With Week 4 of Abes vs Babes in the books, let's take a closer look at what is developing into the most intriguing individual match-up of the competition - Andrew Johnson vs Penelope Cruz. Consider the unfolding of events around which their fates have intertwined:
> Before the season began, Andrew scoffed at the mere idea of a rivalry between the two, acting as if he were Kobe Bryant and Penelope were Raja Bell. It's easy to see why: In 2006, Andrew's top two pitchers (the DBacks' Randy Johnson and the Marlins' Josh Johnson) notched 29 wins, while his top hitter (the Nationals' Nick) had 28 HRs. Meanwhile, Penelope's top hitter (Jose Cruz, Jr) was coming off a career-worst 5-HR season, and she had but one pitcher to speak of (Juan Cruz), a middle reliever with all of 5 wins in '06. Advantage: Andrew.
> As the 2007 started started, all three aforementioned Johnsons started the season on the DL. And both aforementioned Cruzes got off to great starts. Advantage: Penelope
> As Week 4 started however, Andrew Johnson's brood started showing some life. Atlanta's Kelly Johnson batted 0.520 with 2 HR's during week 3. And not only was Randy scheduled to start for the first time all season, but Juan Cruz was placed on the DL to make room for him. A double whammy. Finally the Abes were poised to make their move. Advantage: Andrew
> Fast forward to the present and witness fate's cruel and ironic dance: Not only did Randy single-handedly relinquishing the only category the Abes were winning (ERA) by getting shelled in his first start, but Jose Cruz, Jr went wild, batting 0.361 BA with 2 HR's and 6 Runs during the week to earn the Player of the Week award. Advantage: Penelope
When all is said and done, will the Andrew Johnson-Penelope Cruz rivalry be the next Magic Johnson-Larry Bird, or the next Peyton Manning-Ryan Leaf? Beatles-Rolling Stones, or Madonna-Cyndi Lauper? Only time will tell.
In the overall AvB competition, the Babes' dominance continues un-abated despite (or perhaps because of) Randy's return:
|The Abes||The Babes|
Note: Starting with week 5, the following rule change will be implemented - Instead of accumulating stats in the 9 categories over the course of the entire season, stats from each week will be totaled for each single week only. At the end of each week, a winner for the week will be declared (after 4 weeks, the Babes lead the Abes 4 - 0). At the end of season, the team with the most weeks won is the champion. This may or may not make it easier for the Abes come back if and when their players return from the DL.