Power Rankings: The rise of the American League
The first thing you’ll notice about the opening 2012 power rankings is the top six teams hail from the American League. The second thing is, they’ll probably look nothing like this come September.
The rankings (Records from 2011, rankings from final regular season):
1. Tampa Bay Rays (91-71; Previous: 7) – Rays shave off hair for good cause, discover Joe Maddon’s head looks suspiciously like The Trop.
4. Texas Rangers (96-66; Previous: 3) – Upon further investigation, Rangers find Jairo Beras is a 32-year-old school teacher from Plano.
6. Boston Red Sox (90-72; Previous: 9) – In a perfect world, Bobby Jenks and Matt Bush would have slammed into each other, then fled the scene in one of those old baseball-with-the-giant-cap-on-it bullpen cars.
9. Toronto Blue Jays (81-81; Previous: 13) – After late-March start, Ricky Romero declares he’s “right where I want to be.” Next morning, sure enough, clubbies find him in yesterday’s uniform, still standing in front of locker.
10. Miami Marlins (72-90; Previous: 22) – Debate rages over who benefits most at new ballpark: Hitters or pitchers. Prevalent opinion: Jeffrey Loria.
11. Arizona Diamondbacks (94-68; Previous: 6) – Bees attack D-backs exhibition game. When neither smoke nor repellent works, groundskeeper asks Kirk Gibson to glare them away.
13. Cincinnati Reds (79-83; Previous: 18) – Robert Castellini completely misunderstands national drawing, thought it was “Votto” Mega Millions.
16. St. Louis Cardinals (90-72; Previous: 8) – Tony La Russa gets new job in commissioner’s office. First task: Test the phone lines.
17. Los Angeles Dodgers (82-79; Previous: 14) – Tommy Lasorda learns Magic Johnson will be new owner over dinner, still won’t give up the dribble.
18. Cleveland Indians (80-82; Previous: 15) – So, Ubaldo Jimenez is still mad at Rockies over contract, hits Troy Tulowitzki, is suspended for five games and loses more salary as a result. This seems somewhat counterproductive.
23. San Diego Padres (71-91; Previous: 27) – Coach Dave Roberts caught driving 83 on return from spring training. Complained to officer that it clearly was a balk move.
24. New York Mets (77-85; Previous: 19) – Fred Wilpon tells team to get him 60 wins; has a friend who can turn that into 90.
27. Pittsburgh Pirates (72-90; Previous: 21) – Team president and former MLB whip Frank Coonelly charged with DUI this winter after blowing .16. Isn’t that way over slot?
28. Chicago Cubs (71-91; Previous: 25) – Cognizant of untidy relationship between Chicago night life and Chicago day games, Theo installs batting cages in most popular watering holes.
29. Baltimore Orioles (69-93; Previous: 26) – Camden Yards turns 20. Maybe it’s time it gets up off the couch and makes something of itself.
30. Houston Astros (56-106; Previous: 30) – GM Luhnow wondering where he can get one of those Mitt Romney Etch A Sketches by opening day.
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