Ahh, the first week of baseball. It couldn't have come soon enough. But if you were busier than hell (like me), maybe this is all you really missed:
• Jim Thome played against the Cleveland Indians for the first time. Our own Craig Lyndall laments on his loss in a short but painful list of departed sluggers.
• Chris Shelton got off to kind of a hot start.
• Our first complete game shutout of the season came from Tampa Bay, of all places, by the arm of 6'9" lefty Mark Hendrickson.
• Victor Lana had one hell of an Opening Day despite all the steroid talk.
• Jose Guillen doesn't like getting hit by pitches. He'll point at you with his bat.
• Mariano Rivera and Billy Wagner — both closers in New York — come out of the bullpen to the tune "Enter Sandman." Supposedly, this town ain't big enough for two Metallica fans.
• And "Doctor (Doctor!) / Mister M.D. (Sandwasher!) / Went to see / A game in Cincy"
And now for a feature I'll try to bring you each week. The players who were hot, hot, hot the past week, from hitters to pitchers.
The Nine Most Wanted:
C: Ramon Hernandez, Orioles: 11-for-16 (.688), 0 HR, 6 RBI, .700 OBP
1B: Chris Shelton, Tigers: 14-for-24 (.583), 5 HR, 9 RBI, 7 R, 1.458 SLG
2B: Ryan Freel, Reds: 6-for-11 (.545), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 8 R .706 OBP, 5 SB
SS: Edgar Renteria, Braves: 12-for-31 (.387), 1 HR, 10 RBI, 7 R
3B: David Wright, Mets: 9-for-19 (.474), 2 HR, 9 RBI, .895 SLG
LF: Carlos Lee, Brewers: 7-for-19 (.368), 2 HR, 5 RBI, .520 OBP, .789 SLG
CF: Andruw Jones, Braves: 9-for-29 (.310), 2 HR, 12 RBI, 7 R
RF: Xavier Nady, Mets: 9-for-19 (.474), 1 HR, 2 RBI, .789 SLG
DH: Travis Hafner, Indians: 9-for-23 (.391), 4 HR, 6 RBI, 8 R, .957 SLG