The road to a championship is never easy.
In my favorite sport of Major League Baseball, finding out who is going to win a title is months upon months away.
I was peering at the standings after Monday's action and a few things just popped out at me.
Aside from Texas in the American League West, which had a plus 58 runs differential, only five other teams had a positive differential in the Junior Circuit - the Cleveland Indians in the A.L. Central and all the teams in the A.L. East aside from last place Boston.
Minnesota was above and beyond the worst, not only having the worst record at the time of 7-21, but also being outscored by a combined 64 runs.
While the Pittsburgh Pirates are hoping to finally end that long string of non-winning seasons, early results for the Pirates are mixed at best.
The Buccos were just four games below .500 through their first 28 contests, but they actually have the worst offense in all of baseball at this point as evidenced by their 78 runs scored.
Not only is that number by far the worst in MLB, but the Twins with 95 runs scored were the second to worst through play on Monday.
The good news for Pittsburgh fans comes from the fact that only three other NL teams have allowed fewer runs than the Pirates.
Moving from baseball to another sport I like a lot, softball, today is a big day for prep programs across the Mountain State.
That's because the regional semifinal softball round is today as teams who earn victories are just one more triumph away from heading to Jackson Park and the state tournament.
Sure, there are a lot of familiar faces still left in the tournament from our area like defending Class AA state champion Ritchie County along with the likes of Magnolia, Class AAA Parkersburg South and Class A St. Marys.
Ritchie County and Magnolia could meet next week in New Martinsville for the regional title while both Gilmer County, which plays at St. Marys today, and Doddridge County are also still alive.
It wasn't very many years ago Doddridge County, which just claimed its first sectional crown in school history, had trouble winning any games at all. Now, the Bulldogs of head coach Carrie Curan and assistant Josh Leap will be playing in a Class A, Region II, semifinal at Clay-Battelle.
Returning first team all-state catcher Ashlie LaFalce sure hasn't done anything to lessen her chances of being a returning first team pick.
Aside from trailing teammate Lacy Perkins for the top batting average on the team - .506 to .459 - LaFalce has a team-best five home runs. She shares the team lead with Perkins in runs-batted-in at 38 and Perkins also has a slight edge on LaFalce in doubles with an 11-10 advantage.
Hard work sure can go a long way and hopefully at least a couple of our local teams will be representing the area in a couple of weeks in Vienna.
Contact Jay Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org