As we near the All-Star Break, it is time to remember that, according to the Mayans, this is the last MLB season we will see, as the world as we know it is due to end this December. After all, the Mayans are well-known for their predicting knowledge. As noted comedian-newsman Jon Stewart once pointed out: They have never been wrong in predicting civilization-ending events.
Well, except once. They totally didn’t see Cortez coming.
Now, never mind that technically the change in the Mayan calendar is not that different from the change of how we move from December 31 to January 1, or that there is little to no evidence that they were predicting anything other than the end of one cycle of their calendar happening. Clearly, by looking at what has happened in the first half of the baseball season, we can see that, truly, the end is near. We’re talking real Old Testament stuff: fire and brimstone, 40 years of darkness, earthquakes, volcanoes, the dead rising from the grave, and cats and dogs living together. As the esteemed Dr. Peter Venkman points out, that is what can be classified as MASS HYSTERIA!
(after the jump)
Sign number one the Mayans are right: The Orioles and Pirates.
According to the Ancient Norse, the end of the world will come when the gods go to war, leading to the death of Odin, Loki, Thor and some of your other favorite characters from Marvel Comics movie adaptations.
If the first half is anything to go by, we may be potentially headed for a similar world-ending event: a third Orioles-Pirates World Series. It’ll have much less disco but far more doomsday, as nobody, including the mothers, wives and children of the people on those teams, expected that either of them would be in the playoff hunt come the All-Star break. And yet, here they are. What’s more, the Orioles were in first place for awhile and the Pirates still are! Of course, they’ve both had good starts in the past that they then squandered, and most analysts believe that the Orioles especially have had their success more because of a overachieving bullpen and the heroics of Adam Jones than actually being a good team. So I guess we will see. Just remember: if they both are still in the race come September, prepare for the worst and stock up on food, water, and AA batteries.
Sign number two the Mayans are right: The Phillies are in last.
One hypothesis for the end of the universe is that eventually it will simply tear and rip itself apart as it expands. It’s called the Big Rip theory.
Similarly, The beginning of the end of the 2012 Phillies came at the end of the end of the 2011 Phillies, as Ryan Howard tore his achilles tendon, putting him out for the first half of this season. It was a rip worthy of the Big Rip, as it basically destroyed the universe of Philadelphia hitting. Injuries by Chase Utley and Roy Halladay haven’t helped either. Cliff Lee went almost the entire first half without a win, not because he wasn’t good, but because he basically had no run support whatsoever.
Can the Phillies recover? Well, with the pitching staff they still have, anything is possible. But that leads to another sign of the apocalypse…
Sign number three: The Mets are good.
The New York Mets. Their first title came due to a miracle, possibly involving the moon landing (because if man could walk on the moon, anything was possible). Their second required the opposing team to be under a curse. At all other points in their history, they have been either really, really bad or frustratingly close to victory followed by falling on their faces.
But behind the knuckleball of R.A. Dickey and the how-the-hell-is-this-guy-not-starting-the-ASG talent of David Wright, the Mets are in second place in the NL East. Hell, they even had Johan Santana throw a no-hitter. A Metropolitan throwing a no-no would in itself be a sign that the end days are upon us.
If the season ended this very moment, they’d be facing the Giants for the Wild Card entry into the playoffs. Now, if such a thing were to happen, the Mets would, as the Mets tend to do, probably end up falling on their faces. Heck, they’d probably end up getting no-hit by Matt Cain or merely embarrassed by Madison Bumgarner. Although they wouldn’t have to worry about Tim Lincecum, because…
Sign number four: The Freak is messed up.
Tim Lincecum has received Cy Young votes in the last four seasons. He won’t this season. He is currently 3-9, with a hideous 6.08 ERA. He’s still striking out a lot of guys- he’s third in the NL in Ks per 9 innings, but when the batters have been putting the ball in play, it’s gotten ugly. He’s given up 63 earned runs this season. By contrast, he gave up 66 last year… the whole season. In 2009, he gave up 62 earned runs… the whole year.
In other words, it’s only been half a season, and this is already the Freak’s worst season ever.
Sign number five: Jamie Moyer may be done.
In several cultures, there are tales of immortal men who are doomed to walk the world until Judgment Day. If, indeed, the end is near, we can be sure that the baseball version of that was Jamie Moyer, who has been released by the Blue Jays. After all, if Jamie Moyer doesn’t catch on anywhere, it’ll be the first time since the early 1980s that a healthy Moyer won’t be playing professional baseball.
I mean, really, we have no idea what will happen without him. When he made his MLB debut, there were only 26 teams. Do we know if the world can support 30 teams without Jamie Moyer? Can reality support 30 MLB teams without Jamie Moyer playing professional baseball? We have no idea. And that’s scary. It’s like if The Simpsons were cancelled or they stopped making James Bond movies: the world would probably keep spinning, but would anybody really want it to?
Thankfully, though, there is hope for mankind. Because, for all that baseball is indicating to us that the end is fast approaching, it also has given us perhaps the most definitive proof that it isn’t, and that the claims of Mayan doomsday are overblown hype created to sell books and movies.
That proof that the Mayans are wrong, and that the world will go on, is, of course, that the Cubs stink.
And I do mean stink. They really stink. The Rockies may have the same .378 winning percentage, but they don’t match the crumminess of the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs are second to last in the NL in runs scored, last in the NL in OPS+ (on-base percentage and slugging percentage then adjusted for the positive or negative effects of their ballpark) and third-worst in the NL in total bases and ERA. They are 12-31 on the road (only the Astros are worse) and 15 games back of the Pirates. The chances of the Cubs winning the World Series in 2012 and thus ensuring the apocalypse are so low that the only way you are going to see it is if you look up that PlayStation commercial on Youtube. However, they do still have a outside chance of winning in 2015.
So, basically, carry on, citizens. The world isn’t ending.