By nature, baseball players tend to be brass-bound optimists. Tuned to the long haul, they keep their hitting shoes laced tight amid soul-killer losing streaks, try to ignore bad omens and play through pain. No single win ever gets them too high, and they take a couple of losses with the stoicism of battle-weary soldiers. The regular season, after all, spans six months and 162 games. A ball club with heart can reinvent itself half a dozen times; a good club can do it when it really counts -- in the crucial last weeks of the year, when every run looms large and the grounds crew tries to remember where it stored the red, white... More >>>