Laura’s Off-Season Report Card

Report Card on how I did on my list of 12 Things I said I wouldn’t and would do in the offseason. I graded PASS/FAIL because most of the items were binary: either I did them or I didn’t.

What I said I wouldn’t do:

#1 FAIL: Watch Jose Fernandez’ last game. Unless I want to cry.
I did watch it. I didn’t cry watching the game. I admit I teared up, though, when I saw the graphic of Taveras, Fernandez and Ventura walking away into the cornfield.

#2 PASS: Micro re-manage any Nats’ losses. Baseball is a game of inches; luck & skill in varying proportions; and baseball is a game of failure (in case anyone didn’t already know that).
I never engaged in a blog argument on bullpen or bench management. At least that I can recall. And if I missed one, I’m sure someone here will remind me!

#3 FAIL: Worry about things I can’t control.
I didn’t worry about any of the things on the list I gave at the beginning of the offseason, but then I proceeded to worry about the bench and a closer—BUT EVERYONE ELSE WAS DOING IT. OK, that’s an excuse, and I know it.

#4 PASS: Inventory tag my baseball and memorabilia collection (because I did that last offseason during SnowZilla).
All the offseason buys are appropriately tagged and inventoried. And insured.

#5 PASS. Buy any more Nats gear . . . . . . . until I figure out where I’m going to put it.
Yes, I bought Nats stuff, but I now have a nice new shelf unit to put it on. Clancy-resistant Bobblefences are on order. Not Clancy-proof: there is no such thing!

#6 PASS: (sort of) Bid ridiculous amounts of partially deductible dollars at charity auctions on baseball experiences that I enjoy and can blog about later. Probably.
I hedged on this one. And the winning bid on the Media Member for a Day was less than lunch with Dusty last year. So I gave myself PASS.
My spouse, however, gives me a FAIL.

#7 PASS: Mention baseball to my brother, the Giants fan (and chaplain for one of their minor league teams), for a couple of months.
No problem. He didn’t want to talk baseball either until December.

#8 PASS: Renew my season plan for Sec. 313—because I already did that.
Now I just need the tickets so I can schedule the rest of my year.

#9 PASS: Not believe any rumors I read on Twitter unless there’s a link to an article with quotes from the subject of the rumors . . . and maybe not even then.
I am so skeptical of Twitter that I would look out the window even if everyone Tweeted that it was raining.

#10 FAIL: Be surprised by anything Rizzo does. Only if he did nothing would I be surprised.
I admit I am surprised that we have no settled closer.

#11 PASS: Expect that MASN lawsuit to be settled. By the time that lawsuit is settled, Lawyerball will be as long as Bleak House.
Did you hear anything remotely resembling even a whisper of progress? Me neither.

#12 PASS: Expect honest, complete answers about player’s health. From the Nationals, the agents, or the players themselves.
Especially Boras.

What I said I would do:

#1 PASS: Re-watch several good games, or listen to C & D’s calls of games I attended.
Done. Eight, to be exact.

#2 PASS: Re-read the Physics of Baseball. Every year I learn more about what really goes on in the eternal battle of pitcher vs. hitter. Definitely for non-physicists!
Small book, great for long airplane rides. Probably still should write up the effect of altitude on hitters. Hmm, they’re going to Colorado at the end of April. That sounds suspiciously like a deadline.

#3 PASS: Go to Winterfest.
Eaton is really only 1.03 Altuves high. Nice to be able to look a ballplayer in the eye.
Wonder what Jayson will do when he hears that Scherzer said that the players tease Werth about his hairy back. Especially if that report about the Jayson Bobblehead with real hair is correct.

#4 PASS: Try to figure out a way in the budget and work schedule to get down to Spring Training.
Done. 2/26-3/4. There will be reports & photos. And I’m buying a better data plan so the photos should be better.

#5 PASS (do I get double credit for two books?) Read a baseball book I haven’t read yet.
Nine Innings and Girls of Summer.
Also acquired a dozen more books at the SABR meeting, including a signed copy of the Hidden Language of Baseball (signs and sign stealing). Also a good airplane book.

#6 PASS: Meet up with other fans—in DC or elsewhere (like, hmm, Portland OR).
Hi, Sao!
Joined SABR, went to three local meetings and the Chapter meeting. Met lots of people (duh).

#7 INCOMPLETE: Go to the Hot Stove event and ask Valerie what the Nats are going to do if MLB has another 8 p.m. playoff start . . . other than direct them to DC’s memo.
Went to Hot Stove. Did not get to ask a question.

#8 PASS: Donate some stuff. Made up two gift baskets (and not just including MAT and Danny bobbleheads).
Delivered to P-Nats (via Susan V) 10/29, & Cole’s Closet 11/21

#9 INCOMPLETE: Reach an agreement with the three other couples on how we’re sharing the two full season seats in 217.
Hard to do that without the tickets . . .

#10 PASS: Buy Nats gear for the great-nephew expected in Feb. He shouldn’t grow up thinking that Alabama football is the only sport on earth.
Done. Onesies, bibs, booties. Oh, yeah, and since he now has an Instagram account, I joined that, too. Following Eaton and Dan Kolko, too, but those are just add-ons to the baby photos, right?
Yes, he arrived (early, but he’s home and all is well).

#11 PASS: Do hundreds of non-baseball related activities, while (mostly) metaphorically staring out the window and waiting for spring.
I actually did look out the window for spring the last couple of days, never mind the metaphors.
Snowdrops are up, snowflakes are down.

#12 PASS: Watch Jose Fernandez’s last game anyway. And cry. Because, baseball.
OK, I didn’t cry. At least not then.


I give myself a B+ for the offseason overall. Which, I might add, is a higher grade that I give Mr. Rizzo. Your opinions may vary!

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