1. It’s the All-Star break. And look at those standings! The second-best record in the National League. The Bucs are way out front in the Wild Card race!
2. This is it. This is the moment. This could be THE year. Heck, the team hasn’t been to the playoffs since ‘92. It’s gotta be the year, right?
3. Look at these guys.
4. The team’s hitting great.
Andrew McCutchen’s hitting .302/.376/.471. Pedro Alvarez has 24 homers. Starling Marte is named STARLING MARTE.
5. Fielding great.
Balls just don’t get by that outfield.
6. The Shark Tank looks rock solid.
That’s the Jason Grilli-anchored bullpen.
9. Except… there was last year.
10. And, yeah, the year before that.
11. But everything’s going to be fine, just as long as nothing weird happens, like a mascot falling onto the field…
13. …or HOLY CRAP A JOURNEYMAN THIRD BASEMAN BECOMING POSSESSED.
Okay, this is not looking good, people.