This is the year to quit. This is the season to kick the habit. No patches, no pills, no support groups. Just say no.
To baseball, that is. It's time to kick it, and the hometown team — God bless their mediocre souls — is making it easy.
Face it, being a fan has always been an utter waste of time and energy. Even if you rarely made it to Safeco Field (and I was a twice-a-year guy), you were planting yourself in front of the tube, poring over box scores, resenting A-Rod's defection. All this for a roster of guys who are not very interesting people who live somewhere else, who played for another team last year and will probably play for yet another next year, and who make more money in a year than I'll make in my career — all because they theoretically can hit or toss a baseball better than the next guy.
I've always understood this made no sense, but I got sucked in. For a long time, it was a bonding experience with my son. Now he's been on his own for a decade, and I realize I turned him into an addict as well. Then came those few good years, with Edgar and Buhner and Moyer — guys who actually lived here and had personalities as well as being good ballplayers. It was fun.
So much for history. The thrill of the grass has long since been displaced by steroids, seven-digit salaries, DUI arrests, and transient ballplayers. These days, I look at the box scores and, regardless of the score, I barely recognize the names. Only one of their starting pitchers came up through their organization. It's a team of free agents. And, whatever their stats say, they're a miserable, forgettable bunch of ballplayers, probably the worst in the Mariners' grim history, certainly the worst when measured against what they're being paid.
So this is the year to switch. Baseball Anonymous. Do not take me out to the ballgame. Buy me some carrot and celery sticks. This is the summer to read novels, take up gardening, or sailing or kayaking. Go volunteer for a political candidate. Adopt a homeless family.
Anything but baseball. Yup, my name is Ross, and I'm a recovering baseball fan. And I think I'm over it.