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Apocalypse, like, now

Not to bring everyone's weekend to a screeching halt here, but it's Sunday night and, being the generally upbeat sort I am, my thoughts have naturally turned to the End Of Time As We Know It.

(I know, I know. I'm a laff riot at parties).

Anyway, I see signs that the EOTAWKI is not all that far off, and not because of that whole Mayan calendar business. Let me count a few other ways:

1. My Pittsburgh Pirates (The Farm Team To The Stars) are behaving like a real boy, Pinocchio. They're 11 games over .500 going to the All-Star break, they lead the NL Central, and their 48-37 record is the second best in the National League.

Even more alarming: I'm starting to actually believe this isn't a heat-induced mirage.

2. In addition to the Buccos, the Washington Nationals have the best record in the National League, the Baltimore Orioles (the Baltimore Orioles!) are second in the American League East, and the Royals are not in last place in their division -- but the Phillies are.

Yikes.

3. It's mid-summer and Jeff Gordon has vanished from the NASCAR radar for the first time since he was 23 years old and wearing that cheesy porn-star moustache.

After the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona, where he finished 12th, he's 17th in the Sprint Cup points, 191 behind leader Matt Kenseth.

Even more alarming: I'm starting to get the feeling this isn't some weird hitch in his get-along. I'm starting to think his time is past.

As is ours, apparently.

Ben Smith's blog.

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