It is the last day of baseball's regular season.
Roughly 40% of the games being played have some sort of meaningful implication for the playoffs - who gets in, who doesn't, will there be tiebreakers, who gets home field advantage.
There is a very real chance that the AL West and the AL Wild Card scenarios will result in some sort of tie, necessitating extra sudden-death baseball before the playoffs even start. Playoffs to get into the playoffs, as it were.
And all this after 162 games - surely long enough for the wheat to separate itself from the chaff, yes? And after the NL races were all essentially decided long ago, thanks to the magnificent implosion of the Washington Nationals and the San Francisco Giants remembering this was an odd-numbered year.
This, then, is a big part of why I love baseball. In a world of Red Zones and weekly fantasy leagues (where there's never any need to strategize or try to improve, and the only penalty for failure is the vacuuming of your wallet), it's a genuine pleasure to see storylines that take a while to develop. To see consequences of decisions, and to see teams - and players - able to adjust and rebound, or to overreach and fall. To, in short, provide actual, fascinating narrative, rather than the false narratives that sports so often get jammed into, instead of just a hot take hot shot of NOW NOW NOW adrenaline.
This probably cements me as a cranky old man. But I'm okay with that.
And I'm hoping there's more baseball tomorrow.