The Stupid Things You Didn't Get A Chance To Read

LOS ANGELES, CA - Matt Kemp #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after striking out swinging against the San Francisco Giants during the third inning at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

This is a bit of a thought exercise, and it comes to a very meaningful conclusion at the end. The premise is simple: What if there were no April? What if the first month of the season didn't exist? What small samples would we be overreacting to, and what sorts of things would you be reading?

The method I used was an elaborate one, using SQL to build a database from scratch, and importing algorithms designed by … okay, fine, I just looked at April/May splits. But you get the idea.

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Sample headline from today if April didn't exist:

Marlins Building Dynasty

Sample text:

… the Miami Marlins are 16-5 and threatening to run away from the NL East. The guard has changed, and there wasn't even a ceremony for it, unless you count the (tk stupid attempt at humor based on home-run feature that we're already used to). Carlos Zambrano has a 0.90 ERA in four starts. One extra base hit in 115 plate appearances. It was a low liner. The question before the season: Could he be a viable fifth starter? The question now: What if he's as good as the old Carlos Zambrano?

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Sample headline from today if April didn't exist:

Dodgers Succeeding Despite No-show From Matt Kemp

Sample text:

Yes, the Dodgers are 14-6 to start the year. Yes, they're off to a great start. But they have to be concerned with Matt Kemp. The (shoulda been) MVP hit .262/.271/.400 with two walks and 26 strikeouts in 65 spring at-bats. No problem, right? It's just spring! Except Kemp started this season hitting .212/.341/.303 -- the walks are back, but the power is completely gone. And to make matters worse, he's hurt. After just a single and a double in 41 trips to the plate, he's on the disabled list. It's too soon to say they're regretting the huge extension, but not too early to think the new owners are just a little nervous.

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Sample headline from today if April didn't exist:

Cardinals In Post-Series Fugue

Sample text:

… repeating is incredibly difficult. It's even worse when you lose your best player, even if he's struggling with his new team. Carlos Beltran has been a godsend, but he's (of course) dealing with achy knees.

The Cards probably shouldn't be 10-11 -- they've outscored their opponents, after all -- but they've allowed the second-most runs in National League to start the year. The pitching has been disappointing, especially the starters, who have a 4.54 ERA over the first 21 games. Whatever magic Kyle Lohse had last year is gone, as opposing batters are hitting .358 off the intrepid righty. Chris Carpenter can't come back soon enough.

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Sample headline from today if April didn't exist:

Royals Making Things Interesting

Sample text:

… high on bathtub meth, but it turns out those predictions might not be so off. The Royals are 11-10, 1.5 games back from an AL Central that no one wants to take. Sure, it's early, but the pitching hasn't been that bad -- the 4.67 ERA from the starters isn't that bad, but the 7.4 K/9 and 2.36 K/BB ratios auger well for the future. And the bullpen has been fantastic. What happens when the young hitters like Eric Hosmer start hitting?

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Sample headline from today if April didn't exist:

A's Surprising, Rangers Scuffling

Sample text:

… even with the loss, the A's have a half-game lead over the Angels in the AL West. This was supposed to be a two-team race between the Angels and the Rangers, but Texas is a game under .500, and they have to be worried about Mike Napoli. They probably weren't expecting him to be Mike Piazza again, but they certainly expected him to slug better than .290. His BABIP is .317, so don't look for answers there.

And this is happening with Josh Hamilton going berserk on the American League. He's hitting .352/.417/.775, which is clearly unsustainable. What happens when he isn't hitting like that? If things don't turn around, it could be a long, disappointing season for the Rangers.

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Sample headline from today if April didn't exist:

oh god the yankees

Sample text:

nine wins. twelve losses. last place. last place. desolate landscape and scorched earth. food doesn't taste the same. solution: tell joe girardi that there's going to be a press conference to announce that the yankees traded for cole hamels. when he is sitting down at the press conference, announce that joe girardi has been fired and turn the mic over to him. set an example. leave the press conference with hand in the air, middle finger exposed. search for a new manager. get some ammunition for the cellar. sleep in the cellar until everything gets better

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Sample headline from today if April didn't exist:

What's Going On With Pujols?

Sample text:

Albert Pujols is hitting .207/.241/.366 this month, which is … wait, this is happening in real life too. He was terrible in April and now he's terrible in May. This is really happening. There's no way to spin it. And, wait, the Orioles are 14-7 in May? They're even better than they were in April? It's cold in here. I don't like this gray box. Let me out. I can hear someone breathing in here. I don't like this idea any more. Let me out. LET ME OUT.

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The point is that in the first month, nothing is dumber than baseball writers and the stuff they write about. There's nothing to write about except for small samples, and everyone is making too much of everything. Including me. Especially me. But you already read that stuff, and now you can't unread it! Ha ha ha ha, sucker. And now you just read this, which is just as bad! Man, we're all awful.

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