It's a marathon, not a sprint

Two homers in the season opener is a great start if you have Albert Pujols.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Play Ball! On Sunday the season opened with an exciting matchup between two rivals - Boston and the New York Yankees. Yesterday the remainder of the league opened up play (except for the Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays).

And there were some interesting statistics from those first two days. Albert Pujols did what Albert Pujols does...hit the ball really hard. Two homers in the season opener is a great start if you chose Pujols with the No.1 pick. Of course, he's not going to hit 324 homers this season, nor is Garrett Jones who also homered twice yesterday, so take a deep breath and try to look at them realistically.

Look realistically at Placido Polanco as well. Be happy that he hit you a homer and knocked in a career-high six runs, but know that at the end of the year, he'll likely have around 65 RBIs and score about 80 runs.

The same goes for that superstar rookie - Atlanta Braves outfielder Jason Heyward. Yes, he homered in his first game and knocked in four runs, but there will still be plenty of 0-for-4 days in his future, bright as it may be.

All I'm trying to tell you is that it's a long season and to watch more than the first week's action before doing anything drastic. Hitting streaks look better than they actually are when they come in the first week and slumps look particularly ugly in the first week.

Remember how C.C. Sabathia started his 2008 season with the Indians? He was 0-3 after his first four starts with an ERA of 13.50 and a WHIP of 2.56. We all know how it ended too. He was traded to Milwaukee, pitched as well as anyone in either league and finished 17-10 with an ERA of 2.70 and a WHIP of 1.115.

Things can go the opposite way as well.

Last year Colorado Rockies outfielder Brad Hawpe was chosen for his first All- Star game after hitting .320 with 14 HR and 59 RBI before the break. He stumbled in the second half, batting just .240 with 9 HR and 27 RBI over the final 65 games.

So beware of overanalyzing the first couple of games. Remember, there are 26 weeks and 162 games in a baseball season and your league's fantasy trophy isn't awarded until all of them have been played.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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