I haven’t put up some baseball power rankings for awhile. Probably because the A’s had a rough patch, but now that they are on fire, and I can justify putting them in with the top 16 teams in the league again, it’s time to get some new power rankings up for the first 17 weeks of the season. It’s been a year of surprises, and I didn’t see the Padres being ranked third at any point, let alone this deep in the season! With about 100 games in the books every series starts to become more important than the last! Continue reading
Tag Archives: Yankees
Yes, it’s been awhile since we’ve had a Chapman in the news, and in honor of having the same last name as Cuban pitching sensation Aroldis Chapman, who will be showcasing his pitching on Tuesday for a handful of teams. It’s really the first time most will see him pitch live. He’s a 21-year-old lefty that is asking for Strasberg type money, actually more than Steven asked for, which I thought was ridiculous. Alas, he very well could end up being the next best Chapman since Rex (details here on one of the best white dunkers)! The main question for ML clubs is whether they want to spend on someone so raw and unproven. Seeing the triple digit fastball is good and all, but how coachable is he and what kind of worker is he? They also need to know if Aroldis will be able to adjust to the U.S. after getting out of a poverty stricken Cuba. I’m sure he’s going to get paid either way, which is always disappointing to see, since he hasn’t done anything yet. Hopefully, he will do something to once again make the Chapman name relevant in the sports world! Anyways, it sounds like the Angels, Red Sox, and Yankees have heavy interest in signing him, so it seems like he’ll get paid well where ever he goes.
The MLB Divisional Series was kicked off today, and the most exciting game TBS has covered so far was the last game of the regular season. Not to say if your a Philly (won 5-1) or Yankee (won 7-2) fan it wasn’t a good day, but it just wasn’t all that exciting for the rest of us. The Dodgers game is the only one that’s been interesting so far. The Dodgers are currently up 3-2 going into the bottom of the 5th and are surprisingly ripping Carpenter. So this game could be promising! Watching the playoffs and the amazing last game of the regular season it has made me realize I just don’t enjoy any announcer combos baseball has to offer. Maybe they’re dumbing it down too much for the people who don’t know what’s going on, but I rarely hear anything remotely insightful. Maybe they use the sideline reporters too much, I think Craig Sager always scares me a little the first time I see him everynight. He gives me that hide your kids because I don’t know about this guy vibe, but at least we don’t have to hear them more than five or six times a game. One thing I’m a HUGE fan of TBS for having, is the pitch-by-pitch K zone up they throw in the corner for every batter. It almost makes up for the weak announcing crews that are scared to make anyone sound like a bad person. I’d love to hear them call guys out, and stop playing the soft story line. We need some more Charles Barkley’s on the air!
You can vote for more than one combo of announcers if you really think they are equally good… Is that even possible?
Previously posted on Cali4dre’s blog http://playunderreview.wordpress.com/
Unbelievable. What was Jorge Posada thinking when he elbowed his way past Jesse Carlson last night? Or was he? No one will ever accuse the Yankees of taking the high road, don’t get me wrong, but seriously, as a catcher you should be the first to understand the unwritten rules of the game. The Yankees hit TWO Toronto Blue Jays batters prior to the pitch that whizzed past Posada’s backside in the 8th innings. This is a common occurrence in baseball known as protecting your own interest, or better yet, just getting even. Posada chose to ignore the obvious and made it personal, evidenced by his immediate reaction to reportedly mouth the words “you don’t want to do that”. It was enough that the benches almost cleared right there, no harm no foul, let’s move on right???
Oh no, not Jorge Posada. Apparently he’s way too special to be a part of such a natural occurrence in baseball. Something I didn’t realize being a fan of his workman-like attitude as a catcher and classic baseball disposition. The guy looks like he could have played in any era. So to my surprise what happens? Posada ends up scoring on a double by Brett Gardner, and as he passed Carlson he throws out his left elbow towards the reliever. It was so blatant, even home plate umpire Jim Joyce called it “…very unsportsmanlike … It was a cheap shot.”
Benches cleared as Gardner and Posada began to tussle, and Gardner was consumed by a pile of Yankees jerseys that had a much shorter distance to join the melee.
Gardner reportedly felt his arms get pulled down before receiving a blow to the head that left a very large welt. Looking at the replay it seems very unlikely that Posada got the damaging blow in, but Toronto catcher Rod Barajas and Yankee reserve outfielder Shelly Duncan were involved in separate showdown towards the end. Later Posada made a very interesting comment, proving he knowingly made the poor decision by letting his own ego get ahead of his team and moral obligations. “I don’t want my kids to see that. … Fight in the middle of the field, benches clearing — that’s a bad example.”
Not only did he set a terrible example for his own kids, Posada’s Yankee followers in the stands chose to make poor choices with dangers consequences. A an idiot Yankee supporter decided to throw a full soda bottle out onto the field and hit third base umpire and crew chief Darryl Cousins in the knee. He received a bruise bad enough to keep him from returning to the game, as a three man crew finished off the last inning and a half. X-Rays taken were negative. On a side note I hope they find this person and ban them for life, they are not true baseball fans just because they have tickets that close to the field.
Upon further review, besides the obvious in regards to fighting, Jorge Posada’s Yankees are on track to runaway with the AL East and are heavy favorites to reach the World Series.
They have so much more to lose than the Blue Jays, who by mid-season were trying to unload their top 5 richest contracts as a concession to the season. What the Yankees don’t need is their star catcher injuring his hand in a fight, suspended for a week of important season ending games, and getting other players involved in his personal disputes. His teammates are not going to let him fight alone, and Jorge should know that by now unless he’s so insecure that he feels he needs to test them. For a 24 year old rookie maybe this mistake happens and you learn from it. But for a 38 year old veteran and World Series champ, I’m very very disappointed Jorge.
Mauer has been my fantasy teams MVP this season, but does he have a case for the AL MVP this year? Currently ranked 3rd in Yahoo fantasy games, Mauer figures to be a top contender in the running for AL MVP. You can’t say that he’s been a huge surprise, because he’s always been an elite hitter consistently in the batting title race, but it’s his home run totals that have made his case much stronger for being the MVP this year. It’s pretty tough to argue with the man’s stats so far, .383 average (1st in majors), slugging .643 (1st in majors), 1.088 OPS (1st in majors), 25 homers (10th in AL), and 77 RBI’s on the season even after missing nearly the whole first month. It’s too bad the Twins are starting to fade back in the race for the central, but I feel he should win the AL MVP if he keeps his current pace. Who knows, a .400 batting average may not be out of reach either!
I don’t blame people for picking Mark Teixeira as he is having a great season with 30 homers and 86 RBI’s, but he hasn’t had the better overall season that Mauer has. They are both top notch gold glovers on the defensive side at their positions, so that’s a wash. Besides, nobody picks the MVP based on their defense, because that’s what gold gloves are for. If I did for argument’s sake, I’d have to say playing catcher would have to be a little more difficult than first base. In evaluating an MVP, you have to include other factors like the ballparks they play in. The new Yankee stadium is obviously a hitter’s park, while the Metrodome is much more of a pitcher’s park. Maybe that doesn’t even out the home run totals, but when you look at the fact that only 11 of Teixeira’s homers are on the road, it has to be weighed in. The Yankees have scored sixty more runs than the Twins this year. I’d assume that that is why Teixeira has more RBI’s as he has more chances. Stats would support that as well as Mauer is hitting .403 with RISP, and Tex is hitting .258 with RISP. Who is more clutch for their team? Numbers say Mauer.
Many argue that the MVP should come from a team that is going to the playoffs. This definitely hurts my Mauer argument, but it’s unlike basketball where it’s basically a requirement to be on the best team. Baseball’s voters don’t limit their view to the best teams as there have been 47 MVP’s that didn’t make the playoffs. It is one of the criteria, but it isn’t weighed nearly as heavily as football and baseball. If Kobe wants to try to take the MVP he can chuck up 50 shots a game, and surely he’ll average 35 per. Drew Brees can throw the ball 50 times in a game to put up crazy numbers (Wait, he already does that. Bad example.), but in baseball a hitter only comes to the plate once every nine players. He can’t control how many times he bats or if his teammates don’t do anything at the plate. So penalizing Mauer because his teammates are worse is unfair.
As for the NL MVP race, it’s pretty clear cut that Pujols is leading the way. He doesn’t look like he’ll win the triple crown, but it’s still not out of reach for him. He should be going for his fourth or fifth MVP by now, but for some reason the voters decided to pick someone that is more valuable to a team than him a few times. Most recently, I don’t see how Ryan Howard won the MVP over him last season. Not that Howards numbers weren’t incredible, but how can anyone really say that Pujols isn’t more valuable to his team than Howard? The Phillies have three guys that can potentially win the MVP every year. The easiest way to prove this theory is seeing how well Ibanez has benefitted from moving to a hitter friendly park and hitter friendly lineup. He is even in the race for the NL MVP if he can shake off the post injury rust. It’s like the Teixeira argument; he just has better players around him to help him put those stats up. Now that Pujols is matched with Holliday, his numbers should be indisputable by seasons end.
Since my last piece examined the state of the NBA on the decline, I figured that it would be fitting to give an assessment of the MLB during the financial crisis . Baseball is in the beginning stages of seeing exactly how bad the country’s unwillingness to spend is affecting them. We’ll know exactly what is going to happen with 19 teams within 6 games of first place in their divisions. As the July 31st trade deadline approaches, will any teams make any big moves adding money to their payroll? Baseball is facing their biggest financial hurdle since they came back from the 94 strike, but this time they don’t have the influx of steroids to save them. Even the rich teams are feeling the financial crunch as the powerhouses like the Yankees and Red Sox are even seeing declining ticket sales.
With teams struggling to get fans through the turnstiles, they’ve turned to alternatives to lure people to the games. In Arizona, they gave away an unprecedented amount of 41 season tickets to 14 different families which was worth approximately $100K. The Marlins are giving away $2,500 towards a mortgage or rent payment for 11 Saturday’s this season. They are also giving away free tickets on Monday night games to any person with proof that they were laid off. Baseball, more than other sports, is driven by ticket sales, and this year has shown that even the mighty Yankees and Red Sox aren’t immune to the recession, as many games aren’t selling out the way they have over the past decade and a half.
Last year there were many big names swirling around before the deadline like CC Sabathia, Mark Teixiera, Manny Ramierez, Jason Bay, Rich Harden, and Joe Blanton. Like many years past, all of the marquee names found a new home for the 2nd half of the season to help their respective teams during the playoff push. Maybe last year’s market had more top dogs than most, but this year you can hear a pin drop around most camps with teams trying to find ways to save. I haven’t heard one intriguing rumor for any player that would make a significant impact on a team pushing for a playoff spot. As we approach the July 31st trade deadline, it’s the time of the year when teams have to decide if they are a buyer or a seller. This year it seems as though everyone is a seller, and every team has players on the block as they just want to clear salary. It doesn’t seem like teams even want to improve in this bizarro situation that is mirroring the NBA. Are Mark Derosa and Eric Hinske going to be the biggest names we hear moved this year? So far it’s shaping up that way. The Red Sox, Phillies, Giants, and Mets seem like the only teams that are willing to take on a significant amount of salary. The economy has made GM’s much more cautious. Even if there are trades made, I doubt it will be much more than a 7-9 hitter or a 4th or 5th man in the pitching rotation. I hope we see some fireworks from one or two teams before it’s all said and done. I need something to look forward to, since my A’s were placed on the sellers list a month ago by positioning themselves firmly in last place in the AL West. Hopefully they can get a few parts via trade, that can be immediately inserted into their D rated offense for one of their proven players (their old guys or Holliday).
The first Doin Work MLB Power Rankings! Sure there may be a few surprises in here, but where else can you see a westcoast biased rankings!?! I would think it should be a little refreshing after always hearing an East Coast point of view! Feel free to rip the placement of any of the teams, but this is our rundown of the league through 6/18.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers – They have the best record in the league, with Juan Pierre leading the team in average after Manny’s suspension. The team hasn’t been hitting as well the last couple of weeks, but their pitching is the real story, as they lead the majors with a 3.59 ERA and are holding opponents to a league low .235 BA.
2. Boston Red Sox – The much maligned Boston squad has surged of late to become the second team to 40 wins. They’ve ridden the success of the best home record in the majors (23-8), as well as the best record against their division (20-8). We all know about their success against the Yankees this year, but what some might not know is they’ve struggled against the AL West (5-10). Only the Orioles have a worse record.
3. Texas Rangers – Somehow the Rangers and manager Ron Washington have figured out ways to win in Texas. Will it will last through the dog days of August when pitchers usually start getting blown up in Arlington? We will see. Everyone knows their offense will hit, but can Millwood and Feldman keep rolling the way they have?
4. Anaheim Angels – This might be a little high, but the Angels have the longest current win streak in the majors. They’re also a proven contender whose main concern in the early going was injuries. They were without John Lackey, Vladimir Guerrero, and Ervin Santana but managed to stay afloat. Now, all three are back and the Angels look poised to reclaim control of the AL West. Joe Saunders and Jered Weaver have combined for a 14-6 record. If Lackey and Santana can regain their form, this team could be dangerous.
5. Philadelphia Phillies – They are (36-28) with a 3 game lead in their division, but they have struggled at home (13-18), which has knocked the reining champs down a few spots in the rankings. The placement of Ibanez on the DL probably won’t hurt them as much as their bullpen has this year as they rank 26th in pitching. They’ve made up for the pitching woes with the fifth most runs scored and the 3rd most HR’s in the league.
6. Milwakee Brewers – They seem to be back on track, winning their last 3 at Cleveland in a series that saw them put up 30 runs. They gave up 25, which could be reason to be alarmed, but they came away with the W each time. Assuming they’ve bounced back from the previous stretch where they lost 6 of 7, Milwaukee should remain atop an NL Central that is very winnable. They currently have, by far, the best intra-divisional record at 21-10. Prince Fielder, who leads the majors in RBI, heads up an explosive offense. Their fate will lie with their rotation. Yovani Gallardo is pitching like an all-star, but Suppan, Looper, Bush, and Parra will need to pick their game up to help the Brewers win the Central.
7. New York Yankees – Since A-Rod came back from the DL, Teixeira is on a tear with 15 homers and 38 RBI’s since June 9th. The Bronx bombers still have question marks on the pitching side as they are currently ranked 26th in ERA. The main question is whether the new ballpark is evening out their superior batting lineup, as they give up nearly as many runs as they score in the new version of Arlington. So far they have fared well at their new home (21-13), and have gotten lucky at times as well (Castillo comes to mind). They are only 3 games back of Boston in a very tough AL East division.
8. Toronto Blue Jays – They’ve proved they’re for real this year, especially on the offensive side. If everything goes according to plan, they should finish 3rd in the AL East! The only question mark for the Blue Jays has been their pitching, and that just got a lot more complicated with the loss of Roy Halladay.
9. St. Louis Cardinals – Big Albert has been on a tear lately slugging 10 homers with 21 RBI’s over the last month which has helped them stay within a game of the division leading Brewers. St. Louis boasts the sixth best era in the league (3.47), which has been a key in their success. Carpenter has been stellar since coming off the DL giving up a total of 9 runs in 41 innings.
10. Tampa Bay Rays – Tampa has been strong lately going 12-5 over their last 17. They are currently 3 games over .500 for the first time this season. They are determined to show that last year wasn’t a fluke, and have added to the congestion atop the AL East. They currently are +72 in run differential which is the highest in the league, so you have to figure sooner or later they are going to go on a good stretch in the win column.
11. Colorado Rockies – They have been as hot as any team in baseball, since they fired Clint Hurdle and replaced him with Jim Tracey they’ve gone a solid 14-4 since the switch. Their early season schedule was one of the toughest in baseball, which is why I think they struggled out of the gate. Their recent power surge has raised them to 8th in runs scored and they are now tied for 8th in HR’s in the MLB.
12. Detroit Tigers – Granderson and Inge are leading the charge as the Tigers look to be what everyone thought they would be last year. I would’ve put them higher but they have lost four in a row including two to lowly Pittsburgh.
13. New York Mets – This is just about the area in the rankings where the contenders segue into the pretenders. The Mets are still in the upper echelon of MLB teams, but have yet to show they can put together a full season. Luis Castillo’s game losing drop seemed an awful lot like September foreshadowing though!
14. San Francisco Giants – The offense has been bad, as expected, but they’ve managed to stay above .500 for some time now, thanks in large part to Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain, who are likely to keep up their pace. Anywhere above .500 should keep the Giants in the wild card race.
15. Cincinatti Reds – They’ve managed to stay afloat despite injuries to Edinson Volquez, Edwin Encarnacion, and I guess Joey Votto. Add to that poor starts to the season by Bronson Arroyo and Micah Owings. If the Reds can get healthy, even they could make a run at the division.
16. Chicago Cubs – Currently sitting in 4th place, but only 4 games back of the first place Brewers. The Cubs need to figure out two things if they’re going to make any noise this season: how to win on the road and how to win in their division.
17. Minnesota Twins – The Twins have been extremely inconsistent thus far, but they always end up finding a way to win. At 34-34, they are still very much in the wild card picture, but they’ll need the team to click altogether to make a run at the postseason. Their pitching won’t dominate, but it’ll keep them close and games will be winnable with Mauer and Morneau leading the way at the plate.
18. Chicago White Sox – It appears that the starting pitching has turned the corner with many great outings lately, led by Jose Contreras only giving up 3 hits in his last two starts (16 IP). The offense will have to pick it up soon if they are going to contend.
19. Florida Marlins – Ten different pitchers have started games for the Marlins this year. However, Josh Johnson has been the only one to prove he belongs. They’ve made attempts to get back to .500 but can’t quite get there.
20. Seattle Mariners – The M’s started the season making some people believe they would be a contender in the West, but since the hot start they have struggled and look about the same as the last few seasons lackluster performances.
21. Atlanta Braves – They haven’t been consistent and don’t look to be taking the NL East anytime soon, with a few good teams now residing in their division. Chipper needs to break out of his slump for them to make any kind of a move.
22. Pittsburgh Pirates – Pittsburgh isn’t in last in their division for once. Somehow they have kept it going after trading away a top player (McClouth) for MORE prospects. I guess they’re just stockpiling them for something good to come along. Their pitching has kept them in games as they are currently ranked 13th overall in ERA.
23. Oakland A’s – A win against the Dodgers bumped them up a spot, but they have looked awful in the field and at the plate. Not the recipe for success for any team. Holliday, Giambi, and Cabrera seem to be battling it out for the biggest bust on the team.
24. Cleveland Indians – Like many teams at the bottom of the rankings and standings, breaks just don’t come their way. They look good for a week and terrible the next week. Their pitching has been awful this year which, makes it hard for any team to compete. They are ranked last in ERA.
25. Houston Astros – Tejada is the only bright spot on the team being 2nd in the NL in BA, and first in doubles (23). As we get closer to the All-Star break it looks as though we’ll see what players they are going to trade away. I saw the Vegas odds on a Houston firesale at 2/1.
26a. San Diego Padres – Not much to say here, except Adrian Gonzalez’s NL home run lead was just taken from him by Pujols. They had a ten game winning streak, but came crashing back to earth by losing 11 out of 17 after the winning streak.
26b. Arizona Diamondbacks – At least the weather’s nice there, and they have Danny Haren. It was basically a matchup of Gonzalez and Haren to take the coveted 26a spot! As close to a tie as you’ll see on a power rankings!
28. Baltimore Orioles – Being in the toughest division in baseball they have shown everyone how to struggle. They have been outscored by opponents by 56 runs. It’s the largest run differential in the league. Oh and Matt Wienters has arrived if you didn’t know, oh you did, cool.
29. Kansas City Royals – They probably don’t deserve to be this low, but they haven’t shown anything that would make any fan of them care what their rank is. They have some pitching as they lead the league in complete games (8).
30. Washington Nationals – They are 2nd to last in pitching and 20th in hitting. They need to sign Strasberg and get him on the mound this year for them to move out of the cellar. They’re on pace to lose over 100 games.