Throughout the postseason, Robert O'Connell will contribute brief sketches of brief moments from the last few games of 2014. Some of these moments will be important, many of them will not be, but only one (probably) will involve a man nicknamed Country Breakfast attempting to steal second base.
One year ago, in an otherwise unimportant game, a small drama played out between Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Dempster and baseball's stuffier storytelling instincts. The familiar PED hysteria was there. The difference, this time, was how it made the story so much more interesting.
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.