2017 June Power Rankings: RIP Chris Cornell Edition

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So Chris Cornell killed himself and that sucks in alotta ways, and the River City Bad Dudes are seemingly (THOUGH ARGUABLY NOT) atop the Power Rankings at right about the halfway point and that ALSO sucks in alotta ways. WHY NOT COMBINE THE TWO? Presented here are the June Power Rankings as well as my PERSONAL favorite Chris Cornell tracks, which will diverge from THE LAMESTREAM MEDIA a bit maybe. I dunno. These were kinda just thrown together somewhat at random but I’ll stand by it. And I probably will have to lead off with Black Hole Sun though just because…..

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1- River City Bad Dudes (5-2-1) – There is certainly room to debate this one, with 3 teams sharing identical records at the top and all sorts of “this one beat this one but lost to that one” type bullshit going on BUT…..until last week the Bad Dudes had not lost since Week 1 so I will give them their due. And there should be no shame in having your only two losses come at the hands of the former co-owners behind the greatest dynasty this league ever has seen or ever will see. There should be no shame in that at all. Plus the lone tie for River City came against last year’s champion. So YEA WHATEVER give em the 1 spot. The Bad Dudes have been getting it done with some “good enough” offensive numbers (Runs 3rd, Doubles 2nd, top 5 in pretty much everything else outside of SBs HILARIOUSLY that part was all true when I wrote it but now that the Bad Dudes have been so BAD thus far in Week 9 this is no longer the case, uhhh 4th in Doubles though?), put together on the backs of Bryce Harper and Giancarlo Stanton and even Jose Abreu, and combining those with surprisingly strong across the board pitching stats (Ks 2nd, QS in a large tie for 2nd, CGs 1st, Ws 1st, Saves 1st, ERA 4th 6th nvm). Thanks due to Marcus Stroman and recently Eduardo Rodriguez for the successes there, blame due to them still rostering Kevin Gausman as to why they aren’t higher up on ERA (UPDATE: DROPPED). Also Danny Salazar, but OVERALL pitching has been pretty solid. In years past we have seen Lobman get aggressive with attempts to upgrade the pitching staff around the trade deadline, WILL BE INTERESTING to see what he will do if that is an area of strength for this team around that time. First the Bad Dudes need to get past the MooniniteZ in Week 9 here.

TOP CHRIS CORNELL SONG #1:  “Black Hole Sun” just because….

This definitely isn’t my favorite Soundgarden song, HELL I probably like some Audioslave songs better than Black Hole Sun, but it is the first Soundgarden song I have ever heard and I have vague memories of watching the music video as like an 8 or 9 year old so here ya go.

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2- Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz (5-2-1) – Our guy the new guy has as strong a claim to a top spot as anyone in the league, as he took over a somewhat historically weak (CAN I SAY THAT WITHOUT BEING SUED?) franchise (outside that one run to the BCS that doomed their demise in this league) and until last week could make the claim that they never truly lost a matchup (with that whole coming in mid-week against the Bad Dudes caveat, also this sentence has had too many parentheses). That all changed last week, but this team has still been humming along. OFFENSE HEAVY has been the name of the game here (Runs 2nd, Doubles 1st, Triples 3rd, HRs 1st, RBIs 2nd, SBs 3rd, OBP 2nd) with just super strong numbers across the board through those 7 categories. Pitching however has been more of a struggle (Ks 9th, QS 10th, ERA 9th) as the team has struggled to find a balance between that side of the fantasy coin and the other. Don’t wanna turn these rankings into a big trade deadline commentary (ONE OF THOSE MIGHT BE FORTHCOMING IN TIME) but it isn’t that hard to look at this team and see a need to improve on one side and not much of a need on the other. HOWEVA some of those stats were no doubt put together by Freddie Freeman and AJ Pollock, both of whom went down with injuries in mid-May. In their absence Lacey Township will rely upon the likes of Michael Comforto, Marcel Ozuna, and Adam Duvall to pick up the power numbers. I haven’t done the historical research on what championship teams fared best by leaning on (outside of my own DYNASTY which leaned upon, like, bullpen) so we will all just have to watch and wait to see if this team can endure offensive cold streaks, if a move is made, if a move is made simply cuz I implied a move should eventually be made, etc. etc. etc.  The BackdoorSliderz are battling the wounded defending champeen OGTFC in Week 9.

TOP CHRIS CORNELL SONG #2:  “The Day I Tried To Live”

THIS however might be my favorite Soundgarden song if I was in the business of picking a favorite Soundgarden song. Which I AM NOT. I like some of their songs, but mostly just always thought Cornell’s voice was the shit, so good fucking luck trying some sort of “Sublime With Rome” type stunt here down the line. Soundgarden with Rome would blow.

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3- Manchester MooniniteZ (5-2-1) – If anyone wants to bitch about the ultimate rankings here SHUT UP because I should be the one complaining, as I have beaten the “top team” once already and plan to be well on my way to doing it a 2nd time for the season series sweep by the time this hits the presses. And HOW have I beaten the Bad Dudes and a bunch of others you ask? EH tough to say. Ks (1st) and HRs (3rd) have been calling cards sameee as last year, haven’t been too shabby in SBs (4th), and we are currently 2nd in Wins and 3rd in ERA, but outside of that this team has survived and thrived by being middle of the pack in most other categories and BACK OF THE PACK in a few others (such as the all-too-familiar-for-my-franchise Quality Starts category, which I still suck at). If you are looking for a team that has won the most games while seemingly not deserving to win as many games my team might be your pick, tis true. Luck you say? WHAT IF I SAY DESTINY? Whatever it is destiny. Also we plan on hitting our stride and ripping off a win streak (a la 2016’s 8 gamer) any day now. IT MAY HAVE ALREADY STARTED IN FACT. The MooniniteZ have the Bad Dudes on tap in Week 9 but you already knew that.

TOP CHRIS CORNELL SONG #3:  “Like A Stone”

So when Audioslave started up I hadn’t thought much about Soundgarden in a while cuz who the fuck would at that point, and this was the first song of theirs that I heard and it kinda reminded me “OH YEA that guy has a kickass voice.” Chris Cornell had a kickass voice. I feel very strongly about that being a fact.

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4- Barnegat Banana Slugs (4-3-1) – The Slugs of Barnegat have, TO THEIR CREDIT, performed admirably in 2017 given all the injuries and suspensions FOR CHEATING they have had to deal with. And I would imagine Brian has whined the absolute minimum possible whining for him throughout the matter, or something. Cuz there was definitely some whining. However the Slugs may now find themselves in a nice position as a team right near the top that is either getting injured folks back or very near the point where they will be getting injured folks back; the longer you can tread water through injuries the better you might be once those injuries pass (there will always be injuries). And the Slugs have done far more than tread water in some categories (3rd in Ks, 2nd in ERA, 2nd in Saves) and far less than tread water in other categories (Runs 9th, Doubles 8th, HRs 9th, RBIs 10th, 4th in OBP howeva). For the Slugs the determination going forward will be figuring out how many of their offensive woes are injury-related and how many point to possible issues with roster construction, as the overall numbers point to them being a little lucky in getting to 4 wins in the early going. However a returning Josh Donaldson and an emerging Jake Lamb just might do a lot to polish away some of the ugliness in those places. The Banana Slugs take on Rojo’s Renegade Force in Week 9 and will be annoyed that I failed to note they are like 3rd in Triples or what have you 🙂

TOP CHRIS CORNELL SONG #4:  “Sunshower”

NOT GONNA LIE never heard this song until they played it on the radio the morning after he passed, but damned if I don’t find it kinda lovely. Have listened to it a few times since then.

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5- Astoria Isotopes (4-4) – Former commish and current guy helming a team that is more competitive than just about anyone expected them to be, LOOK AT T GO. And by T I mean the Astoria Isotopes and by the Astoria Isotopes I guess I largely mean Aaron Judge and Charlie Blackmon. But the Isotopes have been a tough out no doubt about it, combining strong and in some cases LEAGUE LEADING numbers on offense (Runs 4th, Triples 2nd, HRs 2nd [1 behind leader] , RBIs 1st, OBP 3rd)(weirdly last in Doubles) with uhhh a lot of Saves (4th, thank you Greg Holland). The cats I didn’t mention I didn’t mention because they’ve been unremarkable in them, with some blame for pitching woes likely due to the struggles of Jose Quintana and the injury to Cole Hamels and the fact that Jose Berrios is just getting started here. Will be interesting to see where this team is at in a month or two, whether or not the pitching can improve enough to at least compensate for the fact that Judge is (probably) not going to hit 60 HRs. The Astoria Isotopes are taking on the Toms River Titans in Week 9, so yea pitching pitching pitching.

TOP CHRIS CORNELL SONG #5:  “Hunger Strike”

“Hunger Strike” had to get in here somewhere and so it goes in with our most musically-inclined league member, MIKEY T. Mikey T plays guitar left-handed like he is a less pretty Kurt Cobain or something. “Hunger Strike” would be nothing without Chris Cornell yelling “HunGRAAYYYYYYYYY” in the background after Eddie Vedder.

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6- OceanGate Trout Fishing Club (2-3-3) – THIS PAINS ME, but all of you teams that aren’t my team keep losing to this guy so technically he is in the playoffs right now. Shame on you all.  You know who you are. Interestingly enough that part comes from the review I wrote a year ago with the Prince songs and refers to a different team AND YET still relevant for the 6 seed today. You all had a chance to #KeepHeroyWinless and you failed. I know I did my part. And now the OGTFC are currently in the playoffs picture and have certain offensive counting stats to support their ability to rocket up the standings (Doubles 2nd, SBs 2nd, OBP FIRST FOR CRYING OUT LOUD) but maybe not on the defensive end? Can we call it the defensive end? Would be so much easier if I could call pitching “defense.” On the defensive end they are 5th in Saves and 2nd in Holds and that is about the nicest thing I can say. ANYWAYS the good news is Mike Trout just went down for possibly 8 weeks and so did Danny Duffy, although sadly the defending champs dodged a bullet when Gregory Polanco‘s ankle injury turned out to be mild. STILL for the first time in a longgggg time (ever? is it ever? i never know when the hell this league started) we will get to see Greg try and manage a team that DOESN’t have the world’s best baseball player stationed in CF. Will be exciting to see where they are in the July rankings. For now the OGTFC are taking on the Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz in Week 9.

TOP CHRIS CORNELL SONG #6:  “Be Yourself”

Just a nice motivational song, tied in with the team that APPARENTLY needs some motivation given the way they’ve gone about their 2017 season. Now would be a good time to point out that a lot of Chris Cornell’s looks were kinda painful, particularly from the facial hair perspective, but WHO AMONGST US hasn’t had a bad goatee. I know I have.

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7- Point Loma X-Rayz (3-4-1) – TRUST THE PROCESS. The X-Rayz made some noise in spring training when they went out and acquired some power bats but looking at the first half numbers it has kinda been more of the same:  10th in HRs, 9th in RBIs but also 3rd Runs, 2nd Doubles (tied), 1st Triples, 1st SBs. Daniel Murphy has put up great numbers but Chris Davis has underwhelmed, as he currently has one more RBI (UPDATE: 4 MORE RBIS NOW) than Billy Hamilton. And so it is mostly same ole same ole in Odomland, which means relying upon the wheels of Hamilton and others to grab speed cats and runs. On the pitching side the Ks are down from what they were a year ago but this team has been without David Price this entire time; despite that they rank 4th in ERA (plus 3rd in Saves).  And SPEAKING of a year ago, at that time the X-Rayz were 4-3-1. Those that were actually in the league at that time know how that ended, with the X-Rayz surging all the way to the top seed in the second half. The formula is mostly the same BUT WILL THE RESULTS BE? Find out starting Week 9, when the X-Rayz host Q-Tip City.

TOP CHRIS CORNELL SONG #7:  “Fell On Black Days”

“Fell On Black Days” is a good example of a song that I would think might possibly not be all that good if not for Chris Cornell’s voice. Which is kinda the overarching theme here, his voice was an instrument unto itself and it made some songs that might otherwise be shitty less shitty….or even not shitty at all!

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8- Toms River Titans (3-5) – And they AIN’T. DEAD. YET. After starting off 0-4, the Titans have responded by going 3-1 to get right back in the thick of things (everyone is in the thick of things). And I am sure they have been rewarded for their efforts with fewer and fewer annoying trade offers from people seeking pitching upgrades. So YES this team hitched their wagon and continues to hitch their wagon to starting pitching and that has mostly shown in the numbers (QS 1st, Wins 3rd, ERA 1st, a paltry 6th in Strikeouts possibly due to FAILING TO GET YOUR 12) on that side of the fantasy spectrum. Of note is the fact that the Titans are 9th in Saves (with no shot of catching the 8th team) and 3rd in Holds which I am JUST NOW NOTICING, a bit of a Rojo thing going on here and I need to yell about that in future Week Reviews. We can’t have misguided strategy catching on like this. But back to starting pitching uhhh the Noah Syndergaard injury stings a bit and Aaron Nola has missed time but THESE ARE PITCHERS THEY GET INJURED A LOT; speaking of which Carlos Rodon should theoretically make a goddamned start this year so they have that. On the offensive side the Titans have been a bit shakier, 5th in Dongs and SBs and 4th in RBIs but tend to find themselves in the bottom 4 or so in pretty much every other category. Offseason acquisitions Miguel Sano and Francisco Lindor have been great and Anthony Rendon and Carlos Correa have been very good, everyone else MEH. As one of the PRECIOUS FEW owners with multiple titles, Ryan has earned my respect and shall never be counted out by this particular blog provocateur. The Titans take on the ‘Topes in Week 9.

TOP CHRIS CORNELL SONG #8:  “Nothing Compares 2 U” Prince Cover

I realized I almost have gotten through this whole list without throwing the Prince cover that everyone kept playing right after he died in here, which NEEDS TO BE DONE since I did a Power Rankings of all Prince songs about a year ago at this time. So that’s why this is in here….

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9- Rojo’s Renegade Force (3-5) – Rojo’s Renegade Force. Misguided in name and misguided in strategy, HERE THEY REMAIN. Mostly because I will try my best to keep them 9th in the Power Rankings all season, but also because their record allows me to. Rojo’s Renegade Force is LAST in Saves and FIRST in Holds and I didn’t even have to look those up. Let’s see where else they stand out:  an IMPRESSIVE 1st in Runs, HRs 3rd (tied), RBIs 2nd (tied), OBP 5th. RRF got some THUMP to em it would appear, props to Joey Gallo and Nelson Cruz and Paul Goldschmidt and Matt Kemp while he was in Rojoville (since been traded) and now George Springer (was in aforementioned trade). The pitching portion has been a mixed bag (QS 2nd in that 4way tie , CGs 3rd (tied), Ws 4th  but also 10th in ERA 8th in Ks). Michael Fulmer has been pretty good but Johnny Cueto has been okay at best and Corey Kluber has been bad and then injured and now returning from injury. So that covers your pitching staff for the most part. And as usual I FORMALLY DENOUNCE the punting Saves strategy and until I see Rojo grab a bye or something that will continue. NOW HE IS CORRUPTING THE TITANS. Rojo’s Renegade Force take on the Barnegat Banana Slugs in Week 9 and will DEFINITELY lose Saves and will POSSIBLY lose Holds if they ain’t careful and/or if Brian gets smart and grabs a few holds guys. Cuz yanno they are always readily available and can be picked up like for the weekend.

TOP CHRIS CORNELL SONG #9:  “Cochise”

I am partly trying to annoy the group by putting THREE Audioslave songs on here but also I kinda liked Audioslave and I shall not apologize for it. Soundgarden purists like to put ’em down but I think they had some solid songs. Is what I think.

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10- Q-Tip City Morning Wood (2-6) – Oh Shane, our guy the original new guy…. BLAZED into the league with a 2-0 start and it has been depressing to follow along ever since. Six straight losses have hurt the spirits in Q-Tip City but again this is where I need to remind folks, even this SORRY ORGANIZATION is only like a game and a half out of that last playoff spot. Miracles happen every day, Heroy convinced a girl to marry him for example. BACK TO THE MORNING WOOD:  LAST in Runs (by FOURTY EIGHT RUNS which is actually kinda fucking impressive), OBP, SBs, Ws. Last in enough things to where you can see why they are currently in last, is what I am saying here. Also 3rd to LAST in ERA. On the positive sides of things uhhh Ks 4th, QS tied for 2nd, FIRST in CGs.  So fine pitching AT TIMES at least, lead by a surprisingly effective Zack Greinke and an even MORE surprisingly effective and recently acquired Ervin Santana and an expected to be effective yet also recently acquired Carlos Martinez. As far as hitting goes, a lot of guys have been solid but nobody has been all that great is how I would term it. I like Brandon Belt and Yasmani Grandal a whole bunch and would try to acquire them if I had the spots for them. I will say that. Q-Tip City tries to avoid a 7th straight loss when they head to Point Loma to take on the X-Rayz in Week 9. 

TOP CHRIS CORNELL SONG #10:  “Ty Cobb”

Not that into this song at all but IT IS NAMED AFTER A BASEBALL PLAYER. And Shane’s team has baseball players on it. So it works.

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2017 June Power Rankings: RIP Chris Cornell Edition

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