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katiesphil’s 2018 Off-Offseason Plan

It’s time for a strategy that incorporates both Puccini and Podsednik

Chicago Cubs v Chicago White Sox
Sweeping Up the Cutting Room Floor: Safely sliding into katiesphil’s offseason plan? Scott Podsednik, naturally.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Chicago White Sox baseball is over, alas.

Even baseball played by teams other than the White Sox is preferable to no baseball, but even that is now over, alas.

Better minds than mine are drafting and posting their offseason plans, scouting the available talent, hunting up salary figures, pouring over free agent lists and 29 other teams’ MiLB and 40-man rosters for bargains, trade targets, and probably even some Rule 5 possibilities.

They’re creating their models for what they hope will be the 2019 White Sox. Some base their plans on what they think the White Sox front office will do. Some base their plans on what they, themselves, would do if they could. Some attempt the latter within a framework of the former. Some will shoot for the moon. Some will shoot for Skokie. All are better armchair GMs than I am.

Therefore, my plan is less concerned with who the Sox will field in 2019, and more concerned with how I will make it through until then. No baseball sucks. But not having a plan to get through these blighted, uncaring, and dismal months make it worse.

So here is katiesphil’s 2018-2019 offseason plan.

1. Organize physical media

I am one of the 13 people left in the U.S. who still buys things on physical media. I still buy books with pages and covers. I still buy CD with discs and inserts and covers. I still buy blue-ray discs with, um, discs and inserts and covers. And I have lots of each. And over the last few years, they’ve all gotten completely out of order.

It seems like only yesterday that I could think of any given Mott the Hoople record and know immediately in which room and on which shelf to go find it. It wasn’t really yesterday, though, it was a couple/few years ago, and now I have no damned idea. Where the hell is my boxed set of season four of Homicide? Who knows! Where is that John and Beverly Martyn disc with “Auntie Aviator” on it? Who knows! Where on Earth is the third volume of Truman’s Hawkworld run? Who knows! Where is the neat little book on the knuckleball? Who knows!

With no baseball, I have the time to organize some of this stuff so that I can find things when I go looking for them. Right now I just say “who knows,” shrug, and move on.

SSS/baseball connection: I’d like to write about the knuckleball book (and a number of others), but can’t find it. Additionally, I’d like to write about and enjoy a handful of baseball-related movies, but have to, you know, find the damned things first.

Cost: Nothing, technically, but I’m kind of lazy, so there’s that.

2. Get out to the theater some

I got a jump start yesterday as the family and I took in Hello Dolly at the Oriental Theater. While it might just undermine the he-man, macho image I have around here, I like the theater, including musical theater. I am happy to report that Hello Dolly, with national treasure Betty Buckley, is a delight: fun, frilly, lush, and completely devoid of any social significance whatever. Highly recommended.

I also have tickets for Fiddler on the Roof, and Lyric’s upcoming La Bohéme, which I consider the perfect gateway opera for the youngest daughters as it features lovely, memorable music, and a (for an opera) coherent and easily-followed story line. Others will be added between now and March.

SSS/baseball connection: None, but it beats the hell out of basketball and football.

Cost: $50 - $100 per seat. I like front row balcony when I can get / afford ‘em.

3. Learn more about advanced stats

As the SSS faithful have gathered over the years, my knowledge of, and interest in, advanced stats both trend to low end. The interest part, however, is growing, and so I’d like to use the offseason to up the knowledge part. If any of you have a suggestion for a book that will help me out, please leave the title in the comments. It will be greatly appreciated. Warning/consideration: Think “Baseball Stats for Idiots”-level. As the SSS faithful have gathered over the years, I’m kind of an idiot with regard to advanced statistics.

SSS/baseball connection: Obvious, I’d think.

Cost: I don’t know. Is it available on Amazon marketplace*?

4. Get some reading done

Related to both 1 and 3 above, but worthy of standing on its own, because:

  • There are lots of unread books that I can locate in my house
  • I have active accounts both at Amazon and 57th Street Books, and there’s a Powell’s down the street, too

These will not all be baseball books, of course. The world is filled to the gills with interesting things to read about, and after 57 years I’ve still only scratched the surface. I have known some very nice, intelligent people who claim they don’t read. I can accept them, I can befriend them, but I will never, ever understand them.

SSS/baseball connection: Some of them will be baseball books, maybe even about the Sox. I have a couple of things I haven’t gotten to on the shelves here somewhere …

Cost: Variable,* but always worth it

5. Re-watch my DVDs of the 2005 World Series

I haven’t pulled them out in quite some time, but after a season like this past one, it might do to wallow some. It was quite a ride, and there are lots of familiar faces not seen in a while. It will do me good to remember that the team has some pretty good stuff in its past, and remind myself that there’s really no good reason why it can’t have some pretty good stuff in its future. Heck, even some for-old-time’s-sake Hawk won’t kill me now, will it?

This assumes, of course, that I can find them.

SSS/baseball connection: Like being wrapped in tentacles, but in a good way.

Cost: Depends. If I can find them, $0.00. If I can’t, $79.89-$119.95 (plus shipping) for the full set, which is apparently no longer available new. Otherwise, it’s $1.49-$12.64 for the pathetic, single-disc highlights. (All prices per Amazon. I’m not willing to look any farther right now, since I think I know where they are.)

Total payroll: $800-$919.95 (plus shipping)*

*Plus the cost of the stuff I don’t know yet, since I don’t know yet.

This seems like a bargain, if it helps pass the offseason and get me back to actual baseball. Still, to paraphrase Freewheelin’ Franklin of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers: Baseball will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no baseball.

No kidding.