MLB Power Rankings: Orioles flying high

Tim Brown

On the Loria Factor, the Blue Jays’ excuse against guys not throwing spitballs, saving potato bugs, free hot dogs in McCovey Cove and the evil black magic of tape recorders:

The rankings (records through Wednesday):


1. Baltimore Orioles (21-13; Previous: 5) – Brian Roberts sees specialist for hamstring injury. Makes you wonder if he’s seen so many specialists they don’t really seem that special anymore.

St. Louis

2. St. Louis Cardinals (21-12; Previous: 6) – Unable to establish bullpen that retires hitters, Cards turn to retired pitcher, ask for the gold watch back.


3. Texas Rangers (21-13; Previous: 2) – Darvish said he’d heard uncomplimentary things about new catcher Pierzynski, who figured Darvish must have been talking to, you know, everyone.


4. Detroit Tigers (19-12; Previous: 12) – Tigers take up cause of saving endangered tigers, privately relieved franchise didn’t name itself the potato bugs. Because they’re gross and nobody wants them around.


5. Atlanta Braves (20-13; Previous: 1) – B.J. a little jealous about little brother Justin’s start. Sighs. Pitchers always did like him better.


6. Boston Red Sox (21-13; Previous: 4) – Buchholz the 42nd overall pick in 2005. Amazing how many teams allowed him to slip through their fingers.

San Francisco

7. San Francisco Giants (20-14; Previous: 3) – ESPN goes to McCovey Cove, gives away dozens of hot dogs. Couldn’t give them all away, of course, as someone had to host SportsCenter that night.

[Also: Sunscreen trick is pitchers' latest method to gain an edge]


8. Colorado Rockies (19-14; Previous: 9) – Upton brothers, Hairston brothers, Molina brothers, Nix brothers, Rex Brothers…

New York

9. New York Yankees (19-13; Previous: 13) – A-Rod tells reporters he has “a lot of unfinished business,” clarifies however that he’s actually settled up the Biogenesis account.

Kansas City

10. Kansas City Royals (17-13; Previous: 14) – Royals like Alex Gordon a lot more now that everyone else has decided he’s not a bust and that the Royals were right to continue believing in him, no matter what everyone else said.


11. Pittsburgh Pirates (18-15; Previous: 15) – Everybody laughed when Pirates introduced military style training, but look at them now. Granted, everybody’s still laughing about that. But still.


12. Cincinnati Reds (19-16; Previous: 7) – Baker reaches 1,600 career wins, passes Lasorda on all-time list, insists at 63 he still has a few arms to burn out before he’s done.


13. Arizona Diamondbacks (19-15; Previous: 10) – D'backs grant the bullpen hasn’t been great, stop short of saying it’s ka-Putz.


14. Washington Nationals (18-15; Previous: 11) – By end of World Series, Harper will be legally permitted to sip post-game Champagne. (Clown observation, bro.)


15. Cleveland Indians (17-14; Previous: 24) – Indians pitchers don’t give up cheap home runs. By that we mean they’ve asked umpires to disallow anything that’s not, you know, waaaay over the fence.


16. Oakland Athletics (18-17; Previous: 8) – Following blown call, umpire Angel Hernandez refuses to have explanation digitally recorded, also considers replay technology some kind of creepy witchcraft.

San Diego

17. San Diego Padres (16-18; Previous: 29) – Padres make strong move to pass Dodgers in standings. Try to remember a time that meant something.

[Also: J.A. Happ speaks publicly for first time since head injury]


18. Milwaukee Brewers (15-17; Previous: 17) – Selig rejects five-year extension offer, clearly intends to test free agency.


19. Minnesota Twins (15-15; Previous: 21) – Gardy gives Hicks a stern talking to, later refers to conversation as just a little tough glove.

Tampa Bay

20. Tampa Bay Rays (15-18; Previous: 16) – Club plays 18 of 24 games away from The Trop, return to discover pet manta rays had gotten into the trash.


21. Philadelphia Phillies (16-19; Previous: 22) – Phillies pitchers react strongly to Mitch Williams criticism, insist they can’t all have seamless, effortless mechanics like Mitch.


22. Seattle Mariners (16-19; Previous: 26) – Andino says he’s come to terms with being traded from Baltimore to “Alaska,” really loves manager Palin.

New York

23. New York Mets (13-17; Previous: 20) – “Duda, Where’s My WAR?”


24. Chicago White Sox (14-18; Previous: 25) – Shoeless Joe Jackson has a Twitter account. Pretty much limits his missives to eight (unsavory) characters.

Los Angeles

25. Los Angeles Dodgers (13-20; Previous: 18) – Mattingly, after being swept in San Francisco: “I feel better about our club walking out of here than I did walking in.” Sadly, a check of disabled list shows he was only Dodger walking out of there.

Los Angeles

26. Los Angeles Angels (11-22; Previous: 19) – Slow start has observers wondering if Dipoto will fire Scioscia. Or if Scioscia will fire Dipoto.

[Also: Double or HR? Botched call helps Indians steal victory from A’s]


27. Chicago Cubs (13-21; Previous: 28) – Cubs threaten move. Cubs fans get door.


28. Toronto Blue Jays (13-22; Previous: 23) – Blue Jays convinced Buchholz was cheating. Have no explanation for dozens of other guys who pitched against them.


29. Houston Astros (10-24; Previous: 27) – Young Astros, seeking consistency, wonder if picking first in the draft every year counts.


30. Miami Marlins (10-25; Previous: 30) – Astros are actually worse, but Marlins docked one place in rankings due to Loria Factor.

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