â€œPeople ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.â€Â â€”Rogers Hornsby
Rogers Hornsby didnâ€™t have a computer.
Now, Iâ€™m not saying this is going to be a dull or uneventful winter, but if you find yourself pining for some baseball this off season, here are a few computer-related remediesâ€¦
Become an armchair GM on WhatIfSports.com
Iâ€™m not sure how it compares with other baseball simulations like Strat-O-Matic or Diamond Mind, but I love WhatIfSports. Iâ€™ve been playing the siteâ€™s Hardball Dynasty game for a couple years now (which equals nine HBD seasons) and Iâ€™m hooked. Unlike the other two, Hardball Dynasty is a simulation using fictional players. I describe it to my non-baseball-fan friends and family that itâ€™s sort of like a baseball version of Dungeons and Dragons. You have to big baseball fan to commit the time and money necessary to manage an entire organization of imaginary players. You get to scour the waiver wire for cheap help, manage disabled lists, promote players, set your lineups and pitching staffs at all levels, pick players in the amateur draft and the Rule 5 draft, make tradesâ€¦itâ€™s really in depth. I highly recommend it. Any HBD players in the house?
Get lost on Baseball-Reference.com
Iâ€™m sure Iâ€™m preaching to the choir here, but Baseball-Reference is a godsend for baseball fans. I use it daily and owe a huge thank you to Sean Foreman. Itâ€™s always fun (and easy) to just head over to Baseball-Reference and lose track of time. Sometimes it starts with a question I have that leads me to click around to other pages. Other times, I go over with no agenda, just to see what I can find. One fun thing to do is to is to put fake teams together. Put together the best team that you can using guys with the same first name â€¦ or three last names â€¦ or a team where there are only four different birthdays â€¦ or something else altogether. What else can you come up with?
Check out some baseball card blogs
I stumbled upon some of these a few weeks ago and theyâ€™re pretty fun. Any USSM readers collect cards? The industry has really changed since I collected as a kid. I collected a bunch as a kid and then picked it back up a few years ago (That has fizzled lately, although I probably have one of the top-three most extensive Mike Cameron collections on the planet.). Thereâ€™s a surprising number of blogs out there dedicated to cards and here are some of the best Iâ€™ve foundâ€¦
Those should keep you busy and help fill the baseball void in your life. At least until the debut of the MLB Network!