Why early each baseball season brings out the alarmist in us all
Baseball is a yawn, not a sneeze.
Which is to say, relax. Stretch your arms and take a deep breath. Even close your eyes for a minute or two. Trust me, it'll be here when you get back. I promise.
We are now approximately 20 percent into the 2010 season, meaning we have absolutely, positively no idea how this thing will end. Actually, scratch that -- we have some idea how this thing will end. The Baltimore Orioles will finish in last,
In the grand scheme, however, baseball is the sporting world's mystery/thriller -- a little
Or, in other words, calm the heck down.
The Toronto Blue Jays are not going to contend for the American League East. The Boston Red Sox are not a .500 team.
For some reason, baseball brings out the crazy alarmist in us all. When I say
Here is a snippet of my fine work: "In the 2010 New York Mets, we have found the ultimate summer blockbuster gone to crud. We have also found the worst franchise in baseball. Blessed with the league's fifth-highest payroll and a roster featuring myriad All-Stars, the Mets have defied the odds by -- barely two weeks into the season -- permanently falling out of the N.L. East race."
That column was submitted in the late hours of Wednesday, April 21. The following morning, my editor called, noting that the piece seemed a bit, ahem, irrational, and would not run. That evening, the Mets beat the Cubs, 5-2. Then they won again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. As you read this, the Mets are 17-14 and two games behind the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League East. If they are the worst franchise in baseball, it is only because the Orioles and Royals and Pirates (and roughly 15 other franchises) have been reassigned to Triple A.
So why do we fall for this? Why does the baseball version of the ol' banana peel trick slip us up again and again and again? Much credit must be given to the ever expanding (and mystifying) impact of fantasy baseball, where a player's trends and statistics are analyzed to the 100 millionth degree. Whereas once upon a time a slump was merely a slump, nowadays it's an affliction, much akin to a flesh-eating virus. If
Why, just yesterday, while driving from Point A to Point B, I caught
Which, of course, makes no sense.
Which, of course makes perfect sense.