OpinionMay 13, 2008

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Cleat Marks #8

By Madison Jones

We’re one-fourth of the way into the season and everything is starting to shake out and be more clear. As any year, there are some good surprises, and some bad ones. How are those surprises affecting your fantasy teams? If you picked right, you’re probably sitting high in the standings of your league, if they were wrong, you may be thinking about next season already. Let’s take a general look around the horn.

We’ll start with the chase for a winning season, meaning winning more games than losing in order to have a record over .500, and I’m only going to mention the notable things. The Tampa Bay Rays are currently sitting six games above five hundred ball for the first time in franchise history. What appeared to be a powerhouse in Detroit is sitting just the opposite, at six games under. The Yankees are a game under, which actually isn’t so bad given the multitude of injuries they’ve had already this season. So much for the fire sale in Oakland huh? Seven games over the mark and sitting in first place as I write this. Same can be said for the Marlins, as they are eight games over and sitting in first as well. It’s still early of course, but it has been one very interesting season so far.

So let’s talk players. How are your projections looking? Did you hit the mark, or did you bust badly? Myself, I hit the pitching side well enough to make me happy (Shaun Marcum and Troy Percival have been nice), but I absolutely bombed when it came to picking out sleeper hitters this year (too many to list). I’d kill to have drafted Chipper Jones and his .406 average, or Lance Berkman with his .393 average that also includes 13 home runs and 38 runs driven in. We all knew Josh Hamilton would hit well, but I figured he was a little too well liked and I wouldn’t draft him where he was going. Oops, he’s leading the majors with 43 runs driven in, and has 8 home runs as well. While I’m happy with my pitching choices, I still missed out on the biggest stories so far this year. One being Edinson Volquez’s 52 strikeouts and 1.06 ERA, and the other one being Cliff Lee’s insane 0.67 ERA in 53 innings and 6 wins. Brandon Webb winning 8 games already isn’t too surprising, we all know he’s good, but it is worth mentioning. If Tim Lincecum had an offense behind him to get him some wins, he could have been the story of the season so far. He’s sporting a 1.61 ERA and leading the majors in strikeouts with 53 of them.

Any stats, stories, or things stand out to you at this point in the season? Feel free to click the link in the box below this column and post them up for discussion!

Madison Jones is always lurking in the shadows of the Cafe. When he does venture into the forums, you can find him posting as Madison.
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