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Your Monday Afternoon Power Rankings

Jun 21, 2010, 3:11 PM EDT

The pic tells you who number one is. But how about the other 29?

Last week’s Power Rankings are here.  As is usually the case, they have changed.

1. Yankees: Their rise to first has been occasioned by a lot of games against poor teams and the Rays’ recent slide. Not to be one of those people who nitpick success, but first place or not, they have room to improve.

2. Braves: Heyward and McCann have been slumping, they might add an outfielder and they will be getting Jair Jurrjens back soon, so we may not even be seeing this team at its best yet.

3. Red Sox: En Fuego. Cue the Mark Twain quote.

4. Rays: Still ahead of the Sox by a skinch in terms of winning percentage, but on a decidedly different trajectory. While everyone as totally high on the Rays for so long, it’s becoming apparent that this is a team that can be pitched to.

5. Mets: No one is ever as good as they look beating up on Baltimore and Cleveland and no one is ever as bad as they look losing two of three to the Yankees. I’m still not convinced that they’ll hang in it, but if they make a big move . . .

6. Rangers: En fuego like the Sox and could make a big move like the Mets. If they go from bankruptcy to winning the division I don’t think we’ll be able to hold back the “rags to riches” headlines.

7. Twins: Their idling has not only allowed Detroit to pull close, but it has allowed the Chisox to get back in it too. Or at least to think they can.

8. Padres: This is the kind of thing that you can’t do until late July or early August. Even then might be too soon. Sensors are picking up an enormous amount of hubris emanating from that nearby nebula, Captain.

9. Tigers:  The Pirates, Nationals and Diamondbacks are not the stiffest of challenges. Up ahead: Mets, Braves and Twins.

10. Cardinals: I had figured that the Reds would hit a skid or three and that the overall talent of the Cards would ultimately prove superior, but I’m going to write a bunch of crap this fall about how the acquisition of Jeff Suppan made all the difference. And don’t you think for a minute that I won’t!

11. Giants: Fun conversation going on in the Giants’ blogosphere: do you have to give credit to Brian Sabean for the fact that a bunch of his old guy and bargain bin pickups are hitting? My gut reaction: I’ll give him credit the minute he takes the blame for his old guy and bargain bin pickups who didn’t hit for the previous several seasons. And I’m still mad at him for not having Stan Conte’s back way back when

12. Dodgers: I’ve been yo-yoing them for a couple of weeks now. I had them too low two weeks ago and too high last week. This feels about right, though. 

13. Reds: You’re not going to have a more dispiriting series than the Reds had this weekend against the M’s. One run in three games. The only saving grace is that most of the fans back east were asleep when the games were going on.

14. Phillies: The lack of offense has been the problem during their big swoon, but Saturday’s atrocity against the Twins reveals what some of us thought was Philly’s biggest problem all along: a suspect pen. Sure, it was covered over to some extent back when Jose Contreras was doing his Dennis Eckersley impression, but that seems to be over now.

15. Angels: Brian Fuentes gives all of us hope that one day even we can close for a major league team. I mean, it appears as though results don’t matter, so why not us?

16. Blue Jays: Two of three from the Giants and two of three from the Padres. Too bad they don’t play in the NL West.

17. Rockies: Tulowitzki out for two months? Well, we’ll always have Ubaldo.

18. White Sox: Well, look who’s at .500. Give me another good week and I’ll pay closer attention. Two more good weeks and I may start believing.

19. Marlins: Four of six from Tampa Bay this year is almost enough to make fans forgive the vuvuzelas.

20. Athletics: Optimism in the A’s blogosphere: “no matter how bleak things feel right now it could be worse. At least
we’re not the Pittsburgh Pirates.”

21. Cubs: I was on the radio with Brian Moline at the mighty WDWS in Champaign, Illinois on Friday night and the subject of the Cubs’ maybe needing to sell off some players came up. I’m paraphrasing, but the conversation basically went like this:

Brian: So, is it time for the Cubs to make some moves? Maybe have a bit of a fire sale?

Me: [thinking for a second] . . . man, I don’t know that they have any players anyone wants . . .

Brian: Yeah, I think you’re right.

22. Nationals: 4-8 since Strasburg was called up. Which is probably the best thing that could happen for his development, really.

23. Royals: I’m finding myself scoping out Royals games just to watch David DeJesus to see if he’d be worth the Braves trading for him. It just feels so . . . dirty.

24. Brewers: Attention Brewers fans who think that the team needs to move Prince Fielder for some much needed pitching and a bat and some magic beans and stuff: it ain’t gonna happen.

25. Mariners: Your Cliff Lee quote of the day: “Another walkless performance from Cliff Lee last night puts him at four
unintentional walks and zero hit batters of 305 batters faced. That’s
1.31% of hitters.Cliff Lee also strikes hitters out, works fast, smiles and isn’t Carlos
Silva. He also isn’t going to be a Mariner for as long as Silva was.”

26. Indians: Carlos Santana is hitting .393/.514/.786 since being called up from Columbus. The Indians today send David Huff back down to Columbus. This is why I don’t go crazy to make it to a ton of Clippers games.

27. Diamondbacks: The Dbacks could trade a bunch of dudes here pretty soon, so at least fans will have something to hold their interest.

28. Astros: You could put any of the bottom three teams at the bottom and I’d be cool with it. We’ll lead with the Astros because they come first alphabetically, but really, you can make an argument that they are worse than the Pirates and Orioles.

29. Orioles: Signs you’re not having a good season: when you have to ask your manager how his current team differs from the team he coached for which lost 119 games.

30. Pirates: More telling signs you’re having a bad season: when you feel it necessary to fire an anthropomorphic potato dumpling for dissent.

  1. ThatGuy - Jun 21, 2010 at 3:26 PM

    4-2 against the Rockies and Phillies while you face Ubaldo and Doc Halladay is idling for the twins? I cant wait until they start reving up…

  2. YankeesfanLen - Jun 21, 2010 at 4:26 PM

    The Universe does have room for improvement but it is becoming increasingly hard what needs to happen. First thing is Tex needs to be over this infuriating slump. So he did it this weekend, hope it continues and there’s no medals hanging off of ARod either. Musical chairs of a lineup will not be tolerated, there’s been enough of that to cover injuries.
    Personal opinion is Swish is new and improved Johnnywho (yes, I mix metaphors) and Cano is having an MVP year without the Melky influence which almost sank his boat two years ago. No DH for the next several years that’s just a relief valve now for needed rest.
    Enough of that, how did I forget the Rangers this AM? Cram a few more concession stands in the Ballpark at Arlington, get on a few more revenue enhancers with MLB mailing lists on the cuff, and bring in Oswalt.
    Summer’s here, baseball time, it’s at least 80 everywhere, and we have races in every division. Oh, did I mention that the Yankees are 5 games ahead of last year?

  3. willmose - Jun 21, 2010 at 4:33 PM

    What Craig you’re going back on your observation that Red Sox were out of it when they were six games out with 149 left to play? Some of us thought that was a little early, but you did remind us that it was the AL East (the greatest baseball division there ever was I guess). Does this mean that Calcaterra’s law, “If you are six or more games out in the AL East with less than 149 games left to play you have no chance at post-season play”, isn’t valid anymore? Or are the Red Sox the exception that prove the law.

  4. bmoline - Jun 21, 2010 at 4:36 PM

    Craig’s right…that’s about how our conversation about the Cubs went on Friday evening. Here’s the entire interview if you’d like to hear it: http://illinihq.com/podcasts/sportstalk_with_steve_kelly/2010/06/18/2249

  5. scatterbrian - Jun 21, 2010 at 6:02 PM

    Athletics Nation used to be great. Now the site is a “community” of one-trick ponies that thrives on backhanded compliments like this one. Here’s the headline from Sunday: BREAKING NEWS…A’s Outscore Opponent, Win Baseball Game
    I feel bad for those long-suffering A’s fans. They have no playoff appearances in the entire Dallas Braden era.

  6. Buccofan - Jun 22, 2010 at 2:18 PM

    But Billy Beane is a genius. Just ask the media types. Or ask him. He’ll be happy to tell you how well his plan is working and how smart he is.

  7. Buccofan - Jun 22, 2010 at 2:20 PM

    I think you’re overrating the Astros, Orioles, and Pirates. They should all be lower.

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