Monday, August 21, 2006

Hawaii: A Baseball Fan's Paradise

by Doug Silversten

Hawaii? A baseball fan's paradise? "No way," you say. You are probably asking yourself if this is some sort of weird April Fool's Joke in August? Nope. I recently returned from 11 nights in Hawaii and I can assure you I mean it when I say that for a baseball fan, especially a fantasy baseball player, it doesn't get any better than Hawaii.

For starters, the weather is almost always perfect. Want to have a catch with your dad? Play some wiffleball with some friends? No need to check Grab a ball and go.

Next, no local team. While the negative is that it takes a pretty long plane trip to see an MLB team in action, it also means that the papers cover a little bit of everything (although there seemed to be a slight focus on the Angels).

Also, there is a great fascination with Hawaiian athletes, which often means that no-name average players become superstars on the island. Who is Shane Victorino? Decent fill-in outfielder for the Phillies? Or Hawaiian hero from Wailuku whose daily accomplishments are profiled like he was the second coming of the Babe. Great stuff.

Ok, these things are nice, but a baseball fan's paradise? That's because I haven't told you about the single advantage that makes Hawaii great...the timezone! The 6 hour time difference with the East coast creates several huge plusses, for fans of all kinds:

1) You never have to worry about games ending past your bedtime. Ever. Four-hour marathon night games on the east coast end at about...5pm Hawaiian time. Those west coast late games that keep us east coaster up way past 1am? Last pitch: Maybe 4pm local time. And every paper has every more missing out on the West Coast games in the morning.

2) If you're a fantasy freak, what's better than a slate full of day games to keep you occupied at work. Unfortunately, unless it is getaway day, weekday afternoon games are hard to come by. Not, my friends, in Hawaii. A slate of night games across the board? No need to worry. Sit down after lunch, go to your fantasy site, and voila...let the game following begin. Fantasy nirvana.

3) And finally, the best treat ever...morning baseball! A 1pm EST game can be enjoyed in the comforts of your own bed. Enjoy your morning cup of coffee and breakfast with some meaningful, live baseball...not a mere recap of last night's game. Got to love it.

There you have it folks: As long as you have an MLB TV package, Hawaii is a baseball fan's dream. Oh, and the beaches are nice too.

Doug Silversten's column, "The Big Picture", appears alternate Mondays


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Tuesday, November 21, 2006  

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