It’s a big number in baseball.
If you’re at it, you’re looking to scratch and claw your way as far over it as possible. Every game is precious and it the higher you climb, the more special the spoils. If you’re below, well, you’re trying to get back to it. It’s the point where everyone can take a look around and feel like you’re finally going places.
Teams generally start really climbing or really falling over .500 by the end of June. July, August, September… that’s when all the over .500 teams start jockeying for playoff positions.
But what do you do with the team that refuses to fall below .500, but also refuses to keep themselves from coming back to it?
The St. Louis Cardinals are 34-34. They haven’t been below .500 in 2012. Since May, they haven’t been 5 games over .500 either. They’re refusing to get too hot or too cold. They’re just kind of existing.
Maybe you’re like me and a little less excited for baseball in 2012 after the miracle run in the postseason last fall. And maybe, like me, you thought that was from fatigue, a shorter off-season or the lack of drama that games in mid-summer generally produce compared to October.
But the more I think about it, I’m probably nonplussed about this team because they’re just there. Not overly good. Not particularly bad. But kind of living in this odd space where you can’t get emotional about them either in a positive or negative way. I’ve wanted to bash them several nights (and they’ve deserved it, too) but the next 2 games they win. I want to get fired up about those two wins, then they lose the next two.
Rise, lather, repeat.
So here we are. 68 games down and no more in tune with what this team is or isn’t’ than we were on day 1.
It’s time for the Cardinals to make a move up OR down so we can do something with this team we haven’t done since October.