The Oakland Athletics were baseball's best team through the first half of the season, and recently mortgaged their future to get better. If this seems strange, you've probably read Moneyball. It was a good book, but we'd all do well to forget about it in this case.
In what's already looking like a lost season for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Andrew McCutchen offers proof of another, brighter possibility, and a very different game.
The middle of the NBA, and the bottom of the playoff pack, is supposed to be the worst place to be. The Mavericks and Bulls seem not to care much, and have made doomed middle-class striving look downright dignified in the process.
As he approaches NBA maturity, Ricky Rubio is still one of the NBA's most inventive and dazzling passers. That, maddeningly and a little sadly, is still just about it.