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Your Monday Morning Power Rankings

Jun 27, 2011, 11:31 AM EDT

Phillies' Halladay throws in the fourth inning during their MLB Interleague baseball game with the Athletics in Philadelphia

Some people didn’t like my little tour of the cities thing last week and said that you’d prefer it if I just stuck to the “Team X has won Y of Z games, so look out for Team X!” blather.  I can’t tell if those people are merely trolls or if there is a genuine thirst for said blather. I was going to test it this week by doing something loony, but loony takes a lot of time, so we’re leaning more toward the blather

But know this: last week wasn’t the last time I’ll get loony with the rankings. I can feel a “most famous ‘Love Boat’ guest star from each team’s city” Power Rankings working its way into creation soon, so be on the lookout.

As usual, last week’s ranking is in parenthesis.

1. Phillies (2): Passing Boston for the top spot. Now they get to play a series against those Red Sox. This shall be good from both a baseball perspective and from a Power-Rankings-Clarification perspective.

2. Yankees (3): Every day it seems like they’re losing someone else to an injury or at least have someone suffering from an ache or a pain. Yet they just keep racking up victories.

3. Red Sox (1): I don’t care if the Pirates are better and the Padres are playing decent baseball lately. Losing back-to-back series to those guys is not something the number one team in the Power Rankings does. Of course, if they beat the hell out of Philly this week, all is forgiven.

4. Brewers (5): Dropped two of three to the Rays, but came back strong by sweeping the Twins.  Braun and Fielder are pulling an Aaron-Matthews act.

5. Rays (8): Hanging tough, but is B.J. Upton on the block?

6. Giants (10): Bumgarner and Lincecum bounce back. Sanchez to the DL. That’s a net gain.

7. Braves (7): If you had no idea what their record was and just watched some random games, you’d conclude that they were in last place. As a fan, those two-hit games are so damn frustrating. And unlike previous Braves teams that were all pitching — which there were many — I’m just not getting the satisfaction out of those good outings from Jurrjens and Beachy and whoever.  Easily the biggest detachment I’ve felt between team quality and game enjoyment since I’ve been watching the Braves.

8. Tigers (8): Back in sole possession of first place. In Verlander We Trust.

9. Diamondbacks (12)Kirk Gibson says this bunch reminds him of the ’84 Tigers.  Which one is Rusty Kuntz?

10. Indians (4):  I think I rank them too high when they have a good week and too low when they have a bad one. I think it’s a smaller battle in the overall war pitting optimism against pessimism.

11. Rangers (13): Texas’ schedule leading up to the All-Star break: Astros, Marlins, Orioles and Athletics.  Time to create some space or else be stuck in a dogfight all season, no?

12. Cardinals (6): They’ve scored 21 runs in the six post-Pujols-injury games, but 12 of those runs came in one game.

13. Nationals (16): I’m torn: I love Davey Johnson and want him to excel, but the Nats are only 3.5 behind my rooting interest for the Wild Card in a division in which it looks like the Wild Card is the only option for the non-Philly teams. Hurm.

14. Reds (11): After series against Tampa Bay and Cleveland, their last seven games before the break are against St. Louis and Milwaukee. Moving time for Cincy, too.

15. Blue Jays (17): I think it has less serious implications than the schedules of the Reds and Rangers — ya think the Jays are contending in the East? — but it is worth noting that they are in the middle of an outrageously brutal stretch of the schedule. Series against the Reds, Braves and Cardinals — a makeup game against Detroit tonight on what should have been an off day — and then series against the better-than-we-thought Pirates, the Phillies, the Red Sox and then the better-than-we-thought Indians.

WARNING: CLUSTERF*** AHEAD. The next six teams are all roughly at around the same record. They’re all in the same general ballpark in terms of run differential. Seattle had the worst week among them so I dropped them the most from last week, but it wasn’t horror-show bad. All of the others were respectable enough on the week. It was hard to rank them, because I’ve been hot and cold on each of them at times and still don’t really know what kind of team they really are. So what I’m saying is, don’t complain about the specific order of the next six, because I could go in any direction, really.

16. Rockies (15): Colorado has a makeup game today too, on what should have been their last offday before the All-Star break. In this case, however, the rainout that is being made up had no rain.

17. Mets (18): I guess you don’t want to see your old manager succeed with a division rival, but really folks, Davey Johnson hasn’t worked for the Mets since a couple of months before the song “Ice Ice Baby” was released as a single. Time to let it go, ya know?

18. Pirates (20): Tied with the Reds in the standings, 48 runs behind them in run differential.

19. White Sox (19): The race in the Central would be more interesting if Adam Dunn hadn’t been a complete bust so far. I still figure that he has to turn it around, right? The Sox are only 4.5 out, so if he does, it could make things interesting.

20. Angels (23): Winners of five of seven and only two back. Someone’s gotta win the AL West, right?

21. Mariners (14): Still the best pitching in the American League, and series against a bunch of offensively-challenged teams between now and the break.

22. Orioles (24): Signs of life from Derrek Lee. For whatever that’s worth.

23. Padres (28): I still don’t think they’re any good, but two of three from both Boston and Atlanta is a damn fine week, and is deserving of a few-notch bump.

24. Dodgers (25): All comments on this team are pending approval of the bankruptcy trustee.

25. Athletics (22): They went 2-4 on the road trip against the Mets and Phillies, but they were close games. I dunno, it’s something.

26. Marlins (27): Small bright spot in an otherwise dismal month? Hanley Ramirez seems to be waking up a bit in the past few games, going 6 for his last 17. Small, but maybe something to cling to.

27. Royals (26): Mike Moustakas (12 for 50, 1 HR) is not quite taking the bigs as well as Eric Hosmer has. And Hosmer has cooled down a bit.

28. Twins (21): Reports of their resurgence were apparently exaggerated.

29. Cubs (29): I get this sense that people aren’t appreciating how bad they are by virtue of the fact that Houston is even worse. But really, they’re terrible.

30. Astros (30): The thing about the Astros is that they can lose any number of ways. They can lose the high scoring games, they can lose the low scoring games. Just a really, really versatile crappy team.

  1. 12strikes - Jun 27, 2011 at 11:46 AM

    30. Astros (30) – 2 words——-Ed, WADE

  2. Chris Fiorentino - Jun 27, 2011 at 12:07 PM

    “Easily the biggest detachment I’ve felt between team quality and game enjoyment since I’ve been watching the Braves.”

    This is likely because there is a juggernaut in the same division and it just isn’t the same rooting for the Wild Card once again.

  3. yankeesfanlen - Jun 27, 2011 at 12:07 PM

    I liked the travelogue Craig. I thought is was just to be a prologue to the HBT Best Eats All-Star recap that could be coming up in a couple of weeks during Home Run Derby Day, always a fan favorite.

    Let’s look at the Universe for a second. Number 2 on your scorecard for those playing at home. This mish-mash of play-who-is-kinda-standing is muddling through quite well. I can only hope that during a quiet time yesterday after Monster Trucks, Mall Art, and Canine Familiarous were being dispensed, that 3 little birdies whisped in someone’s ear that play should be more agressive and that there has been some precedent that it may work. No bunting, Joe. No holding at third, Joe. Home runs are not a weakness, Joe. Sub shortstops can have some errors, Joe. You’re not TLR, Joe.
    I hope the wisdom of the ages got through.

    • uyf1950 - Jun 27, 2011 at 12:18 PM

      If I may quote someone who is wise beyond his years referencing the Yankees play as the reason for their #2 ranking. “Every day it seems like they’re losing someone else to an injury or at least have someone suffering from an ache or a pain. Yet they just keep racking up victories.”

      Alright I admit it. I’m hoping for a couple of brownie points and some sympathetic thumbs up.

      • yankeesfanlen - Jun 27, 2011 at 12:41 PM

        uyf- Of course you always get a thumbs up from me. Another point, if I may be indulged- due to all circumstances, at this moment we’re playoff caliber but not playoff ready. I daresay we’re at or above average historically at this stage of the season. Starters are not routinely getting destroyed early and the bullpen can be cobbled together, in yesterday’s effort for example, to great effect.
        My broken record at this point is to keep the power in the offense coming. This is coming up on the time where the bats heat up and showing a circular lineup will get us through. When we score 6 or more runs vs. a pitcher with a 2.00 or 3.00 ERA is when and hoiw we win.

        Side note- There’s Yankees fans around these parts, make yourselves known. I’m giving extra points myself to have us keep up with our buddies 90 miles southwest of here. They’re having fun. We have reps from the Feesh, Beavers, and A’s too, so come to the block party.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 27, 2011 at 12:25 PM

      I’m kinda getting sick of the whole “woe is us” attitude of Yankees fans. Who exactly have they lost that was crucial to their success this year? You all talk about how much better it is that Jeter is gone. Hughes had a 4.19 ERA last year so he wasn’t all that special…and besides, Colon and Garcia have pitched better than he probably would have anyway.

      The Yankees have played 76 games this year and the following guys have played in 70 or more of them…

      Cano(75), Texiera(75), A-Rod(71), Granderson(76), Swisher(72) and Gardner(75). Mariano has been healthy as has C.C. and Burnett. I believe Nova missed 1 start and Garcia missed a couple as well. Colon hadn’t pitched in years, so it’s not surprising his hammie didn’t hold up all year.

      Call me when A-Rod, Tex, Cano, Granderson, C.C. or Mo go on the D.L. Until then, stop whining Yankees fans.

      • Ari Collins - Jun 27, 2011 at 12:46 PM

        I was thinking of a comment along these lines, but you said it better.

        This isn’t some underdog of a team, or a team that’s playing well despite… well, despite anything. This is a $200M team playing like a $200M team. Congrats.

      • yankeesfanlen - Jun 27, 2011 at 12:49 PM

        Oh, come on Chris, everyone, including our esteemed Phightin’s Phans, loves to complain about our insurmountable injuries We’re #s 1 and 2, save it for late October.
        No “woe is me” from this end-I only comment on the available troops and had no tears when Beep-beep or THE FAT TOAD were sadly and tragically deleted from our competitive forces..

      • Jonny 5 - Jun 27, 2011 at 12:56 PM

        Apparently, it’s not just NY Yankees and Phillies fans catching flack either.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 27, 2011 at 1:26 PM

        Gonzo is shithead #3 in the Philly media, right behind Hayes and Eskin.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 27, 2011 at 2:22 PM

        Yeah, Gonzo is full of shit. On a different note, where the hell is ‘Bicepts? I’m starting to think that he either got banned from the site or is dead.

      • Jonny 5 - Jun 27, 2011 at 2:47 PM

        Bicepts checked out guys. He said he couldn’t handle people breaking his balls. Which blew my F*^%&ING mind btw because, Man if you can dish it out, you better be able to take it too.

      • spudchukar - Jun 27, 2011 at 2:51 PM

        I will answer that only because he left me with the indignant duty of disseminating the following. He quit due to the immature subject matter and responses of fellow contributors. No particular names, but he did leave it to me to pass the word, so at least indirectly, I guess I hold some responsibility.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 27, 2011 at 3:13 PM

        I checked out for a while last year too…he’ll be back with thicker skin. Sometimes you have to understand that your opinions aren’t always going to be well-received by everyone. I consider myself the king of the thumbs-down because I don’t think like everyone else all the time. But one thing that nobody can take away from me is that I say what I think and I don’t ever say stuff just to stir the pot.

      • uyf1950 - Jun 27, 2011 at 3:14 PM

        My friends, also Chris and Ari. I’m not sure I understand your indignation with the post. The comment by you Chris “I’m kinda getting sick of the whole “woe is us” attitude of Yankees fans.” One that Ari was so quick to agree with is befuddling. To the best of my knowledge it wasn’t a Yankees fan that brought up the issue of injuries or aches and pains it was Craig and self admitted Braves fan. I merely agreed with a disinterested blogger and non Yankees fan. I suggest that should either of you have a problem with his characterization you take it up with him and NOT point your finger at Yankees fans. Yes, you guessed it that’s just my opinion.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 27, 2011 at 3:19 PM

        You can’t worry about your opinions being unpopular. I get a ton of thumb downs…doesn’t bother me any.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 27, 2011 at 3:29 PM

        uyf, you have been whining about injuries all year…seems every morning, your post begins with something like “Despite all the injuries and despite the Red Sox winning so many games in a row, the Yanke[rs] are in first place” Yet you fail to mention that the Sox started off 2-10 and you also fail to talk about these so-called injuries.

        You are right that I forgot to rip Craig in my initial posting, so consider him ripped too for buying into all the horses**t talk about Yankers injuries.

        Again, call me when Cano, Tex, A-Rod, Granderson, Mo, or CC go on the DL.

      • uyf1950 - Jun 27, 2011 at 4:14 PM

        Chris, my friend. I defy you find even 4 comments initiated by me in the last 2 months that I have harped on Yankees injuries. I may have responded to other posters with comments about Hughes or Colon or even Jeter although I find that difficult to believe about Jeter since I was and still am of the opinion that the Yankees have not missed very much at all with his absence. As for your comment that I have referenced the Sox. Of that I have no doubt, simply because again while some fans on this site may not be willing to admit it, most if not all the “so called” experts and yes fans on this and other sites were ready to give the World Series title to either the Red Sox or the Phillies. There was even a piece here on NBC Sports recently from Tony DeMarco titled Can Anyone Stop a Red Sox/Phillies World Series here is the link if you don’t believe me As for your other comment about their starting out the season 2-10 who cares. I don’t hear anyone including you making any sort of comment about the Yankees going 3-10 in mid May. Offsetting the Red Sox poor start. So please let’s stop with the 2-10 reference for the Red Sox I don’t think they need either one of our sympathies. So yes considering the injuries to: Hughes, Colon, Soriano, Feliciano, Chamberlain, Chavez and Marte just to name a few and the retirement of Pettitte I am very proud of the Yankees performance to date. That may be “whinning” to you but in my book that’s merely an acknowledge of the facts. BTW, I’ll anxiously wait for you to supply me with the links where I “whined” about Yankee injuries that I asked for to start this reply.

      • Ari Collins - Jun 28, 2011 at 12:36 AM

        uyf, I think we can all agree that anyone claiming the Phillies or Sox automatic WS winners is very stupid. That doesn’t mean the Yankees are underdogs, though; it just means that some people don’t understand how baseball works. It’s a pretty big leap of logic to go from saying that the Sox have (had) a slight talent edge on paper entering the season to saying that they are practically assured of a championship.

        I’m not going to go through all of your posts, but, fortunately, I don’t need to. You adopted the “woe is us” attitude on this very page, my friend. To say that you were simply agreeing with a non-Yankee fan that the Yankees are “somehow” getting by with these injuries does not mean that you are not espousing that viewpoint. Just because Craig said it first doesn’t mean that you or Yankeefanlen aren’t saying it too.

        When your team withstands minor injuries due to the fact that they have the (mostly well-spent) payroll to withstand minor injuries, it doesn’t mean that they are underdogs or have special character or anything like that. It just means that a $200M team is playing like a $200M team.

      • uyf1950 - Jun 28, 2011 at 1:32 AM

        Ari, I have no intention of arguing this point or trying to justify my position any further. It’s obvious that I see things differently when it comes to the Yankees then either you or Chris. I will leave it at that.

  4. fivetoolmike - Jun 27, 2011 at 12:18 PM

    The forecast for today in Chicago is more dire than that 4/27 date. Awesome.

  5. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 27, 2011 at 12:24 PM

    Cubs are even losing the battle for last in the power rankings. I only with they could “win” at something.

    • Jonny 5 - Jun 27, 2011 at 12:29 PM

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 27, 2011 at 12:38 PM

        Article of the day right there. That’s winning if I’ve ever seen it through Charlie Sheen’s eyes.

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 27, 2011 at 12:39 PM

        “WARNING: CLUSTERF@#CK AHEAD” should replace “Wrigley Field” on the front of the park. Okay, I’m done bashing the Cubs for the day. It’s too damn easy.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 27, 2011 at 3:15 PM

        This article was hilarious.

  6. mkd - Jun 27, 2011 at 12:25 PM

    I understand why people get frustrated when the rankings don’t include a thoughtful note explaining why each team is ranked where they are. That said, I thought the bourbon tour was brilliant and it was the first time in a long time I didn’t just skim the Power Rankings. Go to ESPN if you don’t want a little creativity in your life.

  7. aclassyguyfromaclassytown - Jun 27, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    I’d have the Indians, Rangers, Cardinals, & Reds above the Braves myself, but I’m not a Braves homer.

  8. aclassyguyfromaclassytown - Jun 27, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    I’d have the Indians, Rangers, Cardinals, & Reds above the Braves myself, but I’m not a Braves homer.

    • atlsp - Jun 27, 2011 at 3:50 PM

      You do realize the Braves are tied for 4th most wins in MLB? And you’d have them ranked outside the top 10? I

      I agree with Craig that they’re sometimes painful to watch but nearly halfway through the season that record has to count for something.

  9. kyleortonsarm - Dec 21, 2011 at 7:37 PM

    Ahh it’s so beautiful. The Worthlisdelphia Psychotics lost and somehow the most piece of garbage trash team Cardinals won instead. Sweet irony. Think next year a Cards fan will get beat up on opening day and not wake up until after his team misses the playoffs?

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