An important day has arrived, baseball fans. With the 2014 Major League Baseball season graduating from April to May and five weeks of play in the books, it's officially time to stop using "small sample size" to justify or defend statistics, trends and narratives.
With each passing the day, results from 2013 matter less and early-season headlines become more debatable as we dissect what is happening on the field. Every pitch, inning and game gives us a clearer picture of those surprise teams and players.
When this column series began three weeks ago, rises from the Milwaukee Brewers, Masahiro Tanaka and Jose Abreu dominated the early-season takeaways. Before long, pitching dominance in Atlanta and Albert Pujols' return to form headlined the week. Last week, Pujols' 500th homer, Troy Tulowitzki's special talent and Cliff Lee's path to Cooperstown took center stage.
Another week of baseball provided more answers, talking points and storylines to watch. Here are the biggest takeaways from the first five weeks of the 2014 MLB season.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs unless otherwise noted, and are valid through the start of play on May 2. All contract figures courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts. Roster projections via MLB Depth Charts.