We hate to ruin your Monday with talk of philosophy, SportsNation, but have you noticed that fans in Pennsylvania are ensnared by a kind of Yin/Yang duality when it comes to baseball?
On the one hand, you've got the Phillies. World Series winners in 2008, the Phillies are blessed with a wide array of talented players. Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins form one of the best double-play combos in baseball, while Ryan Howard seems to be on pace for near-record numbers of home runs. Jayson Werth and Shane Victorino anchor the outfield, while Cole Hamels looks to have a long career leading Philadelphia's starting rotation. The team has won eight straight and 13 of their last 14 games. It's no surprise that they're atop the NL East as the second half kicks off. SportsNation has them winning the division easily.
On the other hand, behold the majesty of the Pittsburgh Pirates. They haven't won a World Series since 1979, which isn't a terribly long time to go without a championship, but their regular season record is most concerning. the team hasn't had a winning season since 1992, going through seven managers in that timeframe. They have seemingly finally realized the futility of their situation, and have begun selling off what few assets they have. Jason Bay was traded in 2008. Nate McLouth left earlier this season in a controversial deal. Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez (whom SportsNation touted as the Pirates' midseason MVP) rejected supposedly low-ball contract extensions, and may be traded shortly. Pirates fans have seen rebuilding plans fail before. Will this time be any different?