Years of Solitude||144,523||0.5|
|23||Sense and Sensibility||119,394||0.4|
|25||The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn||109,571||0.4|
|26||The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay||216,020||0.8|
|27||The Brothers Karamazov||364,153||1.3|
|29||The Harry Potter Series (7 books)||1,084,625||3.8|
|30||The Lord of the Rings Trilogy||455,000||1.6|
|31||To Kill A Mockingbird||100,388||0.3|
|34||War and Peace||587,287||2.0|
*Assuming an average adult reading speed of ~200 wpm.
That is a lot of good readin' (and a book by Ayn Rand). Just think of how well-read we could all be if we stopped watching silly sports!
Finally, if staying cooped up in your house watching TV/reading doesn't sound appealing, you could also go for a walk. This walk, in particular:
At a nice leisurely pace of 3 mph, you could travel about 2,900 miles in 40 days. That'd give you just enough time to take a nice walking tour of the AL West. You could even drop by the Peoria Sports Complex on your way through Phoenix! It might get a little toasty down in the Sonoran desert, though; I'd suggest grabbing a water bottle before you go. And maybe some trail mix.
Alternatively, you could also probably just stick to your regular routine. A nice mixture of working, sleeping, eating, watching some Jeopardy!/football/news, reading some Lookout Landing. Maybe you'll call your kids/parents. Or hang out with your buddies down at the bar/pub/bowling alley. A long weekend trip to visit Portland/Vancouver might be in order, as well. That would probably be just fine. The baseball will be here before we know it. We'll all get there together.