The Marlins face even more urgency because their entire business plan is imperiled in the next month or so. Miami counted on putting a winning team into a splashy ballpark to create a loyal fan base. But the Marlins have an ominous run differential (--58) and a lousy record against teams .500 or better (20--34). The pressure is on to play well quickly: Dolphins training camp opens July 27.
Finally, if you thought the final night of the regular season last year was wild, get ready for triple the drama. Thanks to a second wild card in each league, which makes for more-crowded races and a greater possibility of tiebreakers, baseball will get three consecutive nights of win-or-go-home games on Oct. 3--5: the last night of the regular season, at least one regular-season tiebreaker game and two wild-card knockout games. October Madness? Now that's a whole new ball game.