Spring training has barely begun and I already can tell I'm going to miss baseball.
Charlotte only kind of has a Triple-A team -- the Knights actually play across the South Carolina border in Fort Mill -- and the nearest big-league ball is 4 hours away in Atlanta. Ugh.
Though I'm neither a Cubs fan nor a White Sox fan, there was something special about being in Chicago for the baseball season. Just about every day for six months, one team plays a home game in front of tens of thousands of fans. And pretty much every day, not just one but two ballgames are on local TV.
Then there's the fun banter -- and not-so-good-natured ribbing -- when it comes to the Cubs-Sox rivalry, especially in the days surrounding the two teams' regular-season meetings.
I'll miss it all. I'm already missing it. This is the first February since 1994 that I won't have spent any of spring training in Arizona ... and it just feels weird.
Charlotte is growing on me. It's a nice place with good people and many wonderful attributes. I'm not running back to Chicago any time soon; in fact, Roberta and I just bought a house.
Still, although I'll be able to watch baseball on the tube every day of the week, I know it won't be the same as living in a real baseball town.
Those of you who do know exactly what I mean.