The first week of baseball is officially over and with the excitement of opening day winding down teams are looking to start getting serious on taking the top spots in the division. Although the competition has started up, some interesting events have taken place already through the first week.
Instant replays for the umpires and managers is the first biggest difference in this season from last season. According to ESPN, in just the first week of baseball this year, 31 plays have been challenged using instant replays and 18 of those have been over turned. Easily a huge tool is being used. My guess is that once the “new factor” of this tool wears off, managers will start to use it less. Also as the managers are getting used to it, so are the umpires. The umpires will start to make more sound decisions that may not require a challenge from managers.
Teams that had horrific seasons last year are starting out this season on fire. The team that sticks out in my mind is the Miami Marlins. The last couple seasons for the Marlins have been ones to forget, but after the first week they have in first place for the division. Whether or not this success stays with the team is another story, but winning is always great to see in the state of Florida.
The St. Louis Cardinals, a preseason pick b many analysts to win the World Series, have started out the season battling several division rivals. The National League Central looks to be one of the hardest divisions in the entire league with power house teams in Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and of course, St. Louis.