Friday, April 4, 2008
*Xavier Nady, LSWTF player of the week*
One week into the season and my Power Rankings are completely annihilated! Wha Happen???? The top tier teams played like bush leaguers and the bottom teams looks like Gods. I know its early but that doesn’t give talented teams an excuse to underachieve. There are no excuses; “There is no crying in baseball”. I do have to admit that I love the drama. The Royals are undefeated and the Tigers are winless. That, and there has been a plethora of games on TV for us all to watch.
1 (1) Boston Red Sox (3-1) – The only reason they retain this spot is because of their record. Nothing has looked good so far in bean town. Yes, Jon Lester pitched 3 hit ball, but it was ugly! Big Papi needs to find his swing. The good news is that Ace Josh Beckett will pitch on Sunday.
2 (5) New York Mets (2-1) – Johan Santana was damn near flawless in his NL debut. As for Pedro, I knew this was coming. Any Met fan should have expected this.
3 (7) San Diego Padres (2-1) – This is any easy pick, the Padres had 24 damn near flawless men on the field this week. Other than Hoffman’s blown save in the 9th, they were spectacular. Jake Peavy pitched like a Cy Younger and the bullpen was terrific. They spanked that Astro’s juggernaut offense!
4 (4) LA Dodgers (2-1) – I promise this is not West Coast biases but give credit to where credit is due. However, it was good to see LA struggle against my Giants. They had difficulties putting up runs but in the end they took the series. Derek Lowe and Brad Penny looked VERY solid, as did the rest of the bullpen. However, the offense looked lethargic and uninspired. Regardless, stats are meaningless. Its all about the record.
5 (6) New York Yankees (2-1) – Other than Mike Mussina’s putrid outing, the Yanks are off to a decent start. Hughes is pitching to his potential and Joba is a man possessed! The offense is off to a slow start but that isn’t unusual.
6 (11) LA Angels (3-1) – I know I have not given this team a fair shot but 2 key starters are out and they underachieved during spring training. But the Angels went into Minnesota and pulled it together and took the series. Well done!
7 (3) Chicago Cubs (1-2) – I think I am being VERY generous to the Cubs right now, but it’s too early to kick them out of the top 10. Nothing has gone right so far except for Fukudome, (unless your Jack Gonzo; Fuk-u-do-me). Soriano has no hits and Wood blew his first save attempt. Another sub-stellar week like this one and they will be out of the top 10.
8 (14) Milwaukee Brewers (2-1) – I wanted them to earn a top 10 and they did just that. Braun has shrugged that sophomore slump cliché, Weeks is playing like he did 2 years ago and most importantly, Ben Sheets is pitching pain free and brilliantly. I may have jumped the gun with the 8 seed, but I get pumped up every time I listen to this team on the radio.
9 (2) Detroit Tigers (0-3) – Its to soon to drop them out of the top 10 this early. True, the only Tiger hitting over .200 is my VCU boy Brandon Inge, but I feel they will suck it up and play to their potential. The pitching, on the other hand, is crap. Verlander, Rogers, and Bonderman all stunk it up against a far more inferior Royals squad.
10 (8) Cleveland Indians (2-1) – C.C pitched badly and Victor Martinez is hurt, YET, they still took the series from the White Sox. For that reason, they keep the top 10.
11 (16) Seattle Mariners (2-1) – J.J. Putz is on the DL leaving a huge void in the closer role. Seems they will go with the whole “Closer by Committee” route.
12 (9) Arizona Diamondbacks (1-2) – Dan Haren struggled a bit in his NL debut, but it doesn’t help when the offense provides little to no offense. They also got 1-hit against Reds rookie Johnny Cueto. That aint good!
13 (11) Chicago White Sox (1-2) – You know it’s bad when Jim Thome is still the only offense on the team. Swischer is playing OK but someone tell me why he is batting lead-off? Ozzie Guillen must be smoking something!!
14 (19) Washington Nationals (3-1) – Don’t expect this bump to stick but their record is reason to celebrate for this week. They nearly swept a playoff contender on the road and did beat the Braves by means of Walk-Off HR. I haven’t seen Washington this happy since Deion Sanders retired from the Redskins!!
15 (15) Tampa Bay Rays (1-1) – Its hard to move them up or down after just 2 games played. James Shields pitched a great game; however, Matt Garza did not. He managed to look worse than O’s starter Daniel Cabrera. I didn’t know that was possible!!
16 (12) Colorado Rockies (1-2) – So far I am not impressed. The Cardinals are not a team that should shut this offense out. Big guns Hawpe, Holliday, and Adkins are hitting below .200.
17 (28) Kansas City Royals (3-0) – I wouldn’t expect this generous rank to stick but they swept the Tigers, IN TIGER STADIUM no less! They made baseballs best lineup look like kittens. They earned a top 20 with awesome pitching and solid hitting.
18 (13) Houston Astro’s (1-3) - Roy Oswalt needs to pitch better if this team expects to make the playoffs. He is all they have. The offense looks shaky, and if not for that Lance Berkman homerun off of Trevor Hoffman, they would be sitting ugly with a 0-4 record.
19 (22) Cincinnati Reds- (2-1) – Dews and I were talking about Johnny Cueto yesterday. We both agreed that Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball screwed us by adding him in as a waiver that day. Judging by his successful spring, did anyone expect him NOT to pitch well?? Oh, and by the way, Aaron Harang has always been this good!
20 (22) Toronto Blue Jays (1-2) – They had a tough series against the Yankee’s so they keep their spot. It also doesn’t help that they play the Red Sox over the weekend.
21 (17) Philadelphia Philly’s (1-2) – I had to knock them out of the top 20. You can’t lose the opening home series to the Nationals if you’re the Philadelphia Philly’s. Oh, and way to spoil that great Cole Hammel performance.
22 (21) Minnesota Twins (1-2) – I really think the Twins are better than 23, but they cannot lose home games the way they did. Justin Morneau’s bat is cold and the pitching is bad. Once Liriano makes it bad to the show I expect them to play a little better.
23 (20) Atlanta Braves (1-3) – Consider this a gift. Mike Hampton is hurt……..again, and the bullpen is off to a bad start. The good news is that Teixera and Francour are playing reasonably well. Oh, and Dews ROY pick, Jar Jurrjen’s pitched rather well in his first start of the season.
24 (26) Pittsburgh Pirates (2-1) – They showed the NL they mean business. They took care of Atanta, or should I say Xavier Nady. 2HR and 6RBI in the series. Very impressive.
25 (25) St Louis Cardinals (2-1) – Disregard my Albert Pujol’s hating. He is a man on fire right now.
26 (24) Oakland A's (1-3) – Consider this rank Jack Gonzo’s wedding gift, or part of it. Other than the 1 Oakland win, they have been downright bad. Only 1 run has been scored since their return from Japan. Gonzo will be quick to point out that the A’s NEVER have a good April. I have some faith that Oakland will perform better once April is a forgotten memory.
27 (23) San Francisco Giants (1-2) – I really want to put the Giants in from of Oakland. Hell, at least we kept it close against the Dodgers. If not for a rookie mistake in game 2 we could have 2 wins. “Tiny” Tim and Matt Cain pitched great in games 2 and 3 and made us all forget about Barry Zito’s 82 MPH fastball. Our biggest problem is offense. Once we discover the holly grail of hitting, we will be a force to be reckoned with!!! Right now, we are Walter Johnson from Last Crusade and have “chosen poorly”.
28 (27) Texas Rangers (1-2) – They are bad. I mean REALLY bad. Other than Josh Hamilton, they have nobody hitting baseballs. I will give Kevin Millwood credit, he pitched decent enough for me not to hate.
29 (30) Baltimore Orioles (0-0) – They can thank Marlin pitching for their exit from last place. Daniel Cabrera managed to walk 6 batters and still get the win. Brian Roberts is the only good thing the O’s have that is good right now. And you wanted to trade him......
30 (29) Florida Marlins (1-2) – Opening day has not been kind for Marlin fan. Johan had his way with them and to make things worse, they got crushed 13-0 last night.