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Is interleague play over yet?

And did the Yankees steal the #1 spot from the Rays? Or did the Rays just hand it over? It’s hard to say, exactly. Or maybe it’s easy to say but I’m not sure I’m ready to just dismiss the Yanks’ newfound sole possession of the throne just yet.

The fact of the matter is, the Yanks went on their longest losing streak of the year this past week (3), and there are 2 ways to look at this: 1.) That when losing 3 games engenders talk of “panic buttons” you’re a pretty ridiculous team, or 2.) the 3-game skid almost neatly coincided with the Yanks crawling into 1st, so can the ascent really be attributed to their level of play so much as their competitor’s lack thereof?

Whatever, the Yanks take the #1 spot in the Power Rankings for the 2nd week in a row. Deal with it, haters.

14.) O’s


13.) Mariners (13)

Ok, their pitching is superb. It’s pathetic that a team that boasts Cliff Lee and King Felix is 2nd to last in the AL Rankings. Just to put it in perspective, they swept one of the best offensive teams in the NL this week (the division-leading Reds), but not only that, held them to 3 runs all weekend. Unfortunately, the M’s also have the league’s lowest number of hits (103) when the league average is 127 (including the clumsy NL), and also “boast” the league’s most abysmal SLG at .345. Maybe it’s time to rethink the whole “best offense is a good defense” philosophy, yeah?

12.) Tribe

And there’s teams with less than solid pitching. The Tribe is making the LA Blue’s pitching look like a Hall of Fame ballot. David Huff has become the John Maine of the staff, basically wasting his start every 5 days and walking enough batters per game to make anything else he does irrelevant.

11.) A’s (11)

Well, I guess this should put the question to bed once and for all, (if it hasn’t been already), how long the A’s were going to maintain their early season momentum. It’s safe to say they’re fizzled to say the least, and I don’t want to say the words Dallas Braden, but I actually kinda do. So….Dallas Braden. Ha. Way to gorge on all the team’s sparkly adrenaline and waste it all on an Arod vendetta. The A’s are 5-13 in June and show zero signs of getting their collective act together. Sadly, (for them, but like I give a crap), they were just a game or 2 out of first just mere days ago…

10.) [Devil] Rays (6)

Speaking of teams that have been squandering their fiery invincibility and burning a hole in their momentum faster than they can stomach…there’s Tampa Bay. Unlike some other struggling teams, I think this one will get their ducks in a row a lot more seamlessly than others, but I don’t think they have the experience to fully execute a turnaround without some casualties along the way. And yet, we’ll also see an ASG that’s almost guaranteed to be bogged down with Rays’ stars. Go figure.

9.) Kansas City (10)

Uhh, I don’t really know what to do with them, but suffice to say that they’re extremely lucky a handful of other squads are more egregiously struggling than them. The only reason the Royals are as high up as they are is because they’ve managed to keep their pitfalls a little more subdued. They have the opposite of Seattle’s problem. Although the retain the #2 spot in BA column, they’re blazing the cellar in the pitching columns. I think enough’s been made of Zack Greinke’s fall from glory, so I won’t belabor the point...

8.) J’s (12)

Wow, wasn’t it only a few weeks ago that this was THE TEAM TO BEAT in the AL East? I can’t say I’m surprised. You’re not going to go very far when your batting order backs up its league-leading SLG with a league-failing BA. Also, how long did everyone really expect Vernon Wells to leverage this bizarre age regression wave he’s been riding?

7.) Twinkies (7)

Here’s another problem team. I swear, if you combined the devil-may-care power of the J’s with the meticulous temperament of the Twinks, the BlueTwins would be undefeated. But unlike the J’s, the Twinks are in a big better position to buy the hell out of the trading market. They’ve always had an exorbitant amount of cash from their stingy owner, but with the inaugural year of the new stadium underway, they have some extra cash to burn, and their infield should be priority #1 right now. We’ll see how they handle the trade deadline, and then I’ll see how meh they still are.

6.) Halos (2)

It’s a pity, kind of. I mean, this team was on pure fire a few weeks ago, and then it was like they fell into the same breed of luck that Simon from “As Good As It Gets” stumbled into. Nothing can go right for them it seems. They lose a new player to the DL practically every other day. Izsturis, Aybar, and Morales have all dropped like flies, and the Halos just aren’t made of enough stern stuff to overcome that kind of blow to their chemistry. I expect them to drop about 4 places next week.

5.) Tiggers

They officially look like every single one of my fantasy teams. Frustratingly in the middle of the road in every category, which makes it so hard to remedy since no one play is doing badly. Which makes it impossible to even discern where the problem lies at all. Is it their pitching? 4.08 ERA. Not too bad. Batting? .274. Pretty good. No one knows! But trust me when I say unless this team makes some sizable moves, they’re doomed to the same fate as almost every one of my fantasy teams. UNLESS they mangle their way into the playoffs, in which case, all bets are off.

4.) BoSox (4)

When I went home for father’s day, my dad reminded me how good Boston was, and I can’t figure out whether he actually thinks they’re the team to beat, or if he’s just trying to get a rise out of me. Could be either, really. The Sux offense swept Manny’s new(ish) team right out of Fenway. They’re in 3rd in the division by only a hair, having won the last 6 and basically are breathing down the Rays’ necks. Plus, now that the Celtics are done, everyone is back in prime Sux form. Hey Boston? Be more annoying.

3.) ChiSox (8)

Ok, I can’t lionize them TOO much, since their big hot streak has done little more than to bring them up to baseline, but hey every game counts. And if they wanna escape a waste of a season, this is the way to do it. The Southsiders are currently 9-1 in their last day and are currently hanging on a 6-game roll.

They’re also still 5.5 back in the division, to say nothing of the fact they really have no position hitter or pitching to speak of. But I call ‘em like I see ‘em, and this past week, they’re been mowing down their opposition. And this includes the newly Strasberg-enhanced Nats!

2.) Texas (3)

They’re good. They don’t have holes in their game. At all. The only thing they have to worry about is the same thing that plagues the #1 spot: getting their freaking asses out of their heads and remembering how f’n awesome they are. To be honest, their lineup is the only one quite as terrifying as that of the Yankees.

1.) World Series Champions (1)

Here’s the thing. The Yanks’ stole this one from the Rays by virtue of beating up on scrubs like the Stros. I don’t care. I’ll take any win any way it comes. But for the record, I’ll be THRILLED when we’re out of interleague play, out of the ASG break, and into the 2nd half of the season. But as for now, here’s where our champs are at: CC, Andy, Javy, and Hughes have one amazing start after the next.

AJ has been a bit shaky, but hey it comes with the territory of AJ being AJ. Our bats have been lifeless, yet somehow oddly effective despite the notable absence of Arod. It’s a little bit weird how the Yanks have managed to fall into the charmed #1 spot but with a discernible lack of the go-for-the-jugular-ness of last year. Maybe this year they’re just going for the mandible.

Just remember, Yanks. Never settle. Never, ever, settle.


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