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The Wild Card: The Freedom of Low Expectations

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Is celebrating a return to .500 three months into the season a bit sad? (Expletive) no!

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Since there is an off-day on Thursday, by the time you read this, the Diamondbacks will still be at .500 (I refuse to name any geological features in reference to that, because that is bad and if you make that reference you should feel bad.) They will also be tied for second place in the NL West with the Giants (They also have an off-day Thursday, I checked.) In a vacuum, these achievements are worthy of, at best, sarcastic applause. In context, however, Diamondbacks fans should damn well be thrilled about this, even if it's only fleeting.

This team, which spent most of the offseason and part of this season unloading payroll whenever they could, hovering around .500 is a damn miracle. It's especially nice when coupled with the fact that a team that is 4.5 games behind the Diamondbacks (they also have an off day, my schedule checking is on fleek.) spent most of their offseason acquiring all the shiny new things that they could possibly get their mitts (baseball term) on. That team are probably going to be sellers by the time the trade deadline comes around. That is very funny, you should laugh at them.

Also worthy of your derision is the aforementioned Giants. They're also at the window at the .500 DMV, but they're there because a cop pulled them over for expired tags while they were joyriding, not there because they were getting their driver's license after turning 16 like the Diamondbacks (See, other metaphors are possible.) Ours is a happy occasion, while for the Giants it's a disappointing trip that they didn't think they'd have to make.

(Of course, in that metaphor, the Giants are like a spoiled rich kid who has had all the success in the world handed to them and they don't think they deserve any adversity, so screw em.)

.500 shouldn't even have been a goal coming into the season, nor some benchmark to be reached. As said before, this season is about taking these randomly assembled parts and seeing what fits in the hypothetical future contending team, the record while trying to figure that out is fairly irrelevant. That being said, it's pretty damn fun to follow a team with at least vague aspirations of being good this season, so it's, to use a cliche, icing on the cake.

You wouldn't have been blamed for coming into this season with low expectations, W/L record wise, considering 2014 (I don't need to go into the details of that, do I?), so this is probably exciting to all but the most jaded Diamondback fan. There is a non-zero chance that the Diamondbacks could make a postseason push, especially considering how the standings have shaken out. Is it likely that it will actually happen, realistically? Probably not, but that vague hope makes games from this point forward more interesting than slogging through another summer with a terrible team. Even if, in the end, the Diamondbacks end up being kicked out of the .500 club for being too drunk and rowdy (SEE ANOTHER NON-PEAK RELATED METAPHOR, USE YOUR BRAINS PEOPLE!), this moment still happened, and if you were happy about it, you damn well deserved to be.

That's the fun of low expectations, if you have them, they can pay dividends down the road in emotional happiness.