Mikey’s MLB power rankings

The regular season is almost over, and we have an almost anti-climatic AL East race going on, with just playoff positioning to determine. In the NL, the Phillies and Reds are in but the Giants, Padres and Braves are battling for the final two spots. The Rockies sure flamed out fast, didn’t they? I guess this will be our final power rankings for the year, and it’s time to focus on our NFL MVP, Coach of Year and Rookie of Year power rankings. Thanks for reading, folks and enjoy the playoffs!

1. Philadelphia Phillies (96-64)—As a Mets fan, it pains me to say this, but I can’t see anyone beating these guys at this point. They had their rough patch the first half of the season when the Braves and Mets battled for first place and they sat back and watched, but here they are.

2. Tampa Bay Rays (94-66)—It’s going to be a photo finish in the AL East.

3. New York Yankees (94-65)—I feel like NY will wind up with the wild card, and they may want it that way so they can face Minnesota instead of Texas, if only to avoid Cliff Lee.

4. Minnesota Twins (93-67)—One win this past week, but it doesn’t even matter having clinched a while ago.

5. San Francisco Giants (91-69)—No champagne yet, guys. But this team is looking mighty strong heading into the postseason. However, like I said, no champagne…

6. Atlanta Braves (90-70)—Tough luck drawing the Phillies this weekend, and their lead in the wild card is just one game over San Diego. At least we have some tight races to look forward to in the NL.

7. San Diego Padres (89-71)—A good thing they didn’t trade Adrian Gonzalez. Wow, what a shame it would be for these guys to miss the postseason at this point, but it might happen. Then again, see Giants above….and don’t count the Braves out from collapsing either.

8. Cincinnati Reds (89-71)—They could be dangerous this month because of three words. Joey Freaking Votto.

9. Texas Rangers (89-71)—Cliff Lee and that Murderer’s Row lineup could make noise too, but I’m not banking on it.

10. Boston Red Sox (87-72)—Tough division, but it’s likely the Sox will finish with a worse record than any of the 8 playoff teams.

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

Mikey’s MLB power rankings

It’s August 8, and we’re past 2/3 of the way through the MLB season right now. That means teams have roughly 50 games to get their act together and either make a run or hold on to their place in the playoff picture. Ironically as I say that, the rankings have barely changed at all this week. What you don’t see is that the Phillies are creeping up on the Braves, the Dodgers and Mets are falling way behind, and the Tigers have fallen out of their race about as fast as any team can in August. With that, here are the rankings for this week…..

1. New York Yankees (68-41)—The only reason the Yankees are still first here is because you’re first until someone knocks you off. But believe me, the Rays are going to knock them off any day now, no matter how many Berkmans the Yankees add.

2. Tampa Bay Rays (67-43)—Out to prove that 2008 was no fluke, and doing it with a vengeance. Do you think Fox is terrified of a Tampa Bay/San Diego World Series?

3. Texas Rangers (64-46)—Sale complete, but mission not complete. Tim McCarver said on Dan Patrick this past week that he thinks this is the best team in the American League. And who can really argue with that?

4. San Diego Padres (63-46)—Oh hey, speaking of the Padres, these guys just keep winning. Sure, their lead is now just one game over the Giants, but we didn’t expect them to be there in June, much less August or beyond.

5. Atlanta Braves (63-47)—It’s not smoke and mirrors anymore, and this team has a great mix of crafty vets and hungry youngsters. Just look out for the Phillies, because here they come, just two games back.

6. Boston Red Sox (63-48)—Don’t count them out yet. All those injuries and just 6 games back in that division? That’s all I’m gonna say.

7. San Francisco Giants (63-48)—This team has its eye on the NL West crown and they have the pitching to get there. Do they have enough offense (i.e., power) though?

8. Chicago White Sox (63-47)—Sorry Mr. President, I just don’t see this lasting much longer. The other shoe is going to drop, and the Twins are going to pounce.

9. Cincinnati Reds (63-48)—Two words—Joey and Votto. Dude might win the triple crown and his team might reach the promised land for the first time in 20 years.

10. Minnesota Twins (62-49)—Too much talent to be kept down in the AL Central. Do you ever wonder if Johan Santana regrets leaving Minnesota?

CC solid as Yankees take Game 1 from Twins

CC Sabathia allowed just two runs – one earned – over 6 2/3 innings in the Yankees’ 7-2 win over the Twins in Game 1 of the ALDS. Derek Jeter and Hideki Matsui each had two-run dingers in the victory.

The Twins took the early lead with two runs in the third inning against Sabathia, as Michael Cuddyer followed two singles with an RBI hit. Sabathia had trouble ironing out sequences with Jorge Posada, crossed up for a second time as a passed ball ticked off the catcher’s mitt with Joe Mauer sliding home safely.

The first miscue was on Posada, the second on Sabathia. But they found their rhythm in time to earn applause, as Sabathia clamped the damage there and kept the threatening Twins from bringing anyone further around. Sabathia had lost his past three playoff decisions for Cleveland and Milwaukee, but he was a winner on Wednesday.

Appropriately, Jeter drove in the Yankees’ first postseason runs at the new Stadium, pulling a two-run homer into the left-field seats off Twins left-hander Brian Duensing to tie the game.

Swisher gave the Yankees the lead off the rookie Duensing in the fourth with a bullet double down the left-field line, sending Robinson Cano sliding home. As the go-ahead run scored, Swisher stood on second base, pumping his fist and pointing his two index fingers toward the sky.

A-Rod gave the Yankees needed insurance in the fifth inning, lining a run-scoring single to left-center field to send home Jeter and chase Duensing to the showers. It was Rodriguez’s first hit with runners in scoring position in a span of 19 postseason at-bats, dating back to Game 4 of the 2004 AL Championship Series.

This was a perfect start for the Yankees. Not only did they take a 1-0 lead in the series, but Sabathia and A-Rod (two players that have earned criticism for their lack of production in the postseason) contributed in big ways, Jeter was as clutch as ever and Joe Girardi’s club didn’t overlook a pesky Twins team.

The key for the Bombers is sustaining this momentum and carrying it through an entire series. In the past, the Yankees have fallen victim to lackluster postseason play after racing through the regular season. They have a long way to go, but they couldn’t have asked for a better start.

Report: Miguel Cabrera involved in “spat” with wife

According to a report by the Detroit Free Press, Tigers’ slugger Miguel Cabrera was involved in a spat with his wife early Sunday morning. Police have determined that he and his wife were guilty since they were both aggressors in the argument.

So this isn’t a story then, right? Both he and his wife are guilty – done deal. Well, not exactly.

Apparently the crux of the argument was that Miggie was out drinking late the night before and the fight took place around 6:00 a.m., only hours before one of the Tigers’ most important games of the 2009 season. (Detroit battled with the Twins for the AL Central crown throughout the weekend and will now have a one-game playoff on Tuesday to determine the winner.)

Cabrera arrived at Comerica Park on Saturday with visible abrasions on his face. He told FoxSports.com his dog had done it. Cabrera, 26, is married with a daughter.

“No comment,” Cabrera said Sunday morning, when asked about the marks on his face. “I’m looking right now for a win today.”
Have you told your teammates what happened?


Then Cabrera said: “After the game. Right now, I won’t talk before the game. I’ve got to get ready for the game. Please … please. Thank you.”

After the Tigers’ 5-3 victory, Cabrera declined comment again. He went 0-for-3, finishing the White Sox series 0-for-11.
Hey, loved ones fight – you can’t hold that against Cabrera. But the fact that he was out drinking late the night before a huge game raises some eyebrows about his dedication.

Then again, Cabrera leads the Tigers in home runs (33), RBI (101), runs scored (95) and OPS (.936), so nobody can question his production. Plus, there’s no guarantee that drinking the night before a game will ultimately hold a player back on the field. (It’s been well documented that Babe Ruth hit the sauce hard in his day and I believe he still put up some decent numbers.)

But if Cabrera goes 0-for-4 in Detroit’s one-game playoff against Minnesota on Tuesday and the Tigers fail to win the AL Central, the media will ultimately tie this incident into his failures on the field. Hopefully for his sake, the Tigs win and this will all blow over. But if not, Cabrera will face some stiff questions.

Mikey’s MLB Power Rankings

As far as the Yankees and Cardinals are concerned, they are on a collision course for the World Series, as they are putting large amounts of distance between themselves and their closest competitors.

Read the rest after the jump...

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