Yes, we took a week off. But, don’t you worry, we’re back in full force with another dose of weekly MLB Power Rankings!
This week, we’re putting a spin on the article. Instead of giving each team a paragraph for their pros and cons from the week before, we’re going to do something a little different. This time, each team will get just one sentence. However, this one sentence will be from the perspective of a random fan before the season who’s trying to impress his buddy with sports knowledge, but says something totally unbelievable that no true fan of that team would’ve thought was possible.
This Week: @ San Francisco (3), vs. NY Mets (3)
Who needs Ryan Zimmerman when we have Adam LaRoche in the middle of our line-up? That dude’s got pop!
2. Cincinnati Reds (-1, 69-46, 1st in NL Central)
This Week: vs. NY Mets (3), vs. Chicago Cubs (4)
I’m serious, we’re not just going to be fine without Joey Votto. We’re going to be better than we were with him! I swear!
3. Texas Rangers (+1, 67-46, 1st in AL West)
This Week: @ NY Yankees (4), @ Toronto (3)
C.J. Wilson? Yu Darvish? Forget it, Matt Harrison is going to lead the staff! We’ll be fine!
4. New York Yankees (-1, 67-47, 1st in AL East)
This Week: vs. Texas (4), vs. Boston (3)
Who needs Mariano Rivera when we have Rafael Soriano? Not gonna miss that guy one bit!
5. Atlanta Braves (+0, 66-48, 2nd in NL East)
This Week: vs. San Diego (4), vs. LA Dodgers (3)Just when Mets fans thought the dark days of the Chipper Jones era was over, we’re gonna spring Freddie Freeman on them! They won’t see it coming! (OK, probably saw that coming. Just needed another avenue to express how depressed I am that the Braves found another Met killer. Maybe one day…) Read more…
There always seems to be a huge outcry the day after the MLB All-Star teams are selected. Every year, someone is left out, or someone is starting that shouldn’t be. And yet, this year, there seems to be even more drama surrounding the team than usual. Our writers Greg Kaplan and Vinny Ginardi got together, let their emotions get the best of them, and try to fix what seems to be a broken system.
Greg Kaplan: Vinny, I know there are always snubs and exclusions from All-Star rosters. I understand that every player deserving of an appearance in the All-Star game won’t get it because its a numbers game. I get all that.
And yet, more than ever before in my life, this year’s All-Star voting actually made me sick and angry. It didn’t make sense to me, and I’m at the point where it may be time to overhaul how teams are selected.
If we had written this Selection Sunday, I probably would’ve went on a tirade of how fan voting needs to be eliminated completely. David Wright entered the final few days of voting 450k votes ahead of Pablo Sandoval for the starting gig at third base. Then, something inexplicable happened. Kung Fu Panda didn’t just catch Wright, he obliterated him. Sandoval received 1.6 million more votes than Wright. How in the world is that humanly possible?
I understand stuffing the ballot boxes is common practice in Major League parks. I get that last week, the Mets spent the entire time on the road, while the Giants had six home games. I get all that. But, that doesn’t make it right. If this game is supposed to count and mean something for the playoffs, the best players need to be on the field! Nobody, and I mean nobody, will argue Pablo Sandoval is having a better season than David Wright, who would likely finish somewhere in the Top 5 if MVP voting was held today.
Fans didn’t stop failing me there. Somehow, Dan Uggla of the Atlanta Braves will start the All-Star Game for the NL. Uggla starting pushes Jose Altuve (the Houston Astros lone rep) to the bench, and apparently eliminated the need for Brandon Phillips on the roster. One problem, Brandon Phillips is the best second baseman in the NL! The stats show it. If you watch him play, its obvious. So, that’s two the fans screwed up (we can also talk about how Mike Napoli is starting in the AL, but that’s less of a problem right now).
Speaking of snubs, what the hell is Johnny Cueto not doing on this roster? I get that La Russa claimed Cueto is starting Sunday and likely would’ve had to be replaced on the roster anyway, but he should’ve been put on and that decision be figured out later. That’s a crime. And now, Dusty Baker is fanning the flames by saying La Russa is holding a grudge against Reds players.
Vinny, before we get into possibly fixing the system, this is getting worse before it gets better, right?
VG: I’m not sure it could get much worse Greg. I agree with everything you said so far. When fan voting allows for a player who shouldn’t even be on the roster to start (Mike Napoli) it eliminates a spot for a more deserving player (A.J. Pierzynski). Fan voting is a popularity contest and it allows for teams with larger fan bases, such as the Yankees and the Rangers, to send more players as starters. You can make strong arguments that Napoli (Joe Mauer or Pierzynski), Derek Jeter (Asdrubal Cabrera), and Curtis Granderson (Adam Jones) don’t deserve to start for the AL squad.
Also, I’m tired of hearing how fan voting works because this game is “for the fans” as was said by Terry Francona and Orel Hershiser . Is it really? Or is this game a walking contradiction? It can’t hold such a significant result as home field advantage in the World Series and have the starting rosters by the fans because most fans don’t know enough to make the right choice. And really, why is this game more for the fans than for players? You’re going to tell me that the players don’t care if they make the team or not? Of course they do! The All-Star rosters should be made up of the players who are most deserving to be there, not the players the fans most want to see. Read more…
With baseball season fast approaching, it is time for TheWaiverWire’s inaugural Baseball Preview package. We will look at every division in baseball, starting in the American League and moving from East to West by division. Also, we each team by who will finish last to first. So, the first team you read about from each division is in the basement, and the last is who we determine to win the division.
American League West -
Second Place – Texas Rangers
Third Place - Oakland Athletics (read season preview here)