Updated Sept. 6
I love baseball. I love everything about it, from the grass that makes me sneeze to the Astros who make me retch. How much do I care, you ask? I can, and will, find a way to make the five remaining Twins/Royals games interesting, perhaps by muting the TV and synching the action to an audiobook of The Stranger.
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But even I'm a little concerned about the rest of the regular season. Think about it. There are only six contender-versus-contender series left to go: Phillies/Brewers, Yankees/Red Sox, Yankees/Angels, Rangers/Angels and two sets of Phillies/Braves. Three of those six series come in the season's final week, which means they'll play like glorified exhibitions. While this marks the first time such a competitive disaster has befallen us during the Wild Card era, that doesn't make it any more fun.
What can save us, then? Stephen Strasburg, son of Jim and Kathleen, that's what.
Strasburg starts tonight for the first time since last August, when he entranced us by throwing a fastball faster than anyone had thrown one for at least a day or two. In his 12 starts, he flashed charisma and competitive vigor in equal parts, delighting fans with his all-business approach and appalling Don Cooper with his inverted-W mechanics.
Maybe he flew too close to the sun. Maybe the sun dipped too close to him. Whatever the case, Strasburg has been reborn, like the phoenix of yore, to give us something to watch during the next few weeks. It's kind of a public service, when you think about it.
So please, Stevie Superstar, live up to your legend. Excite us with your fastball, your stern countenance and your healing powers. You're all we have left.