Bears Don’t Hibernate. Neither Does Baseball.

My husband informs me that bears in Virginia do not hibernate in Winter.  He works at the Wildlife Center of Virginia, so he oughta know. 

It’s a sad day when bears let you down.

I have relied on the wisdom of hibernating bears when encouraging my Yoga students to quiet their practice in winter and in honoring my own circadian life rhythms. 

Bears hibernate in winter, I figured, because they are smarter than we are.  They know the value of rest.  They know that cold, dark winter days demand that they slow down and refuel.  These resting bears became a powerful role model for how we all should care for ourselves in winter … carbo-pack and hibernate.

Now, I find out that this hibernation thing is a big bear hoax.

This bear cub was in the Wildlife Center of Virginia's care. Wide awake ... no hibernating for him.

This bear cub was in the Wildlife Center of Virginia’s care in 2012.  Wide awake. Thanks to WCV for this photo.

As long as Virginia bears find the weather comfortable and ample trash cans to paw through, they’ll just amble through their winter like the rest of us.  Still, they hunker down in ugly weather.  So, while they may not hibernate, they do know the value of slowing down. So, hibernation aside, I guess they’re still smarter than we humans.

I was looking forward to a bit of baseball hibernation this winter. 

162 games is a long regular season.  It’s a reliable, irrefutable fact.  Eighty-two basketball games in an NBA season.  Sixteen NFL games a season.  These are, apparently, games for the short-winded and the short-attention spanned.   

Baseball demands six months of your year.  If you’re lucky, seven.  (Tack on an extra month for spring training if you like.) 

Add up season upon season, and that’s a lot of time I could have spent earning a doctorate degree.

You would think a few months of off-season each winter is a well-deserved break, a reward for sticking by your team.  Did I mention that 162 games is a long season?

So, do you know what happened in baseball these past couple days?   

Nothing.  Pretty much nothing. 

No one was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame (well no one living anyway).

No one was traded (well, no big star, anyway).

No one won a game.  No one lost a game.  I don’t think anyone even PLAYED a game.

No one signed a fat, crazy, multimillion-dollar contract. 

With so much nothing going on, you would think a nice quiet bear-like hibernation was in order.

And, yet, the baseball world was as noisy as ever.

What in the world could be more important than a sweet mid-winter nap?  This … this is what interrupted my baseball hibernation … 

Aaron Sele got one Hall of Fame vote

Once the baseball chatterers took a breath after going on and on and on about the steroid-era players who were snubbed by Hall of Fame voters, and when (not if, but when) Barry Bonds would finally be elected to the Hall of Fame, and who will be elected in 2014 (I’m starting the campaign now for Mike Mussina … Go Moose!), they discovered one sad, lonely little vote for Aaron Sele (so-so pitcher, lifetime ERA 4.61).  This has baseball tweeters beside themselves, trying to ferret out the mystery person who cast a mercy vote.

(Best response to all this Hall of Fame stuff goes to the Houston Astros’ Craig Biggio, who had the highest number of votes, but not the 75 percent needed to enter the hall.  Biggio said, “I was pretty close. I got 68 percent. I’m going to go home and study harder and hopefully get a 75 next year.”)

Vote Mike Mussina ~ Baseball Hall of Fame 2014 (yes, this is the only autographed baseball I own. I treasure it.)

Vote Mike Mussina ~ Baseball Hall of Fame 2014 (yes, this is the only autographed baseball I have. I treasure it.)

More breaking baseball “news” …

  • Teams will now have the option of calling the bullpen by cellphone rather than landline.
  • Teams will now have brand-new, specially designed caps … different from their gameday caps … that they can wear during post-game interviews.  Yes, interview-only caps(It must have been quite the brainstorming session that came up with the interview-only cap idea.)
  • Jose Canseco is still not a Canadian and still cannot be elected mayor of Toronto, no matter how much he tweets about it.

Canseco Mayor

  • And, Pete Rose’s reality TV show starts next week. (When I asked my husband if he would rather watch a Pete Rose reality show or a Joe Morgan reality show … his response: “What kind of hell is this?”) 
  • I won’t be watching Pete Rose, but I will be watching Bob Costas At The Movies and the series of classic baseball movies airing on MLB Network, starting January 14.  It’s a great, must-see lineupEight Men Out? Best Ever.

And, then, like a hungry bear … BASEBALL WOKE UP.

Just as I was having a good yawn, satisfied with my hibernation theme, putting this post to bed …


On Thursday, Major League Baseball announced a major, unprecedented expansion of tough drug testing for players – ensuring that testing for HGH (human growth hormone) and testosterone will take place throughout the season. 

According to The New York Times baseball now has “the toughest testing program of any of the professional sports leagues in North America.”

Yay, baseball!

If you’re going to call it cheating … enforce it.  Performance enhancing drugs have made a mess of things – far beyond just Hall of Fame voting — so I am going to hope that this means baseball is finally getting tough on its most serious problem.  

For my original post on performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) in baseball, click here.

So, here’s what I’ve learned today.

Bears don’t hibernate.

Neither, apparently, does baseball.

Just 35 days until pitchers and catchers report …

4 thoughts on “Bears Don’t Hibernate. Neither Does Baseball.

  1. My favorite part of Bud Selig’s comments about the new testing is how he just never acknowledged how baseball refusal to address the issue 15 years ago is what created that remark, yet he claims baseball is now the best at testing out of the major sports!

    Good luck to your Orioles…I hope they win the East. And you should go to Spring Training. It’s pretty much the best place to be a baseball fan, everyone is so happy because it’s baseball and it doesn’t matter yet!

    • Best vacation I ever took … I went to spring training by myself. Baseball, baseball, baseball. All Orioles, all the time. It was absolute bliss! You’re right … in the spring it doesn’t matter yet, and everything is perfect … hope springs eternal!

      As for drug testing … how can we really blame athletes for doing what they did, when Bud Selig and baseball didn’t care and looked the other way for years? Afterall, is it really cheating if Barry Bonds never got caught doing anything? ayyyy …

      And, good luck to your Dodgers, too (and you know I’m saying that even though I have a little Giants in my heart … I grew up out there … but you’re a great blogger, so you deserve some baseball happiness!)

  2. I follow a bunch of blogs, I try to read they all, but I always read yours. Excellent stuff. The line from your husband about the hell-of-a choice offered by Pete Rose and Joe Morgan has me laughing here all by myself. And the caps? Interview caps? Man I wish I was still working for a newspaper!

    • Thank you for the kind words … actually pressing the “publish” button can be pretty tough on my doubting self! But, my husband (& editor) is the best baseball buddy in the world. And, he always makes me laugh, too. He should probably be the one with the blog … but until then, I’ll keep typing and ginning up the courage to hit “publish” from time to time!

      (Maybe I should get a “blog cap” to wear while I’m writing!)

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