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Can't...take...much....more.....

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You might have heard the snap. Sitting in your living room, drinking a glass of wine or milk, you might have heard what sounded like a '72 Chevy Nova ramming a horse-drawn carriage filled with crystal vases and schoolchildren. Dogs might have howled. Car alarms probably went off. This happens every year at about this time. I, and thousands of others, get tired of the baseball offseason, and we all snap.

Schkkkkkkrrnnnnnnnik!

I'm daydreaming at work about the relative merits of Brian Cooper. "He seems like he has good command of some super-slow breaking balls, but his slow and straight fastball isn't just going to fix itself, and that is going to prevent him....."

Schkkkkrnnnrnknnnnknnknkknkn!

Get me some damn baseball. Please. No offense to Brian Cooper, but c'mon. Please.

It's almost fun when the offseason starts. Who's going where? Who are the Giants going to get, and how can I complain about them in a mildly amusing fashion? The list of minor-league free agents comes out, and sifting through a mess of names, hoping to find an unfinished gem, can be fun. Year-end reviews and top-ten lists ease the transition, but that excitement fades quickly.

Football used to help, but watching the 49ers this year was like being beaten with your own gangrenous limb after it was taken off without anesthesia in front of someone you've had a crush on for years but has an extreme aversion to gore so they're totally scarred and can't even look at you without thinking about your desperate screams and how your blood shot out of the open wound and stained the ceiling of the subway bathroom and did I mention this operation was done in a New York City subway station bathroom with a pair of dirty tongs from a hot dog vendor because it was. So, no, the 49ers weren't much help.

The news of pitchers and catchers reporting takes the sting out of the winter, but that's a month away. This is the desolate stretch, where most of the free agents have signed, and the glow of any irrational optimism has dimmed. This is a month-long car ride through Iowa highways, with cornfields, cornfields, and still more cornfields as your only view from the car window. Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

Scgkkkngnnkgnkkknnnnnnkkkaknnnkkknanknngngn!

The arguments against the World Baseball Classic are sound. No one wants to see Johan Santana hurt himself pitching in a February exhibition game. But it's baseball. Don't bother wrapping it up, I'll take it. This January stuff is a nightmare.