George Springer spent most of November being transported. Two days after the end of the World Series, he rode through downtown Houston on the back of a firetruck for the Astros' championship parade, and the next day he was carried, along with two teammates and Mickey Mouse, through Disney World atop a purple, motorized, balloon-festooned float. There were flights to whisk him off to the next city, and limousines that would show up to ferry him to "Saturday Night Live" for a skit with Leslie Jones, or to the New York Stock Exchange to ring the trading bell. He never knew a monthlong parade could be so exhausting, or such a time-suck. "Thanksgiving," Springer said Wednesday, "snuck up on me real quick." So it went for the merry band of men in orange from the Lone Star State, who spent last fall captivating America on their way to the first World Series title in franchise history — and enjoying every last drop of its intoxicating aftermath — then spent the winter trying to fight off the inevitable hangover. "It was crazy. I did everything you can think of - shows, appearances, interviews," said Springer, a college football nut who would have normally spent October and November weekends on the couch watching games. "I remember, my first weekend with nothing to do was Week 11 of college football." But now comes the hard part. On March 29, the Astros will launch their title defense following what is believed to be the shortest offseason in baseball history, lasting a mere 148 days - thanks to a seven-game World Series that stretched into November and a 2018 regular season that will start on the earliest date ever. If there truly is such a thing as a World Series hangover (and just ask the 2017 Chicago Cubs about that), the Astros have the shortest window ever in which to beat it. "I think that demand on your time is more of the quote-unquote hangover than anything else," said Astros right-hander Lance McCullers, who started Game 7 of the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. "It's just the time you didn't get to devote to preparing for the season. I did all the media stuff, all the requests — sometimes two, three times a day — which plays into it as well. That's not an offseason. That's a media tour.
Astros hoping to avoid the inevitable World Series hangover: 'We're not the Cubs'
Chicago Tribune | Mar 8