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Things to do during a lockout

You’ve got time, but no baseball.

MLB: JUN 22 Marlins at Giants
This picture has nothing to do with the article, but it’s a cute Giants fan eating.
Photo by Tommy LaPorte/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Technically speaking, it’s still possible that the 2022 MLB season proceeds as intended. It could be that when March 31 rolls around, the San Francisco Giants will be in Southern California to visit the San Diego Padres before spending a glorious evening stuffing themselves with fish tacos and microbrews.

But it certainly feels unlikely.

Monday is the deadline the league has set for agreeing to a new deal with the MLBPA before cancelling games. That means that something like Wednesday is probably the actual deadline, but the point remains: there’s less than a week remaining for a lockout resolution before we can start wiping games off the regular season slate. And based on the reports of how negotiations between the two sides have been going, it’s starting to feel like actually cancelling the games is a formality.

You’ll need something to do if that happens. You’ve grown dependent on spending the spring and summer months listening to the soothing tones of Duane Kuiper, Mike Krukow, Jon Miller, and Dave Flemming. You’re quite accustomed to watching Logan Webb’s smirky scowl, Brandon Belt’s casual pre-dinger lip curl, and Brandon Crawford’s flawless locks.

It’s Giants baseball. You watch it five, six, maybe seven times a week all through April, and May, and June ...

And if that’s taken from you you’ll need to fill the void. I’ve got some ideas for you. What they will not include is reading my recaps of games that aren’t actually happening, as I did during the 2020 games that were lost to the pandemic. That was a remarkably bad exercise and I am grateful to report that I am no longer that stupid. I think we all benefit from this decision.

Anyway, here are some other ideas for things you can do.

Watch the Minor Leagues

You might not be able to watch the Giants, but you can still watch baseball. Heck, you can even still watch Giants organization baseball. The MLB season might get postponed, but there’s still the AAA Sacramento River Cats, the AA Richmond Flying Squirrels, the High-A Eugene Emeralds, the Low-A San Jose Giants, the two Giants teams in the Arizona Complex League, and the two Giants teams in the Dominican Summer League.

You can watch a lot of those games on MiLB TV, and they’ll provide lots of content to consume — I’ll be doing daily recaps of all the action like I did last year, and writers like McCovey Chronicles alumni Roger Munter and Kevin J. Cunningham, as well as The Athletic’s Melissa Lockard are chalk-full of awesome stories to read about prospects.

Not all of the Giants prospects can play in the Minors, as some are on the Giants 40-man roster — notably Joey Bart, Heliot Ramos, Randy Rodriguez, and Sean Hjelle. But there’s a lot of fun baseball to consume, and it even impacts the Giants.

Watch Formula 1

If you want to replace the slow-paced catharsis of a baseball game, maybe you’ll be interested in the complete opposite? Perhaps 20 cars moving faster than a Madison Bumgarner snotrocket, with more drama than if the Giants had traded for Bryce Harper the day after the fight with Hunter Strickland and then put cameras in each of their faces for a week straight?

Well then F1 just might be for you. The sport has been exploding in popularity lately, and a new season gets started on the weekend of March 18-20.

This might sound like an ad for F1 — it’s not, though if they wanted to send me some money or swag I’d happily make it one. It’s just a sport I love and am banking on loving extra when if it needs to fill the baseball gap.

And if you really want to get into it, the latest season of Drive to Survive — hands down the best sports reality show around — drops on Netflix on March 11.

(Also not an ad for Netflix. Still open to money being sent my way.)

Watch the NBA

This is a more conventional choice, and requires no explanation. You can even go to Oracle Park in an attempt to watch a non-existent baseball game, and after a few $17 beers you might accidentally stumble a few blocks down the road to Chase Center, where you can watch Steph Curry do the bounceball equivalent of what Barry Bonds used to do.

Quarantine hobbies and goals

When the pandemic first started 32 years ago, everyone had a few goals for what to do with their forced inside time. Maybe you wanted to learn a new language. Perhaps you were finally going to dip your toes (and fingers) into the sourdough game. That great American novel you’ve been thinking about for the last decade? Time to write it.

You probably didn’t do most of those things, because you’re a human who was going through a traumatic and stressful event while still being asked to function and work as though everything were normal.

But maybe now is the time. I heard that spending 3 hours a day on Duolingo can result in you learning a new language in a few weeks.

(Also not an ad for Duolingo. But yes, still open to money being sent my way.)

Write angry letters

A lockout is a great time to let commissioner Rob Manfred know how you feel about him. Also a good time to let Giants owner Charles Johnson know your thoughts on his political donations.

You could also write not-angry letters, which are always fun, though I recommend sending them to different people. Here’s an easy ditty I just made up in case you get confused: angry letter for Manfred, happy letter for man-friend.

Recreate Hunter Pence’s Instagram adventures

Pretty self-explanatory. Kind of like Julie and Julia, but with Hunter Pence. Bonus points if your name is Hunter, or some variation (I’ve never heard of a variation of Hunter, so double bonus points for that, I guess).

I hope this advice has helped you. I highly doubt that it did. May the lockout end so you never need to heed my awful advice.