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Your Monday Morning Power Rankings

Jun 13, 2011, 9:40 AM EDT

Red Sox batter Kevin Youkillis celebrates his two-run home during their MLB American League baseball game in Toronto

As usual, the number in the parenthesis was last week’s ranking.

1. Red Sox (5): I had them ranked number one to start the season. I was only two-and-a-half months off!

2. Phillies (3): A good week, but the Cubs and Dodgers aren’t exactly fearsome, nor were the Nats and Pirates, who they faced the previous week. Things get tougher towards the end of the month.

3. Brewers (7): En Fuego, to the point where I thought about putting them above Philly. Maybe I should have. You tell me.

4. Yankees/Cardinals (2, 1): A very schizophrenic week for New York, looking awful against Boston but like world-beaters against the Tribe. The Cards’ showing against Milwaukee was a bit troubling. Maybe St. Louis is just taking a different tack this year than they did last year with the Reds, feeling free to drop the head-to-head meetings and rather make up ground against others.

6. Braves (11): Six straight wins but, like Philly, it wasn’t against the toughest competition (the Marlins are reeling, the Astros merely bad). And the biggest concern about this team remains the feeling that all of these close, low-scoring games they’re playing are going to catch up to those arms in the pen which, while really damn effective, aren’t indestructible.

7. Giants (6): Tim Lincecum‘s struggles are a real concern. But really, between their recently defective ace and the number of big injuries they’ve had, it’s amazing that the Giants are still in first place. It suggests that they don’t have a real challenger in the west and that, if they can continue to work through these recent issues, they’ll be pretty comfortable come August and September.

8. Tigers (12): Percentage points behind the Indians, but one gets the sense they’ll tussle for the AL Central title far more with Chicago as the summer wears on, not Cleveland.

9. Diamondbacks (9): A bit of an offensive awakening over the weekend.  If the Giants can ever be had, now is the time to make a move.

10. Rangers (4): In light of the Mavs’ thing, now would be a great time for the Rangers to release any bad news they have floating around. Middle infielders with attitude problems. Dead hookers in trunks. That sort of thing.

11. Rays (14): A 5-1 week on what has been a very up-and-down season.  You know how Joe Maddon likes to dress up his team in themed costumes for road trips? How about dressing them up as a consistent ballclub?

12. Indians (8): Talking to Indians fans around my Ohio home has had me feeling like a grief counselor. Only that Indians fans seemed to have moved very quickly through the shock, denial, anger and bargaining phases and have settled into a mildly depressive but more or less accepting posture.

13. Reds (16), 14. Mariners (15), 15. Mets (20): This is less of a tie than a group comment: all three of these teams moved up a lot. Seems like too much based on their weeks, but the fact is that there are a lot of free-falling teams below who made room.

16. White Sox (22): Same could go for these guys too, but really, there has been a ton of improvement here and I wouldn’t be shocked to see them challenging the Tigers soon.

17. Blue Jays (10): Too extreme a drop? I dunno, I’m having a hard time remembering a team get so humbled as the Jays did this past weekend against Boston.

18. Marlins (13): They weathered Hanley Ramirez‘s slump well enough, but his absence has been another story. You can’t pretend to contend for too long without your best player contributing.

19. Rockies (19): A treading water kind of week. Ubaldo Jimenez continues to struggle. One gets the sense that they could just as easily fall nine games back of the Giants in the next several days or go on a 14-2 run.  The Rockies have been the most perplexing team in all of baseball over the past few years.

20. Pirates (18): A nice schedule break forthcoming with series against Houston, Cleveland and Baltimore. I have to say that after rooting for the Braves in the east, I’m probably rooting for the Pirates to finish above .500 this year more than anything else in baseball, though it is a distant second place.

21. Dodgers (21): There is no better gauge of how the Dodgers season is going at any given moment than by going to the L.A. Times’ Dodgers page and reading the top three headlines. If at least two of them are about the team, things are going fine. If they’re about Frank McCourt, Bryan Stow or any of that unpleasant stuff, things aren’t going so well.

22. Orioles (24): Hey, they got Bob Geren fired last week. That’s good, right?

23. Angels (17): Losers of nine of 11 and then shut out by Vin Mazzaro? Yuck.

24. Nationals (25): You know, a 6-5 west coast swing for a not-so-great team is not-so-bad.

25. Padres (26): By the same token, losing 3 for 4 to the Nats at home when you’re a west coast team ain’t-so-great.

26. Royals (27): The early season surge notwithstanding, everyone knew that this was not going to be a competitive year. That they occasionally win a game they have no business winning is a bonus; that they occasionally stink on ice should not be taken too hard. That Eric Hosmer is hitting pretty well and Mike Moustakas looked good in his first weekend of work is the most important thing here.

27. Twins (30): Signs of life in Minnesota!  Winning nine of eleven should maybe have vaulted them up more than three spots over the past couple of weeks, but I feel like waiting one more week to see how real this is. The hole they dug for themselves was pretty deep.

28. Athletics (23): Nightmare fuel. But hey, with Geren gone at least they’re a happier losing bunch, right?

29. Cubs (28): This hurts. I’m not sure who it hurts more, but it hurts.

30. Astros (29): It feels like they’re going to be here for a while.

  1. uyf1950 - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:44 AM

    Darn, if I would have had the Cardinals in my post on one of the other blogs. I would have nailed the top 5 exactly.

  2. Jack Marshall - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:52 AM

    I apologize for doubting you, Craig.

  3. Chris Fiorentino - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:58 AM

    “Too far a drop” for the Jays? Nah, I don’t think so. and I predict next week they will drop even further. Not so much because they stink…because their interleague schedule after the Orioles is absolutely brutal. @Braves, Reds, and Cardinals???? Who did they piss off in the scheduling office?

  4. Phillies Homer - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:00 AM

    No… you shouldn’t have put the Brewers above Phillies. You were correct in not doing so.

    • brewcrewchamps - Jun 13, 2011 at 1:00 PM

      wrong you are sir! The Crew is so hot, especially that prince guy. It’s nice finally having pitchers consistently go 7 innings. They’re gonna be tough down the stretch

      • Phillies Homer - Jun 13, 2011 at 2:10 PM

        Thinking guys are attractive or not is no way to base a team’s performance.

        Best Record in Baseball + Finally Being Healthy + Best Rotation in Baseball – Red Sox’s dominant rise to the top = #2 Ranking for the Phillies.

        That’s just simple math.

      • brewcrewchamps - Jun 13, 2011 at 3:51 PM

        Since Grienke got back may 9 the Brewers have the best record in baseball. The rotation has been solid ever since, plus I might have a little bias but I think the Brewers’ lineup is better at the moment.

      • Phillies Homer - Jun 13, 2011 at 4:20 PM

        Hopefully your biased thinking that “Brewers lineup is better at the moment” is sarcastic… b/c even the biggest Phillies Homer would be crazy to think the Phillies are better on offense right now.

        That being said… I still think the Phillies could take the Brewers in a 7 game series — b/c when it all comes down to it, that’s what the Power Rankings should tell us when comparing two teams.

  5. cur68 - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:16 AM

    Sigh…the Jays should be lower and I hate myself for saying so…

  6. Old Gator - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:17 AM

    When was their “best player” contributing even before he went on the DL? The Feesh aren’t going anyplace this year with or without Hanley. It’s still a young and inexperienced team with a long list of flaws and imbalances. The $25 million Tennis Court Oath to John Buck – who has indeed been a “power upgrade” at catcher if you really love solo home runs which rarely impact the final score very much – is looking more and more ridiculous every day, especially in the context of Scrooge McLoria’s prior impecuniousness.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:29 AM

      If by best player, he meant Josh Johnson, then I would have agreed. Alas, I must agree with you Gator and disagree with Craig. Hanley is a mutt.

      • Old Gator - Jun 13, 2011 at 2:10 PM

        Sadly, he has been one this season and for a good part of last. I would guess that his chances of returning to 2009 form are about one in three, but then I have always been generous, being a socialist and all….

  7. umrguy42 - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    Meh, the Cards need to get their starting pitching back on track (and give the bullpen a much-needed break at this point). Plus, it always seems like every year, there’s one team in the division that owns us (even if we’re ahead of them in the standings – most frustrating when it’s the Cubbies, cuz I have to take crap from my friend the Cubs fan ;D)

  8. Alex K - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:49 AM

    I’ve never seen so many dead hookers in my life.

    Lord knows I have……..

  9. skipperxc - Jun 13, 2011 at 11:13 AM

    The real test for the Brewers will be interleague play. @ Boston, vs Tampa, @ New York — that’s as tough a slate as anybody has, home-and-home with the Twins notwithstanding. If we can go over .500 for that stretch I’ll feel a lot better about our chances of staying on top of the division.

  10. skipp - Jun 13, 2011 at 12:31 PM

    For the most part these rankings look pretty spot on. I don’t really see how the Mariners are deserving of such a high ranking though, bottom 10 seems more appropriate. I would think that the Jay’s should be higher then them as well as the White Sox. The Red Sox destroyed the Blue Jays, but they did the same thing to the Yanks. What’s the deal with Brandon Morrow though? Brew Crew behind Philly…Prince can’t hit a home run everyday, can he?

    • easports82 - Jun 13, 2011 at 1:48 PM

      Mariners should be bottom 10? Above .500. 1.5 back of the Rangers. One of the best rotations in the league. One of the best bullpens in the league.

      Who should be ranked higher then them?
      Jays just got destroyed.
      Maybe the Sox cause they took 2 of 3 from the M’s last week, but they’re only 2 slots behind the M’s anyways.

      Who else?

    • tomemos - Jun 13, 2011 at 3:08 PM


  11. spudchukar - Jun 13, 2011 at 1:22 PM

    Cards were spanked in the first two contests in the other beer city, and “5-inning-Westbrook” fell apart in the 6th again(4th straight outing), handing the series sweep to the Brew Crew. Gotta score more runs in Miller Park though, and while the Memphis Cards have been unbelieveably good, at some point their play was bound level off. The return of Holiday this week should be a shot in the arm, to an offense that could use a boost. The first-place Brewers have a tough row to hoe, and need to show they can win away from Wisconsin, while the Red Birds will have played the most road games in the NL, after the upcoming 3-game set in our nation’s capital. Plus they have already completed all their west coast trips. So while the sweep at the hands of Bernie’s boys is painful, the future is still bright.

    • bleedgreen - Jun 13, 2011 at 1:59 PM

      The other thing is, if they don’t expect to be able to sign Pujols, do they trade him off and just give up their best player?

      • spudchukar - Jun 13, 2011 at 2:25 PM

        They do expect to sign him, and while not performing up to standards, he is enjoying being a Cardinal more than ever.

      • spudchukar - Jun 13, 2011 at 2:27 PM

        Plus he has 5 and 10 rights, and would be a fool to waive them.

  12. areyesrn - Jun 13, 2011 at 2:32 PM

    I’m a Phillies fan…but I would have to put Boston, Milwaukee, and NY above the Phils. The Phils offense is ridiculously bad right now.

  13. wonkypenguin - Jun 13, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    There is that itty bitty part of me that looks at the AL Central and believes the Twins can win it. I have no idea how this could be done, but it seems like they could pull it off simply because they’re the Twins and they pull of crazy things.

    And because an October without a hugely disappointing 3-game series loss to the Yankees may screw me up for the rest of the year.

  14. royalsfaninfargo - Jun 13, 2011 at 4:26 PM

    I agree with your assessment of the Royals Craig. Wins and loses dont mean anything over the course of this season. As long as the youngin’s are being brought up and playing decently and showing progress that is all that matters. Like I have said before, this year and next are a dress rehearsal for 2013!

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