Urban: MLB Power Rankings -- New club on top

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Urban: MLB Power Rankings -- New club on top

May 23, 2011

URBAN ARCHIVE
LAST WEEK'S RANKINGS

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 (2)
Cleveland Indians (29-15) More than 14 of season is gone; its getting harder to call it fools gold. 2 (1)
Philadelphia Phillies (28-18) No fools gold here, but wheres the beef beyond Ryan Howard?
3 (8)
St. Louis Cardinals (28-20) Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday, Lance Berkman: best 1-2-3 punch going. 4 (5)
San Francisco Giants (27-19) Its not quite so torturous when you expect it to happen every day. 5 (4)
Tampa Bay Rays (26-21) 15-8 record on the road says a lot about this teams cohesion, character. 6 (6)
Florida Marlins (26-19) Josh Johnsons injury wont be as devastating as you might think. 7 (7)
Atlanta Braves (26-23) Batting average not always important. It is in the case of Dan Uggla (.185). 8 (13)
New York Yankees (25-20) One of three teams (w Phils, Fish) with winning record at home, on road. 9 (3)
Cincinnati Reds (25-22) Five-game losing streak after five-game winning streak typical of hotcold club. 10 (11)
Texas Rangers (24-23) If only because its wrong to leave division leader out of top 10. 11 (12)
Boston Red Sox (25-21) Adrian Gonzalez-fueled 8-2 run has them a half-game out in AL East. 12 (18)
Milwaukee Brewers (24-23) If they ever seriously consider dealing Ryan Braun, contract them. 13 (14)
Toronto Blue Jays (23-23) Underrated bullpen overshadowed nationally by Jose Baustista. 14 (9)
Los Angeles Angels (24-24) Bobby Abreu has as many career doubles (534) as Lou Gehrig? Wow. 15 (10)
Detroit Tigers (23-23) By far the best team in the game trailing division leader by seven games. 16 (27)
Chicago White Sox (22-26) Not a very good team overall, but this is what winning 7 of 10 gets you. 17 (28)
Seattle Mariners (22-24) By far the highest theyve appeared in these rankings; blame parity.
18 (16)
Oakland A's (22-25) Another month of wasted gems and you can forget about pre-season predictions. 19 (17)
Colorado Rockies (23-22) Simply cant afford Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki to not be great. 20 (25)
Arizona Diamondbacks (23-23) Have more than enough talent to get sneaky on everyone this summer. 21 (19)
New York Mets (22-24) Owner Fred Wilpons New Yorker interview sort of explains all the trouble. 22 (22)
Washington Nationals (21-25) Giants fans who wanted J.J. Hardy likely less enthused about prospect. 23 (20)
Baltimore Orioles (21-24) A lot of executives made a mistake in not taking a run at Vlad Guerrero. 24 (21)
Los Angeles Dodgers (21-27) With Matt Kemp cooling off, they need relief corps to get better fast. 25 (15)
Kansas City Royals (22-24) Early season feel-good story feeling very much like its run its course. 26 (23)
Pittsburgh Pirates (22-24) Perennial sub-.500 club only two games under is story worth tracking.
27 (24)
Chicago Cubs (20-25) They can hit with most everyone, but bullpen as a whole is beyond shaky.
28 (26)
San Diego Padres (19-28) Like Rays, better on road than at home. Unlike Rays, not very good anywhere. 29 (29)
Houston Astros (17-30) Wandy Rodriguez starts are worth watching. Take other four days off. 30 (30)
Minnesota Twins (15-30) Sad enough before Harmon Killebrew passed away. Now its depressing.
What's on your mind? Email Mychael and let him know. He may use it in his Mailbag.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's loss despite five home runs

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's loss despite five home runs

BOX SCORE

Hit five home runs, and a team has to like its chances of winning.

The A’s simply couldn’t keep up with the Houston Astros’ bats, however, in an 11-8 loss Wednesday night that snapped Oakland’s four-game winning streak. Khris Davis went deep twice, and Ryon Healy, Jed Lowrie and Matt Olson all went deep as the A’s set their season high for home runs.

But Houston racked up 17 hits against Jesse Hahn (3-6) and four relievers and evened this three-game series at a game apiece. It was the second time Hahn has gotten knocked around by Houston inside of a week.

The A’s took an early lead, 5-4, in the third on the second of Davis’ two homers, part of a four-run rally for Oakland. But the Astros answered right back with five runs in the bottom half, and the A’s never recovered from that momentum swing.

Hahn’s struggles continue: Hahn was trying to rebound after the Astros hung nine earned runs on him last Thursday at the Coliseum. Things didn’t improve Wednesday at Minute Maid Park, as the right-hander lasted just two-plus innings and allowed six runs on nine hits. Is this a case of one team simply having Hahn’s number or do the A’s make a move and try someone else in the rotation? It bears watching.

Krush Davis x 2: It was apparent early this would be a slugfest, with Khris Davis homering twice within the first three innings as the A’s tried to keep pace. He led off the second with a shot to left field, then came back with a three-run blast to left in the third that put Oakland up 5-4. The homers were his team-leading 20th and 21st.

Reddick-ulous night: Josh Reddick filled up the stat sheet against his old team in every way imaginable. He went 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs, and twice caught the A’s by surprise by stealing third base. For good measure, he turned in an excellent running catch in right field to rob Yonder Alonso.

Strange offensive night: What to make of this night offensively for the A’s? They hit a season-high five homers but also struck out a whopping 17 times. No matter … you can’t hang this one on the offense, because …

The pitching staff just couldn’t hold things down: Josh Smith was called upon to hold down the fort after Hahn departed in the third, but Smith was tagged for three runs on four hits. Daniel Coulombe and John Axford also got touched for runs. Rookie Michael Brady did turn in 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

Cubs outfielder vows he didn't give Trump the middle finger at White House

Cubs outfielder vows he didn't give Trump the middle finger at White House

WASHINGTON – Albert Almora Jr. didn’t use Wednesday’s Oval Office photo op as a subtle form of political protest, but it did sort of look like the Cubs outfielder gave President Donald Trump the middle finger, at least from that angle in an image that went viral on Twitter.    

“There was two fingers! Look closely, there was two fingers!” a veteran player yelled across the room as reporters gathered around Almora’s locker inside the visiting clubhouse at Nationals Park. 

“Guys were giving me a hard time about it,” Almora said, “but I pointed out the second finger. We’re all good.”

In another White House visit that didn’t look nearly as unofficial or informal as the Cubs said it would be, one snapshot became Almora with part of his left hand in his pocket. Almora stood near Kris Bryant – who held a 45 Wrigley Field scoreboard panel – and Trump at his desk with the World Series trophy.

“Obviously, it’s unfortunate,” Almora said with a laugh. “I’m getting ready to take a picture and I’m posing there. But you guys know that I would never do that to the president of the United States. 

“I respect everybody. It is what it is. We laugh about it now, but there’s definitely two fingers out there.”

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