MLB Power Rankings: The time for first pitches is near

·MLB columnist

While we were terribly disappointed President Donald Trump chose to hide his arm and be otherwise occupied on opening day at Nationals Park, it did get us thinking about first pitches and who best to throw them.

The rankings (records and previous rankings from conclusion of 2016 regular season):

1. Chicago Cubs (103-58; Previous: 1): The easy answer is Bartman. So, yeah, we’ll go dignified with Barack Obama. Or Jerry Springer.

2. Boston Red Sox (93-69; Previous: 2): We’d go Sam Malone. If not him, then Alexander Graham Bell, who invented the bullpen phone.

3. Cleveland Indians (94-67; Previous: 6): Brody Chernoff. Long as the GM’s kid is giving away seven-year contracts …

4. Los Angeles Dodgers (91-71; Previous: 5): No one. Ownership frankly worried that if the guy happened to throw a strike, team president Andrew Friedman would give him a four-year deal.

5. Washington Nationals (95-67; Previous: 4): You know, the first-pitch line of succession would eventually get to Rick Perry.

6. San Francisco Giants (87-75; Previous: 11): Oh, Barry Bonds, what the hell.

7. New York Mets (87-75; Previous: 9): Benny Agbayani. It just sounds fun.

8. Houston Astros (84-78; Previous: 14): Did you know Howard Hughes is buried in Houston? For that reason he’s probably out of the running. But, still, that’s interesting.

Joe Maddon and the Cubs are favorites once again. (AP)
Joe Maddon and the Cubs are favorites once again. (AP)

9. Toronto Blue Jays (89-73; Previous: 7): Fernand Lachance invented poutine. So, him.

10. Texas Rangers (95-67; Previous: 3): Well, we can probably scratch off David Freese …

11. Detroit Tigers (86-75; Previous: 10): Thinking Axel Foley.

12. St. Louis Cardinals (86-76; Previous: 13): Rick Ankiel. Hey, we’re trying to sell a book over here.

13. Seattle Mariners (86-76; Previous: 12): Can Bill Gates throw a ball? Does it matter? I don’t think it matters.

14. Baltimore Orioles (89-73; Previous: 8): Snoop from “The Wire,” because Snoop was cool and then they killed her and she needs to be back. Or Jim Palmer. Either one really.

15. Pittsburgh Pirates (78-83; Previous: 18): Oh, Barry Bonds, what the hell.

16. Tampa Bay Rays (68-94; Previous: 28): The last time the Rays finished in last place, they went to the World Series the following season. Their best player that year? Carlos Pena.

17. New York Yankees (84-78; Previous: 15): Keep the momentum going: A-Rod.

18. Colorado Rockies (75-87; Previous: 20): Sir Isaac Newton.

19. Kansas City Royals (81-81; Previous: 16): Who wouldn’t want to see Kevin Appier throw one more pitch?

20. Miami Marlins (79-82; Previous: 17): And his nayyy-muh is … Dan Uggla!

21. Los Angeles Angels (74-88; Previous: 21): Still can’t believe Vladdy Guerrero isn’t a first-balloter.

22. Atlanta Braves (68-93; Previous: 29): Would it be too much to ask Bartolo Colon to do this, too?

23. Philadelphia Phillies (71-91; Previous: 22): Mitch Williams. C’mon, it’s been 24 years.

24. Milwaukee Brewers (73-89; Previous: 23): Gorman Thomas. Because Gorman Thomas.

25. Oakland Athletics (69-93; Previous: 25): Rickey says Rickey. We’re good with that.

26. Chicago White Sox (78-84; Previous: 19): If you can squeeze Juan Uribe into your opening day ceremony, then you squeeze Juan Uribe into your opening day ceremony.

27. Arizona Diamondbacks (69-93; Previous: 27): For some reason Curt Schilling comes to mind. Huh.

28. Minnesota Twins (59-103; Previous: 30): So, the difference in career WAR between the highest-rated Twin (Walter Johnson) and the second-highest (Rod Carew) is 102 wins. That seems like a lot. Rodney Cline Carew.

29. Cincinnati Reds (68-94; Previous: 26): What time can Pete be here?

30. San Diego Padres (68-94; Previous: 24): Shouldn’t Jake Peavy be the opening day starter, too?