We’re in the dog days of summer for baseball. As many are taking summer vacations during this time of year to escape the dreadful August heat and take some time away from the office and switch things up, there are so many different emotions one takes when on a trip, much like where each team stands during this awkward post-deadline stretch before your hot streak before the postseason matters. Each team is in their own different phase of a vacation- let’s see what phase some of the contenders are on and get a vibes check.
Houston Astros- Stuck in the airport for several hours waiting for their flight to leave
The Astros are seasoned. They’ve been here before. They know that when they’re healthy and rolling come the final stretch of September and into the postseason, they’re one of the toughest teams to beat. It’s a slog of a 162-game season, and these are the dog days. They’re on their phone sitting on the floor in their terminal knowing that what ACTUALLY is going to be important and fun is approaching, but it sure does take a while to get there.
While they did make moves to improve their roster in the now at the deadline by grabbing Trey Mancini, Will Smith, and Christian Vasquez, they’re in no rush to be in win-now mode playing in as tough of a division as they are- and they’re still winning! Dusty Baker is just quarantining watching Bob Marley documentaries without a care in the world, and they have a roster so deep that they can rest their stars regularly. Their rotation is only deeper now with Lance McCullers Jr. returning. They’re an embarrassment of riches that haven’t even gotten their thrill of the trip yet.
New York Mets- Their first time at the beach ever
For the first time in what feels like forever, the Mets are… having fun? Recently, the Mets have
borne the burden of being one of the most embarrassing, seemingly cursed franchises of recent memory with a tyranny of an ownership group and abysmal luck. Right now, they have Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer healthy and dominant in their returns from injury, Daniel Vogelbach, their trade acquisition that is a beefcake of a man is walking up to the song “My Milkshakes Bring all the Boys to the Yard,” and the best closer in baseball Edwin Diaz, who incredibly averages around 2 strikeouts per inning, has the most absurdly fun entrance music that has become a complete sensation that gets Citi Field bouncing with energy. After taking a critical series post-deadline against the Braves to bolster the division lead and look like the favorites in the NL East, Mets fans don’t even know how to process this beauty- it’s like watching a child see the vast greatness of white sandy beaches and endless ocean for the first time in their lives.
New York Yankees- Have been in the car for too long
The Yankees need to get healthy, get their vibes right, and get to October before things can get any worse at this point. After one of the most-impressive starts ever in the first half, with Aaron Judge still on-pace to pass Roger Maris’s home run record, leading the league in pitching statistics, and even MATT CARPENTER looking like Babe Ruth in his limited appearances, they’ve hit a rough patch with a slew of injuries to Giancarlo Stanton, Mike King, and Luis Severino, a 22-25 stretch after the All Star Break, and losses that just feel back-blowing, they’re truly suffering from the dog days after their hot start was proven to be unsustainable. The excitement of the vacation on this road trip has worn off- they’re in the phase of being sick of their close-quartered family members and just need to get to the destination before they try to murder each other.
San Diego Padres- Had their credit card stolen while at a resort
Everything was blissful in Slam Diego- they made the most splashes of any team at the trade deadline! They got Juan Soto, Josh Bell, Josh Hader, and Brandon Drury at the deadline! AND Fernando Tatis Jr., who was the face of baseball and one of the most-exciting players in the league when healthy, was on pace to begin his rehab assignment and come back!
And then Tatis Jr. got popped with an 80-game PED suspension right after they got swept by the Dodgers. The pipe dream of what felt like paradise- the dream pairing of Machado, Soto, and Tatis this postseason is suddenly in shambles.
Machado said they won without him following the suspension, and they have- they’re still 2 games ahead of Milwaukee for that final wild card spot in the NL, but that news was completely deflating. That’s dad having to make phone calls to the bank when he just wants to be in a Hawaiian shirt with the family.
Los Angeles Dodgers- Permanent Residency in Disneyland
Yeah. They’re still in paradise.
They’re on a 30-5 stretch while accumulating superstars, developing young talent at every level, and STILL look like the team to beat in the NL. Joey Gallo is struggling in New York? He goes to LA and he’s already got a homer and a double in his few appearances during this 11-game win streak. Dustin May, Walker Buehler, or Clayton Kershaw go down? Suddenly Tony Gonsolin, Julio Urias, and Tyler Anderson are their ERA leaders, all having sub-3.00 statlines. The Padres make the biggest splashes of the trade deadline to come for the NL West crown? Sit down and get swept.
Every day is a ride on the Rise of the Resistance Ride or Splash Mountain. Every day is spent on the west coast in the “happiest place on earth.” We’ll see if that happiness can get carried over into October, but winning is something one never gets sick of.