the countdown begins

Every morning I make the arduous 45 mile commute to the Peninsula from San Francisco. And every morning my routine is as follows:

  • Run to the bus from my apartment (and in the process, forget my pre-packed lunch in the fridge)
  • Sit amongst the same crew of people (none of whom has ever communicated or made eye contact with me. Journey to the Caltrain station in silence)
  • Exit one stop shy of the train to grab a newspaper, cup of coffee, banana, and bagel. (fine, most of the time it’s a sugar raised donut)

However, this morning, I skipped the paper. This morning, I was reading something much more important.  For the past week I have been reading Reversing the Curseby Dan Shaughnessy and reliving much of the 2004 baseball season in order to emotionally prepare for the start of spring training. Red Sox pitchers and catchers officially reported to Fort Meyers today.

On the bus I opened my copy and was instantly transported back the first half of the ’04 season when Nomar was angry with everyone, Derek Lowe couldn’t stop  imploding on the mound, and the team, in general – sucked. I imagine I made a series of frustrated and angry facial expressions during the 20 minute ride to the Caltrain station. (Come to think of it, this may actually explain why no one ever talks to me on the bus.)

Since moving to California four years ago, I have had to reconcile the fact that no one outside of New England cares about the Red Sox. It’s true. While there are designated Red Sox hotspots throughout San Francisco, the majority of folks here either hate the Sox, don’t know who they are, or don’t feel one way or another about them.

As expected, the newspapers devote most of their baseball coverage to the home teams, meaning I have to work a lot harder to stay informed of the team’s activities.  Each morning I log on to the Boston papers and keep my homepage set to redsox.com. Being a transplant fan is hard work. It’s also emotionally draining. There is no one to discuss trade rumors, no one else to chide the Yankees, no one to commiserate with after a disappointing outing.

But being a transplant fan also makes you develop a keen ability to recognize a Boston accent or Red Sox cap 400 feet away. As I exited the train this morning, a passenger wearing the signature B caught my eye. I smiled and resisted the urge to run him down and bear hug him to the ground. I am hoping this desire dissipates in the near future. Ideally before March. Because I am heading to Florida next month to visit my Nana and take her to a preseason game. I already booked my flight. I have already printed the game tickets. Now, I just have to wait.

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