No need to wait until season's end. We've already got a winner in the Most Unfair Moment of the Season.
It'll happen Thursday, when Tampa Bay outfielder Carl Crawford undergoes hand surgery that will likely sideline him for the rest of the season.
How about that one?
Guy plays his guts out year after year for teams that, if they weren't going to lose 100 games, they sure were going to give it a try.
He's a two-time All-Star, a four-time AL stolen base champion, an all-around good guy.
And now, just when things are finally starting to get good in Tampa Bay, Crawford must leave?
You know what I think of when I think of Crawford? This spring, making the rounds from camp to camp, I was talking with the Angels' Torii Hunter when the subject turned to players who are pleasures to watch.
"Know who I really like to watch?" Hunter asked.
"Carl Crawford, because he plays all-out all the time."
"Do you know him pretty well?"
The answer came back quickly: No. Not at all.
That really registered. To me, that's one of the highest compliments a guy could ever offer. Many players around the league will say good things about their friends.
But for a player to volunteer how much he enjoys watching another guy play … and he doesn't even know that guy? That's as pure as it gets.
I don't know whether the Rays will hang onto their AL East lead, but I do know this: These next three or so weeks are as crucial as any three-week stretch in franchise history.
Because not only is Crawford out, but the Rays have placed rookie smash Evan Longoria on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured bone in his wrist.
The Rays think Longoria can return to the lineup by Sept. 1 -- thus, my three-week assessment. But if Longoria is out longer, the Rays' task only gets more difficult.
As Rays manager Joe Maddon said earlier this year, "We're not just trying to be a member of the standings. We're trying to be at the top."
For Crawford's sake, after the season they've put together, the Rays deserve to be there. That way, Crawford can re-join them for some October fun.
Likes: Six weeks left, and five of the six divisions remain up for grabs (I'm taking a wild leap here and awarding the AL West to the Angels). It's dizzying attempting to keep up with who's in first in the AL Central. Minnesota and the White Sox have traded places for five consecutive days. … San Diego reliever Heath Bell's T-shirt: "I'm in Shape … Round is a Shape." … Atlanta manager Bobby Cox, ejected again during Wednesday's doubleheader with the Cubs. … Milwaukee's starting pitching. CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets back-to-back in the rotation? The Brewers get to the playoffs, it's not going to be any fun for opposing hitters in a short series. … My new laptop. The old one was so virus-ridden after five years it was like trying to run through quicksand. It's been forever since I've updated Bull Pennings, partly because I took a week off following the All-Star Game and partly because the old computer had become nearly unworkable. … Kid Rock's All Summer Long. Never thought I'd be saying this about Kid Rock, but what a great, great tune.
Dislikes: Foreclosures and gas prices dominating the newspapers each morning.
Rock-N-Roll Lyric of the Day:
"Splashing through the sand bar
"Talking by the campfire
"It's the simple things in life, like when and where
"We didn't have no internet
"But man I never will forget
"The way the moonlight shined upon her hair
-- Kid Rock, All Summer Long