The 2014 Major League Baseball season has reached the month of June, providing ample time for contenders to emerge, pretenders to disappear and a pecking order to become well established across the six divisions.
Yet things are never as clear as they seem. On a week-to-week basis, parity, injuries and sudden downturns in performance can change the narrative of the season on a dime. Luckily, we have weekly introspection to deliver perspective.
Since the second week of play, Bleacher Report has been providing weekly analysis, with a combination of short-term reaction and long-term outlook.
When this column series began eight 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.
Six weeks ago, Pujols' 500th homer, Troy Tulowitzki's special talent and Cliff Lee's path to Cooperstown took center stage. Five weeks ago, it was time for an appreciation of the Oakland Athletics' AL West dominance, Francisco Rodriguez's revival and Jayson Werth's value.
Finally, the last month highlighted the Detroit Tigers' road to October, the red-hot San Francisco Giants, Jose Bautista's talent, the parity evident around the sport, Edwin Encarnacion's power surge and a comprehensive take on two months of action.
Here are the biggest takeaways from the first 10 weeks of the 2014 MLB season.