Urban: MLB Power Rankings -- Phillies still on top


Urban: MLB Power Rankings -- Phillies still on top

June 27, 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 (49-30) Only team with winning percentage over .600 for a reason; theyre that good.2 (3)
New York Yankees (45-31)Love em or hate em, its good for the game when theyre relevant.
3 (5)
Tampa Bay Rays (44-34)Not better than Boston; just playing better baseball as of late.
4 (2)
Boston Red Sox (45-32)Addition of former top pick Andrew Miller a sneaky-smart move.
5 (6)
San Francisco Giants (44-34) Can they keep winning close ones? Sure, as long as pitching stays healthy.
6 (7)
Milwaukee Brewers (44-35) If they figure out road woes, they run away with NL Central.
7 (11)
Atlanta Braves (44-35) Roster composition: Nobody spectacular, everybody solid. Real solid.
8 (12)
Arizona Diamondbacks (43-36) Joe Saunders starting to pitch like the All-Star he was in AL.
9 (13)
Detroit Tigers (42-36) Three players among top 10 AL batting leaders. Central theirs to lose.
10 (10)
Texas Rangers (41-38) Looking awfully smart for not trading disgruntled Michael Young.
11 (8)
St. Louis Cardinals (41-38) Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman < Albert Pujols.
12 (19)
Washington Nationals (40-38) The Bryce Harper wont play in the bigs this year deal is a joke.
13 (15)
Pittsburgh Pirates (39-38) Theyre over .500 (through Sunday)! Something strangely exciting about that.
14 (22)
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (39-40) Theyre under .500! Something strangely sad about that.
15 (14)
Seattle Mariners (39-39) Theyre at .500! Something strangely meaningless about that.
16 (9)
Cleveland Indians (40-36) Jack Hannahan on Friday: Were just playing good baseball. Oops.
17 (16)
Toronto Blue Jays (39-39) Ricky Romeros record doesnt tell you jack about how good he is.
18 (4)
Cincinnati Reds (40-39)Giants fans thinking Ramon Hernandez might be available arent paying attention.
19 (18)
New York Mets (39-39) Typical Sunday for Jose Reyes: triple, three singles, stolen base, three runs, RBI.
20 (17)
Colorado Rockies (38-39) Cool day for Jason Giambi this weekend: Standing O, HR at Yankee Stadium.
21 (23)
Oakland A's (35-44) Organizational rotation depth has been impressive. Offense, still anything but.
22 (20)
Chicago White Sox (38-41)Few teams aggravate their fan base more than this hotcold club.
23 (21)
Los Angeles Dodgers (35-44) Poster boy for bad decision-making in MLB: Juan Uribe.
24 (25)
Baltimore Orioles (35-40) Just because its kind of fun every once in a while: Mark Belanger.
25 (24)
Minnesota Twins (32-44) Boot, boot, clang, clang. That was their defense at AT&T Park.
26 (30)
Florida Marlins (34-44) Jack McKeon and Hanley Ramirez are a sit-com waiting to happen.27 (28)
San Diego Padres (34-45) At least they get to host the Royals this week.28 (27)
Kansas City Royals (33-45) At least they get to play the Padres this week.
29 (26)
Chicago Cubs (31-46) Is the entire team cursed or it only the pathetic pitching staff?30 (29)
Houston Astros (28-51) If Hunter Pence is traded, they might as well start giving away tickets.
What's on your mind? Email Mychael and let him know. He may use it in his Mailbag.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Quakes' 3-0 loss to Sounders


Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Quakes' 3-0 loss to Sounders


What a difference a week makes.

The San Jose Earthquakes entered their two-game, coast-to-coast swing of road games in playoff position. 

But now, after a 5-1 loss to the Red Bulls in the middle of last week and on Sunday, a 3-0 loss to the Seattle Sounders, the Quakes are in seventh place in the Western Conference -- on the outside looking in. 

Here are five takeaways from defeat number nine on the season:

-- For the first 53 minutes there, it looked like San Jose had corrected what ailed them against the Red Bulls. They bent but did not break. 

But Christian Roldan opened the flood gates in the 54th minute, capitalizing on a defensive miscue and then it didn't take Seattle too much longer to put the game out of reach -- and make the Quakes look completely out of place. 

Roldan scored again in the 56th minute and Kelvin Leerdam, starting in his first game for the Sounders, scored nine minutes later. 

Roldan came inches away from his hat trick -- hitting the post in the 79th minute. 

-- Again, it's tough to criticize the play of one player, but in both Roldan goals -- that came within a minute of one another -- Andres Imperiale looked like the target of Seattle's attack -- he got caught flat footed on the first goal and on the second, the Argentinean was beat in the air. 

His defensive partner Victor Bernardez was victimized on that second goal too. 

It's probably not a coincidence then, that the Quakes signed Swiss defender Francois Affolter during the week. 

-- Speaking of Affolter, we've yet to see him at Avaya Stadium. And just like Jesse Fioranelli's other signing, little is known of the international player. Yet, at this point, with injuries and a deep run in the U.S. Open Cup tournament, the Quakes are in need of able bodies. 

Affolter, a center back, does have five international caps and over 200 caps in the Swiss Super League and German Bundesliga. 

-- After losing to New York last week, the Quakes moved below the magic red line in the Western Conference. Sunday's loss to the Sounders is critical -- with 21 games played, the Sounders not only creeped ahead of the Quakes, but are now four points clear of their Western Conference rival for that sixth (and last) playoff spot.  

Over a two-match stretch, the Quakes went from fifth and in the playoffs to seventh and knowing the latter part of the season (13 games) will be an uphill climb. 

-- San Jose got another look at Vako. The midfielder scored against the Red Bulls but, after checking in during minute 62, Vako did not figure into the attack. 

And, in the interest of the aforementioned able bodies, it was positive to see Quincy Amarikwa put in another shift ... and almost score in the 83rd minute.

Reports: Former Warriors center agrees to one-year deal with Magic


Reports: Former Warriors center agrees to one-year deal with Magic

After one season with the Clippers, free agent Marreese Speights is headed back to the state of Florida.

The former Warriors center has agreed to a one-year deal with the Orlando Magic, according to USA Today Sports.

News that the two sides were closing in on a deal was first reported by David Pick.

The deal is reportedly worth the veteran's minimum of $2.1 million.

In his lone season with the Clippers, Speights averaged 8.7 points and 4.5 rebounds in 82 games.

Speights played three seasons was the Warriors and was part of the 2014-15 championship team.

The soon-to-be 30-year-old Speights was born in St. Petersburg, Florida and played his college ball at the University of Florida.