Well, this is awkward.

youre-not-paying-me-enough-attention-to-notice-that-im-ignoring-you-c4567
I realize I haven’t written on this thing in over a year. It’s like we were dating and then I got weird and stopped being in touch. Sorry about that.

There were so many things I wanted to talk about… Jason Collins and then Michael Sam, the Ray Rice firestorm, anything/everything baseball in 2014… but for some reason, I couldn’t find my words. Also I was exhausted (working at night — thanks, baseball — will do that to you).

And so, as 2015 looms, I want to say that I’ll be better. I’ll be in touch. I won’t let it get weird.

Stay tuned for a meatier entry — next up: What I Learned in 2014

On Baseball in 2013.

MLB: ALCS-New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers
Baseball in 2013 was crazy. It was explosive, it was dramatic, it was long (setting the record for most extra-inning games in a season)… and it is over.

I somehow miss baseball, even though the season only just left me. I know we now get to see who stays and who goes, who will sign a ridiculous contract, which players – if any – accept a qualifying offer, but it just doesn’t compare to the drama of actual games.

And of course, if you know me at all, the games I miss most are those of the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates. Baseball’s Cinderella team, the Pirates registered a winning season after a multi-decade drought, reached the playoffs via the Wild Card, and advanced to the NLDS before eventually falling to 2013’s silver medalists, the St. Louis Cardinals. The Pittsburgh guts on display this year were both remarkable and refreshing to a longtime fan accustomed to witnessing a general lack of perseverance. You just couldn’t count them out, no matter the inning or the score.

Another gutsy squad – perhaps the gutsiest of all – was undoubtedly the Boston Red Sox. Coming from the depths of last place in 2012 to ascend to World Series Champions in 2013 was no small task, and the heart that emerged in that bearded platoon was something you couldn’t ignore, regardless of who you root for. Following the tragedy at the Boston Marathon, the city needed a win, and their beloved Red Sox gave them many, including the Game 6 victory over the Cardinals that put a bow on 2013.

Beyond the Pirates and the Red Sox, we saw another remarkable year from Miguel Cabrera, who remained the most dangerous hitter in baseball, as only he can despite injury. We saw a nearly untouchable Clayton Kershaw stay as dominant as ever until his very last start. Another Dodger, rookie Yasiel Puig, exploded onto baseball consciousness in a way few ever have. And though improbable at the outset, we saw Chris Davis crank 53 home runs, eclipsing his previous season-best by 20.

As I write this, the above feel like broad-stroke bullet points after following baseball every single day this season. It’s impossible to cover everything notable, intriguing, or awe-inspiring that happened, and it’s certainly not my intention to do so. I guess my brain just needs some sort of peace with how I spent the last eight months of my life.

This offseason, I’ll be turning my attentions to the broader world of sports (a less cryptic update likely to come soon). And I guess the hirings, firings, money and movement on the baseball front are going to have to cut it for me until the first bats crack and pants get dirty on February 21, 2014.

Moneyball.

“It’s hard not to be romantic about baseball.”

A tear was dribbling down my cheek when Brad Pitt’s Billy Beane (General Manager of the Oakland Athletics) spoke this (DAMN good) line in the Oscar-nominated film, Moneyball. If the tear admission didn’t cover it, I couldn’t agree more with the sentiment.

Baseball, for those who have never felt any connection through playing or otherwise, is what I’m sometimes told is “incredibly boring”. I will not fight those who are of this camp; I pity them. I apologize if that sounds pretentious (I’m lying, I do not apologize), but not everyone is going to love baseball – it’s just that if you do, you get it. You get why this marathon of a sport plays on our collective flair for the dramatic, for rooting for the underdog, for wars waged between heroes and villains, for triumph of spirit or sheer talent, for comebacks, for getting to watch grace under pressure emerge in front of you. In each season, for each team, there are trends, streaks – and they read like very different chapters in a lengthy book.

As a lifelong sports fanatic and athlete, and almost-as-long romantic, Moneyball, for me, captured the intricacies of both. It brought to life the minutiae of baseball (statistics are an integral part of the story), provided characters whose lives revolve around the game, while still being identifiable humans outside of it, or at least adjacent to it. The film’s dynamo and star, Beane, searches for what it means to do anything meaningful. And your guts (and heart) get tied up in this mystifying journey with him, his team of castaways (specifically former catcher Scott Hatteberg, played by Chris Pratt) and assistant GM Peter Brand (Jonah Hill’s portrayal earned a Best Supporting Actor nomination) during the Oakland Athletics’ 2002 season, whether you know what happened or not.

Baseball lover or hater or indifferent football fan, watch this movie. And maybe find something to love. After all, how can you not be romantic about baseball?