Fans and players are often at odds over when it’s time to push the panic button, or whether there is such a thing.
In addition to a proprietary undertaking, Beerleaguer continues to be a learning experience. They say in baseball, you learn something new every day, but in many ways, you don’t. Baseball repeats the same lessons over and over, yet we, as fans, stubbornly block them out. Baseball has built in this 162-game season, the ideal sample size to make informed predictions, the ideal remedy for mid-summer sleep loss. History warns us never to get too high or too low, especially over a team that’s finished with similar marks the last few seasons. The Phillies have become an easy test subject, a mouse that will either reach the cheese or get close enough to sniff it.
Staying at an even keel doesn’t make for the most dynamic writing during the dog days. You’ve got to write about something, and for months, we focused on subjects that no longer apply. The slumping offense has vanished. Brett Myers is a front-line starter again. Jimmy Rollins is no longer at the center of controversy. Ryan Howard is once again making an MVP push in September. And while the subplots change daily, and are destined to change again over the final 11 games, it’s the underlying foundation of 84 wins, ahead of last season's pace, that should have been at the forefront all along.
But as long as we have a pulse, it never will be.