Power Rankings: Dodgers regain top spot
My esteemed colleague Tim Brown is reclined on an island somewhere, his only power-ranking considerations whether to order the mai tai before the pina colada or maybe stick with that light beer and flick away the lime wedge.
So, after drawing on Lou Boudreau’s incomparable dual role as player/manager of the Cleveland Indians in 1948 for suitable inspiration, I decided that editing Brown’s rankings for seven weeks was enough training to type ‘em up from scratch.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers (29-13; Previous: 3) – Juan Pierre(notes) is slapping pitchers so silly that Joe Torre elevated him from ninth to first in the batting order. Problem is, homerless Russell Martin(notes) is Judy to Pierre’s Punch.
2. Boston Red Sox (25-16; Previous: 2) – Big Pop Gun finally homers, fans gobble up the last seven tickets available for games at Fenway this season.
3. Philadelphia Phillies (22-17; Previous: 6) – Phillies are 14-5 on the road and 8-12 at home. Quick, somebody remind them that Philadelphia fans only booed Santa Claus because he was drunk and scrawny.
4. New York Yankees (24-17; Previous: 12) – Suddenly the Yankees are as invincible as in 1927, and you gotta believe A-Rod will eclipse the .683 OPS third baseman Joe Dugan posted that year.
5. Toronto Blue Jays (27-17; Previous: 1) – After gorging themselves with 16 victories over flabby AL Central teams, the Blue Jays are reminded that their rivals in the East are a much tougher chew.
6. Milwaukee Brewers (26-15; Previous: 10) – Trevor Hoffman(notes) has notched eight saves in May, an indication a) the Brewers are winning, and b) “Hells Bells” has eclipsed “My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You Polka” as the most popular song in Wisconsin.
7. St. Louis Cardinals (24-17; Previous: 5) – Chris Carpenter(notes) has pitched in only eight games since the 2006 World Series, but he looks better than ever. Meanwhile, Jeff Weaver(notes) bides time with Dodgers until St. Louis acquires him in time for another Game 5 start.
9. Detroit Tigers (23-16; Previous: 17) – The triumphant return of Dontrelle Willis(notes) highlighted a perfect week for Tigers, whose starting rotation suddenly reminds longtime fans of Lolich, McLain and Wilson.
10. Kansas City Royals (21-20; Previous: 8) – The Tigers heat up and the White Sox signal they will deal prospects to win now, dashing the notion that the Royals can take the AL Central on Zack Greinke’s(notes) wing and Trey Hillman’s prayers.
11. Texas Rangers (23-17; Previous: 15) – Rangers stretch losing streak at Detroit to 11, trade in fleet of Suburbans for Accords.
14. Los Angeles Angels (21-19; Previous: 11) – Mike Scioscia’s so-called bullpen “pyramid” is such a failure he calls upon John Wooden to rework it.
17. Houston Astros (18-21; Previous: 23) – After nearly getting away with Michael Bourn(notes) and Kazuo Matsui(notes) batting out of order, Astros try to slip ahead of Reds in online standings before alert editor takes notice.
18. Florida Marlins (19-23; Previous: 13) – Cody Ross(notes) (.207) doubles to end Clayton Kershaw’s(notes) no-hit bid then goes on a tear, getting six hits in next seven at-bats. Dan Uggla(notes) (.204) secretly hopes for same opportunity.
21. San Francisco Giants (19-21; Previous: 16) – After Giants dip under .500 to join every NL West team but the Dodgers, investigator Jeff Novitzky is dispatched to L.A. to bust Manny Ramirez’s(notes) accomplices and force Pierre to play six positions at once.
24. Pittsburgh Pirates (19-22; Previous: 25) – Suddenly hot Pirates get tour of White House, although manager John Russell declines, saying he won’t go until the Bucs win a World Series or one of George Bush’s daughters is president, the more likely scenario.
26. Arizona Diamondbacks (17-24; Previous: 26) – Conor Jackson(notes) is on the DL with “the sniffles” and Tony Clark(notes) with “creakiness,” so Mark Reynolds(notes) moves across the diamond to first base and strikes out only 33 percent of the time rather his usual 36 percent.
27. Colorado Rockies (16-24; Previous: 28) – Clint Hurdle can’t convince official scorer to bend on Todd Helton’s(notes) potential 2,000th hit, can’t convince Jorge De La Rosa(notes) to throw a strike in Atlanta’s nine-run fourth inning three days later.
30. Washington Nationals (12-28; Previous: 30) – Best news of winless week: Stephen Strasburg injuries ribcage, bonus demand dips to $49,900,000.