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Your Monday afternoon Power Rankings

Sep 12, 2011, 12:03 PM EST

Young Elvis

Once again, we’ve pretty much said all that can be said about these teams. So let’s force them into arbitrary categories!  I sort of feel like I’m stealing Peter Gammons’ bit here, but what the heck.

NOTE: the bands/artists are only for description purposes, They themselves are not being ranked. Because there’s no way I’d ever have The Velvet Underground beneath the Red Hot Chili Peppers on any kind of musical list. I’m just trying match the zeitgeist, ya dig?

Also: there are no Beatles here, because you can’t really talk about the Beatles without acknowledging that they were really the only top-tier band that clearly ended as a reigning champion.  Just doesn’t seem right to apply their name to any team before the playoffs are over.

1. Phillies (1): Elvis. Hail to the King, baby.

2. Yankees (2): Dylan. Sublime when they’re on, but they do go through their troubling periods. And yes, Elvis went through way more troubling periods than Dylan ever has, but there was enough attitude and aura about his height that makes it all seem forgivable. Sort of like how the Phillies’ “Sun Sessions” rotation makes you forget their “Clambake” bullpen.  In contrast, Dylan’s strange detours always have to be mentioned when considering him as an artist, just as the Yankees’ flaws do too.

3. Tigers (6): The Rolling Stones. Started off as something obviously talented but somewhat derivative, improved greatly as things rolled along and then hit a peak in which they were nearly unstoppable and undeniably dangerous. The question for the Tigers is whether the playoffs will be their “Exile on Main Street” — the peak at the end of an extended run of greatness — or their “Goats Head Soup,” the clear demarcation of the end of a great run.

4. Brewers (4): The Kinks. Excellent in so many ways — a team you really wish more people appreciated and understood — but inevitably never to be considered in the true upper echelon, and thus always destined to be half-a-notch below the true titans.

5. Red Sox/Braves (3, 5): Prince. So good for so long but then something went wrong and they started to put out sub-par crap at an alarmingly high rate.

7. Diamondbacks (8): The Clash. Or Maybe Nirvana. Neither are a perfect fit here for various reasons, but I’m struck by the “came from seemingly out of nowhere and knocked the reigning kings off their pedestal, yet questions exist about how long they’ll really last” dynamic.

8. Rangers (7): Red Hot Chili Peppers. Everyone always thought they knew what made them so great — charismatic leader, elite bass player, lots of funk and attitude — but everyone realized that what really carried them was an under-appreciated and even unexpected contributor. For the Texas Rangers, the big power and offense plays the part of Kiedis and Flea, while C.J. Wilson and the pitching staff plays the part of the essential John Frusciante. When that goes, things will probably go downhill, and what everyone thought was so great will be enough to carry the day.

9. Rays (9): The Velvet Underground. Just sort of crashing the party, messing with the narrative and making so much out of seemingly nothing. But really, they’re insanely talented which, in hindsight, makes you wonder why no one really gave them a shot. It was said that  “The first Velvet Underground album only sold 10000 copies, but everyone who bought it formed a band.”  The Rays don’t sell a lot of tickets, but everyone who buys one can’t help but being won over.

OK, everyone else gets categories, not their own band:

THE DAVE CLARK FIVE TEAMS (hanging around and generally doing the same things that the big boys are doing, but with a little perspective you realize that, no, they’re not ready for prime time)

10. Angels (9)

11. Cardinals (11)

The OASIS TEAM (we thought they’d be big forever, but they disappeared as quickly as they emerged)

12. Giants (12)

THE DOORS TEAMS (Did some pretty spectacular things for a brief time — or at least possessed one highly interesting element — but there was way more talk about them then the talent level really ever called for).

13. Blue Jays (15)

14. White Sox (14)

15. Indians (13)

16. Reds (16)

THE M.C. HAMMER TEAMS (lots of flash, but better-known for their financial problems than anything else at this point)

17. Dodgers (17)

18. Mets (18)

THE JOURNEY TEAMS (Occasional hits, tons of filler, maybe some guilty pleasure to be taken here, but you know in your heart they suck)

19. Rockies (19)

20. Nationals (20)

21. Marlins (23)

22. Athletics (21)

23. Pirates (22)

THE REO SPEEDWAGON TEAMS (Really bad — not even the number of hits or overall quality of a band like Journey — but occasionally you can get some ridiculous so-bad-it’s-good campy pleasure from them. “Ridin’ the Storm Out,” anyone?)

24. Cubs (24)

25. Padres (25)

26. Royals (26)

27. Mariners (27)

28. Twins (28)

THE GRAND FUNK RAILROAD TEAMS (Too bad for so-bad-it’s-good pleasure. Absolutely nothing to recommend them. A miserable ordeal to which no man or best should be subjected)

29. Orioles (29)

30. Astros (30)

  1. trevorb06 - Sep 12, 2011 at 12:13 PM

    How dare you put the Twins anywhere but last place. They haven’t won a game in how long? I’m a Twins fan but I have this paper bag over my head right now.

    • proudlycanadian - Sep 12, 2011 at 12:59 PM

      Great Balls of Fire Craig. How dare you ignore the original bad boy of rock. There has to be a division for bad boys. Oops! I just remembered. That division is reserved for West and Hernandez.

  2. chrisdtx - Sep 12, 2011 at 12:16 PM

    I’ll be damned if I’m going to sit here and let you bag on Grand Funk like that. They’re coming to your town! They’re gonna party down! They’re an American Band!

  3. yankeesfanlen - Sep 12, 2011 at 12:16 PM

    Unique! To perhaps over-date myself, think Yanks really ARE Sinatra.

    • mpescaro - Sep 12, 2011 at 12:37 PM

      Yeah, let the Yanks have Sinatra. Very New York. No real lyrical genius, just status, mob ties, and rhythm. They’ll attract millions to sway and swoon, and outsiders can respect the true talent while still loathing the attempted image of nobility. Give Dylan to the Sox. They are currently in that born-again period and trying in vain to get their followers to believe in something, but may yet return with some well-aged, coarse-voiced prowess come October.

      • aceshigh11 - Sep 12, 2011 at 12:46 PM

        Well-played, sir.

  4. 18thstreet - Sep 12, 2011 at 12:17 PM

    The wild shirtless lyrics of Mark Farner? The bong-rattling bass of Mel Schacher? The competent drumwork of Don Brewer?

  5. kopy - Sep 12, 2011 at 12:19 PM

    Chad Smith is the under-appreciated Chili Pepper. His experimental beats on the new album are what makes it interesting. Frusciante is a big loss, but I think everybody expected that it would be.

    • kopy - Sep 12, 2011 at 12:20 PM

      Also this http://www.makethelist.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Chad-Smith-and-Will-Ferrell.jpg

      • thejjharris - Sep 12, 2011 at 1:25 PM

        I can never remember his name, so he’s always “The Chili Peppers drummer…the one who looks like Will Ferrell” to me…

    • mpescaro - Sep 12, 2011 at 12:57 PM

      I don’t see a team that fits the Chili Peppers. It needs to be, overall, a talented team with some likable members and some very good moments, but the most obnoxious frontman in the history of the game preventing them from ever being truly good. Like, one detestable “ace” who, midway through a game, stops throwing pitches and just stands on the mound and goes “doobie doobie ding a ding ba bong bong dow shibby dibby dibby dibby ding dong dong.” Like, a guy who ruins everything his team does by blabbering on like an idiot and running shirtless toward a camera. There is no current or former Major League Baseball player that I can, in all good conscience, compare to Anthony Kiedis. Most villains are actually talented, and not one was the sole factor that stood in the way of their team’s talent.

      • celauritz - Sep 12, 2011 at 2:30 PM

        Carlos Zambrano?

  6. mpescaro - Sep 12, 2011 at 12:30 PM

    I’m so pleased with your mere placement of the Velvet Underground on the list, and with your point of saying that the Red Hot Chili Peppers do not belong above them (although I’d have omitted them entirely), that I can even forgive the deep gash you’re cutting into me as a Red Sox fan by comparing the Yankees to Dylan (and the Sox to Prince, although you’re eating a big slice of that humble pie yourself with the Braves). I’ve gained more respect for you than I had before. Good rankings.

  7. natstowngreg - Sep 12, 2011 at 12:35 PM

    Reserve the Beatles for the World Series winner.

    • yankeesfanlen - Sep 12, 2011 at 4:29 PM

      Who do we have for the Astors? Gerry and the Pacemakers?

  8. Francisco (FC) - Sep 12, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    Technically speaking, the Giants got their own band…

    • nolanwiffle - Sep 12, 2011 at 12:47 PM

      They Might Be Giants? (If their catcher hadn’t been shelved for the season)

  9. heyblueyoustink - Sep 12, 2011 at 12:42 PM

    What, no Wu Tang clan?

    “We form like Voltron”

    – Raekwon the Chef

    • mpescaro - Sep 12, 2011 at 1:02 PM

      I could see the Jays, Rays, and Orioles saying, “Cash Rules Everything Around Me.”

    • somekat - Sep 12, 2011 at 2:28 PM

      Meth said that, not Raekwon, and the quote is “We formed like Voltron, and he just happened to be the head”, talking about the ga

      • sasquash69 - Sep 12, 2011 at 4:01 PM

        Your a douche bag

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Sep 12, 2011 at 5:13 PM

        You’re bad with contractions.

  10. aceshigh11 - Sep 12, 2011 at 12:43 PM

    To keep the music theme going: this Wednesday is the “Big Four” (Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax) concert at Yankee Stadium.

    I usually don’t enjoy entering enemy territory, but this will be a killer show.

    • 18thstreet - Sep 12, 2011 at 12:47 PM

      I like the use of “killer” to describe a show performed by Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax.

      Puns fail for Metallica.

      • nolanwiffle - Sep 12, 2011 at 1:00 PM

        Ore do they?

      • aceshigh11 - Sep 12, 2011 at 1:29 PM

        I haven’t been impressed with Metallica’s music in years, but they still put on a great show.

        I haven’t seen Anthrax with Joey Belladonna on vocals yet, so that will be a real treat.

        And Slayer ALWAYS crushes.

  11. bravesman1983 - Sep 12, 2011 at 12:47 PM

    REO Speedwagon deserves more respect. It’s a damned travesty.

  12. Jonny 5 - Sep 12, 2011 at 12:53 PM

    LOL!!!!!

    But how the hell are the Phillies not the Beatles with their front 4 being so dreamy and all??

    • aceshigh11 - Sep 12, 2011 at 1:32 PM

      You know, it’s at the point where if the Phillies don’t decisively win the World Series, the entire year will be deemed a failure.

      Steinbrenner redux.

      That said, the Phillies can be crowned the Beatles IF they win it all.

      • Jonny 5 - Sep 12, 2011 at 1:49 PM

        I’d say it doesn’t matter much how they win it, whether decisively or not. A win is a win, but yes, if they lose it will be deemed a failure for sure. I almost can’t believe I’m saying this. It’s as if I’ve entered an alternate reality. This is the best Phillies team ever.

    • mpescaro - Sep 12, 2011 at 1:33 PM

      Because Ringo never through his back out and failed to play on anything from Revolver through Magical Mystery Tour.

      • mpescaro - Sep 12, 2011 at 1:39 PM

        Oh, and Ringo improved vastly by Abbey Road. Oswalt has lost a few steps since his return.

      • mpescaro - Sep 12, 2011 at 1:49 PM

        I used the wrong version of “threw.” I’ll be hiding under a desk for the next year or two.

    • indaburg - Sep 12, 2011 at 2:34 PM

      Elvis also OD’ed on his own hubris. Will the same happen to the Phillies?

      • Jonny 5 - Sep 12, 2011 at 2:52 PM

        Ha!!! Maybe you misunderstand the meaning of Hubris then?

      • indaburg - Sep 12, 2011 at 4:00 PM

        Well, Elvis thought nothing could kill him, much like the Phils and their phans think right now… :)

      • Jonny 5 - Sep 12, 2011 at 4:04 PM

        Awww, that’s not what we think. We just think they’re the best team in baseball right now. ;)

  13. indaburg - Sep 12, 2011 at 1:03 PM

    Velvet Underground = Rays? Very cool. I like it. A lot.

    (How did The Pixies not make the list?)

  14. thejjharris - Sep 12, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    I would think the Cardinals would be Pink Floyd: talented, run by an overbearing megalomaniac, but ultimately something you need to be pretty stoned to enjoy.

    • aceshigh11 - Sep 12, 2011 at 1:33 PM

      That made me chuckle.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Sep 12, 2011 at 5:15 PM

      This is good, but I have the feeling TLR hates Floyd and thus doesn’t deserve the proud moniker.

    • wlschneider09 - Sep 12, 2011 at 6:34 PM

      Yeah, with his politics TLR is much more of a Ted Nugent.

  15. kellyb9 - Sep 12, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    You’re just setting yourself up for a million people saying – “Hey, why didn’t X make this list?”. Since I’m on the subject, Hey, why didn’t Pearl Jam make this list?

    • Jonny 5 - Sep 12, 2011 at 1:52 PM

      It’s because their first album was their best by far. So every single album afterwards is a let down. You just can’t call one of the best bands ever chokers, but in the sports world they would be.

      How’s that?

      • snowbirdgothic - Sep 12, 2011 at 2:15 PM

        So, basically the Pirates and/or Indians this year.

      • kellyb9 - Sep 12, 2011 at 2:29 PM

        Wow J5, you really need to go back and listen to some of their albums through the 90’s. Versus, No Code, etc. – some good stuff. Backspacer is the best album they’ve put out in years. I understand if you don’t like them, but their music has consistently ranked high (think no. 1) in the billboard music charts over the years – to call them chokers is a bit extreme. I don’t like Red Hot Chili Peppers, but I can’t deny that they are a very successful act.

      • Jonny 5 - Sep 12, 2011 at 2:43 PM

        Kelly, I think you’re missing how I said they were “one of the best bands ever”. It’s just my opinion that they never were able to create an album as good as “TEN” was. It was by far their best album and every one after was “well it wasn’t as good as Ten, again.” So they only only “choked” because they never met the expectations they created by being so damn awesome to begin with. I definitely DO like Pearl Jam, without a doubt.

      • kellyb9 - Sep 12, 2011 at 3:05 PM

        Ahh I gotcha… yeah as far as commerical success, they’ve never really been able to duplicate Ten. But than again, I’d rank Ten as one of the top 25-50 greatest albums ever. Disagree with the Pirates or Indians… I’d say they are the Giants. Easy to overlook, but still good. Also, in some areas, a letdown ;-).

    • sasquash69 - Sep 12, 2011 at 4:05 PM

      Very good point. Pearl Jam over 95 percent of the bands listed. Its a pretty bad list if you ask me.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Sep 12, 2011 at 5:21 PM

      I’ll be damned if anyone knocks my man Vedder. Ten is the best, but I’ve come to love a LOT of the other albums’ tracks from hearing mostly live versions via Pandora (in fact, my station is the “Pearl Jam” station). I tell you what, Vedder makes anything sounds awesome live. Anything.

      Aside from that obvious piece missing (although I know that CC isn’t a Pearl Jam fan so didn’t expect them on the list), the real travesty is the lack of hip-hop all around. Craig has familiarity with early 90’s hip-hop (class if you will) and Slim Shady as well. That much I know from past references. Talk about an oversight.

  16. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Sep 12, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    Next week, can we have the pastry and desserts edition please???

    • wlschneider09 - Sep 12, 2011 at 6:36 PM

      Sure, piece of cake….

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