Greetings, baseball; so long, sleep

4/5/2014

It's started already.

It's started already.

Opening day of the baseball season, and I'm staying up too late, checking scores in the middle of the night, then not sleeping much after that.

Two days later I stayed up even later to watch the entire game, only to have my heart ripped out. Another night of little sleep.

It's going to be a long season.

This is why, when last season ended with a playoff loss, I needed a break for a while. I get too emotionally invested in my baseball team.

I over-indulged in baseball the first week of the season because DirecTV shows just about every game for a week as a tease.

They suck you in, then make you pay for the rest of the season.

I've never bought that package because I'd never get anything done, and because my team, Oakland, plays on the West Coast. Games start at 9, so I'd never get to bed before midnight.

Such is the life of a baseball junkie.

The older I get the more immersed I become in this sport.

Maybe it's because I used to divide my time between my son's baseball season and the MLB season, and with my son no longer playing, I'm all in for Oakland.

Whatever it is, I ramped it up a notch a couple of years ago.

It also doesn't help that technology allows me to keep track of the game on my computer or phone as it's being played.

I also have access to the sports writers who cover the A's thanks to Twitter. I get updates on what's going in the games no matter where I am, and can interact with them and other fans.

All this is good and bad.

I love that technology allows me to stay this close to a game anywhere in the country.

I hate it that I'm looking at fewer nights of sound sleep until October.

I remember when I used to have to wait until the next day's evening newspaper to find out who won and lost.

My dad would listen to KFAB radio station at night and update me with scores.

I thought it was great when the Omaha World-Herald published a phone number in the sports section so fans could call and hear a recorded message that updated scores.

I called that number over and over again at night, only to be frustrated if they didn't update it quick enough.

That information only made me want to know more about the game. How'd Oakland win? How'd it lose? Did anyone homer?

We've come a long way from those days.

I still remember hanging out at a friend's house and listening to the radio to his Royals.

Even though they weren't my favorite team, I loved listening to Denny Matthews and Fred White describe the Royals' games.

I don't listen to games on the radio anymore unless I'm in the car, but when done right it's still a great way to take in a game.

I love that I am connected to the A's thanks to technology, but I can't help get nostalgic for the way things used to be, and for a good night's sleep.

Patrick Murphy, of Humphrey, Neb., is a former assistant managing editor of The Telegram.

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