Well, we've reached the two-week mark on the new baseball season and here's what's going on ...
BIGGEST SURPRISE (TEAM): Padres.
I'm not especially surprised that the Marlins, Mariners and Blue Jays lead their divisions. I predicted great improvement for the first two and the Jays have a lot of talent (as well as the misfortune of being in a stacked division). But the Padres? They made no secret that they were unloading salaries and playing for tomorrow. And yet here they are at 9-4. If they keep this up, they might be stuck keeping Jake Peavy, which would be a bummer for all the teams that want to get him at a bargain. Methinks they won't keep this up for too long, though.
BADDEST SURPRISE (TEAM): Phillies.
There are plenty of candidates here, including the Red Sox, Yankees, Indians, Angels and Diamondbacks. Those teams, however, aren't the defending champions. The Phils even have struggled to beat the Nationals and Padres. Jimmy Rollins is batting .152, Brad Lidge has a 9.45 ERA and Cole Hamels can't get anybody out.
BIGGEST SURPRISE (PLAYER): Aaron Hill, Blue Jays.
He's among AL leaders in batting, homers, RBIs and hits. And given that I had to look up what his first name was when I saw all of those stats, that's pretty surprising.
BADDEST SURPRISE (PLAYER): Geovany Soto, Cubs and Alexei Ramirez, White Sox.
One was the runaway winner of the NL Rookie of the Year; the other was the runner-up for AL rookie honors. And now look at them. One is batting .105 and has been outplayed by his backup; the other is hitting .125 - considerably below his weight, which isn't an easy accomplishment for a human stick figure.
BIGGEST NO-DUH! (TEAM): Brewers.
If you thought this club - lacking a closer, lousy in the field and ravaged by the departures of two All-Star pitchers - could contend, you must have eaten hallucinogenic cheese curds. They're 4-8 for a reason.
BIGGEST NO-DUH! (PLAYER): Milton Bradley, Cubs.
Hey! Look who's hurt! Hey! Look who's getting in trouble with umpires! Hey! Look who's been suspended! What a shocker.
TWO-WEEK MVP (AL): Miguel Cabrera, Tigers.
When you get a hit every other at-bat and carry a mediocre team to a 7-5 record, you must be pretty valuable.
TWO-WEEK MVP (NL): Ryan Ludwick, Cardinals.
It isn't easy to upstage Albert Pujols - and he's doing it.