And just like that baseball season is over.
This happens every year, the World Series ends and reality sets in. Until February we have to wait to see the pitchers throwing, see the hitters swinging, see the players hustling.
Between now and the start of Spring Training, baseball is your best friend who goes away and leaves you in tears because you have to go through the dreadful winter without them. It's four months of craving the sound of a bat connecting with a ball, four months of praying to just here a fast ball hit the catcher's mitt, and five and half months of being shut out of our ballparks where are dreams are as strong as the mighty men on the field and as certain as the heat of a summer afternoon.
Joni Mitchell certainly had it right when she sang, "You don't know what you've got till it's gone," because baseball has this way of becoming so casual for six months that it's just part of our daily routine, it's part of our conversations, but when the final out of the World Series is complete and the champagne is all dried up in the winner's clubhouse, it hits us like a ton of bricks — the one thing we can look forward to everyday is gone until next year.
It really is a time of death when baseball is gone.
The grass is brown, the air is frigid, cloudy days block out the sun. Things are mostly blah.
But there is just enough to get through the off-season.
There's the trades, free agent signings, retirement announcements, and what's certainly expected to be interesting this winter, the signing of new managers. There's the winter meetings, the Rule 5 draft, the release of new merchandise just in time for the holidays — it should all be fun to keep an eye on, but it's nothing like the game itself.
At least there's the World Baseball Classic this summer, which allows us to get competitive baseball back almost immediately. I know I'll be looking forward to cheering on the USA and the Italian teams.
Till then it's just a matter of waiting.
Follow on Twitter: @DominicGenetti #DiamondDirt