Baseball's 162-game schedule allows for introspection and wide-ranging narratives, but the day-to-day news cycle looms for every team. With each injury, disabled list stint, minor league call-up or transaction, the state of the league can easily shift.
With few dominant or awful teams, the beauty of this season lies in the details. Every pitch of every at-bat matters. Therefore, it's instructive to review the season on a weekly basis.
When this column series began five 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.
Three weeks ago, Pujols' 500th homer, Troy Tulowitzki's special talent and Cliff Lee's path to Cooperstown took center stage. Two weeks ago, it was time for an appreciation of Oakland's AL West dominance, Francisco Rodriguez's revival and Jayson Werth's value.
Finally, last week highlighted Detroit's road to October, the red-hot Giants and Jose Bautista's talent.
Another week has come and gone, allowing baseball fans the chance to sit back, reflect and think about the first quarter of the 2014 campaign. Here are the biggest takeaways from the first seven weeks of the season.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs unless otherwise noted and are valid through the start of play on May 16. All contract figures courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts. Roster projections via MLB Depth Charts. Joe Girardi quote obtained firsthand.