Urban: MLB Power Rankings -- Giants, A's stay put


Urban: MLB Power Rankings -- Giants, A's stay put

Aug. 1, 2011


Editor's note: Mychael Urban's MLB power rankings -- detailing who's hot, who's not, a little why, a little how, and what it all means.

Mychael UrbanCSNBayArea.com
1 (1)
Philadelphia Phillies (68-39) Adding Hunter Pence was a masterstroke. The best got better.2 (2)
Boston Red Sox (66-40)It'll be a war in the AL East down to the wire; rotation leaking oil.
3 (5)
New York Yankees (64-42)David Robertson might be the key to division race.
4 (4)
San Francisco Giants (61-47)Give them time to gel. It'll happen, and it'll be impressive.
5 (3)
Texas Rangers (61-48) Mike Adams makes them far superior to Halos in AL West.
6 (6)
Atlanta Braves (63-46) Michael Bourn gives them speed element they sorely lacked.
7 (7)
Milwaukee Brewers (60-49) Wanted to do more, but what they've done might be enough.
8 (8)
Detroit Tigers (57-51) Justin Verlander can't do it alone. This will be a bumpy ride.
9 (12)
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (59-50) Back of the bullpen probably doesn't have enough juice.
10 (9)
Pittsburgh Pirates (54-52) Yes, the Pirates. Top 10. Incredible. Great deadline deals.
11 (18)
Arizona Diamondbacks (59-49) Hold off on celebrations, Giants fans. They're for real.
12 (11)
St. Louis Cardinals (57-51) Something doesn't feel right, but heart of the order sure does.
13 (15)
Cincinnati Reds (53-55) Johnny Cueto really IS that good. These guys still gotta get better on road.
14 (10)
Cleveland Indians (53-52) Ubaldo Jimenez would be a lot more exciting if it were 12 months ago.
15 (13)
Tampa Bay Rays (56-51) What an odd feeling to be this good but not nearly good enough.
16 (17)
Chicago White Sox (52-54) Hunch alert: They've got a crazy-good stretch of ball in them yet.
17 (14)
Toronto Blue Jays (55-53) See: Rays. Such is life in the Division Owned By Two.
18 (19)
New York Mets (55-53)Expect to see this number dropping steadily from here on out.
19 (21)
Florida Marlins (53-55) Strange approach to deadline in keeping with strange approach overall.
20 (22)
Colorado Rockies (51-57) Trading Jimenez said it all.
21 (23)
Los Angeles Dodgers (48-59) Going nowhere, but good enough to take some contenders down.
22 (16)
Minnesota Twins (50-58)Had chance to pile up prospects, looked at division, said, "What the heck."
23 (20)
Washington Nationals (51-56) Smart to hang onto Drew Storen. Huge piece of future there.
24 (24)
Oakland Athletics (49-59) Curious lack of activity at deadline. Might mean free-agents-to-be are staying.
25 (27)
Kansas City Royals (46-62) Joakim Soria would have brought some nice talent in return.
26 (26)
Chicago Cubs (43-65) Couldn't unload the really bad deals they're now known for.27 (25)
San Diego Padres (47-62) Heath Bell: "So explain the waiver thing to me again."28 (28)
Baltimore Orioles (42-63) String. Playing out. And it all started so well.
29 (30)
Seattle Mariners (45-62) Quick, name a great young position player. Didn't think so.30 (29)
Houston Astros (35-73) Pence, gone. Bourn, gone. Are they trying to not sell tickets?

What's on your mind? Email Mychael and let him know. He may use it in his Mailbag.

After all the confusion, Axford pleased "Moonlight" won


After all the confusion, Axford pleased "Moonlight" won

MESA, Ariz. — By the time the Academy Awards wrapped Sunday night, A’s reliever (and movie fanatic) John Axford was content in picking 19 of 24 categories right.

Of course, Axford thought he’d nailed 20 of 24.

He was as shocked as anyone at the mass confusion surrounding the Best Picture announcement that sent the social media world bonkers.

Axford, a film major in college who’s gained attention for his spot-on Oscar predictions, picked “La La Land” to win Best Picture. He was watching the awards show at a restaurant — it had closed down, but employees saw he was so engrossed in the show they let him stay and watch — and when “La La Land” was announced as the winner, he left and didn’t give it another thought.

Not until he got home and saw a text from his agent did Axford know that “Moonlight” wound up winning. That actually sat well with the pitcher. “Moonlight” was his favorite movie of the year, he just didn’t expect the industry to give it the award.

“It was a sad and beautiful film. I absolutely loved it,” Axford said.

He was also happy to see Oakland native Mahershala Ali win Best Supporting Actor for “Moonlight,” after Ali helped arrange a screening of the movie for A’s players.

Axford took to Twitter to share an idea that struck him:

Hey @Athletics...when can we get Mahershala Ali out to the Coliseum to throw out the first pitch? Oscar in one hand, baseball in the other!

Before long, A’s president Dave Kaval had the Twitter response:

“Great idea! We are on it.”

Paul Pierce reveals origin of his trash-talking beef with Draymond Green

Paul Pierce reveals origin of his trash-talking beef with Draymond Green

Programming note: Warriors-76ers coverage starts today at 3pm with Warriors Pregame Live on CSN Bay Area, and streaming live right here.

Draymond Green and Paul Pierce engaged in some trash talk last Thursday night at Oracle Arena.

On Saturday night, Pierce didn't give Draymond's words high marks.

"That's about a three," Pierce said on ABC. "I’ve been around for a long time -- the likes of Kevin Garnett, obviously. I grew up watching Gary Payton, hearing him, so that’s light.

"I couldn’t even hear him.”

In the first minute of last Thursday's Warriors-Clippers game, Draymond said the following to Pierce:

"Chasing that farewell tour -- they don't love you like that. You can't get no farewell tour, they don't love you like that ... you thought you was Kobe?"

Why did Draymond say that?

"This is how it all started: Blake Griffin posted him up, got a foul, and I was just pretty much like, 'You can't guard Blake. He gonna give it to you all night. You not that good. You only good because you got Steph Curry, KD and Klay Thompson around. That's the only reason you get recognition,'" Pierce explained. "And so I'm trying to spark my team with the trash talk -- go at their emotional leader and give my guys some confidence. And that's when you hear him say what he said...

"... When I got home, I see all of this on social media. I'm like, 'Ah, OK,' and that's when I went to my Twitter and said what I said."

Shortly after 2am PT on Thursday night/Friday morning, Pierce tweeted: