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Your Tuesday Morning Power Rankings

May 25, 2010, 8:40 AM EDT

Rays conversing.jpgSorry it’s a day late, but there were only four games last night, so it’s not like the balance of power shifted since yesterday afternoon.  If you’re still upset, though, just sign these forms and you’ll get your money back in sixty days. What? Well, now, that’s what you agreed to when you bought your shares! Look, I know old man Potter is paying fifty cents on the dollar, but if he gets his hand on this blog there’ll never be another decent blog post written in this town again . . .

1. Rays: And it’s not even close. They’re being chased by the best second team in baseball, and they still have the biggest lead of all the first place teams.

2. Phillies: Not a pretty series against the Red Sox, and losing Jimmy Rollins again isn’t a good thing, but they’re basically keeping an even keel despite a few less-than-stellar Roy Halladay starts in a row, so they’re doing OK.

3. Yankees: They’re either about to feast on the Indians, Orioles and Astros in upcoming series, or else they’re about to become the subject of even more “are the Yankees getting old” articles. I’m betting feast and would prefer to see it because I like to see great teams do great things, but if they stumble it will be much easier to write this blog for the next couple of months, that’s for damn sure.

4. Twins: I don’t believe in jinxes and stuff — as a wise and beautiful fictitious woman once said,  “please explain to me the scientific nature of ‘the whammy'” — but I guess Minnesota has a chance to show everyone that they can finally beat the Yankees this week. And if they can’t do it now, when everyone is all beat up, jeez, when can they?

5. Cardinals: The Cardinals reasserting themselves in the Central after a week or so of the Reds in first place is probably an instance of order being restored, but it’s sort of deflating too given how much fun we were having with the Reds in charge. Kind of like when Sgt. Hulka returned to the unit after Winger got them through the end of basic training.

6. Reds: Not that Winger isn’t still threatening to take over the unit. Tied as of this morning, and a nice job coming off the mat after that devastating loss to the Braves last Thursday. As is the case with the Yankees, the Indians-Pirates-Astros pupu platter will likely make life easier over the next couple of weeks.

7. Padres: Splitting with the Dodgers and Giants and taking two of three from the Mariners is basically holding serve, but enough other teams didn’t do that last week that the bump up a couple of notches is warranted in my view.

8. Dodgers: Still charging despite the injuries and a thin staff. I still think they need to make a move for pitching, even though everyone says that they won’t be taking on payroll. Maybe Frank McCourt can adopt Roy Oswalt and give him a “job” like he did his kids, thereby hiding the money they’d have to pay the guy.

9. Tigers: No Miguel Cabrera for the next couple of games and a rare two offdays this week, so it’s not like we’re going to get all that great a read on Detroit between now and the next time we meet up for the Power Rankings.

10. Rangers: Hands down the best bankrupt team in baseball.

11. Blue Jays: I have no idea how long this nice run will last,
but if you’re the Jays you couldn’t have drawn up a better “lots of
dudes start strong and maybe allow us to turn them into something at the
trade deadline” season if you tried.

12. Braves: Three at
Florida where they always struggle, followed by a palette-cleanser at
Pittsburgh, and then a death march against Philly and at Los Angeles. 
I’m going in to take a nap — when I wake, and I find they’ve come
through it all unscathed, I’ll know we have a playoff contender. If not,
I’ll know we don’t. 

13. Red Sox: Strong starts from
Lester, Buchholz, Dice-K and Wakefield made for a nice pick-me-up.
They’re four over .500 now, and are more than surviving a profoundly
gnarly part of their schedule.

14: Athletics: Nice starts
from Trevor Cahill, Gio Gonzalez and Ben Sheets against the Giants,
although I think the results had far more to say about the state of the
San Francisco lineup than it did the Oakland rotation.

: They don’t care what I say about them because I never
played in the major leagues.

16: Giants: We should start a
pool in which we all wager on which first-half flash-in-the-pan Brian
Sabean trades for at the deadline in order to not fix the Giants

17. Nationals: Losers of seven of ten and now
they embark on a ten-game road trip. I have this feeling we’ve seen the
last of those “check out the surprising Washington Nationals” articles
pretty darn soon.

18. Rockies: Call me crazy, but I don’t
think that signing Kaz Matsui is going to spur them on to one of those
2007/2009-style surges.

19. Mets: No matter how rough
things are at the moment, taking two of three from the Yankees and
lighting up the Empire State Building thusly
has to feel good.

: Eyeing this weekend, when they begin ten straight games
against the Royals and Mariners.

21. Cubs: What to do
with Zambrano? How
about working him in as part of a six-man rotation
?  Dumber things
have been done on the north side in the past. Anyone remember “Whitlow’s
Wall?” No, I’m not going to tell you what it was. That’s between you
and Google.

22. Diamondbacks: Nobody say nothin’ seein’ as
we don’t want to jinx it, but the Diamondbacks bullpen actually pitched
halfway decently last week.

23. White Sox: The Chisox may
be a disappointment this year, but at least they’ve given us “Alexis
Rios: deserving All-Star” this season, and that’s pretty neat.

: Since they got obliterated in that stretch against the
Brewers back in April, the Buccos are close to being a .500 team. A very
frustrating .500 team to be sure, but a .500 team all the same. I guess
that’s something.

25. Brewers: Losers of eight of ten.
Somethin’s got to change.

26. Mariners: Mike
Sweeney’s aggressive display
after the Griffey thing didn’t exactly
fire the team up, but it certainly helped Mike Sweeney, who has been on
a tear of late. Maybe he should challenge his teammates to a fight more

27. Royals: Take a good look around and remember
this moment, everyone, for you are now entering the last week in which
Ned Yost will have a .500+ record as manager of the Royals.

: It’s kind of sad that the highlights of the season going
forward will be watching guys like Kerry Wood and Austin Kearns to see
whether the team’s potential trade bait has what it takes to get traded.

: I took guff last week for having the Orioles in last
place. They, like the Astros, went 2-5 last week. But in a gesture of
friendship and good will, I move them up to 29.  May this fill Orioles
fans with joy and satisfaction.

30. Astros: Nothing
personal Astros fans: you guys just tend not to be as insecure as
Baltimore people, so I figured you could handle this.  Besides, you’re
paying more attention to the Oswalt derby anyway. Which, quite frankly,
is way more fun than whatever is happening on the field right now.

  1. Ross - May 25, 2010 at 8:59 AM

    Love the Godfather II reference. Subtle.

  2. Craig Calcaterra - May 25, 2010 at 9:07 AM

    Glad you caught that. I was worried it would go by unnoticed all day.

  3. YankeesfanLen - May 25, 2010 at 9:53 AM

    Sorry, I was busy, now feel like the 103rd caller on FM 102 for the Hyman Roth thing.
    I think for nostalgia’s sake that the Universe will go 2 for 3 vs. Twinkies, then there’s 41 games til the ASB that should be as easy as the last 17-in-a-row was difficult. Joe needs to put his thinking cap on in producing a lineup around the injuries and return times, except for Johnson who we can live without……forever. A DH of the day is what it should have been all season there’s potentially more power that way and it rests the geriactics.
    Then there’s the two-hole. Put Swisher there! The last successful ineup change was last year with the Jeter-Johnny switcheroo.
    Nothing I can do or say, so I’ll just hope that Tex starts hitting, he’s gumming up the works.
    After the trip to Minnesota, I’ll say 31-13.
    As a gesture to good will, Zasu petals to everyone today.

  4. Joey B - May 25, 2010 at 10:02 AM

    “Mike Sweeney’s aggressive display after the Griffey thing didn’t exactly fire the team up,”
    This is a fascinating season for the Mariners. Jack was proclaimed and off-season genius. Only occasionally did anyone mention the fact that Seattle had no offense. And they were picked as co-choice for first, despite having a pythagorean 75-87 in 2009. And now they seem stuck with Griffey despite his .459 OPS.
    And while we’re at it, does it really make sense to take someone that comfortably settled in at 3rd, and switch him with a guy that has comfortably settled in at 2nd? Not to say that it might not make sense defensively, but could switching the two players be contributing to their hitting woes?

  5. Paul Martin - May 25, 2010 at 10:08 AM

    Typical NY bias. In real life, your slumping “third place” Yankees are only a half game ahead of your 11th place Blue Jays. What an idiot thou art!

  6. lessick - May 25, 2010 at 10:09 AM

    I’ll take Luke Scott in that Sabean poll.

  7. Rib - May 25, 2010 at 10:19 AM

    Craig, you’re an X-Files fan too? Awesome!

  8. Craig Calcaterra - May 25, 2010 at 10:20 AM

    Monster X-Files fan.

  9. JBerardi - May 25, 2010 at 10:23 AM

    Red Sox are 19-11 in their last 30 (Yankees are 15-15), including their current awesome Tigers – Yanks – Twins – Phillies – Rays adventure. At what point are you going to stop docking them like ten spots because they got swept by the Rays in the first week of April?

  10. thatGuy - May 25, 2010 at 10:35 AM

    Probably when they are not a 4th place team in their division. They have the 12th best overall record and 15h best run differential in the Majors. I would say 13 is a pretty accurate spot for them.

  11. tadthebad - May 25, 2010 at 11:05 AM

    However, Craig made it clear when he started this adventure that he was not beholden to stats or records, but would rely much on the way a particular team was playing and how he felt about said team that morning. As such, the question from JBerardi still stands.

  12. Randy - May 25, 2010 at 11:24 AM

    Hot Dog! Sox are better than 13, they’ll start to rise in the rankings in a couple of weeks. They were stuck in Potterville for awhile, but I think they’re waking up and realizing that “It’s a Wonderful Life”.

  13. ThatGuy - May 25, 2010 at 11:55 AM

    He didn’t say that he would not take them into account, its just that he is not going to just go with strict standings and his gut would have some play essentially, otherwise there would be no point to the power ranking cause you could just go with the standings. In this case he obviously feels they are in the better half of the league at the moment but not top 3rd. The stats back this up so their ranking is still likely earned.

  14. Charles Gates - May 25, 2010 at 11:57 AM

    May this fill Orioles fans with joy and satisfaction.
    The only joy and satisfaction we’ve had this year. Ty Wiggington for Madison Bumgardner, anyone?

  15. Charles Gates - May 25, 2010 at 12:26 PM

    [edit] : ‘Bumgarner’

  16. Joey B - May 25, 2010 at 1:02 PM

    “However, Craig made it clear when he started this adventure that he was not beholden to stats or records, but would rely much on the way a particular team was playing and how he felt about said team that morning. As such, the question from JBerardi still stands.”
    We’re playing better, but we had a good stretch of playing badly. Like everyone else, we weren’t nearly as bad as we looked when we were playing bad.
    Having said that, it’s more fun to keep the expectations muted. And to be honest, these are short samples. The difference between a good 20-game stretch and a bad 20-game stretch might not amount to much more than us getting in a run from 3rd with one out, or the opposition doing so.

  17. Jeremy - May 25, 2010 at 1:56 PM

    I’m missing the joke here, right? Wigginton is 32 and has never been this good, the Giants’ best hitters play second and third, and Bumgarner is a real prospect. I don’t think even Sabean does this.
    He’ll trade Bumgarner for Tejada, of course.

  18. Cubsbroker - May 25, 2010 at 2:40 PM

    Whitlow’s Wall….College of Coaches?!? You name it, the Cubs have found ways to keep losing. Oh, well…I still love them.

  19. All Hail Heyward - May 25, 2010 at 3:46 PM

    Indeed Google and I hung out and talked about Whitlow and the College of Coaches. Whoa, that was dumb. I never knew the Cubs were once run by oligarchs. Although most don’t know the Cubs were once winners so that makes me feel a little better I guess.

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