Friday, July 18, 2008
*George Sherrill, LSWTF All-Star MVP*
It feels like forever since I have posted my power rankings yeh? The riggers of a new 8 hour life, business travel, and actual deadlines has kept me quite busy these past weeks. But far from me to complain, the job is good, the people are great, and my sanity has never been healthier. On top of that, we had an allstar game last night. I, however, was unable to watch the entire game. I believe I turned the game off when Rock Solid Jonathan Papelbon proved to NYers that he is nowhere close to becoming the next Mariano Rivera. Yes, I refer to that brilliant inning in which he blew the lead. But I digress, on to what feeds you needs……..
1 (2) Chicago Cubs (57-38) – I haven’t seen this much flip flopping since 2004. This kind of power struggle between the Saux is what makes baseball so great. Soriano is healthy (So we think) and the Cubbies now have 2 phenomenal aces in the rotation; with the addition of Rich Harden. Way to stick it to the Brewers there!
2 (1) Boston Red Sox (57-40) – First off, Dustin Pedroia had no business starting that all-star game. I just needed to get that off of my chest. Second, Manny Ramirez needs to STFU. Im sick of his sob story “Oh, the organization this, the organization that”. They pay you 20 million/year to be one of the worst defensive players in baseball. Get over it. Outside of my Saux gripes, they simply cannot be stopped right now.
3 (3) LA Angels (57-38) – I know Angel fans will rip me for this one. Yes, they have an even record with the Sox, but look at your division? Not exactly playing the Yankees 19 times per year eh? I do feel that this team’s mid-season success is somewhat of a fluke. The major stars are playing Okay and not like a superstar. Give credit to that bullpen though. Simply unstoppable.
4 (4) Tampa Bay Rays (55-39) – I don’t think that 7 game losing streak will hurt this team in the long run. They only sit ½ game behind the Sox and but they need to get that offense moving again. They do need a right handed bat in that lineup. Luckily, the AL East has no dominant Lefty pitchers, which could explain a lot in Tampa Bay.
5 (5) St Louis Cardinals (54-43) – What I find funny is that the Cardinals are a team that doesn’t need to make a big trade to compete in the NL Central right now. They are lock, stocked, and loaded just about everywhere. Wainwright will be healthy soon and with the Cards success without him; consider him a “new acquisition” type.
6 (7) Chicago White Sox (54-43) – They are slowly creeping up in the standings and with validity this time. The Twins and Tigers are playing outstanding baseball and this only makes the Sox record that more credible.
7 (17) New York Mets (52-44) – Oh how things change in just 2 weeks. I wrote the Mets off along time and never saw this coming. Jerry Manual has all of NY forget about the Willie Randolph disaster and that 10 game winning streak helps. But they still have some major issues; Santana got ROCKED last night, Wagner is fizzling away, and the rest of the starters are struggling. I just don’t see the Mets keeping this spot, but who knows?
8 (8) Philadelphia Philly’s (52-44) – I question that Joe Blanton trade and I honestly believe the Phils gave up to much to get him. As bad as he has been he still pitches like an all-star against the NL. I don’t think they had a choice in the matter, they need pitchers who can eat innings and who better (that’s available) than Blanton?
9 (9) Minnesota Twins (53-42) – Francisco Liriano’s agent has now asked the players union to investigate the Twins. Apparently Liriano is to good in AAA right now and the Twins wont call him up. What bothers me with this is that the Twins don’t have shitty management and I truly believe they know what they are doing. All I know is that Liriano is sitting on my fantasy bench like a chump, but ya don’t see me complain about it, eh?
10 (6) Oakland A's (51-44) – No need to worry Oakland fan, your drop in the rankings just shows that the A’s play very consistent baseball. While others get hot or cold, the A’s keep pace. But the A’s need a hot streak and badly. The loss of Joe Blanton, in my mind, is a blessing to this team. In fact, Blanton was statistically one of the worst starters in the bay area. The problem still lies in the lineup. They need someone to hit, and soon.11
(11) Milwaukee Brewers (52-43) – That CC trade made so much sense its ridiculous! Sure, they lost Laporta but the Brewers OF is so young and talented, that he was expendable. CC has dominated in the NL but is he enough? The bullpen is still garbage and unless they address that need, they will stay in 3rd place for the rest of the season.
12 (10) New York Yankees (50-45) – Let me just say that their 4 game sweep over the Rays was perfect timing for this club. I can see the Yankees threaten for 1st place, but not actually win it. Which makes for AWESOME baseball. They did get some good news over the weekend; Damon could be healthy ahead of schedule. But rotation is still murky, Joba has 1 win as a starter and he is the team’s best pitcher?? Come on…..?
13 (14) Texas Rangers (50-46) – “Your AL Starting 2nd baseman, IAN KINSLER” was all I could think about Tuesday. How was Kinsler not the starter in that game? It just shows that the voting system is seriously flawed and needs to be reformed. Outside of that gripe, the Rangers are playing good ball but they are defiantly playing for next year.
14 (15) Florida Marlins (50-45) – Hanley Ramirez is playing some outstanding baseball and shows us that he is the best SS in baseball. But the rest of the team is playing like garbage. This includes Uggla. The rotation just got knocked out since their ace, Andrew Miller, is on the DL. I can only see this team get worse from here on out.
15 (12) Arizona Diamondbacks (47-48) – At least I know that the Orioles would NOT be in first place in the NL West. So with one of the worst offenses in baseball, how does Arizona fix that problem? By trading for Tony Clark!! I don’t get it either. Needless to say, and Yes Dews, the NL West is the JV in the majors.
16 (16) Detroit Tigers (48-47) – FINALLY, a winning record!! But it’s going to take a lot more than a small winning streak to match up with the Twins and Sox right now. Maggs and Sheffield are off the DL and despite their ages, they are still dominant. But the sooner they address the pitching problems, the better.
17 (19) Toronto Blue Jays (47-48) – AJ Burnett still remains a mystery to me. He leads the AL in strikeouts, yet posts a God awful ERA and WHIP. If he can get to his 2005 self, the Jays could make the AL East that much more competitive. The offense lost a lot of steam when Wells hit the DL.
18 (13) Baltimore Orioles (45-49) – It was only a matter of time until the Orioles proved to us what I already knew. Last place!! The wind behind the sails is all but stagnant and I just don’t see things improving. Outside of Markakis and Roberts, nobody has hit consistently (And if I hear Luke Scott or Aubrey Huffs name mentioned, im just going to laugh). Speaking of Brian Roberts, he was most definitely an all-star snub. Dustin Pedroia my ass!!
19 (23) LA Dodgers (46-49) – You know things are bad in the NL when the Dodgers are 1game out of 1st place. God I hate the Dodgers!
20 (24) Cincinnati Reds- (46-51) – As the savior of this team, Jay Bruce, rides a 2-22 slump, the rest of the team has someone gone the same route. Johnny Cueto got slaughtered last night, Aaron Harang is on the DL, and the team as a whole is playing with no passion. Edison Volquez is the only thing good right now, but without run support, his efforts are pointless.
21 (22) Houston Astros (44-51) – Ive said it before and ill say it again, this teams pitching is putrid. And if Roy Oswalt hits the DL, it will be a laughing stock. Miguel Tejada is in a HORRIBLE slump on top of that.
22 (18) Atlanta Braves (45-50) – The Braves have not found a solution to their injury problems and it shows. A few sparks of offense is all but keeping this team out of last place. Well, that and the Nationals. I do think it’s the beginning of the end once the Braves trade Mark Texiera. So who will win this prize? Yankees or Red Sox?
23 (20) Pittsburgh Pirates (44-51) – This is the best Pirates squad we have seen in at least a decade so what does Pittsburgh do to celebrate? By putting Jason Bay and Xavier Nady on the trading block. Tampa Bay is drooling over Bay, which could lead to some interesting prospects. But eh, Im a purist. I like to see guys stick on one team for an extended period of time.
24 (25) Kansas City Royals (43-53) – Post All-Star game and they are not in last place? Bizzaro world indeed.
25 (26) San Francisco Giants (40-55) – It is not fun being a Giants fan right now but I did expect this. The Post Bonds era is going to test us Giants fans but we do see light at the end of the BART. Lincecum, Sanchez and Cain give us all a reason to smile, since they all have 100+ strikeouts right now. I will say that watching “Franchise” Dominate the Cubs was a fun fun thing to watch.
26 (21) Cleveland Indians (36-43) – The Indians made the right move by dealing C.C, but they got such little in return. Yes, Pete Laporta is a solid prospect, but he boils down to “potential”, a word I loathe.
27 (27) Colorado Rockies (40-57) – I wonder if they will trade Garrett Adkins. His stock is sky high right now and with so many needs to address, it would make sense.
28 (28) San Diego Padres (37-59) – Jake Peavy got ROCKED last night. But the good news is that Chase Headley is producing, giving some them hope for 2009.
29 (26) Washington Nationals (36-60) – The only glimmer of hope is that Ryan Zimmerman should be back within the next week or so. He could be the deciding factor in whether or not they lose 100 games or not.
30 (30) Seattle Mariners (37-58) – Erik Bedard is inches away from hitting the DL, but they did cut that salary leach, Richie Sexton, who in turn, went to the Yankees. Yeh, I don’t see that logic either.