Now that it’s over, we can officially say that the Little League Classic was awesome. More than 2,500 Little Leaguers got to see the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals play a game just for them, and the big leaguers got to channel their inner Little Leaguer for a day and hang out with these young baseball players. After a day of snow cones and cleat-signings and Little Leaguers meeting big leaguers, the pros showed just how much their younger counterparts had rubbed off on them. Despite being locked in a tough battle in the National League Central, the Pirates and Cardinals ended the game (a 6-3 Pirates win) in true Little League style.
PITTSBURGH • Lance Lynn won’t forget the fleet of police cars ringed around the outside of the ballfield, surrounding it, their lights primed to pulse and swirl the moment the game ended and a champion was revealed. Lynn, only 11 at the time, can still detail the whole symphony of the winning celebration — the final out, the cruisers coming to life, headlights and all, and the young kids rushing the field, toward each other and toward the Little League World Series. Lynn, now 30, returns Sunday to Williamsport, Pa., site of the Little League World Series, as much a man in full as he’s ever been. Almost every day that winter, Mike Lynn returned home from driving trucks for Coca-Cola to find his son sitting on the family-room couch, glove in hand, waiting for a ride to the nearby baseball academy.
The odds of the Los Angeles Dodgers making the playoffs are 100%, according to Fangraphs.com. Not surprising for a team 52 games (87-35) over .500 and once again No. 1 in USA TODAY' Sports' MLB power rankings for the fifth consecutive week. Meanwhile, the American League race is heating up. The Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians are challenging the Houston Astros for the top ranked team in the junior circuit. From 1 to 30, how they stack up based on voting from our 10-person panel: TEAM. MOVEMENT 1. Los Angeles Dodgers: -- ►Only 14 losses in 65 home games. 2. Washington Nationals: -- ►Stephen Strasburg rejoins a rotation that has a 1.86 ERA in last 10 games. 3. Houston Astros: +1 ►Dallas