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Life without baseball

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We are in truly unprecedented times regarding our relationship with the game we love, as well as life in general.

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

For most of you, Cubs baseball is a diversion, a pastime, something you follow when you’re not working. All of you have different levels of devotion to or passion for the sport; you’re here because you have found a community of like-minded folks to talk about the game, and hopefully enjoy the baseball content I and other BCB writers provide.

For me, baseball’s more than that. It has been a lifelong passion, and now it is my work. I’m well aware how lucky I am to have been able to turn this sport that I’ve cared deeply about all my life into that. I enjoy every day waking up and writing about baseball.

And now... there’s no baseball. In the space of less than 24 hours I went from crazy busy, thinking about the next day’s game, setting up game threads, finding and posting lineups, heading to Sloan Park to watch the game... to not busy at all. After Thursday’s news filled this page with information on the suspension of baseball, keeping me busy for much of the day, I thought “Now what?”

We don’t know when baseball will resume. They’ve said “at least two weeks,” but that both hints and implies it will be longer than that. We already know that the state of Illinois doesn’t want large-scale events until May 1, so we could be looking at then, or even later.

So for me and this site, things have suddenly gone from “ramping up for the season” to something akin to “offseason mode.” Joke coming! “The Cubs didn’t do much this offseason, so maybe this won’t be any different...”

Of course, what’s happening now is no joking matter. We are truly in uncharted waters. The last disruption to the baseball schedule like this was after 9/11, and that was for one week and all the games were eventually made up. Before that, the 1994 strike ended the season two months early. But that was just a baseball disruption, not something that brought most of American society to a screeching halt.

Nevertheless, I and the other BCB writers are going to try to provide some entertainment and information for you to help pass this baseball-less time. Given the “offseason mode” this now feels like, I’ll probably post some pieces on Cubs history, something you know I enjoy writing about. Incidentally, that reminds me: If any of you have old photos of Cubs games or of Wrigley Field that you’d like me to “sleuth,” send them over. Any other thoughts about Cubs history you’d like to see me write about, I’m open to suggestions.

We are also considering some ways to simulate the 2020 season using MLB The Show. If we can do that, we’d probably start March 26 with the Cubs/Brewers game scheduled for that date. We’ll keep you posted about this.

So, please stick around. We will have content posted here every day that’s baseball-related. For me, it will help keep me involved in the game we all love in some way while we wait for sports, and the rest of everyday life, to resume. Hopefully for you BCB can provide a place to gather and chat about baseball over the coming days and weeks.

Here’s a photo from the last game I’ll attend for a while, Wednesday night’s Cubs/Padres game at Sloan Park. Given the rain forecast, I was able to get some regular seats under the left-field overhang from a friend. (Note the view is from behind the net. The view of the action isn’t really obscured at all from behind the net.)

Al Yellon

Stay safe. Take the health precautions that have been recommended. We’ll all get through this and eventually we’ll have real baseball, and all the other things we think about as “everyday life,” back.