The Major League Baseball season is a long one to say the least. One hundred and sixty-two regular season games with not very many days off beginning the first week in April right on into September. Tack on the playoffs, for those fortunate enough to qualify, and the World Series, which now somehow ridiculously goes on into November, that makes for one marathon of a baseball calendar. In Professional Baseball, there’s a period of time known as “the dog days of summer”. This encompasses all of the hot, hazy days of July and August after the All Star break. The term “dog days” got it’s origin in ancient Greece correlating to the time of year when Sirius, also known as “the dog star”, was the most luminous and highest in the sky. It was claimed to be responsible for the heat of summer, and the Romans would sacrifice a dog to appease Sirius. The dog days are likely the most dreaded part of the schedule with so few days off, travel, time zones, heat, etc.
However, while those dog days may not be looked forward to, they are most certainly important. One reason is because division and pennant races can be won or lost during this time. Another is many teams come to the realization that they either have a legitimate chance to make the playoffs and vie for a World Series Championship, or they do not. At this point, sometime between the All Star game and the MLB trade deadline at the end of July, teams do one of three things: They become buyers, sellers, or stand pat. The clubs in contention for division and conference titles trade for players who they feel will strengthen a weakness they may have. For example, the Cleveland Indians, who lead the American League Central division by four and a half games over the Detroit Tigers and have the second best record currently in the American League, acquired highly acclaimed, lefty relief pitcher Andrew Miller to bolster their very average bullpen. With his ability to get both lefty and righty hitters out with regularity, Miller could be the difference maker the Indians needed to go far into the playoffs. Of course, the Indians gave up some talented prospects to get Miller. Yet, the Cleveland and all of the buyers are concerned with winning now. On the other hand, the team which the Indians received Miller from, the New York Yankees, are the sellers. After having already traded lefty closer Aroldis Chapman to the Chicago Cubs (buyers), losing a few games down in Tampa Bay (sellers), not playing particularly well as of late, and falling seven games behind in the tough American League East division, the Yankees decided to look toward the future and stockpile some talent for their minor league system with the Miller trade. The AL East leading Baltimore Orioles have decided to stand pat and not make any deals up to this point. They, along with all of the other Major League teams, have until 4pm today to beat the deadline. Who will go where? A little less than four hours remain. What do you think?Let’s see what transpires. That’s baseball!