Lopez, Beltre off to flying starts

Some of the players ranked in the top ten in OPS are simply imposters who will not survive the test of time.

Updated: April 13, 2004, 10:46 AM ET
By Jim Baker | MLB Insider
In baseball, it is extremely hard not to accept what you see today as an indicator of the way things will be tomorrow. A 5-1 start by the Tigers? Clearly they are going to pull off the greatest turnaround in the history of the sport and carry the division. A 1-5 opening by the Mariners? It's hopeless. They might as well have a fire sale and see what they can get for their core players. Fans and media alike have to respond to what is going on at the moment. After all, that is the nature of news. Nobody is going to want to read a story that has this as its headline:

LOCALS WILL REGRESS TO MEAN BY MEMORIAL DAY

It's just not going to sell papers. Instead, when you peruse the MLB Insider site lines, you're going to see stories about sophomore slumps, breakouts seasons, new attitudes, new approaches working wonders, dramatic downturns and miracle turnarounds. In a few cases, some of these early results are actually indications of things to come. In most, though, they will not stand the heat of late spring and summer and will be completely forgotten by the first frost of autumn.

Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at bottlebat@gmail.com.

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