Baseball: The cure for your summertime blues. Go ahead, sports fan, give yourself a deserved pat on the back.
The struggle was real …
I know because I was right there with you, but, we made it. Like Apa Sherpa ascending Mount Everest, we’ve again managed to navigate through this year’s sports-thin air-zone.
For those who are unaware, I am referring to the Bermuda Triangle-type slice of time on the calendar where not much of typical sports merit tends to occur. It starts the day after the NBA finals crowns a champ. It draws to a conclusion as soon as the second half of the Major League Baseball season starts.
This year’s arid sports landscape turned out to be a bit tougher to swallow after Lebron James and his Cavaliers couldn’t end the city of Cleveland’s championship drought. Even King James admitted to being in a funk during this time. It’s arduous, I mean, some people gotta pass the time by gardening or taking family trips to the amusement park. Oh, the humanity!
Nonetheless, checking the score or catching the “top 10 highlights” is still engrained in most sports fan’s schedules. I know I feel like Pavlov’s dog once I hear that Sportscenter’s “DaDaDa” sound (Coincidentally, this must be the part of the experiment that lacks the “treat”).
Even the world wide leader in sports secondarily acknowledges that its followers are parched and tries hard to hold them over with filler. Substitute programs such as the ESPY awards and the X-games are like a handful of triscuits to a hungry person.
Don’t get me wrong, those red bull-clad Moto-X guys (who hold onto their seat while soaring 50 feet in the air) are impressive. I’m also willing to admit that the emotionally charged athletic-award show tugs at my heartstrings every year.
Correspondingly, the sports gods have tried to extend some Manna in the offerings of a glorious Women’s World Cup tournament …
… a very-exciting MLB home run derby …
… and some prodigious golf from Jordan Spieth.
However, I’m just not fully satisfied.
I think it’s because those athletic activities tend to lack a traditional build up to a post-season, even the first half of the baseball schedule is a bit too far out from meaningful games. Starting today though, every major league team hones its focus to making the playoffs. Starting today, it’s ok to watch the highlights again.
From here on out, I urge you to keep an eye on the AL and NL Central. In the national league, the Cubs are loaded with young talent and look to end their historic curse.
Even the Reds, coming off a beautifully hosted All-Star game, will be in the news. Despite being off the pace, the red legs have some serious trade bait. Other teams are craving a solid starting pitcher and Cincy’s Johnny Cueto is at the top of this year’s available crop.
In the logical, DH hitting league; the Royals are eager to return to the World Series after last year’s defeat to the San Francisco Giants. Losing super-Royal, Alex Gordon, to an injury was tough, but, he’ll back soon and the kids from Kauffman Stadium are full of all-stars and clicking on all cylinders. It might be too early to say, but, it seems like the Pirates and Royals are on a World Series collision course. I’m already getting excited.
I’m sorry if baseball doesn’t shake the dog days of summer for you. If that is the case then there is only one consoling statement;
College Football is less than 50 days away.
Stay strong, sports fan, the worst is behind us.