The first third of the baseball season is just about in the books, and as I sometimes do when I can't sleep and my wife, daughter and dog have abandoned me for the holiday weekend, I was staring at statistics this morning.
A couple of things jumped out at me. First, not only is Tampa leading the American League East, but they are tied for the best record in baseball with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Simply amazing. The Cubs have scored the most runs in the league, 299, and are leading their division. Texas has allowed the most runs, and is somehow hovering at .500. Toronto is unbeatable during day games (12-1). Boston can't win on turf (2-10). The Braves are amazing at home (21-7) and horrible on the road (6-16). San Diego holds the dubious honor of being the most games out (12), a half game further from the division lead than the Mariners (11.5). Neither of those teams can be considered a has-not.
Josh Hamilton is two home runs and five points on his batting average away from the triple crown lead. He's also on pace to knock in about 160 runs. Chipper Jones is hitting .417 heading into June. Lance Berkman is hitting .385, and he's 32 points behind Jones, he's leading in the other two triple crown categories (16 HRs, 46 RBI). Berkman and Hamilton are on fire, this time last year A-Rod had 19 HR and 44 RBI.
The number one fantasy baseball team-killer so far has to be Victor Martinez. His batting average is OK (.297), but he has 16 RBI, he's scored 9 runs and he has yet to hit his first home run of the season. Travis Hafner isn't exactly lighting it up for the Tribe either (.217, 4 HR). You probably don't have to look much further to figure out why Cleveland is struggling at 23-27.
Many thought Johan Santana would love the move to the National League, and his home run total would nosedive playing in the cavernous Shea Stadium (not to mention facing a pitcher every 2 or 3 innings). Many thought wrong. Santana has allowed 11 bombs in 10 starts for the Mets.
That's all I've got. Enjoy your Memorial Day everyone. The Yanks are at Balitmore at 1:35, The Ras vs. Olson.