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Your Monday Morning Power Rankings

Sep 26, 2011, 10:00 AM EDT

Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees Getty Images

It’s the last Power Rankings of the season. In some ways it’s rather pointless, what with the season being effectively over for the majority of teams. To what end power, if there is no manner in which to exert it?  An interesting ettickal question.

Indeed, I was just gonna not do a Power Rankings. But then I realized I had a legitimate reason to not make Philly number one, and I figured that would cheese off a bunch of ya, so why not?

1. Yankees: Winning most of the games they’re supposed to win, worrying more about whether marginal dudes will make the postseason roster than they’re worrying about the big existential questions that vex a team at this time of year. Yeah, I think that earns them the number one slot.

2. Phillies: I mean sure, on some level this is unfair inasmuch as, if you put a gun to my head, I still say that Philly has the best shot of anyone once the playoffs start. But sorry guys. You don’t lose eight in a row and not suffer some sort of Power Rankings penalty for it.

3. Rangers: Quietly rolling. It’s amazing how little anyone talks about these guys.

4. Diamondbacks: Everyone’s going to call them the Cinderella story of the playoffs, but they haven’t really fit that mold. They’ve carried themselves like a team that knows it belongs. Never going on bad skids, not relying on unsustainable streaks.  Just doing their work. I think they could cause a lot of trouble for whoever they face in the first round.

5. Tigers: I predict there will be 15 stories written in the next five days asking whether the Tigers “peaked too soon” with their hot streak in early September. I think that kind of thing is hogwash. They have the best pitcher in the AL, one of the best hitters and no glaring weaknesses. They’re fine, even if they’re not as hot right now as they were a couple of weeks ago.

6. Brewers:  They haven’t played a team with a winning record since September 11th, so you have to wonder if they’re honed as sharply as they could be.

7. Cardinals: They’re not yet in playoff position, but they still have a hell of a lot more mojo working than that team in Atlanta they’re chasing. And finishing the season with three in Houston? You couldn’t have set that up any better.

8. Rays: Three against the Yankees to close it out. If they make it, they will have freakin’ earned it.

9. Braves: Three against the Phillies to close it out. Call me crazy, but I’m not exactly optimistic.

10. Red Sox: Three against the Orioles to close it out. AHHHHHH!!!! PANIC!!! YYEEEAAAAHGGGGG!!!

11. Angels: Still technically alive, but they need a miracle. And I don’t know if you’ve looked around much lately, bub, but miracles don’t come easy these days.

Those out of the playoff conversation simply get a ranking this week. Sorry, but there are only so many ways you can say that their season is over, and I’ve been doing that for several weeks now.

12. Giants

13. Dodgers

14. Blue Jays

15. Indians

16. Nationals

17. Reds 

18. White Sox

19. Mets

20. Athletics

21. Rockies

22. Marlins

23. Pirates

24. Royals

25. Cubs

26. Padres

27. Orioles

28. Mariners

29. Twins

30. Astros

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Sep 26, 2011 at 10:02 AM

    Now the Phillies have the incentive they needed to sweep the Braves :D

    • shinjodun - Sep 26, 2011 at 12:56 PM

      Why should they? Would you rather have your opening round be against the struggling Braves or the red hot Cardinals that just took 3 out of 4 from you at home?

      • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 26, 2011 at 12:59 PM

        Because Craig ranked them second behind the Yankees. :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D

      • bigxrob - Sep 26, 2011 at 1:14 PM

        shinjodun,
        you do realize that the Phillies cannot play the Braves in the NLDS, right?

  2. uyf1950 - Sep 26, 2011 at 10:10 AM

    All I can say as a Yankees fan. While it nice that the Yankees are ranked #1 in the last “official” Power Rankings. The only ranking that really matters in one come the final/deciding game of the World Series sometime the 3rd week of October.

    Until then I hope all fans enjoy the post season but especially the fans of those 8 then 4 then 2 teams that eventually play in the 2011 MLB World Series.

    • uyf1950 - Sep 26, 2011 at 10:11 AM

      …While it’s nice…. (sorry about that).

  3. sdelmonte - Sep 26, 2011 at 10:18 AM

    I wouldn’t argue the Yankees’ being top ranked, but the question of who pitches after CC and Nova seems pretty vexing right now. Do you really go with Burnett, hope he doesn’t have that one bad inning, and hope the bats and relievers can fix the damage?

    • Jeremy T - Sep 26, 2011 at 10:53 AM

      I really hope not. If Hughes is healthy enough, I’d go with him. Otherwise Colon or Garcia. Or Noesi. Or Cory Wade. Or bring David Cone out of retirement and throw him out there. Literally anybody other than Burnett.

      • lukeslice - Sep 26, 2011 at 3:12 PM

        Hughes has already been relegated to the bullpen. My guess after this weekend is the wily veteran Freddy Garcia, who actually has been pretty good in his career in the post-season (most of which was accrued on the ’05 White Sox championship run): 3.11 ERA, 45 Ks to 22 BBs in 55 IP.

        Add that he looked good against the Sox this weekend and Bartolo/Va-AJ looked like shit and it seems like a no-brainer…

  4. Mike Luna - Sep 26, 2011 at 10:22 AM

    It’s amazing how little anyone talks about [the Rangers].

    Says the guy that barely ever talks about them….

  5. kellyb9 - Sep 26, 2011 at 10:44 AM

    As a Phillies fan, I’m going to argue that they have no business being the second ranked team… at this point, I’d put them around the point where you stopped writing things about teams.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 26, 2011 at 11:00 AM

      You really are that far off the Phillies after their losing streak, or are you just kidding?

      • kellyb9 - Sep 26, 2011 at 11:52 AM

        Just being honest, an 8 game losing streak against pathetically bad teams is not unacceptable, I can’t, at this point, justify them being the second best team in terms of power rankings. Ranking them as the second best team as far as momentum is just absurd.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 26, 2011 at 1:01 PM

        I can’t justify them being second best either…they are still the best. 8 meaningless losses where they didn’t play their entire lineup at all won’t change that. Notice yesterday, when they played their lineup for the first time in 8 games, they destroyed the Mutts? Coincidence? Doubt it.

    • Phillies Homer - Sep 26, 2011 at 11:07 AM

      Yea… this is probably the most absurd statement I have ever read. Have you watched the Phillies at all this year, or just monitor box scores??

      I agree with the “penalty for losing 8 straight”… but, the Phils are easily the team to beat, especially in the NL.

      • shinjodun - Sep 26, 2011 at 12:59 PM

        The only wya the Phils are the team to beat in the NL are if they lose on purpose to Atlanta for the next three.

        Remember, they just dropped 3 out of 4 to St. Louis in Philly a week ago. Do you really think they want St.L again in the first round of the playoffs?

      • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 26, 2011 at 1:02 PM

        shin, they killed the Cardinals in the one game they actually needed in that series. When the postseason starts, you would do well to forget about how the Cardinals took 3 of 4. Especially since your best pitcher likely won’t even pitch until game 3.

    • Jeremy T - Sep 26, 2011 at 11:24 AM

      I’m pretty sure this is just about as sarcastic as someone can get…

    • kellyb9 - Sep 26, 2011 at 11:49 AM

      Yeah clear sarcasm… I didn’t ACTUALLY mean they should be ranked that low. I’m just saying in terms of power rankings, this is NOT the way you want to enter the playoffs.

  6. dailyrev - Sep 26, 2011 at 10:57 AM

    The team you don’t talk about is going to lose the WS again, and as Lee strikes out the last Ranger in the last game, Nolan Ryan will have an epiphany on the injustice of American capitalism and start writing a left wing blog in the offseason…

    • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 26, 2011 at 11:00 AM

      American Capitalism or lack of a baseball salary cap and revenue sharing?

  7. shinjodun - Sep 26, 2011 at 12:55 PM

    St. L at 7?

    While they aren’t in the playoffs YET, they’ve taken 3 out of 4 from the Phillies (AT PHILLY), swept a 3 game series against the Braves (at home), and won 5 out of 6 against Milwaukee (3 home, 3 away) in the last 27 days.

    You know, 3 of the current 4 teams in the NL playoffs….

    St. L will cruise past Houston in a sweep, Atlanta wins 1 against Philly if they are lucky, and St.l enters the playoffs as the hottest team in the NL and they crushes Philly in the NLDS on their way to winning #11.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 26, 2011 at 1:09 PM

      Which division champ would you have put the Cardinals above? I think Craig put them at the perfect spot…they are the best of the non-division champs right now, but I don’t think I would put them ahead of any of the other teams. Especially since they are 4 games at a minimum behind any of the division champs.

  8. Lukehart80 - Sep 26, 2011 at 12:57 PM

    Not that anyone here cares, but those rankings strike me as being far too low for the Royals and far too high for the White Sox, given the way each team has played for the last month and Kansas City having a better run differential.

  9. cur68 - Sep 26, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    I’m picking the Rangers to win it all. Why? Well, since you asked, because I love an underdog, even its one that isn’t really an underdog. It seemed that all the press I saw round these parts were either “Perez shouldn’t be in the pen” to some derivative of “Washington’s an idiot”. All season it was either about lousy bullpen management, Hamilton’s arm break, or WTF is Ron Washington doing, it seemed. Am I missing something or did that team go to the WS last season? Did they fire-sale the team after that success (a la the Marlins) or did they get better?

    Right now, certain members of the scurrilous forces of Philadelphia, New York, Milwaukee, Arizona & Detroit are re-writing history to read “No one really gave us a chance. No one believed in us”. The Rangers are my pick for the legitimate contenders for that crown simply due to the disregard most seemed to have for them. And before someone points out to me that no one picked the Diamondback to do anything this season, let me all remind you that a certain internationally circulated baseball blogger pointed out how great that team looked in spring training, manager and all. Just as he did with NY, Philly, Milwaukee, & Detroit, if memory serves.

    I go into a number of arguments with other commenters about the Rangers over the course of the season. Everything from if they’re for real to if Washington’s any good as a manger, to WTF is up with Perez as a closer. I don’t get to be right very often, but it looks like this is going to be one of those moments: told ya.

    And, I’ll tell you this; my pick to win the WS. If I’m wrong, meh. Won’t be the first time.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 26, 2011 at 1:45 PM

      cur, I don’t think anybody made the Phillies out to be underdogs…if someone did, point me in their direction to call them an idiot.

      However, there have been some who have pointed out how the team with the biggest payroll in baseball was an “underdog” and won the division despite no one giving them a chance.

      And to be fair, nobody really gave the Arizona D-Backs a chance did they? ;)

      • cur68 - Sep 26, 2011 at 2:25 PM

        re. “Underdog Phillys” “…if someone did, point me in their direction to call them an idiot”

        No worries Chris, you took of that in the pre-season, during on of those never ending debates about if the Philly’s were for real or not with some troll.

        “nobody really gave the Arizona D-Backs a chance did they”. Nope. Certainly not Craig. Didn’t have a good word for them. I do believe he even said that their manager, some no-name goes by the ridiculous handle of “Kirk Gibson”, looked out of his depth. Or something.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 26, 2011 at 2:04 PM

      Who is Perez? Do you mean Feliz? And it’s a legitimate argument considering his K/9 is down and his BB/9 is up.

      • cur68 - Sep 26, 2011 at 2:17 PM

        Yup, church, that’s who I meant. Having one conversation and typing another will do that to a person. Thanks.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 26, 2011 at 2:55 PM

        Oh tell me about it. You were so confident in the name I think I checked fangraphs four or five times to make sure I wasn’t seeing things.

        One day I’ll cross post something from another website I read, and it’ll make 0 sense to anyone.

      • cur68 - Sep 26, 2011 at 3:09 PM

        “post something … and it’ll make 0 sense to anyone”; this describes 90% of the stuff that I post here, I bet.

  10. nyyankeedave - Sep 26, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    But, Craig, aren’t the Cardinals a “Superman” team? Boring and not very good…how could they be ranked above the “Batman” Braves?! Here’s hoping the ATL flames out-because as we ALL see now-they’re not very good either.

  11. niblickmaster - Sep 26, 2011 at 3:55 PM

    The Mariners at 28? that was generous.

  12. loungefly74 - Sep 27, 2011 at 12:45 PM

    that blunder at the beginning of the season might come back to haunt the sox!

    rankings look good. the 2 teams that should meet in the WS at #1 and #2.

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