Friday, May 23, 2008
*Josh Hamilton, fellow Gonzo tatoo enthusiast and LSWTF player of the week*
I had myself a very interesting week of baseball. Not just the baseball aspect though, but the acquisition of a new HD TV, courtesy of my fiancé’s family as an engagement gift. Let’s just say I took complete control over the tele and watched nothing but baseball in HD. The main topic of the week wasn’t necessarily the actually game play of baseball; rather the debate for instant replay. I thought hard and long, read columns, watched some arguments, and replays in question. Ultimately, I believe the sport does need instant replay, but only for certain calls (i.e. Homeruns, fair and foul balls) and not for simple human errors (Balls and Strikes, safe or out). That, and teams should only get the chance to throw “The red flag” once a game. I’m sure this debate will further, but onto some power rankings!!
1 (5) Boston Red Sox (31-19) – Nothing like a 7 game winning streak to get the Red Sox Nation back to the top. I watched the entire weekend series vs. the Brewers and I am convinced they are the best team in baseball. Outside of Beckett’s 4 HR let down, the rest of the rotation looked good. Ortiz found his confidence and Drew found his “Wonder Boy”. And yeh-yeh, Jon Lester got a no-hitter. Ill leave it at that.
2 (2) Chicago Cubs (28-19) – I debated whether or not to keep the Cubbies here. I really like what the Dbacks have these past 8 weeks. But the fact that Alfonso Soriano is hitting like an all-star in an already stacked lineup was the clincher. I also love the Marmol/Wood 8th/9th inning combo. To me, second only to Joba/Rivera.
3 (1) Arizona Diamondbacks (28-19) – I think this might be the beginning of the end for Dback fan. Not because Webb’s winning streak is over, but that the offense is ice cold. They lost a tough series against the shockingly good Marlins on top of that. But never fear, they are in the NL West; the hot streak breeding ground of baseball.
4 (7) LA Angels (24-21) – Say what you want A’s fan but you know they earned this spot. John Lackey pitched a brilliant game in his 2nd start and that should scare the AL East. Mike Napoli might be a novelty catcher by hitting nothing but homeruns but he can also catch a good game. It just seems like all the pieces are finally coming together. Well with the exception of Gary Matthews Jr. What a waste of 10 Mil!
5 (3) Tampa Bay Rays (27-20) – They lose a few spots not because of poor play, but because the top 4 have had phenomenal weeks. The Rays are still my sleeper team for the wild card and why not. Upton/Crawford/Pena/Navarro are playing PHE-NOMINAL baseball. The pitching has never looked better (Except for that rare Percival blown save the other day). Oh, and well done to the organization for giving up the cash and long term deal to Scott Kazmir.
6 (10) Florida Marlins (27-19) – Some may feel this spot does not grant them justice. Trust me, I get it. They swept the Dbacks and ended Webb’s streak. But they also lost 2 of 3 vs the Royals. Not to say this team is underachieving but the name of the game is consistency. It was nice to see Andrew Miller dominate last night though. And FINALLY, the Marlins ponied up and gave out a long term contract. Hanley Ramirez; 6 Year, 70 million.
7 (11) St Louis Cardinals (28-21) – Albert Pujols should quit baseball and join the UFC. The man put 1 man on the DL and gave another a bloody nose in one night (Chris Young and Josh Bard). He is unstoppable right now. Wainwright is still pitching great but the offense needs to help him out. With Izzy on the DL, we can finally get a taste of the Cardinals future closer, Chris Perez!
8 (12) Philadelphia Philly’s (27-22) – Its official, Cole Hamels is fricken amazing. He threw another brilliant game against the Nats Tuesday night, however, the offense failed to give him any support. Guys, you need to put up numbers when your ace is on the hill (And when he is on my fantasy roster). Ryan Howard proved that he has some gas left in the tank (3 HR this week).
9 (4) Oakland A's (25-23) – Braves fan is going to have a field day with this, but they would have a point. Playing .500 baseball doesn’t exactly earn you points A’s fan, but its tough to compete when other teams are riding outrageous winning streaks. They have the 4th best pitching in baseball right now and that’s saying a lot with no superstar guys in the rotation. The fact they are 2 ½ games out of first tells me that they can stay consistent and win big games. But losing 4 of your last 6 games could negate all of that.
10 (18) Atlanta Braves (26-21) – I really do hate putting the Braves in the top 10 due to a really hot streak, but they did earn it. Hudson won the pitching duel with Santana last night, Jurrjens is pitching like a ROY, Chipper is still hitting over .400, and Francoeur is starting to drive in runs. I do love that they embarrassed the Mets with the sweep, so perhaps there is some sweetness in the jump. Well done Braves!
11 (14) Chicago White Sox (27-20) – It’s to soon for me to buy into the Sox winning ways. Sure, they are riding a 8 game win streak but just last week they were a .500 club. If they can continue to do what they are doing, then they will be in the same company as the Saux and Cubs. They did, however sweep my Giants over the weekend. Fucking Carlos Quenten!
12 (6) Houston Astros (27-22) – Here’s another team that is victim to circumstance. Its not that they are playing bad (Well, Roy Oswalt is) it’s just that they had a mediocre week. It’s tough to win when the Cubs and Cards ride the wave of winning. Pence is beginning to be my new favorite Non-Giant player. He is a doubles machine and jacked his first granny!! Well done Hunter.
13 (9) Baltimore Orioles (24-22) – The good times don’t last long in Baltimore as they drop out of the top 10. Brian Roberts leads the team in hitting with a staggering .263 AVG and that’s rather pathetic. The O’s need their offense to click if they want to win games the AL East. The pitching cannot carry the load (as they have been lately). They have a VERY tough week ahead of them (Rays, Yankees, and Red Sox).
14 (13) LA Dodgers (25-21) – Good news in Dodger camp!! AndrEw Jones is hurt!! Why is this good? Dews favorite NLer Matt Kemp can finally play on a more consistent bases. This doesn’t change the fact that the offense in anemic and the rotation is sucking (Some would blame Brad Penny’s girlfriend, Eliza Dushku)
15 (9) New York Yankees (22-25) – Arod is back and what a return he had! 2 HRs (well, 3 really…stupid Umps) and a nice series win over the Orioles. It looks like the Joba experiment will take effect soon as his innings have increased. I, think it would be terrible to put him in the rotation, but that’s just my opinion. Oh, and Jason Giambi’s slump continues, even with the golden panties.
16 (19) Texas Rangers (24-25) – There jump is a no brainer. This years MVP and Comeback player of the Year, Josh Hamilton is a Man-Beast. He is leading the league in RBIs and has an AVG over .330. I like this kid a lot! Ian Kinsler is hitting the ball nicely and Donnie Murphy is proving to be a solid #5 behind Hamilton. But its that pitching, it needs to improve!!
17 (17) Milwaukee Brewers (22-25) – It was either the Mets or the Brewers here, and I think we can all agree I made the right call. Despite getting swept in Boston there were some good signs of success. Ryan Braun is on fire and JJ Hardy is showing signs of life for the first time in weeks. Ben Sheets tossed an OK 11 hit CG/SO and that’s not bad. Fielder, Weeks, and Hall all need to step up, and now.
18 (22) Minnesota Twins (23-24) – Why 18? Well, they are 2nd place and only 3 ½ games behind, so anything is possible. Livan Hernandez is pitching ok enough for them to win some games and FINALLY Delmon Young is playing to his potential. He still doesn’t have a HR and that should worry Twin fan.
19 (8) Cleveland Indians (22-25) – Let this be a lesson to you. A 6 game losing streak with the talent this team possesses is not good. Cliff Lee’s success was going to last but only so long. The offense is terrible, the pitching is terrible, and the nothing on this team looks good. Count your lucky stars that your only 4 ½ games out of 1st. C.C Sabathia proved again that he can win big, and lose just as worse. I’m starting to see his dollar signs shrink every week
20 (24) Toronto Blue Jays (24-25) – They proved to me that they can still hit the ball without Vernon Wells. AJ Burnett seems to have worked the kinks out of his delivery as well. Deep down I just don’t buy their recent success. What will happen to them when they being inter-conference play next week. That could make or break!
21 (16) New York Mets (22-23) – Their record is laughable and pathetic. Willie Randolph should lose his job for his teams inability to play baseball and communicate. Where is Rickey when you need him?? In fact, that is my solution. The next Mets manager should be "The greatest of all time" He would have everyone steal bases, turn singles into triples, and talk in the 3rd person in no time. Well, except for Beltran who refuses to acknowledge him. But what is going on? Nobody can hit and nobody can pitch! Yes, I said it. Santana is pitching mediocre at best. AND, the best player in the locker room (Billy Wagner) just called you all out. So what is next?
22 (21) Pittsburgh Pirates (22-25) – Jason Bay hit a homerun last night!! No Im serious, he did!! All kidding aside, this team is one starting pitcher away from being a competitive team. The Pirates need to get off their asses and also call up Steve Pearce. So much talent and such poor management.
23 (23) Washington Nationals (20-28) – They did manage to shutout the Phillies, but also lost the next 2. Im not sure where to put the Nats right now with Kearns and Johnson heading to the DL now but the success never came from the offense. Its that pitching that has them winning.
24 (20) San Francisco Giants (19-29) – After the backlash I received last week and the Giants so-so play, I guess taking the Giants out of the top 20 is the right thing to do. We are riding a decent 2 game winning streak though. And yes, Tim Lincecum is THAT good. 6-1 and leading MLB in strikeouts is gives this Giants fan a reason to hope. Aaron Rowand continues to kill teams with extra bases, but the lack of legitimate RBI guys really diffuses his stats.
25 (25) Cincinnati Reds- (21-27) – Riding a 4 game losing streak justifies their ranking. They are getting better but without Dunn’s game winning HR’s, what do they have? Pitching is tapering off (Dews- That included Volquez). This teams best hitting, Ken Griffey Jr could also be traded soon.
26 (29) Detroit Tigers (20-27) – They had a very solid week sweeping the Mariners for the first time in 12 years. Maggs, Cabrera, and Sheffield looked phe-nominal and so did the pitching. Will their 3 game winning streak be enough to get them jumpstarted?? Time will tell. Oh, and yes, VCU grad Brandon Inge is playing EXCELLENT baseball (Anyone see that HR last night?)
27 (27) Kansas City Royals (21-26) – Getting no-hit does not help the Royals cause. Granted, it was the Red Sox IN Boston, but even that is no excuse. What happened to the offense pre-Red Sox series? Alex Gordon was looking great until that no-hitter. Well, even I have to be reminded that they are the Royals and we should expect nothing less from disappointment.
28 (27) Colorado Rockies (18-29) – Bad days in Colorado! I have a simple solution to help ease the heartache. Call up YOUR BEST PROSPECT Ian Stewart. He is major league ready and currently wasting his time in AAA. He is the best 3b in the minors and will immediately impact this team. Move Adkins to 2nd and “WALLA”…….Geezus it’s a no brainer!
29 (26) San Diego Padres (18-31) – If not for Adrian Gonzales the Padres would have 5, maybe 6 wins? The pitching is way too good for this kind of failure. When you have Cy Young winner Jake Peavy on the mound, you provide offense for him! And I have suggestion for the Padres. Call up YOUR BEST PROSPECT Chase Headly. He is the 2nd best 3b in the minors AND can play the OF on top of that. What the hell is wrong with the NL West management???
30 (28) Seattle Mariners (18-30) – Unlike the Rockies and Padres, I have no solution for the M’s. They called up their 2 best prospects and so far; epic failures! Nothing is good in Seattle except for Ibanez’s hitting. Even Ichiro is hitting well below his potential