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162 For a Reason

   Similar to the wisdom passed on by mom and dad that is not appreciated until later in life, as the 2015 baseball has progressed the brilliance of the 162-game schedule has become more apparent on a daily basis. While this sounds like a lot of games and can feel like a long season at times, especially during the "dog days" of August the teams recently completed, this year the number of scheduled games appears to be spot on. As if it was divined from Mount Cooperstown by baseball's deity: Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Cy Young, etc. 

   There has been an energy to the 2015 season that hasn't been felt in quite a few years. It was apparent early on as the Kansas City Royals used the momentum from last year's run to Game 7 of the World Series to help them get off to a hot start in April and May. With the best record in the American League to this point, the Royals express has rolled through the summer and over most of the competition.

  The Houston Astros, who lost over one hundred games each year from 2011 through 2013, also began the season on a high note and are currently in first place in their division. As the season began the Tigers and Angels were favored to win their respective divisions. The good times experienced out of the gate were not expected to last for the Royals or the formerly-known-as Colt-45's in Houston.

   So much for conventional wisdom.

   On top of that, changing the wild card to a one-game playoff re-established the importance of winning a division, making it almost as significant as it was before the wild card was added for the 1995 season. Consequently, more teams than usual were buyers at the July 31st trading deadline, which resulted in one of the more frenzied trading deadlines in years. 

   The Mets and the Blue Jays, two teams whose fans were growing tired of hearing about the "prospects on the farm" and the "good years to come", benefitted the most at the trading deadline. They aggressively filled their needs and have been two of the best teams in baseball since late July. A New York-Toronto World Series is not out of the question, something that was unfathomable coming out of spring training, let alone in early June.

  With the revitalized Pirates and Cubs in second and third place in their division, despite each team having a record that would put them in first place in every other division in the league as they chase the first place Cardinals, September is shaping up as one of the more fascinating ending months to a season in decades.

   Hold on to your hats baseball fans! All 162 games look as if they are going to mean something. 

   Enjoy the ride!

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