In baseball, a day doesn't go by without a new story, narrative, ascending club or major injury to dominate the news cycle. It's easy to get lost in day-to-day headlines on the long, winding path of the 162-game season.
When taking a step back, however, the most interesting performances and images can emerge from a season that's barreling toward the summer months.
The full story of the 2014 season still hasn't been written, but characters are emerging, and subplots have taken shape.
When this column series began six 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.
One month ago, Pujols' 500th homer, Troy Tulowitzki's special talent and Cliff Lee's path to Cooperstown took center stage. Three weeks ago, it was time for an appreciation of Oakland's AL West dominance, Francisco Rodriguez's revival and Jayson Werth's value.
With eight weeks of baseball to chew on, baseball fans have had a sizable sample of success, failure and intrigue to dissect thus far.
Here are the biggest takeaways from the first eight 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 24. All contract figures courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts. Roster projections via MLB Depth Charts.