Many baseball experts have been astounded by the incredible starts that many players have had to the 2008 season. "Unprecedented," "historic," and "awe-inspiring" are just some of the terms that have spilled forth from internet columns in the days following the opening of the season. A scout from the Colorado Rockies tried to put the season so far in perspective:
"The 2008 MLB season is well on it's way to becoming the most historic and memorable season ever played. Just look at the pace some of the players have set. There are hundreds of players already making a run at Joe Dimaggio's consecutive games with a hit streak. And we're just getting started!"
With the greuling baseball season ahead, numerous sportswriters have begun putting forth their opinions on who should win the coveted Major League Postseason awards. The first predictions came from Peter Gammons who wrote in his column:
"The early favorite for AL MVP has to be Jim Thome. After all, he is on pace for 324 home runs this year which will certainly shatter the record of 73 set by Barry Bonds."
Other writers were quick to point out that Peter Gammons is jumping the gun. Said ESPN's Buster Olney.
"Gammons just doesn't get it. You can't overlook Franklin Gutierrez who is on pace to hit 1.000 and become the first person to crack .400 since Ted Williams."
Gammons other favorites included:
NL MVP: Kosuke Fukudome (batting 1.000 and may reach 486 RBI and 162 Homeruns if he can keep this up)
NL Cy Young: Jake Peavy (who has yet to allow a single run despite starting every game for his team. May be first pitcher to win 162 games in a season.)
AL CY Young: Rich Harden (an incredible 9 strikeouts in every Athletics game so far puts him in position to reach 1,458 K's for the season. Many expect him to break Nolan Ryan's career strikeout record as soon as 2011.)
There is, a downside to the season.
The Detroit Tigers are well on their way to a 0-162 season that would place them as the worst team of all time. Though the team began with so much hope, it has all quickly unraveled, leaving them in last place in their division. Management is considering sending Placido Polanco to the minors until he can pull out of his slump that has him hitless in Major League Games since October of 2007. Said Polanco:
"It's tough. I know I'm hurting the team with how bad I'm playing. I'm well aware that getting 0 hits in 600 at bats will definitely hurt our chances of going to the playoffs. So whatever management decides is ok."
In Chicago, Cubs fans have already resigned themselves to another season without winning the World Series. Long time Cubs fan I.P. Freely had this to say:
"Geez, another year of disappointment. Only one game in and we're behind the Pirates in the standings. There's obviously no hope of us winning a single game this year. Oh well, at least I don't root for the Knicks."