Your wish list has been carefully crafted, refined over time to reflect the cost and relative value of the objects. Your anticipation mounts as the time to open gifts draws nigh, reaching a fever pitch as you extend your hands, trembling with barely concealed excitement, toward the biggest package in the bunch.
“This is it,” says your internal play-by-play man, “the moment we’ve been waiting for since the last out of the World Series.”
“Dude,” counters your defeatist anti-fan (who you’ve named Nick for some unknown reason), “They didn’t get you what you wanted. They never do. Okay, maybe once in a while, but you’ve been disappointed more often than not. Admit it.”
“Are you listening to yourself, man? I mean, I know you’re just that whiny, irrational part of me that I try to keep hidden away, but I’m assigning you this bit of psychological autonomy in order to avoid admitting that you are, in fact, a manifestation of my fears. So, again, are you listening to yourself?”
Your hands move ever closer to the brightly hued bow standing as a jaunty sentinel to the riches that lie below, but you see it through a glass darkly. It’s as though the telescope has been reversed, elongating time and space even as you struggle to to right your perspective. And then, finally, you reach the prize. You tear the bow and its accompanying ribbon and toss them aside before making short work of the festive wrapping paper someone had meticulously folded and taped only hours earlier. Then, finally, you reach inside to find…another box. And it’s got a note:
Do not open until…well, we’ll let you know.
That’s kinda how MLB free agency works, isn’t it? We get all hyped up on rumors and rumblings, we write out lists of guys each team wants and needs, estimate the various contracts of said players, and count down the minutes until midnight of that first Saturday. Untethered from the daily schedule of the sport, we hunger for anything baseball related and stand ready to be fed. But then the clock strikes 12 and we…just…keep…waiting.
In other sports, owners and GMs hop private charters and arrive at players’ doorsteps with offers in hand. The advent of free agency often opens floodgates as deals are reported left and right. Ah, but baseball is different. That same lazy summer afternoon patience that so typifies the sport we love now becomes a maddening bit of drudgery we’d just as soon do without. Eventually it may even wear us down to the point that we give up on the news, only finding out about Jon Lester’s choice when we wake up.
The waiting makes it sweeter, you say? I DON’T WANT TO WAIT! Market solidification be damned, I want to know where David Price is going. I want the trades — all the tradez!! — and the signings and the action. I want to open my presents and not just think about opening my presents. Is that too much to ask? Is it?!
Whew, sorry about that, folks. I feel better now.