Questioning The Powers That BePosted 21 June 2011 by Pony Boy
The Athletics. The Orioles. The Nationals. The Rockies. The Blue Jays. These are a few of the teams ranked ahead of the Minnesota Twins by a pair of MLB writers in their power rankings, which moved on the wires Saturday.
This is the last time we’ll chat about this. Promise.
Let’s get the knocks against the Twins out of the way right off the bat. They have one of the worst records in baseball. They were very bad for a long period of time. With a pair of big bats (Jim Thome and Justin Morneau) on the disabled list, they don’t have much pop in their lineup.
However, following Sunday’s harrowing 5-4 win over San Diego, Minnesota has won 14 of 16 games. And the Twins have room for improvement. Joe Mauer is hitting .200. That will get better. The pitching staff has the 24th-best ERA in the majors. That, too, will improve. The Twins are a hot team with potential to improve.
I can see you rolling your eyes out there. It was just last week that I talked about the dark art of ranking teams. But this, well, I just don’t understand this. Larry Stone of the Seattle Times ranks Minnesota 24th. Just as bad, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ranks the Twins 12th out of 14 teams in the American League.
Power rankings should reflect where the team is today and how good it could be going forward. If Albert Pujols is injured, as he was Sunday, that should affect St. Louis’ rankings. Moreover, if a three-game series began today between two teams, shouldn’t the rankings reflect who would be favored in that series?
Put shortly: I can read the standings. You gotta come stronger than that.
Let’s take a quiz. You’re a gambler. The Athletics. The Orioles. The Nationals. The Rockies. The Blue Jays. One of those five teams has a three-game set with the Twins coming up. Your life depends on this series. Do you bet against the team that’s won 14 of 16?
Better still, Larry Stone of the Seattle Times, you have the San Francisco Giants ranked fourth. They start a three-game set with the 24th-ranked Twins this week. Would you like to bet a bottle of West Coast beer against some East Coast beer on the outcome?