That is more important than ever now, because that "September to Remember" we told you about just one week ago is already proving us prescient. Just consider what already has unfolded around Major League Baseball -- highlighted by Anibal Sanchez's no-hitter Wednesday night for Florida -- and see how much you can observe just by watching:
Alex Rodriguez busts out of his 2-for-27 slump for the Yankees with two home runs in an important 8-1 rout of the Twins. It matters at Yankee Stadium, where manager Joe Torre has to urge his superstar to take a curtain call. On that same night, Tom Glavine returns to the mound for the Mets while Carlos Beltran answers his rude greeting in Houston by leading New York to a victory in what was being viewed as a potential playoff preview with the Wild Card-contending Astros.
Kevin Kouzmanoff had dominated two levels of Minor League pitching and was called up by the Indians for their Saturday game in Texas. He was so new he even asked a reporter to help him find the clubhouse. So what happens next? The kid swings at the first Major League pitch he sees and hits a grand slam. That same day, Barry Bonds hits the 728th long ball of his career. Who knows? Maybe Kouzmanoff will go on to hit 727 more of them -- the uncertainty and beauty of baseball.
Ryan Howard serves notice that a 60-homer season is possible, crushing three home runs in a Phillies victory that is assured only by Shane Victorino's ninth-inning walk-off single over the Braves. Fans who were able to flip from game to game with MLB.TV then watch Albert Pujols -- right there in the National League MVP race along with Howard -- hitting three homers as well in a 6-3 victory over Pittsburgh. A-Rod has his second two-homer game of the month already, and Bonds is being Bonds again with No. 729 overall.
Meanwhile, something happens on this Sunday that no one in Major League history ever has seen before. With Florida's 10-3 victory at Milwaukee, it marks the first time that a club has gone from 20 games under the .500 mark to reach .500 (68-68) during the same season.
"What our guys have accomplished to this point is special, but we have a chance to do something bigger," Marlins manager Joe Girardi said. "Playoffs."
Washington starter Ramon Ortiz takes a no-hitter into the ninth inning against the visiting Cardinals, but loses it when Aaron Miles bloops a single to right. Pujols follows with his 43rd homer of the year, but Washington holds on to win. That's the important thing to Reds fans, who are observing it all on Labor Day but watch their NL Central and Wild Card contenders fall to the Giants, who suddenly are one of the hottest teams in baseball and get career homer No. 730 from Bonds. In San Diego, the team leading that Wild Card race celebrates a three-run walk-off homer by Josh Barfield for a dazzling victory over the Rockies.
The Twins take a 1 1/2-game lead over the White Sox in the American League Wild Card race thanks to Chicago's 1-0 loss at Boston and a bona fide Cy Young statement by Johan Santana. He allows Tampa Bay only two hits over eight innings to improve to 8-0 since the All-Star break, shades of two summers ago.
Those are two of an incredible seven shutouts in the Majors on this day, the first time it's happened since June 4, 1972. Summer to remember, indeed. And fans could observe all of the shutouts by watching MLB.TV as long as they're out-of-market. But the ultimate shutout was about 24 hours away.
Sanchez started this season in Double-A, so he fits right in on this Marlins club that already has recorded the biggest historical footnote of the week. On this night, he ends MLB's longest drought of no-hitters since 1931-34 -- and the longest if you go by total MLB games played in this era of more teams -- by holding the Diamondbacks hitless in Florida. Marlins manager Joe Girardi, who earlier this season started more rookies in the same game than anyone in history, said his club was "too young" to know about superstitions and were loose in the dugout.
"Just carrying him off the field ... it was one of the most thrilling moments in baseball I've ever had," Marlins rookie Dan Uggla said.
"Thrilling" is the operative word here. We told you it would be a "September to Remember." You can observe a lot just by watching the rest of the way on MLB.TV.