Mikey’s MLB power rankings

The all-star game is behind us now, which means pennant races are about to heat up for real. And there are so many teams in contention this season, it really promises to be a wild rest of the summer. Here is a look at our post-all-star-game power rankings…..

1. New York Yankees (57-32)—Playing with heavy hearts this week after the passing of George Steinbrenner, but nothing else has changed. They just keep winning, and for the Yankees, that’s just what they do.

2. Tampa Bay Rays (54-35)—David Price is the real deal, and one of many reasons this young Rays team is battling the Yankees for AL East supremacy. They’re one of a handful of teams that can compete with the boys from Gotham, but they’d better not get swept this weekend.

3. Atlanta Braves (53-37)—They suddenly have a 5-game lead over the slumping Mets (and 5.5 over the Phils), and have the look of a team that wants to send Bobby Cox out on top.

4. Texas Rangers (52-38)—Cliff Lee and that lineup? The Rangers can start printing playoff tickets now.

5. San Diego Padres (52-37)—At this point, you can’t call it smoke and mirrors. Just like the Rays, this young team plays hard, manufactures runs and keeps games close with solid pitching.

6. Boston Red Sox (51-39)—Someone has awoken the beast that is David Ortiz. Home run derby was just a tease of what’s to come at Fenway this summer.

7. Chicago White Sox (50-39)—A 9-game winning streak was snapped yesterday, but the south side of Chicago is beaming. Too bad Jake Peavy is out for the year, but that doesn’t seem to matter much right now.

8. Cincinnati Reds (50-41)—See Padres, San Diego. Dusty Baker is one heck of a manager, and that is showing again now. Of course, when you have Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Scott Rolen in the middle of your lineup, all is right with the world.

9. Colorado Rockies (49-40)—This year, the Rockies won’t wait to make their move until September. They have already started making it, and the Padres had better watch their collective back

10. Detroit Tigers (48-39)—They have quietly kept right up with the White Sox, just one game back and now 2.5 ahead of the Twins. And Jim Leyland is still one of the best managers in the game.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Pujols favored to win 2009 Home Run Derby

The 2009 Home Run Derby is tonight at 8:00 p.m. ET and Cardinals’ slugger Albert Pujols is a 2/1 favorite to win this year’s event, which is hardly a surprise since a) he’s a G-damn home run hitting cyborg and b) the event is in his home park at Busch Stadium.

Phillies’ first baseman Ryan Howard is 5/2 to win, while Tigers’ third baseman Brandon Inge is 7/2 and Rays’ slugger Carlos Pena is 5/1. Adrian Gonzalez of the Padres is 6/1, Nelson Cruz of the Rangers is 8/1, the Twins’ Joe Mauer is 9/1 and Milwaukee’s Prince Fielder is 10/1.

It’s hard not to like Pujols in his home park, but the favorite never seems to win in the home run derby. Fielder is intriguing at 10/1, but that big boy is likely to crap out in the second round and Gonzo hasn’t hit a home run since before dinosaurs walked the earth so I’m scratching him too.

While my head says go with Howard at 5/2, the underdog in me says Pena at 5/1. He’s leading the AL in dingers and doesn’t have the “immense pressure” of performing in front of his home crowd like Pujols.

Update: Well, that makes sense. I totally crap on Prince Fielder and he winds up winning the damn thing. Not only that, but his dingers were the most impressive of the night. Ah well, at least I didn’t pick Brandon Inge to win…yikes.

Morneau to skip Home Run Derby, Hamilton as well

Looks like there will be a new home run derby king this year:

Minnesota Twins slugger Justin Morneau says he has declined an invitation to participate in the popular All-Star Game event, which will be held Monday in St. Louis. He says he wants to rest and would prefer to watch.

Morneau won last year’s competition at Yankee Stadium, but that was overshadowed by Josh Hamilton’s record 28 homers in the first round. The Texas Rangers outfielder tired as the event dragged on and Morneau outlasted him 5-3 in the finals.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire says he is happy to hear Morneau will be sitting this one out.
Hamilton isn’t going to participate, either, at the request of his manager.

It’s too bad that neither Morneau nor Hamilton will compete, but the fans in St. Louis will still be treated to Albert Pujols, Ryan Howard, Prince Fielder and Adrian Gonzalez.

Still, it would have been cool to see this again:

Potato Gun Home Run Derby

This was a horrible idea with a predictable ending:

Is anyone surprised that the one guy has a camouflage hat on and there’s a pickup truck nearby?

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