The unwritten rules of baseball clearly state that statistics and the standings can't be taken seriously until late in the season - August is too early for some - but that seems silly.
A sport that runs from April through October cannot merely be taken seriously the last few months. So take a peek at the standings today and you'll see the Seattle Mariners are a half game back in the American League West.
Not a half game back of third place. First place - where the Angels and Rangers sit tied. If the Mariners beat another first place team, the New York Yankees, they could be sitting atop the division.
Meaningful? Perhaps not in the grand scheme of a 162-game season. But for a team that found itself seven games back in the standings on April 24, the climb to .500 and contention is heady stuff, considering it required just over a month to accomplish.
Never miss a local story.
Tonight, Felix Hernandez takes the mound looking for his sixth win. In the bullpen, having survived his week in hell - three blown saves, three losses in the span of five games - Brendan League now finds himself tied for the AL lead with 13 saves.
This from a man with 12 career saves in parts of six big-league seasons before the year began.
League, like many of his teammates, could be the poster boy for the 2011 Mariners, a team that is learning on the fly. When he had his terrible week, League turned not just to teammates and coaches but to his two daughters, both too young to know he'd had a tough night.
"They don't even know I play baseball," he said.
It's about time some folks in Seattle began realizing their team is playiing the game, too, and doing so in an entertaining if not always winning manner. Tonight and tomorrow, against New York, more than 15,000 tickets still remain.
Sunshine, Felix pitching, Yankees? Not a bad night to make a late run to a ball game.