- Jim Caple, Senior Writer, ESPN.com
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Historically, the dog days run from July into August. And we baseball fans know they reach their peak when a sultry August doubleheader leaves us panting like Fido and willing to lap up a $10 beer out of a dog bowl.
In honor of this season's dog days, we've assigned each major league team a famous fictional pooch.
We start with the National League. We'll cut our canines on the American League on Friday.
Like Benji and Lassie, Jack is loyal and saved his master from a fire in the Academy Award-winning movie "The Artist." He also is silent, just like the Diamondbacks have been in recent years. (David Livingston/Getty Images.)
Fang is a large, fearsome-looking boarhound. But in the "Harry Potter" series, he rarely does anything other than lick and slobber all over everyone, then disappear in the end. Rockies fans know that feeling, although, fortunately, at least Tulo kisses baseballs goodbye. (Yves Forestier/Getty Images.)
Rin Tin Tin is strong, powerful and, like the Dodgers, comes complete with Hollywood A-list fame. Also like the Dodgers, he hasn't won anything meaningful in many, many years. (Getty Images.)
After 45 seasons and zero World Series championships, San Diego fans must feel as if they've been tossed off a bridge and forgotten like Baxter in "Anchorman." And until someone comes to their rescue by sweet-talking the big bad bears of their opponents, all they can do is continue to stay classy. (Cindy Ord/Getty Images.)
The Giants were Peanuts creator Charles Schulz's favorite team. But in half a century drawing the strip, Schulz made only one reference to a real-life Giants moment -- and that was Willie McCovey lining out to end the 1962 World Series. "WHY COULDN'T MCCOVEY HAVE HIT THE BALL JUST THREE FEET HIGHER!!!" Charlie Brown wailed. Like Barry Bonds, Snoopy challenged the career home record. Unlike Barry, though, Snoopy didn't break it because Charlie Brown ruined his bid by getting picked off base to end the final game of the season. (Hank Aaron fans might wish that had happened to Barry.) (ABC/Getty Images.)
Like Mr. Peabody in the "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" cartoons, Cubs President Theo Epstein is very smart and very creative. But to bring the Cubs a World Series championship, as he did in Boston, Theo probably needs to duplicate Mr. Peabody's WABAC machine and take Chicago back to 1908. (AP Photo/ DreamWorks Animation.)
C'mon. Could there be any other canine better to associate with the Big Red Machine than the Big Red Dog? (Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images.)
Scooby Doo started in 1969, the same year the Brewers began as the Seattle Pilots. And 45 years later, the Pilots/Brewers still haven't won a World Series -- even with Ryan Braun's version of Scooby Snacks. And we would have won it if it hadn't been for those meddling Cardinals! (North Shore Animal League America.)
In "The Little Rascals," Petey had a famous black ring around his eye, as did Pirates fans after two decades of being punched in the face by the rest of baseball. But finally, it looks as if Pittsburgh might soon be able to put a ring somewhere else. (AP Photo/Universal Studios/George Lang.)
Spuds MacKenzie was loved by fans, incredibly successful and a spokesdog for Anheuser-Busch. No animal is a better fit for the Cardinals, not even the Rally Squirrel. (AP Photo.)
Sometimes resourceful, sometimes distracted, Tintin's ever-loyal dog Snowy occasionally rescues his master from life-and-death jams -- and occasionally causes him other problems. Atlanta fans know this feeling well. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert.)
He's a dog, yet Pluto has a mouse for a master? Miami fans surely can identify with that sort of confusing, higgledy-piggledy relationship between their favorite team and their favorite team's ownership. (Disney Channel/Getty Images.)
Isis is a yellow lab who lives in the pampered lap of luxury of the Crawley family estate, Downton Abbey. She eats, sleeps, walks around, and is groomed and attended by the servants. She also does absolutely nothing productive with all the money coming her way. Kind of like the Mets. (Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images.)
Like Brian Griffin, the "Family Guy" dog, the Phillies hoped their success several years ago would lead to a long line of best-selling storylines. Now they are in last place despite one of the game's highest payrolls. Philly fans can only hope Baby Stewie goes back in time to 2008-09 to bring them back to life. (FOX/Getty Images.)
The Hound of the Baskervilles was believed to be a ferocious, supernatural hellhound. And yes, it was dangerous. But, as Sherlock Holmes discovered, it was simply a trained attack dog whose legend was massively overhyped. Much like Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg. (Culture Club/Getty Images.)
Here's a start on how we're going to survive baseball's dog days: We assigned a fictional pooch to each team in the National League.