June 18, 2013
There is another month of baseball to play before the MLB All-Star break so we should know who is good and who isn’t at this point, but I’ll bet there isn’t anyone out there who would have guessed that the best teams during the month of June would be Kansas City, Toronto, San Diego and Oakland. Meanwhile, teams like the Yankees, Rangers and Dodgers are struggling. Where will that leave those teams in today’s power rankings?
1. St. Louis Cardinals (44-25): As a Cubs fan, you never want to see the Cardinals at the top of the list but there’s no denying they have the best record in baseball and are +102 in run differential.
3. Cincinnati Reds (42-28): If the Reds were in any other division, they’d be in first place.
4. Oakland A’s (42-29): The A’s have made a huge jump from the 15 spot a month ago. That’s what an 18-7 record will do for you.
5. Boston Red Sox (42-29): Boston leads the majors in runs scored with 363.
6. Texas Rangers (38-31): Just like the end of last season, the Rangers have been caught by Oakland.
8. Baltimore Orioles (40-30): Baltimore has quietly taken the lead in the wild card race and pulled within just 1.5 games of Boston.
9. Arizona Diamondbacks (37-32): I don’t think anyone expected the Diamondbacks to be leading the NL West at this point.
10. Pittsburgh Pirates (41-28): Forget about finishing over .500…the Pirates are on pace to finish close to .600.
11. New York Yankees (38-31): Could this be the beginning of the end for the Yankees. They’ve lost ground in the AL East and wild card races.
13. San Diego Padres (36-34): Seven straight wins will and the Padres are back in the hunt after a 2-10 to the season.
14. Tampa Bay Rays (36-33): Wil Myers has been called up. Now let’s see what he can do.
15. Kansas City Royals (34-34): The Royals have been the best team in baseball, going 12-4 in June.
16. Washington Nationals (34-35): It’s turning into a disappointing season in the capital. The Nats better get back on track soon or it will be too late.
17. Cleveland Indians (34-35): Here’s a team that has really cooled off and is just 5-10 in June.
18. San Francisco Giants (35-34): The Giants will have to do better than 14-22 on the road if they want to defend their title.
19. Toronto Blue Jays (33-36): The Jays have six wins in a row and are climbing out of a big hole.
20. Philadelphia Phillies (34-37): The Phillies are second in the majors in quality starts but don’t have much to show for it.
21. Minnesota Twins (30-36): The Twins are near the bottom in just about every pitching category. Not good.
22. LA Dodgers (29-39): Talk about a wasted season…nobody is farther away from next-to-last in their division than the Dodgers.
23. LA Angels (31-39): Here is another team that was supposed to contend and has let their fans down.
24. Milwaukee Brewers (28-40): It’s going to be a dead heat with the Cubs for last place in the NL Central.
25. Chicago Cubs (28-40): It’s going to be a dead heat with the Brewers for last place in the NL Central.
27. Chicago White Sox (29-38): It looks like it will be a tight race for worst team in Chicago.
28. New York Mets (25-40): The Mets are making a strong run towards the worst record in baseball with a 3-10 start in June.
29. Houston Astros (26-45): An 8-8 record so far this month is a big improvement for the AL West newcomers.
30. Miami Marlins (22-47): The Marlins are playing better, posting an 8-6 record so far this month.
May 31, 2013
Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like something crazy is happening on a daily basis in the sports world. Maybe it’s always been that way and it’s just that we now have the technology that allows us to see and hear everything. Either way, there is just too much crazy for one article at the end of the year to cover it all so let’s just take it a month at a time. Here are some of the wacky sports stories from this May.
Wichita State catcher Tyler Baker chased down and captured a squirrel with his batting helmet after the animal ended up in the infield when Baker was on second base.
Boston Red Sox pitcher Joel Hanrahan threw a wild pitch that actually went right through a sign on the wall behind home plate.
The Oakland A’s lost a game to the Cleveland Indians when a blown call cost them what would have been a game-tying home run in the top of the ninth. Not only did the umpires miss the call live, but then they went to the replay and still got it wrong.
A Jacksonville Jaguars fan sent President Obama a petition asking the President to force the Jaguars to sign unemployed quarterback Tim Tebow.
MLB umpires suffered another embarrassing incident when they allowed the Houston Astros to go to their bullpen twice before a pitch was thrown. The Angels argued the call and after three huddles and a phone call, the incorrect call was upheld.
An average citizen contacted the NBA to declare himself eligible for the draft. Surprisingly, he received a personal response from the NBA informing him that he is a free agent and can sign with any team.
A fan at a San Francisco Giants game fell onto the field while reaching for a ball, lost his pants and was then ejected from the game.
A fan at a Chicago Blackhawks playoff game went into labor in the stands. But she wasn’t about to leave during an elimination game and waited until after the game to go to the hospital.
A snow cone vender at a Houston Astros game was fired after bringing the snow cones into the bathroom and leaving them on the floor while he used the toilet.
More to come in June I’m sure.
May 21, 2013
Now that we’ve made it a quarter of the way through the MLB season we know a few things we thought at the start of the season are right (Texas is good, Houston is not) and a few are wrong (Boston is good, the Dodgers are not). So it’s time for the first power ranking post of the season.
1. Texas Rangers (29-16): It sure looks like they picked the right time to lets Josh Hamilton leave town.
3. Boston Red Sox (27-18): Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz are a combined 12-1 so far.
4. St. Louis Cardinals (28-16): The Cards lead the majors in ERA.
5. Cincinnati Reds (27-18): The Reds are 16-6 at home, the best record in the majors.
6. Cleveland Indians (26-17): Five straight wins and 8-2 in the last 10 makes the Tribe the hottest team in baseball.
7. New York Yankees (28-16): Who would have thought they would be in first place without all of their injured stars?
8. Detroit Tigers (23-19): The Tigers have scored 20 more runs than their opponents this month but are just 8-9 to show for it.
9. Pittsburgh Pirates (26-18): Forget about finishing over .500…the Pirates are on pace to finish close to .600.
10. Arizona Diamondbacks (26-19): I don’t think anyone expected the Diamondbacks to be leading the NL West at this point.
11. Colorado Rockies (24-21): The Rockies are leading the majors in runs scored with 222.
13. San Francisco Giants (25-20): The defending champs are known for their pitching but their batting average ranks second in baseball.
15. Oakland A’s (24-22): The A’s are 24th in batting average, but 9th in getting on base. Why? They lead the majors in walks with 187.
17. Kansas City Royals (20-21): After a hot April (14-10) the Royals have cooled off.
18. San Diego Padres (21-23): San Diego has recovered from a 2-10 start. Can they keep it up?
21. Chicago Cubs (18-25): Matt Garza is finally back….and the Cubs need him to be great.
23. Minnesota Twins (18-23): After losing eight of the last ten, the Twins are in the AL Central cellar.
24. LA Angels (17-27): Here is the first of three teams battling it out for most disappointing team of the season.
25. New York Mets (17-25): Where would this team be without Matt Harvey?
26. Milwaukee Brewers (17-26): With the Astros moved to the American League, the Brewers are in danger of being the worst team in the NL Central.
27. Toronto Blue Jays (18-26): Toronto tried to fight fire with fire by signing big name free agents but so far they are getting burned.
28. LA Dodgers (18-25): The Dodgers by far the most disappointing team in the National League and maybe in all of baseball.
29. Miami Marlins (13-32): The Marlins have scored just 122 runs and are last in the majors. They are also last in batting average, on base percentage and slugging percentage.
30. Houston Astros (13-32): The Astros have allowed a whopping 266 runs this season and are last in the majors. They are also last in ERA, quality starts and WHIP.
May 14, 2013
Don’t look now but the MLB regular season is already a quarter of the way over. Several superstars have yet to take the field (most reside in New York) and some teams have played themselves out of playoff contention already (I’m talking to you Houston and Miami). We’ve also got a few teams playing surprisingly well (speaking of New York) and some players off to red-hot starts (can John Buck keep this up?) Here are a few more observations on the season so far.
The A.L. East is upside down. Wasn’t this supposed to be the year that the division was open for the taking because the Yankees and Red Sox aren’t very good? And wasn’t Toronto going to be a strong contender with all the big names that went to Canada? So far New York and Boston are well over .500 and the Blue Jays are one of the worst teams in baseball.
The Angels and Dodgers also went all-in and signed some high-profile players but are underachieving big time so far. And not even switching leagues can help the lowly Astros. They are on pace for just 40 wins!
Is there a chance Miguel Cabrera could win back-to-back triple crowns? He’s leading in RBI, second in batting average and currently four home runs off the pace in the American League.
If the playoffs began today, the qualifiers in the American League would be the New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox. Looks like all the usual suspects here. In the National League it would be the Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, San Francisco Giants, Cincinnati Reds and the Washington Nationals. No surprises here either. But with about 120 games to go only two teams are more than 10 games off the wild card pace so anything can happen.
Unless of course we’re talking about the Cubs. Anybody think they will break the curse this season? Me either. But one streak that should be coming to an end is in Pittsburgh. They may or may not get to the playoffs but the Pirates should be able to finish over .500 for the first time since 1992.
It’s no surprise that Miguel Cabrera is the best player in fantasy baseball so far but I didn’t even know who Matt Harvey or Jean Segura are before this year and they are the second and third best in fantasy.
Speaking of fantasy baseball, if any of you know B.J. Upton or David Price please let them know I could use some production for my team. Thanks.
April 12, 2013
Fame can be fleeting in baseball. MLB players who at one time enjoyed star status can suddenly find themselves yesterday’s news in a heartbeat.
For various reasons—age, injuries that take their toll and inexplicable performance drop-offs among them—players can quickly become bench players who have been passed by.
Here are five MLB players who could see their stars fizzle in the 2013 season.
1. David Ortiz: Boston Red Sox
At 37 years of age, Ortiz will attempt to bounce back from last year’s injury and again be a main contributor for the Red Sox as they attempt to recover from a miserable season. Whether or not Ortiz can fully recover remains to be seen, but with his advancing age it’s entirely possible that the 2013 season could be the year that his star finally begins to fizzle.
2. Paul Konerko: Chicago White Sox
Konerko will again be expected to deliver in the middle of the batting order for the White Sox in 2013. Whether or not he can continue to provide solid and consistent production at the age of 37 is in question. With numbers in decline over the past two seasons, that regression could continue.
3. Alfonso Soriano: Chicago Cubs
Now 37 years of age, Soriano will again be relied upon to supply power from the right side of the plate. As with the two players already displayed on this list, it’s entirely possible Soriano may have maxed out his performance last season.
4. Derek Jeter: New York Yankees
New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter has apparently fully recovered from the broken ankle suffered in Game 1 of last year’s ALCS against the Detroit Tigers. Jeter now ranks 11th all-time in MLB with 3,304 total hits and is preparing himself to continue his climb up the leaderboard.
The big question at this point is whether or not Jeter can reclaim his offensive mojo after a devastating injury late in his career. Considering the body of work he’s put forth up to this point, it would be foolhardy to bet against him. But it certainly remains a possibility.
5. Tommy Hanson: Los Angeles Angels
In some ways, 26-year-old Tommy Hanson is getting a fresh start with the Los Angeles Angels. The Atlanta Braves traded Hanson to the Angels over the offseason after he suffered through a sub-par 2012 campaign with reduced velocity.
Hanson will look to recover the jump on his fastball in Anaheim and rediscover the talent that led to him becoming a top pitching prospect for the Braves. It could be just a one-year audition for Hanson, and the Angels won’t hesitate to move on without him if he can’t deliver in 2013.
This is a guest post submitted by Ally Silva. Ally played all kinds of sports growing up and adamantly follows everything sports now, particularly Chicago sports. She works with Phoenix Bats, a company that creates world-class wooden bats for amateur and professional ball players around the world. Ally loves writing on different sports topics and is very grateful to be able to contribute here.