Did you ever feel like your celebration cycle was off from everyone around you? Like, it's February, the weather is kinda yuck, your next day off isn't until Memorial Day, and yet you're pretty amped? But when you tried to explain to a coworker what it was that put the bounce in your step, their response had a blank stare quotient of 420?
Of course you have! Because you're a baseball fan! Our holiday structure if different from normal people. That means that sometimes, you will be up when the world is down, and you'll be depressed while the world is cheerful. What to do???
Let me assure you that we at DRB and here to help. This is a safe place. We only want the best for you. We want nothing more than to help you get an understanding of the strange and rapid changes your body is going through, and to help you live a healthy and productive life that doesn't involving living in your mom's basement with your pet ferret Steve Lyons. So in that spirit, we offer you the Baseball Fans Holiday Equivalent Guide. Use it well. Maybe even pass it along to a loved one as a helpful resource in understanding your confusing self. And, you know, maybe go outside once in a while, okay?
Pitchers & Catchers Report / Holiday Equivalent = Washington's Birthday
The first big holiday of the year is a fake holiday, though it didn't used to be. It used to be a pretty big deal. Now, nobody cares. So try to temper your enthusiasm; you don't want to burn yourself out.
First Workouts / Presidents Day
This is second of the fake holidays that nobody really cares about. Unless of course you get the day off. In which case, you still don't care, but you at least do your not caring from the comfort of your warm pillow whilst obsessively checking blog posts from your favorite baseball site.
First Spring Training Games / MLK Day
Things are starting to get real now. Though "some people" (raycists and anti-baseball bigots) deride it as another fake holiday, this could not be farther from the truth. I mean, they're playing real baseball now. It just doesn't count. Kinda like the All-Star Game before Bud broke it and then fixed it. So feel free to break out your favorite shirsy today.
Opening Day / New Year's Day
Oh my. Oh man. Half the league will be undefeated, half the league will be winless, and somebody will likely be on pace for 324 homers! The only thing tempering your enthusiasm should be how evident the hangover is. And there are still 161 more games to go!
All-Star Voting / Valentine's Day
A manufactured holiday invented by the golf pencil industry. Because, no, it doesn't matter who is voting – fans, coaches, players – it's always the same deal every year. The sexiest, cutest, flashiest, richest, best-connected guys get all the love. You know, the popular kids. The rest of us (if we're lucky) are stuck on the fan vote for the final slot, where one guy gets the "privilege" of being the Duff, and the rest of us are left standing at the mailbox in the rain like Charlie Brown, pining for a card from the Little Red-Haired Girl that will never come. Not that we're bitter or anything.
Home Run Derby & All-Star Game / St. Patrick's Day
Because the only way to appreciate Chris Berman is to drink heavily.
Photo credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports
Trade Deadline / Veteran's Day
The one time per year when you remember that one guy who did something memorable almost a decade ago, so you thank him by hoping your team trades for him in support of another ill-advised "all-in" run, even though you know in your heart that your GM's to-do list looks like this.
September Roster Expansion / Labor Day
A tribute to all the guys toiling in the minors, just waiting for their chance to be the next Dan Johnson.
Extra Inning Games in Pennant Races / Thanksgiving Day
There is nothing better than free baseball, except free baseball that MATTERS.
The Turning!Point! / Easter
The Turning!Point! is that one game -- usually after a long losing streak – where your club stages a big rally and wins against all odds. It is this game, and the promise of more like it to come, that gives you hope through the dog days. Like the real Easter, the date varies from year to year and the manner of celebration differs from club to club. Also like the real Easter, it can happen more than once during a season (because yes, while there is a "Capital E" Easter, it's also theologically correct and baseballically true that every Sunday is a little easter). Unfortunately, like or unlike the real holiday (depending on your faith or lack thereof) the odds of your team's resurrection "sticking" are pretty slim. In other words, before the season is done, every club except one will get a Memorial Day.
Mathematically Eliminated Day / Memorial Day
The day your club is mathematically eliminated. If this happens early in the summer, you should be able to bounce back and go about your life in a reasonable period time. The later in the season it occurs, the greater the effect. You should not feel bad about calling in after a September MED, or hiding under the covers for a few days after a playoff elimination. Those people going on the very next day about wow, what a great season it was, and telling you that you should appreciate the run we had? Those people are assholes. Don't be that guy.
Playoffs / Christmas
This one is a stretch, because the playoffs are actually better than Christmas. I mean, even in a best scenario, there are only 12 days of Christmas, and on half them your gift is some kinda bird and/or slave labor. Seriously, when was the last time you got a sliding Lorenzo Cain catch for Christmas? But there is one saving grace of this analogy: Roger Goodell and the NFL playing the Bill O'Reilly/Fox News "War of Christmas" role.
Photo credit: Leon Halip/Getty Images
Victory Parade / 4th of July
Victory parade by the World Series winner, wherein an entire region turns out to party, and large parts of the fans base grab credit for something they had nothing to do with.
That's it! Celebrate safely.