2018 POWER RANKINGS: AUGUST EDITION

Image result for August gif

TOTALLY FORGOT to do Power Rankings, and on one hand who gives a shit no way I write this much on this blog next year and on the OTHER hand well then I might as well make this year as complete a performance as possible….So without further adieu, August Power Rankings complete with categorical stats (that don’t budge much) and my humble and correct opinions on each team’s best and worst personnel in ’18 (full time-ish players only) because fuck it needed to write something in there……

(All cat ranks through 8/7/18 or 8/8/18 or who knows)

1- Garden State Warriors (13-4)

The Cat Ranks: Runs 1st, Doubles 1st, Triples 1st, HRs 5th, RBIs 2nd, SBs 2nd, OBP 6th, Strikeouts 5th, QS 4th, CGs 1st, Wins 6th, Saves 2nd, Holds 10th, ERA 4th, MOVES 9th.

2nd Half Record:  7-1

Best Player / Worst Player:  Francisco Lindor / Yu Darvish 

 

 

2- Astoria Isotopes (12-4-1)

The Cat Ranks: Runs 2nd, Doubles t-5th, Triples 6th, HRs 4th, RBIs 4th, SBs 8th, OBP 4th, Strikeouts 4th, QS 9th, CGs t-9th, Wins 8th, Saves 8th, Holds 2nd, ERA 5th, MOVES 5th.

2nd Half Record:  5-2-1

Best Player / Worst Player:  Nolan Arenado / Cole Hamels

 

 

3- Barnegat Banana Slugs (12-5)

The Cat Ranks: Runs 8th, Doubles 7th, Triples t-9th, HRs 6th, RBIs 7th, SBs 4th, OBP 9th, Strikeouts 1st, QS 1st, CGs 3rd, Wins 1st, Saves 4th, Holds 6th, ERA 2nd, MOVES 10th.

2nd Half Record:  5-3

Best Player / Worst Player:  Max Scherzer / Jonathan Schoop

 

 

4- Rojo’s Renegade Force (8-7-2)

The Cat Ranks: Runs 3rd, Doubles 4th, Triples 10th, HRs 1st, RBIs 1st, SBs 10th, OBP 7th, Strikeouts 10th, QS 7th, CGs 2nd, Wins 2nd, Saves 10th, Holds 1st, ERA 9th, MOVES 3rd.

2nd Half Record:  3-3-2

Best Player / Worst Player:  Corey Kluber / Marcell Ozuna

 

 

5- Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz (7-9-1)

The Cat Ranks: Runs 4th, Doubles 2nd, Triples t-7th, HRs 3rd, RBIs 5th, SBs 7th, OBP 2nd, Strikeouts 7th, QS 2nd, CGs t-5th, Wins 9th, Saves 9th, Holds t-3rd, ERA 1st, MOVES 7th.

2nd Half Record:  4-3-1

Best Player / Worst Player:  MATT CARPENTER / Robbie Ray

 

 

6- River City Bad Dudes (7-10)

The Cat Ranks: Runs 5th, Doubles 3rd, Triples t-7th, HRs 2nd, RBIs 3rd, SBs 6th, OBP 3rd, Strikeouts 8th, QS 8th, CGs 4th, Wins 3rd, Saves 5th, Holds t-3rd, ERA 8th, MOVES 2nd.

2nd Half Record:  4-4

Best Player / Worst Player:  Manny Machado / Marcus Stroman

 

 

7- Mission Valley X*Rayz (7-10)

The Cat Ranks: Runs 9th, Doubles 10th, Triples 5th, HRs 10th, RBIs 9th, SBs 1st, OBP 8th, Strikeouts 6th, QS 3rd, CGs t-9th, Wins 4th, Saves 1st, Holds 9th, ERA 3rd, MOVES 1st.

2nd Half Record:  3-5

Best Player / Worst Player:  Jose Ramirez / Chris Archer

 

 

8- Bell Road Bears (8-9)

The Cat Ranks: Runs 10th, Doubles t-5th, Triples t-2nd, HRs 9th, RBIs 8th, SBs 9th, OBP 10th, Strikeouts 2nd, QS 5th, CGs t-5th, Wins 7th, Saves 3rd, Holds 7th, ERA 7th, MOVES 4th.

2nd Half Record:  3-5

Best Player / Worst Player:  Aaron Nola / Gary Sanchez

 

 

9- OceanGate Trout Fishing Club (6-9-2)

The Cat Ranks: Runs t-6th, Doubles 8th, Triples t-2nd, HRs 9th, RBIs 10th, SBs 3rd, OBP 1st, Strikeouts 3rd, QS 6th, CGs t-5th, Wins 10th, Saves 6th, Holds 5th, ERA 6th, MOVES 6th.

2nd Half Record:  2-4-2

Best Player / Worst Player:  Mike Trout / Amed Rosario

 

 

10- Q-Tip City Morning Wood (2-15)

The Cat Ranks: Runs 7th, Doubles 9th, Triples t-9th, HRs 7th, RBIs 6th, SBs 5th, OBP 5th, Strikeouts 9th, QS 10th, CGs t-5th, Wins 5th, Saves 7th, Holds 8th, ERA 10th, MOVES 8th.

2nd Half Record:  1-7

Best Player / Worst Player:  JD Martinez / Sonny Gray and I don’t even care how long he’s been rostered

 

 

 

 

Related image

 

 

And there is your 2018 POWER RANKINGS FINALE. September Power Rankings are one champeen and then a whole bunch of losers. Thank you for your time.

Advertisements
2018 POWER RANKINGS: AUGUST EDITION

2018 POWER RANKINGS: JULY EDITION

Image result for july bear

HAPPY FOURTH! Also it is now the 5th so fuck off. Also we need to get some July Power Rankings in here just for HISTORICAL CONTEXT, they may be lighter on commentary than months past but they will not be wrong. To the Ranks…..which is a cooler way to say “Rankings”…..kinda like the “cats” instead of “categories” thing…..TO THE RANKS, COMPLETE WITH THE CAT RANKS….

(All stats through July 4th)

1- Garden State Warriors (10-3)

The Garden State Warriors were a solid 5-3 ’round the time of last month’s rankings and they ain’t…..lost….since. So now they are 10-3 and looking dangerous DESPITE a whole heap of fucking injuries, with the league’s best collection of middle infielders (Lindor, Correa (currently DL’d), Torres (currently DL’d), Moncada) and a team that keeps winning despite its CALLING CARD pitching staff still trying to work its way back from injuries (Strasburg, Darvish, Syndergaard have all been on the DL for at least a month and it ain’t much mattered) .

The Cat Ranks: Runs t-2nd, Doubles 2nd, Triples 1st, HRs 5th, RBIs 2nd, SBs 3rd, OBP 8th, Strikeouts 2nd, QS 4th, CGs 1st, Wins t-7th, Saves 2nd, Holds 9th, ERA 4th, MOVES 8th.

Why They’ll Win It All: They’ve won 7 in a gotdamned row, they have solid numbers across the board, lotta pretty names in their SP and MI slots.

Why They Won’t: PITCHING IS VOLATILE, always tough to trust certain arms to be health come playoff time and even if they are yanno…..even Clayton Kershaw gets blown up here and there. But this team is good so they’re likely my current favorite so that’s another reason why they won’t.

2- Astoria Isotopes (9-3-1)

The ‘Topes had a good claim at the top ranking for a good portion of the season but I do not think anyone can fault me for dropping them down to 2nd here, not in the same way that someone might fault me for the last time I did it (deservedly so). They remain a trio of excellent bats (Judge, Blackmon, Arenado) complimented by several more very good bats, and one excellent pitcher (Sale) complimented by not much else. Let’s see how it shakes out for them, I think they have a good shot at a bye and an even better shot that I talk about their spotty playoff record of late immediately following that bye.

The Cat Ranks: Runs 1st, Doubles 4th, Triples t-2nd, HRs 3rd, RBIs 4th, SBs 6th, OBP 3rd, Strikeouts 5th, QS 8th, CGs t-7th, Wins 9th, Saves 9th, Holds 3rd, ERA 6th, MOVES 5th.

Why They’ll Win It All: I dunno they’re just maybe DUE at this point (it has been decades), their bats can out-bat any other collection of bats in the league, I haven’t beaten them in like two years (FIREFLY ASSISTED MAYBE BUT NOT REALLY).

Why They Won’t: Lots of aspects of the pitching don’t inspire a ton of confidence, they haven’t won a playoff game in DECADES (seemingly), I have them ranked 2nd and not 1st, etc. etc. etc..

3- Barnegat Banana Slugs (8-5)

THE SLUGS. The Slugs may not lead the league in slugging percentage but they can slug a lil bit and can pitch a lot bit and therefore they cannot be slept on. A dominant pitching staff (Scherzer, Severino, Morton, Corbin, Bauer all dealing) has given the Slugs the luxury of not even having to make allll that many moves, and they’re slowly stockpiling a few 2018 breakouts (Aguilar, MAX MUNCY, Suarez and Rosario to an extent though I liked those guys in 2017), so the hitting could be plenty provided those surprises continue surprisin’. The Slugs have fallen on slight hard times since the last Power Rankings went to their head and that is why nobody should comment on their place in the Power Rankings.

The Cat Ranks: Runs 7th, Doubles 7th, Triples t-9th, HRs 7th, RBIs 8th, SBs 2nd, OBP 9th, Strikeouts 1st, QS 1st, CG 2nd, Wins 1st, Saves 5th, Holds 6th, ERA 2nd, MOVES 10th.

Why They’ll Win It All: Guys like Scherzer and Severino can win playoff matchups all on their own with 2 start weeks and CGs and Ks and the like, they’ve got jusssttt enough 2018 breakout bats littered throughout the roster to get by, maybe Josh Donaldson isn’t toast.

Why They Won’t: SEE WARRIORS about pitching volatility, see also their record across their last 5 after gettin’ reallll sure of themselves just waltzing on into a bye (still might end up with a bye but my point remains).

4- Bell Road Bears (8-5)

IF IT ISN’T THESE STILL KINDA UNDER-PERFORMING PIECES OF SHIT. One thing you note when you type out all these cat ranks is that it’s kinda hard for teams to move too far up and down these things, so the Bears numbers still look pretty awful from a time back when they weren’t known as the Bears. THAT BEING SAID there’s only one team that’s been better over the past two months or so (#1 up there), the BRBs have found ways to win. There’s also hope for a Votto 2nd half surge, Bellinger and Hoskins are getting their shit together, we aren’t dead last in QS for the first time in ages, etc. etc. Do not hibernate on the carnivoran mammals from the family Ursidae is what I am saying.

The Cat Ranks: Runs 10th, Doubles 6th, Triples 4th, HRs 8th, RBIs 6th, SBs 9th, OBP 10th, Strikeouts 3rd, QS 3rd, CGs t-5th, Wins 4th, Saves 3rd, Holds 7th, ERA 5th, MOVES 4th.

Why They’ll Win It All: Done it before can do it again, kinda feel due myself, kinda feel willing to drop just about anybody to get a goddamned playoff W at this point, now named in tribute to the all-time weenie dog GOAT.

Why They Won’t: That potentially reckless approach to the playoffs I alluded to above might not work out, numbers still ain’t great, a few teams seemingly HAVE our number, etc. etc. etc.

5- Rojo’s Renegade Force (8-5)

This lovable force, these renegades for whom’s defining strategy I love to critique without really knowing if I am right or wrong. As long as the RRF don’t win a championship I am right, but THIS YEAR I feel the least sure of that because these dudes are mashin’ (Cruz ❤, Gallo, Goldschmidt, Gattis all at 15+ dongs). If the old and/or oft-injured dudes of the pitching staff (Bumgarner, Cueto, Tanaka) can be effective come playoff time whommmm knowwwwws. The all-holds strategy will probably screw them over though.

The Cat Ranks: Runs 3rd, Doubles 3rd, Triples t-2nd, HRs 1st, RBIs 1st, SBs 10th, OBP 6th, Strikeouts 9th, QS t-5th, CGs t-3rd, Wins 2nd, Saves 10th, Holds 1st, ERA 7th, MOVES 3rd.

Why They’ll Win It All: THEIR INNOVATIVE HOLDS GUYS ONLY/DROP SIX GUYS AT ONCE LIKE WE ARE DOING A HOCKEY LINE CHANGE STRATEGY, also they lead the league in dongs and ribbies everyone loves dongs and ribbies.

Why They Won’t: THEIR STUPID FUCKING HOLDS GUYS ONLY/DROP SIX GUYS AT ONCE LIKE WE ARE DOING A HOCKEY LINE CHANGE STRATEGY.

6- Mission Valley X*Rayz (6-7)

Our defending champs have had a bit of an up and down season but are treading justttt enough water to currently have themselves in the playoffs, I think, so can’t rule out this crafty owner once he gets his hand on one of them top 6 seeds. A very muted performance from Billy Hamilton and yet the X*Rayz are still comfortably ahead in the SBs cat, Jose Ramirez is great, Jose Martinez has been very good. Oh yea and somehow this collection of weirdos is leading the entire Backyard in ERA.

The Cat Ranks: Runs 6th, Doubles 9th, Triples t-5th, HRs 10th, RBIs 8th, SBs 1st, OBP 7th, Strikeouts 6th, QS 2nd, CGs t-7th, Wins 3rd, Saves 1st, Holds 10th, ERA 1st, MOVES 1st.

Why They’ll Win It All: They did it last year, they’ve achieved a bit more balance in their lineup construction, they inexplicably have the league’s best ERA.

Why They Won’t: I am not entirely sure that balance is an entirely good thing and I am not entirely sure I believe this team will continue to lead the league in ERA and I am not entirely sure anyone should listen to me anyway.

7- Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz (6-7)

These unassuming blokes down in Lacey are somewhat forgotten in the Backyard shuffle (unless a Trump thing happens) but LO AND BEHOLD, some very fine offensive cat numbers for the BDSliderz. Part of that should be expected on a team that features Freddie Freeman, Jose Altuve, and Ozzie Fucking Albies but impressive nonetheless. They also have a nice looking ERA and I am now taking notice of this particular franchise. GOTTA MAKE THE PLAYOFFS first but if they do yanno, crazier things have happened.

The Cat Ranks: Runs 4th, Doubles 1st, Triples t-7th, HRs 4th, RBIs 5th, SBs 8th, OBP 2nd, Strikeouts 7th, QS 7th, CGs t-7th, Wins t-7th, Saves 8th, Holds 2nd, ERA 3rd, MOVES 6th.

Why They’ll Win It All: They are the only team WHOMS “why they’ll win it all” section i forgot to do that is why.

Why They Won’t: Their roster if you squint a bit in the right spots resembles the new “Youth Movement” and those fuckers never won much of anything until they got older, their contrarian politics upset my delicate libtard sensibilities, they are harboring AN ABUSER OF WOMAN despite campaigning as the league’s moral compass, etc. etc. etc.

8- River City Bad Dudes (4-9)

Oh boy, everyone’s favorite runner-up is FUCKIN UP. Alotta the River City Bad Dudes #s are still pretty solid but they’ve just found the perfect balance of doing just enough to lose to whatever opponent they happen to be playing, yanno most of the time. Like just about 70% of the time. If they manage to sneak into the Backyard Bracket they will be feared appropriately but yanno, gotta do that first. Manny Machado Bryce Harper Giancarlo Stanton all three of those guys are at 20+ dongs yet two of the three are kinda having “down years” and that sort of encapsulates everything, and encapsulates nothing, life is meaningless please continue to enjoy Arby’s.

The Cat Ranks: Runs 8th, Doubles 5th, Triples 8th, HRs 2nd, RBIs 3rd, SBs 7th, OBP 5th, Strikeouts 8th, QS 10th, CGs t-3rd, Wins 5th, Saves 4th, Holds t-4th, ERA 10th, MOVES 2nd.

Why They’ll Win It All: Well I mean they’ve been to like 3 straight BCS rounds or whatever, so if they keep going to those they should win another one eventually.

Why They Won’t: Work stresses, we are starting to veer into the territory where making the playoffs gets trickier (I IMAGINE, I AM NOT A MATHEMATICIAN), we are overdue for a horrifically underachieving Dudes roster missing the playoffs so they can shut up about “playoff streaks,” they are going to die on Defending Rougned Odor Hill, etc. etc.

9- OceanGate Trout Fishing Club (4-8-1)

Fishing Club ownership basically CONCEDED their season just because they couldn’t pull out in time or whatfuckingever, so yea technically their record is better than the guy above them (by a half game) but also technically they’re lucky I didn’t just make em 10th. Also this team has arguably the top two fantasy players in all of baseball (Mike Trout, Mookie Betts) and you could make a case for A GOOD AMOUNT of the top 10 or top 15 or whatever and they still put up a bunch of shit numbers somehow, in spite of having the top OBP in the league. I do not get it. Now I am mad. Next team.

The Cat Ranks: Runs 9th, Doubles 10th, Triples t-5th, HRs 9th, RBIs 10th, SBs 4th, OBP 1st, Strikeouts 4th, QS t-5th, CGs t-5th, Wins 10th, Saves 6th, Holds t-4th, ERA 9th, MOVES 7th.

Why They’ll Win It All: Uhhh I mean they still have Mike Trout and all those other “first rounders,” they won two years ago (seems like 200), also they’re only like a half-game out of the 6th seed.

Why They Won’t: NEW DADDY stresses, we are still in that territory where making the playoffs gets trickier (I IMAGINE), chronic underachieving roster or negative mWAR (managementWAR)or whathaveyou, their team name annoys me cuz they can’t fit “Ocean Gate” as two words, etc. etc.

10- Q-Tip City Morning Wood (1-12)

Shane, Shaneeee Shane Shane Shane Shane. The Bonerz probably aren’t as bad as their ONE AND TWELVE record might lead you to believe but, Reader, the Bonerz are not good. If the Bad Dudes took a master class on doing justtt enough to lose a matchup, Shane was very likely the professor for that class. And the Half Past 9 AM Hard-Ons do not always make good choices. And sometimes they get unlucky, but that is just life reminding them to make better choices. JD Martinez is their best player and second best might be like a tie between Brandon Belt or Mitch Haniger or something and I DUNNO, just seems like this team once had a lot more talent and now has very little talent to show for all that talent’s departure. As for Shane, GREAT GUY. I am a fannnnn of the mannnnnn. The chat is a better place when he is in it and I have no doubt at least some of his many many children love him. If I was a Bonerz fannnnnn though we would be well past the “burning all my jerseys” phase. Not that I think grown men should own jerseys, that’s a whole separate thing though.

The Cat Ranks: Runs 5th, Doubles 8th, Triples t-9th, HRs 6th, RBIs 7th, SBs 5th, OBP 4th, Strikeouts 10th, QS 9th, CGs t-7th, Wins 6th, Saves 7th, Holds 8th, ERA 8th, MOVES 9th.

Why They’ll Win It All: Readers, they will not.

Why They Won’t: Cuz they won’t, blame math.

Related image

Thus concludes the July Power Rankings. In conclusion, this is once again the conclusion.

2018 POWER RANKINGS: JULY EDITION

2018 Power Rankings: June Edition

Image result for june

 

SHIT that is a classy image. Really hoping they made a classy July image as well. We will find out in July. ANYWHO once again I write up Power Rankings for no real reason, none really at all. Just to keep this blog on life support a bit longer I suppose. Let’s see how these things look…..

(All stats through June 1st or 2nd or something….)

 

 

1- Barnegat Banana Slugs (7-1)

Ahhh the age old question, is it better to pitch excellent or hit excellently in the Backyard? I am not even going to pretend like I am about to pull up some historical numbers on this, but the fact is the Banana Slugs have had an excellent pitching staff while the 2nd ranked team has out-hit them in just about every category (save for steals). We aren’t talking about the second team yet so let us check the numbers for the Slugs:  Runs 6th, Doubles 10th, Triples 10th, HRs 9th, RBIs 10th, SBs 2nd, OBP 9th, Strikeouts 2nd, QS 1st, CG 2nd, Wins 1st, Saves 6th, Holds 8th, ERA 1st, MOVES 8th. First thing you might notice here NOT A GREAT OFFENSE for the Slugs, I believe for the second year in a row they’ve been lagging in the power department and Josh Donaldson‘s inability to stay healthy can’t help there. Great work on the base stealing for this unit however, largely thanks to Ender Inciarte and Whit Merrifield. Second thing you should notice though is REALLY FINE PITCHING, and that continues to be lead by Scherzer and Severino and Morton and Corbin and Bauer and even a little bit Michael Wacha sadly. ALSO, Seranthony Dominguez is a beast so there’s that. So the Slugs continue to do very well with the pitching staff, and if you’re a fan of theirs you hope everybody is still healthy in August and if you are not a fan of theirs you note that pitchers get hurt a lot (everyone likely falls into this latter category). ALSO NOTE the Slugs are currently in a battle with our 2nd ranked team in Week 9, if they lose they’ll have the same record and this ranking looks murkier. leader of the dong pack has been Charlie Blackmon but Aaron Judge, Khris Davis, and even Mike Moustakas and if you can fucking believe it Paul DeJong have been socking dingers for the outfit from Astoria. Nolan Arenado has barely gotten warmed up and has barely needed to. You’ve also got Chris Sale being his typical self and Gio Gonzalez STILL insisting on being good and now even JA Happ has come on board and gotten into the act, the act of being old and good and on the Astoria Isotopes. Add all that up and you have the current top team in the land. Darkest timeline.

 

 

2-  Astoria Isotopes (6-2)

The Isotopes fail to hold onto the top ranking for a second month in a row, perhaps partly because I didn’t want to give them the top ranking for the second month in a row but ALSO partly because yanno they have one more loss than the team above. And I am being a slave to the records somewhat for some reason. THE NUMBERS:  Runs 1st, Doubles 3rd, Triples t-1st, HRs 2nd, RBIs 1st, SBs 7th, OBP 2nd, Strikeouts 5th, QS t-9th, CGs t-6th, Wins t-5th, Saves 9th, Holds 3rd, ERA 7th, MOVES 5th. The ‘Topes are no longer top dog with the HRs but they are a close second and still have Charlie Blackmon, Aaron Judge, Khris Davis, Nolan Arenado, THEY ARE FINE on the hitting side do not worry about them. Pitching-wise you’re lead by Chris Sale and Dallas Keuchel and riding goddamned Gio Gonzalez and Tyson Ross. The ‘Topes very much have enough on that side of the ball, and remain a the premiere offense, and if I wait another day or so here maybe they are tied for best record and then have a better case at #1 overall. Which is why these rankings cannot wait a day.

 

 

3-  Garden State Warriors (5-3)

The Garden State Warriors dusted off after a 2-0 start became a 2-2 start and now they are 5-3 and looking like a team poised to be 6-3 and looking generally dangerous. Let’s see if the general numbers back up my general feelings there:  Runs 7th, Doubles 4th, Triples t-1st, HRs 5th, RBIs 3rd, SBs 3rd, OBP 5th, Strikeouts 1st, QS 3rd, CGs 1st, Wins t-8th, Saves 2nd, Holds 8th, ERA 3rd, MOVES t-9th. OH YES ABSOLUTELY, these numbers actually were way better than I even expected as the Warriors have some sneaky balance across the board here. Clayton Kershaw may be dead and that is really sad if that is the case, and Noah Syndergaard and Yu Darvish are on the DL and Strasburg just had some forearm cramps but NEVERTHELESS the Warriors persist. If they’re getting all their pitcher DL stints out of the way now and still winning that is good, and also Gleyber Torres is good and so is every goddamn other middle infielder on this team, they are all extremely good. And Austin Meadows looks legit and so do the Warriors, pitcher injury bug be damned.

 

 

4- Rojo’s Renegade Force (4-4)

TYPICAL RENEGADE FORCE FASHION, take a 3-1 start and then up and go 1-3 immediately after to negate it. I am too frustrated with this team, as a fan, to possibly write any more up top here. Show the numbers:  Runs 5th, Doubles 2nd, Triples t-4th, HRs t-3rd, RBIs 4th, SBs 10th, OBP 7th, Strikeouts t-9th, QS t-3rd, CGs t-4th, Wins 2nd, Saves 10th, Holds 1st, ERA 8th, MOVES 3rd. So I mean still solid numbers, but demonstrating some of the slippage that would correspond with the record slippage perhaps? Perhaps. At least they have holds all to themselves once again. CONCERNING (mildly) = Paul Goldschmidt, ENCOURAGING = Scooter Gennett. CONCERNING = Injuries to Ryu and Cueto and ineffectiveness off and on from Tanaka (although perhaps not much new there), ENCOURAGING = Kluber still being Kluber and Bumgarner returning Tuesday and Ohtani actually looking pretty goddamned excellent. This is a glass half full or glass half empty franchise through and through.

 

 

5-  Mission Valley X*Rayz (4-4) 

Just as I dig into the PRs (NOT Puerto Ricans how dare you) the X*Rayz start shifting into their wackiest shift yets, with a zaney rotation of a real cast of characters. It wasn’t always this way but is this way now, let’s see how the guys now plus the guys before are faring:  Runs 9th, Doubles 9th, Triples t-4th, HRs 10th, RBIs 8th, SBs 1st, OBP 8th, Strikeouts 7th, QS 5th, CGs t-6th, Wins 4th, Saves 1st, Holds 10th, ERA 4th, MOVES 1st. SO the typical speed is there, but with a not excellent OBP the runs have not been the way they were last season. SEASON IS YOUNG however, or at least merely halfway, so Billy Hamilton has time to learn how to get on base so they maybe start hitting him 9th. And the weird thing is this team is getting EXCELLENT OBP performances out of Nicholas Castellanos, Andrelton Simmons, and Odubel Herrera  as well as the typical overall excellence of Jose Ramirez. SO I wouldn’t be surprised if the Runs numbers among others trend up with a core of good OBP performers. Pitching staff is a whole other thing, maybe Dylan Bundy gets it together and maybe Archer and Happ maintain or improve while Newcomb Snell and Mikolas avoid heavy regression. And maybe these things happen a different way, who knows.

 

 

6-  River City Bad Dudes (3-5) 

The River City Bad Dudes potentialllyyyyyyyyy starting at a REAL situation. A situation they haven’t stared at in any recent first half that I can remember. But first that requires me to close out a week and that hasn’t at all happened yet so that is all I want to say for now. The Bad Dudes bullet points:  Runs 8th, Doubles 5th, Triples t-4th, HRs 1st, RBIs 2nd, SBs 8th, OBP 5th, Strikeouts 8th, QS t-6th, CGs 3rd, Wins 3rd, Saves 3rd, Holds 6th, ERA 10th, MOVES 2nd. First in HRs 2nd in RBIs but EIGHTH in runs doesn’t really add up, and being last in ERA isn’t a great spot to find yourself in. But of course I will never consider this team truly in trouble until it is eliminated from the season, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado remain and Wilson Contreras and Jose Abreu are having fine seasons and Giancarlo PROBABLY improves. Improving the pitching may take some maneuvering from this owner but he’s a pretty skilled maneuverer, which he shall need to be cuz yea nobody looks great on this particular staff. But also fuck him save any improvements until Week 10.

 

 

7-  OceanGate Trout Fishing Club (3-5)

Theseeee turds again, “rebounding” from a 1-3 start to go like 2-2 or whatever. LOOK OUT FOLKS. K the numbers:  Runs 2nd, Doubles 6th, Triples 3rd, HRs 7th, RBIs 9th, SBs 4th, OBP 1st, Strikeouts 3rd, QS 2nd, CGs t-4th, Wins 10th, Saves 5th, Holds 5th, ERA 6th, MOVES 6th.  So the OGTFC been a bit unlucky with the pitching Ws and a bit unlucky with the Corey Seager injury (and Mookie Betts recently landing on the DL) but also fuck them they still have Mike Trout and Kris Bryant so boo fucking hoo. They also have Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole pitching disgustingly well and Josh Hader being the best reliever in baseball so yea SAVE YOUR TEARS AMERICA. This team is always a threat but also always a threat to somehow underperform, everyone else lumped into this .500-ish playoff race should be hoping for the latter.

 

 

8- Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz (3-5) 

The lads down in Lacey are hoping to once again dance in the Backyard’s postseason dance, and SURE that is still possible like I said everyone is kinda .500ish (apologies to those that aren’t) but the BackdoorSliderz are very much in that mix of shit and having some uneven showings. Let’s see if the numbers could possibly illustrate “uneven showings” whatever that means:  Runs 3rd, Doubles 1st, Triples t-7th, HRs 6th, RBIs 5th, SBs 7th, OBP 3rd, Strikeouts 6th, QS t-6th, CGs t-6th, Wins t-8th, Saves 8th, Holds 2nd, ERA 2nd, MOVES 7th. I mean I would say it KINDA represents uneven, some uneven stuff in there but also some mostly middle of the pack type stuff things could trend either direction anything is possible the possibilities are beautiful. The BackdoorSliderz offense continues to go the way of its Braves and baby Braves, yes their PRECIOUS Ronald Acuna is up (currently injured) and Freddie Freeman is great and Ozzie Albies SOMEHOW EVEN GREATER. Jose Altuve and Travis Shaw and Alex Bregman all quite good, the rest of the offense UNEVEN. Pitching staff appears to be a work in progress but a work with the potential to be PRETTY GOOD, Jacob deGrom has been great as has been yet another rookie stud in Walker Buehler and now Joe Musgrove and Ross Stripling might also be good?! Time will tell there, but there’s potential in the BackdoorSliderz. No potential in Dochney though fuck that guy.

 

 

9- Bell Road Babadooks (4-4)  

IF IT ISN’T THESE UNDERPERFORMING PIECES OF SHIT ONCE AGAIN. The amusing part is we are both underperforming and overperforming, as once I unveil these numbers many folks might be asking how we are sitting at .500 rather than a few below. I would argue something about GRIT and knowing how to get just enough right in a matchup and something something something it would all be largely bullshit. NUMBERS UNVEILED:  Runs 10th, Doubles 6th, Triples t-7th, HRs 8th, RBIs 7th, SBs 9th, OBP 10th, Strikeouts 4th, QS t-9th, CGs t-6th, Wins t-5th, Saves 4th, Holds 7th, ERA 9th, MOVES 4th. YEP there we are, with Cody Bellinger Joey Votto I DUNNO IT FEELS LIKE EVERYBODY kinda underperforming, Rhys Hoskins both underperforming and fouling balls off his own face. The nicest thing I can say about this team is it has Brandon Nimmo and Edwin Encarnacion is known for heating up once summer rolls around. So we got…..that. Also Mike Clevinger has been very good and Aaron Nola is very good. But yes this team is worse than several of the teams with better records, at least through the first half of the season (to both).

 

 

10-  Q-Tip City Morning Wood (1-7)

Goddammit Shane, I reallllly wanted to keep the Bonerz outta 10th place once again because they probably have numbers that don’t deserve this but the MAIN number is the 1 win. Only having 1 win is bad. Other numbers include:  Runs 4th, Doubles 8th, Triples 7th, HRs t-3rd, RBIs 6th, SBs 5th, OBP 4th, Strikeouts 10th, QS 8th, CGs t-6th, Wins t-5th, Saves 7th, Holds 9th, ERA 5th, MOVES t-9th. Still some pretty solid numbers mixed in here but AS ALWAYS the Morning Wood knowing how to do alllll the right things if “the right things” means losing the matchup. Didi Gregorius cooled down fucking immensely, Brandon Belt just burst his appendix or some shit, an absolute monster these days, Lorenzo Cain Mitch Haniger JD Martinez remain very good this year but FOR WHAT PURPOSE DOES IT SERVE. Jack Flaherty and Mike Foltynewicz are killing it I will give them credit, on the pitching side of things, but yea. Welcome home, AM Bonerz.

 

 

 

 

Related image

 

 

 

Thus concludes the June Power Rankings. In conclusion, this is the conclusion.

2018 Power Rankings: June Edition

2018 POWER RANKINGS: MAY EDITION

Image result for may gif

 

 

And finally we get ourselves to some SOMEWHAT SUBJECTIVE but also maybe completely accurate Power Rankings. Four weeks are behind us and those four weeks have provided a bit of separation, left us with a bit of questions, and ultimately maybe tell us nothing towards which team will be playing best in August. But these rankings will damn sure tell us which teams are playing best in April. And now into May. All stats mostly dealing with April though. TO THE RANKINGS…..

(All stats through April 30th or something….)

 

 

1- Astoria Isotopes (3-1)

OH HOW THIS PAINS ME, but the Astoria Isotopes bats have been smoking hot and have carried the team to three straight wins as we get into May here. Get all up into May. Let’s check the numbers:  Runs 1st, Doubles 3rd, Triples t-9th, HRs 1st, RBIs 1st, SBs 8th, OBP 2nd, Strikeouts 3rd, QS 8th, CG t-3rd, Wins t-8th, Saves 10th, Holds t-1st, ERA 8th, MOVES 4th. The leader of the dong pack has been Charlie Blackmon but Aaron Judge, Khris Davis, and even Mike Moustakas and if you can fucking believe it Paul DeJong have been socking dingers for the outfit from Astoria. Nolan Arenado has barely gotten warmed up and has barely needed to. You’ve also got Chris Sale being his typical self and Gio Gonzalez STILL insisting on being good and now even JA Happ has come on board and gotten into the act, the act of being old and good and on the Astoria Isotopes. Add all that up and you have the current top team in the land. Darkest timeline.

 

 

2-  Rojo’s Renegade Force (3-1)

And here is the team I WANTED to declare tops in all of the Backyard but alas, my addiction with the truth in the raw numbers made it so I could not. But don’t get it twisted the Renegade Force have great numbers, numbers that now that I look at them could make the case for the top team in the league. But I’ve already finished writing the ‘Topes thing up there and this is here so now this is here. Debate it amongst yourselves. BACK TO THE NUMBERS:  Runs t-4th, Doubles 1st, Triples 1st, HRs 4th, RBIs 4th, SBs 10th, OBP 9th, Strikeouts 7th, QS 2nd, CGs t-3rd, Wins 1st, Saves 9th, Holds t-1st, ERA 1st, MOVES 3rd. REALLY some excellent numbers, like tops in the league worthy numbers but I dunno maybe I just don’t want to jinx the RRF in the same way all those Power Rankings set them up for a second half collapse in 2016. It is now 2018 and in 2018 the Renegade Force is getting excellent pitching out of Johnny Cueto and Hyun-Jin Ryu for some fucking reason, excellent power out of Joey Gallo and George Springer and Nick Markakis for some fucking reason, and even enough random saves out of random assholes to not be last in saves currently. Add it all up and the RRF have been dangerous, and I didn’t even have to mention Paul Goldschmidt but probably should HE IS STILL GOOD. Nice work outta this team thus far.

 

 

3-  Barnegat Banana Slugs (3-1)

Last but not least with our 3-1s is a Banana Slugs team out in Barnegat that is pitching lights out and hitting just enough to weather the now annual storm of a Josh Donaldson DL stint (tie this into that bringer of rain bullshit with a joke somehow). Allow the numbers to illuminate what I mean:  Runs 7th, Doubles 9th, Triples t-7th, HRs 10th, RBIs 9th, SBs t-1st, OBP 8th, Strikeouts 2nd, QS 1st, CGs t-1st, Wins 3rd, Saves 5th, Holds 5th, ERA 2nd, MOVES 6th. A bit of DEJA VU from last year with really piss poor power numbers not affecting the ole W/L record for the Banana Slugs. A big help in that department is the steals numbers, with Ender Inciarte (13 SBs) and Tommy Pham and Trevor Story and Whit Merrifield all working together to get the Banana Slugs tied at the top in that cat for likely the first time like ever. And an even bigger help has been the sensational pitching of Max Scherzer (expected), Luis Severino (expected), Charlie Morton (slightly less expected but not terribly surprising), and Patrick Corbin (not terribly expected, slightly surprising). The Banana Slugs have been kept in most weeks with a starting staff that can rack up Ks and QS and threaten to go CG at least a few times a week, and that makes them dangerous going forward. Respect them but do not respect Trevor Bauer, for there is no need.

 

 

4- River City Bad Dudes (2-2)

The River City Bad Dudes  AS PER USUAL just comfortable grinding out 4th place or so finishes in the Power Rankings, waiting for playoff time to put together a little run. Their numbers and the fact that nobody is currently pitching to Bryce Harper have all the usual makings of the same old runner-up rhino lying in wait, check em out:  Runs 3rd, Doubles 7th, Triples t-2nd, HRs 3rd, RBIs 2nd, SBs 6th, OBP 4th, Strikeouts 8th, QS 6th, CGs t-1st, Wins 2nd, Saves 2nd, Holds 4th, ERA 9th, MOVES 1st. Just sorta hannnnngin around in spots, with only the poor K numbers and the shittier than usual ERA as standouts of a slightly different Bad Dudes team at press time. Blame Marcus Stroman and Sonny Gray for the bad pitching numbers. Blame AJ Pollock and Bryce Harper and Manny Machado and even Matt Chapman a little bit for the good power numbers. And don’t take your eyes off these fuckers for a second.

 

 

5-  Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz (2-2) 

The still somewhat new but less new than he used to be new guy continues to boast a strong team in 2018, plenty capable of making this year’s playoff field with the underlying numbers to back it up:  Runs 2nd, Doubles 2nd, Triples t-5th, HRs 7th, RBIs 7th, SBs 7th, OBP 6th, Strikeouts 6th, QS 5th, CGs t-3rd, Wins t-3rd, Saves 8th, Holds t-1st, ERA 3rd, MOVES 7th. Runs I always look at as a reallll strong indicator of fantasy team uhhh strength, and the BackdoorSliderz are STRONG in that department. Two strongs and a strength in that sentence.  Not alotta power thus far apart from the two baggers but the call up of Ronald Acuna and playing time for David Dahl might stand to change all of that. The BdSliderz also pitching quite prettily, particularly Jacob deGrom and Reynaldo Lopez.  WEIRD on that second one, but he is getting it done and so is His Dochness and so are the BackdoorSliderz. For now? (mostly meant the cliffhanger for Reynaldo)

 

 

6-  Garden State Warriors (2-2) 

The Garden State Warriors blazed out to a 2-2 start and looked for all like one of the toughest teams to beat in the Backyard. Two straight losses under the BRIGHT LIGHTS and HEAVY SCRUTINY of the BACKYARD BATTLE OF THE WEEK may have slowed the Warriors hype train down a bit, but this is still squad that has amassed stats and here they are:  Runs 8th, Doubles 6th, Triples t-2nd, HRs 8th, RBIs 8th, SBs 3rd, OBP 5th, Strikeouts 1st, QS 7th, CGs t-3rd, Wins 10th, Saves t-3rd, Holds t-6th, ERA 4th, MOVES 8th. This is still a team that on paper goes as far as it’s great pitching staff can take them but the pitching staff has been sort of WEIRDLY ineffective or unlucky or some combination thereof, ranking 10th in Wins and 7th in QS but also 1st in Strikeouts. Peculiar numbers that likely give the Warriors some hope, as they’ve battled to a .500 record in spite of them and surely we can all expect Clayton Kershaw to not be stuck on one win forever. Ditto goes for potentially emerging aces like Dylan Bundy (1 W) and Jose Berrios (2 Ws) and usually an ace while not injured James Paxton (2 Ws) and Noah Syndergaard (2 Ws). POINT IS, I don’t expect them to always be last in Ws. And we are out of time apologies to the offense that I didn’t cover at all.

 

 

7-  Mission Valley X*Rayz (2-2) 

WEIRD X*Rayz team at the onset of 2018, very much not running away with the speed categories but also very much not getting blown out in the power categories. HAVE A LOOK:  Runs 6th, Doubles 10th, Triples t-7th, HRs 5th, RBIs 5th, SBs t-1st, OBP 7th, Strikeouts 10th, QS t-9th, CGs t-8th, Wins 6th, Saves 1st, Holds 10th, ERA 10th, MOVES 2nd. So KINDA WEIRD, as the X*Rayz usually blow out on the speed cats while also tossing in some solid pitching and are currently doing neither. Blame a subdued Billy Hamilton basepaths performance thus far for the lack of a lead in the SBs cat and blame LOTS OF FOLKS, but not Jarlin Garcia, for the ERA woes. But also celebrate the dong contributions of Jose Molina Christian Villanueva Jed Lowrie Yangervis Solarte Jose Ramirez CELEBRATE THESE FINE MEN. For they are attempting to defend an X*Rayz title in the least expected way possible. And that’s just fun stuff.

 

 

8- Q-Tip City Morning Wood (1-3) 

Just to continue the wackiness of this wacky season LOOK AT THIS Q-TIP CITY TEAM, a team likely more unlucky than deserving of its current 1-3 record. The Bonerz got some numberz:  Runs 5th, Doubles 4th, Triples t-2nd, HRs 2nd, RBIs 3rd, SBs 4th, OBP FIRST, Strikeouts 9th, QS t-3rd, CGs t-8th, Wins 5th, Saves 7th, Holds 9th, ERA 6th, MOVES 10th. I mean LOOK AT THOSE NUMBERS PEOPLE. These hard-ons putting up better numbers than a lot of the teams ahead of them in the so-called “standings” I will fucking say that much. Howz about Brandon Belt finally tapping into some of that power, how about Didi Gregorius being an absolute monster these days, Lorenzo Cain a force to be reckoned with in the beginnings of his Milwaukee stint here. And my personal favorite, Mitch Haniger putting up ridiculous numbers a year after the Bad Dudes foretold it to be possible. The Morning Wood offense looks legit these days, don’t expect to walk on by this team. Also Rick Porcello has been good but fuck him. WATCH OUT FOR QTC.

 

 

9-  Oceangate Trout Fishing Club (1-3) 

UGH these assholes, all their talent and always finding the perfect way for it to not work out for them. This year it seems they’ve found a way by simply having their talented players not put up talented numbers (and also by having Corey Seager get TJ). LOOK FOR YOURSELVES:  Runs 9th, Doubles 8th, Triples t-5th, HRs 10th, RBIs 10th, SBs 5th, OBP 3rd, Strikeouts 4th, QS t-3rd, CGs t-8th, Wins t-8th, Saves t-3rd, Holds 8th, ERA 5th, MOVES 9th.  Fucking LAST in HRs LAST in RBIs despite having possibly 3 of the top 5 or so picks in a given fantasy draft. Call it bad luck call it small sample size call it slow starts I am just blaming Greg somehow. The sad part is their two best bats, Mike Trout and Mookie Betts, have actually been on fire. The rest of the team, not holding up their end of the bargain for the most part. The other sad part is they have two monsters on the Astros pitching stafff putting up monster numbers (Justin VerlanderGerrit Cole) and yet again they manage to surround them with enough mediocrity to drag down their pitching numbers. Maybe don’t be a dick and just drop Lucas Giolito, he is poisoning the well for the entire team.

 

 

10-  Bellcrest Park Babadooks (1-3) 

WHICH BRINGS US TOOOOOO, April’s biggest disappointment in my humble opinion because it is my own fucking team. A cute pick to win the championship, again by me, the Babadooks have come out fucking flat in April with ostensibly good players combining to produce ostensibly shitty numbers:  And last but not least, the struggling new guy. Who is nevertheless an active and valuable member of the league and one should be allowed to shape his roster however he pleases in his inaugural season, even if that shape ends up resembling a turd sandwich. Let’s check out the numbers for that sandwich:  Runs 10th, Doubles 5th, Triples t-9th, HRs 6th, RBIs t-5th, SBs 9th, OBP 10th, Strikeouts 5th, QS 10th, CGs t-3rd, Wins t-3rd, Saves 6th, Holds 4th, ERA 7th, MOVES 5th. This time I am gonna call it bad luck, nothing else to say here. But in all seriousness the shitty QS numbers are to be expected everything else has just kinda been TOUGH SLEDDING in the early going. Joey Votto struggled mightily but has been pulling out of it of late, ditto for Kyle Seager, and Cody Bellinger has been solid but not spectacular while Rhys Hoskins has been fairly spectacular. Gary Sanchez was BRUTAL for a while but is now very good, some of the kids we are giving too many ABs to have been very bad with some or most of those ABs. Pitchers like Aaron Nola Lance McCullers Zack Godley Alex Wood have been mostly solid but have picked some pretty perfect times to implode in a given matchup. Put it all together and you have a team @ 1-3 that has basically played 1-3 fantasy baseball, easily the worst of the worst right now. Do we expect things to turn around YES WE DO do we know when that will be NO WE DO NOT might it come too late YEA PROBABLY.

 

 

 

 

Image result for babadook crying

 

 

 

Thus concludes the May Power Rankings. Gripe about them all you want but the bottom line is the best way to change things for the better for your team’s particular ranking is to go out there and win some got damned matchups. Or I guess you could like do rankings of your own and ask the blog to put them up or something. But that would be silly, PLENTY of writing to be done on things that haven’t already been written. Like someone should summarize all the shitty April trades in some fashion, tired of lookin at y’alls trades. ANYWHO YEA MAY POWER RANKINGS THERE YOU HAVE IT.

2018 POWER RANKINGS: MAY EDITION

2017 AUGUST POWER RANKINGS: PLAYOFFS LOOMING EDITION

tenor1

 

August 1st. One day into Week 17, the week before the final week of the regular season. SEVERAL teams all bunched all over the fucking place, which gives me a bit of creative licensing with the rankings here. And everyone recovering from the dust that hath settled following the trade deadline. We will acknowledge any deadline deals made and acknowledge what I think the current Power Rankings are and they will realllly skew from the current standings cuz fuck y’all and we can just get that started right now let’s do that…….

 

(All seasonal rankings from press time here, games through July 31st)

 

 

1- Manchester MooniniteZ (10-3-3)

YEA IT IS ME, I HAVE LOCKED UP A BYE WHILE MOST OF YOU FUCKERS HAVEN’T EVEN LOCKED UP A PLAYOFF SPOT SO DEAL WITH IT. The MooniniteZ maintain a grip on the top spot because they maintain a grip on the #1 seed and have lost a precious few games to a precious few opponents (and only one current owner, DAMN YOU TURTORAAAAAAAA), an 8 week stretch of uhhh not losing helping them wrap up the aforementioned bye. And let’s see how they did it, usually I just highlight a few cats here but fuck it this is the grand finale let’s get ’em all in there (NOW WITH MOVES!):  Runs 2nd, Doubles t-6th, Triples 6th, HRs 4th, RBIs 3rd, SBs 4th, OBP 3rd, Strikeouts 1st, QS t-10th, CG t-8th, Wins 1st, Saves t-5th, Holds 5th, ERA 6th, MOVES 4th. So a bit of a balanced attack although we have CERTAINLY lost some ground in some cats relative to last month, which may explain that ugly run of Ties is what that may explain. But still competitive through and through. Except for those FUCKING Quality Starts, something we have been cursed to never be even competent at. Joey Votto has been masterful and Justin Smoak has been a SURPRISE REVELATION and Nolan Arenado leads the league in both RBIs and handsomeness by a healthy margin and even Andrew McCutchen is back to basically being Andrew McCutchen, minus the steals pace that is gone forever (9 AIN’T BAD). This team has been in command of a bid for a bye for many weeks now and CONTRARY TO POPULAR BELIEF their owner is aware of how one wins a playoffs matchup without having to consult the owner of the Point Loma X-Rayz. ALTHOUGH I MAY DO JUST THAT IN ANY MATCHUP THAT DOESN’T PIT ME AGAINST HIM.

DEADLINE DEALS:   ONE if you count the earlier int he week flipping of Alex Reyes for Felipe Rivero. Much maligned by people that wanted me to add more future pieces but WE ARE TRYING TO GET THIS DONE NOW and Reyes is useless til like 2019. I promise there will be less caps lock going forward.

 

2-  Barnegat Banana Slugs (10-5-1)

Can’t. Deny. A current five week win streak. As much as I would like to and work in some Trevor Story digs (he’s been bad though), the Slugs have overcome all challenges and now have tied the season high win streak achieved separately by each half of the former dynamic dynastic duo (with a chance at setting a new season high win streak should they get past one of them in Week 17 SEE ABOVE). The Slugs might be masters in doing just enough to get past their opponent, for here are the ranks:  Runs 7th, Doubles 8th, Triples 7th, HRs 9th, RBIs 9th, SBs 7th, OBP 6th, Strikeouts 3rd, QS 4th, CGs t-2nd, Wins 7th, Saves 3rd, Holds 3rd, ERA 5th, MOVES 9th. So A LOT of poor production on offense, perhaps propped up by prettier pitching numbers which are perhaps propped up by their bullpen optimization and uhhh Max Scherzer. The Slugs have to hope Josh Donaldson gets back on track towards the end of the season here, which would help the O a lot, and they’ve gotten quietly excellent seasons out of Jonathon Schoop, Jake Lamb, and Brett Gardner (this one got less quiet for a second there)….and also Starling Marte is back and maybe he is really good even without the cheating. But I mean fuck the point is this team has won 5 straight and who am I to criticize that. I am merely the guy scheming to stop it at 5, is who I am.

DEADLINE DEALS:   NONE

 

3-  Astoria Isotopes (8-7-1)

And we first break from standings here, as the ‘Topes are technically seeded 6th but somebody forgot to tell their offense that. It’s all built on the backs of Aaron Judge and Charlie Blackmon and Cody Bellinger and let’s see those numbers and all the rest of the numbers:   Runs 5th, Doubles 10th, Triples 3rd, HRs 1st, RBIs 1st, SBs 8th, OBP 4th, Strikeouts 8th, QS 8th, CGs 7th, Wins 4th, Saves 2nd, Holds 6th, ERA 8th, MOVES 5th. FACKIN POWAH NAWMBAHS is what people from Boston would exclaim upon seeing that. The ‘Topes have reached double digit HRs in 16 of 18 weeks and have 20 more HRs than any other team and THAT is what can make them rather dangerous come playoff time. HRs are the only guaranteed uhhh 4 cat contributions (if you count OBP) and the Astoria Isotopes have em in spaaaaaaades. Also they’re the only team to beat the MooniniteZ twice and the only current owner to beat them at all and WHAT A FEAT THAT MUST BE. Perhaps for the first time in ages I am not 100% confident the Isotopes will bow out in the first round, is what I am saying here.

DEADLINE DEALS:   NONE

 

4- River City Bad Dudes (9-6-1)

The Bad Dudes have themselves in position to once again make the playoffs and potentially make some noise in said playoffs, as they will tell you about at length if you ask “hey have you guys ever missed the playoffs and do you want to also talk about whether or not you’ve always made the 2nd round or whatfuckingever mehhhhh”. Anywho, the numbers:  Runs 6th, Doubles 2nd, Triples t-4th, HRs 3rd, RBIs 4th, SBs t-10th, OBP 8th, Strikeouts 2nd, QS t-4th, CGs 5th, Wins 3rd, Saves 1st, Holds 8th, ERA 6th, MOVES 1st. TYPICAL RIVER CITY (I really haven’t tamped down on the caps lock much) with their typically solid offense, as usual not much of a threat to steal a base but a threat in most other spots. Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are no longer flirting with SBs that can be part of it, in Machado’s case he is flirting with no longer being a top talent. But he has still been okay, and Harper has been very good, and Giancarlo Stanton has been very good, and even the long-yearned-for AJ Pollock is doing enough to maintain Mike’s chub for him I am sure. So that is good. And the Bad Dudes are always a threat to get to the BCS once they reach the playoffs, so that is bad for other playoff teams. Let’s hope they fail in Round 1, because we don’t need teams reaching the BCS 3 seasons in a row ever ever ever again. Unless it is one of my teams.

DEADLINE DEALS:   NONE

 

5-  Point Loma X-Rayz (8-6-2) 

Business as usual out in Point Loma, as the X-Rayz close in on yet another playoff berth using the same tried and true speed kills approach. THE NUMBERS PLEASE:  Runs 4th, Doubles 5th, Triples 1st, HRs 10th, RBIs 10th, SBs 1st, OBP 9th, Strikeouts t-4th, QS 3rd, CGs 6th, Wins 5th, Saves 4th, Holds 7th, ERA 2nd, MOVES 3rd. An interesting new wrinkle here with the X-Rayz pairing elite speed with PRETTY ELITE pitching, shout out to Chris Archer and David Price and Robbie Ray. And now here is the bad news, the last two just hit the DL and who can really say for how long. And now here is the good news, Brad Peacock should slot back into the rotation following some Astros injuries I don’t want to discuss. And the other good news is uhhh that Dee Gordon and Billy Hamilton still steal a lot of bases, and the X-Rayz actually have some guys that can put up good HR/RBI numbers in any given 7 week stretch, and if the pitching holds up the speed kills strategy could propel the X-Rayz to their first playoff victory (ASIDE FROM YANNO THE MANY PLAYOFF VICTORIES WE ALREADY ACHIEVED BEFORE BEING FORCED TO DISSOLVE).

DEADLINE DEALS:   NONE

 

6-  Rojo’s Renegade Force (7-8-1) 

Rojo’s Renegade Force have some eye-popping offensive numbers, and prior to their recent run-in with yours truly they had not lost in their last 4 weeks (3-1-1 in their last 5). Which ain’t bad. So yea…..those numbers: Runs 1st, Doubles 3rd, Triples 2nd, HRs 2nd, RBIs 2nd, SBs 5th, OBP 2nd, Strikeouts 6th, QS 1st, CGs t-2nd, Wins 6th, Saves 10th (eye roll emoji, Holds 1st (eye roll emoji), ERA 2nd, MOVES 2nd (WHOAAA). So the Renegade Force didn’t take my advice at picking up a closer to keep other teams honest (lost Saves last week 3-0, tied in Holds 4-4 AHEM) but they do have a SUPAH FACKIN STRAWNG AWFENSE and are even currently employing a bit of an island of misfit toys vibe ONCE AGAIN, utilizing guys like Chris Taylor and Scooter Gennett and Paul Goldschmidt and Joey Gallo and Nelson Cruz and George Springer (some of these guys aren’t misfit toys, Springers DL’d though so CLOSE). They also have Corey Kluber and an improving-of-late Masahiro Tanaka and a newly-acquired top 5 pitcher (MadBum). WIN AND THEY ARE IN, and if they get in perhaps they can once and for all go on a run and get me to shut up about the closer thing (very very unlikely that I would).

DEADLINE DEALS:   ONE, acquiring Bumgarner and CarGo for Puig, Schwarber, David Phelps, and Michael Fulmer. Gotta give talent to get talent friends.

 

7-  Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz (8-7-1) 

The non-struggling new guy impressed out the gate, then dropped a bunch in a row, but has now rebounded to go 3-1 in his last 4 and find himself firmly in the playoff conversation. The numbers for Lacey for the year (and I am not referring to meth busts or home abortions or anything of that sort):  Runs 3rd, Doubles 1st, Triples t-4th, HRs 5th, RBIs 5th, SBs 3rd, OBP 5th, Strikeouts 9th, QS t-10th, CGs t-8th, Wins 8th, Saves 7th, Holds 9th, ERA 7th, MOVES 10th (but NO WORRIES here this isn’t another Cliff situation, very active owner both in trade negotiations and farm stocking).  LOOKIN’ PRETTY GOOD with the bats, competitive in absolutely every category. Jose Altuve remains himself and Freddie Freeman has gotten back on track after the wrist injury and Marcel Ozuna and Travis Shaw have been great. LOOKIN’ PRETTY BAD on the pitching side of things. Which is strange because Jacob DeGrom has been good and Rich Hill tends to be good when he pitches and Aaron Nola was a really smart pickup. STREAM BETTER, I guess. The reality is the BackdoorSliderz are precariously clinging to a playoff spot and should they get in I don’t even KNOW what kinda managerial style they’ll employ, inaugural season and all. We have seen first year teams go on a playoff run that takes them all the way to the BCS before, and this team certainly has the talent to do that. First they gotta get in.

DEADLINE DEALS:   ONE, trading Brian Dozier for Justin Turner and Brendan Rodgers. Which I think was a nice little deal.

 

8- OceanGate Trout Fishing Club (4-6-6)

Ohhhh this sad sad title defense. Mercifully we seem pretty close to it being all over and done with, because WHAT IN THE FUCK KINDA RECORD IS THAT?! Let us gaze with horror upon whatever numbers might birth such an atrocity:  Runs 8th, Doubles 4th, Triples 8th, HRs 6th, RBIs 7th (WITH 666 RBIs WHICH MAKES PERFECT SENSE), SBs 2nd, OBP 1st (interesting), Strikeouts 10th, QS 7th, CGs 10th (only team in the league without a CG this season), Wins 9th, Saves 8th, Holds 4th, ERA 9th, MOVES 6th. I mean you look at a lot of the numbers, and at THE MARK OF THE BEAST RBI total, and you can kinda see how the OGTFC found themselves in this predicament. Just the classic championship hangover coupled with the occasional extended injuries to Mike Trout, Trea Turner, Jason Kipnis, Gregory Polanco coupled with the trading of the heart of the team, Buster Posey. I MEAN THEY CURRENTLY DON’T EVEN HAVE A CATCHER. Somebody tell them that Mejia is not coming up this week please. Also their pitching hasn’t been all that great outside of like Andrew Miller, and sometimes Gerrit Cole. I could waste a bunch of time writing extra words about how they could be dangerous if they make the playoffs but WHATS THE POINT, I don’t see it happening. Officially calling it a 7 teams for 6 spots race. And really its like 4 teams for 3 spots or something. #MATH

DEADLINE DEALS:   FOUR, in a desperate attempt to reach the playoffs that probably falls short 😦  the four are the two I already discussed with other teams PLUS trading away their heart earlier in the week for Josh Bell and Clint Frazier PLUS picking up Verlander for Ian Happ. The first two deals were mostly pretty justifiable, the last two here a bit less so but still…. meh.

 

9-  Toms River Titans (5-10-1) 

Ohhh this franchise, coming up on 3 years removed from one of the most impressive championship seasons I think this league has ever seen that wasn’t one of mine. Back in a time when pitching did indeed win championships….this year that will not be the case for the Titans. Remember the Numbers: Runs 9th, Doubles 9th, Triples 9th, HRs 7th, RBIs 6th, SBs 6th, OBP 7th, Strikeouts t-4th, QS 2nd, CGs t-2nd, Wins 2nd, Saves 9th, Holds 2nd, ERA 1st, MOVES 7th.  The pitching staff has done mostly what it was asked to do, even as it has endured injuries off and on to Kershaw and Syndergaard and Strasburg (AND EVEN….Pineda). However the pitching has not been enough to overcome a lower tier offense that has struggled outside of Carlos Correa (now also injured) and Lindor and Sano and Rendon. There is still a strong core within this team, they’ve traded away George Springer but have also added Buster Posey and Yu Darvish. And they will be closely watching Yoan Moncada throughout the rest of the season, and probably hoping he amasses as few ABs as possible in a lost year. THE TITANS WILL RISE AGAIN is what I am saying. But for now they toast so fuck em.

DEADLINE DEALS:   ONE, astutely trading Josh Bell and Clint Frazier for (perennial top catcher that isn’t nearly as close to being done catching as people seem to believe) Buster Posey.

 

10-  Q-Tip City Morning Wood (2-13-1) 

And last but not least, the struggling new guy. Who is nevertheless an active and valuable member of the league and one should be allowed to shape his roster however he pleases in his inaugural season, even if that shape ends up resembling a turd sandwich. Let’s check out the numbers for that sandwich:  Runs 9th, Doubles t-6th, Triples 10th, HRs 8th, RBIs 8th, SBs t-10th, OBP 10th, Strikeouts 7th, QS 6th, CGs FIRST (THANKS Ervin Santana, whom has since been traded), Wins 10th, Saves t-5th, Holds 10th, ERA 10th, MOVES 8th. As is well known by now, this team ain’t won a single game since starting out 2-0 and you can certainly sorta see why here; important to note they are last in Runs by FIFTY ONE currently. Perhaps they can recapture some magic out of the gate next year, but MIGHT BE TOUGH considering all the talent they shipped outta Q-Tip City. Pretty much all that remains is like, JD Martinez and Justin Upton and to a lesser extent Brandon Belt and to even less of an extent you can hope the gains are for real with Logan Morrison and Corey Dickerson and even perhaps Aaron Altherr but YEA. Not too pretty of a sight on offense, and with pitchers it is Carlos Martinez and hoping that Zack Greinke ages gracefully and hoping that Alex Reyes eventually returns from TJ and reaches his full potential. LIVIN’ ON HOPES AND PRAYERS IN  AM BONERTOWN.  

DEADLINE DEALS:   ONE, for we are counting the early week flipping of   Felipe Rivero for Alex Reyes that helped boost up their farm system.

 

 

 

So there you have it ladies, one man’s correct interpretation of the Backyard Championship League’s current Power Rankings. EXCITINGLY ENOUGH the new wrinkle of the 18 game schedule means the champion will be decided in the first few days of September, meaning this will also serve as your Power Rankings finale for this season. If you are itching for a Power Rankings in September just do as I stated last year:  1- Wait for the champion to be crowned ’round Labor Day.  2- That team is #1 in the Power Rankings.  3- Every other team is #10 because they FAILED. Best of luck for all of you trying to not fail and best of luck in 2018 for all of you that have failed already, maybe you will grab a decent spot in the 2018 preseason Power Rankings if you play your offseason cards right or something.

 

 

tumblr_lnmu87wmq11qalhao

 

 

 

2017 AUGUST POWER RANKINGS: PLAYOFFS LOOMING EDITION

2017 JULY POWER RANKINGS: RIP PRODIGY EDITION

maxresdefault

s

Prodigy is dead. Both the man and the band that did that “smack my bitch up” song, when you really think about it. But SPECIFICALLY we are going to focus on the death of Prodigy the man, as I still ain’t over that shit. And also WHAT CAN I DO, influential musical people keep dying…..yanno people that are in music….. so I am forced to keep cranking out these Power Rankings interspersed with Youtube videos that will slowly get taken down over the coming months. Mobb Deep was a large influence on my entire high school persona, and Prodigy’s H.N.I.C. solo album was pretty fucking solid in itself. Can’t say I copped parts 2 or 3 but STILL. Let’s discuss the top teams in descending order while also shouting out some of my favorite Mobb Deep/Prodigy songs. Not sure I have it in me to rank Mobb Deep songs for I am a fan of them all so whatever we are just gonna throw them in here in somewhat of an order but maybe in no particular order. I can pretty definitively rank the teams in order right now but Mobb Deep songs I just don’t know, so this list will just be a random list. WE ARE DOING IT. Here we go…..

 S

s

s

1- Manchester MooniniteZ (8-2-3) – MY WOULD YOU LOOK AT THIS, the Manchester MooniniteZ are sitting here holding onto the #1 seed with 5 weeks to go. I cannot say I am surprised but I can say fuck all y’all, is what I can say. The MooniniteZ got here on the back of a 6-1-1 division record that has already clinched itself as the best division record in the league in 2017, and by being the only team that hasn’t lost in the past 7 weeks (although the ties of late have been bothersome), and also by just some solid across the board production:  Runs 2nd, Triples 3rd, HRs t-2nd, RBIs 3rd, SBs 4th, OBP 2nd, Strikeouts 1st, Wins 2nd, Saves 3rd. HRs have primarily been supplied by the likes of Joey Votto, Edwin Encarnacion, and Nolan Arenado while Keon Broxton has been a nice source of both power and speed (14 HRs, 15 SBs), albeit at the expense of OBP to an extent (.312 OBP). The biggest buggaboo for this squad REMAINS THE SAME for like the third fucking year running:  Quality Starts, LAST. I don’t even get it anymore, as this year we are first in Ws but still can’t get a week of like 5+ QS to save our lives. If I were to turn this into some sort of Trade Deadline Preview I might suggest this as an area the MooniniteZ might look to improve HOWEVER there will be an entire goddamned Trade Deadline Preview article, so that kind of talk will be kept to a minimum here. The MooniniteZ will face their former collaborator and the current #2 seed Point Loma X-Rayz in Week 14, SURE TO BE A GOOD ONE and PROBABLY CONTAINING LOTS OF SPOT STARTS THAT WILL FUCK UP THESE PITCHING RANKING FOREVER FORWARD. Also there’s a decent chance the #1 seed is on the line here.

MOBB DEEP/PRODIGY SONG #1:  “Shook Ones Pt. II” 

Probably the perfect Mobb Deep song, and the first installment in a series of PERFECT beats used by the Mobb.  Goddamned if they don’t have good beats. You can see why Eminem used it in his dumb movie’s climactic scene. I am already realizing I should have had Brian guest spot here to analyze lyrical content but he is off blowing Mickey Mouse or whatever so we are just going to get scant analysis of songs and beats from me and we are going to like it. But yea Shook Ones Pt. II is way better than Part I when usually you should aim for the other way around.

UPDATE:  TURNS OUT after I made this list and returned to it I found this shit online where they talk about alotta these songs as part of some “Prodigy’s 25 most essential songs” thing (http://www.complex.com/music/2011/05/prodigy-25-essentials/temperatures-rising) from 2011, and this article is pretty sick, so I am going to just copy paste their shit whenever possible. This post just got a lot longer folks….

Prodigy: “I remember that clearly. We wrote that in the crib high on drugs. [Laughs.] Probably weed, probably was some dust in there, mad 40s, getting twisted. That was one of the first ones where we were like, ‘Whoa. This shit is ill. This shit sounds crazy right here. This is some other shit right here son. This ain’t normal.’ So we knew we was making some shit with that song. We were in the crib and we were spitting it to each other like, ‘Yo, this shit is some other shit right here son.’

“It was just a remix of the first [‘Shook Ones’]. The first song we had made was cool. Then we made this new beat and I think the chorus was similar. We probably didn’t even intend for it to be a remix, but the chorus was probably similar. It was probably like Matty C and them niggas that was like, ‘Y’all should call this ‘Shook Ones Pt. II.’ So that’s why we did that shit.

“We had a lot of songs. When we first signed to Loud we had a 20-song demo. So all of those songs we wanted to put on the album. But we started making new ones, and through process of elimination, we wanted all the new ones. We didn’t like the old ones no more. [Laughs.]

“We made that beat at my crib in Long Island. Hav found the sample. Hav was down there fucking with the records, he was like, ‘Listen to this.’ I was like, ‘That shit sounds ill right there.’ He did that and then we were fucking with the bass and the drums together. I seen that whole shit where they found the Herbie Hancock shit. That’s crazy. I didn’t know it was a mystery or that it was that serious to people. They were really trying to figure out where that came from.”

s

s

s

2- Point Loma X-Rayz (7-5-1) – MY GUYYYYY coming in at #2, in my humble opinion, despite just having a 5 week win streak snapped at the hands of a lower-ranked team yet to be discussed. Helping to push back at the notion that either of us needs the other to win. We can win just fine on our own, and the fact is winning the chip in this league remains very difficult, and until one of you can sniff winning even TWO in a row (Lobman gave it a solid try last year I will give him that) you haters can just keep hatin’/get fucked. BUT WHERE WAS I? The X-Rayz are once again just getting it done, with their sights set on a 3rd straight year of a top 3 regular season finish, and they are once again doing it in their own unique speed-centric way:  Stolen Bases 1st, Triples 1st….. BUT ALSO Runs 3rd, QS t-2nd, ERA 2nd. The unexplainable Jason Vargas and the PUTTIN’ IT ALL TOGETHER Robbie Ray deserve some recognition for their pitching exploits and so uhhh, here it is. Probably the biggest surprise here is that for perhaps the first time in many moons we are this deep into the season and the Odom squad is not last in HRs, they are in fact NINTH (however 10th RBIs, 9th OBP).  As for the causes of this (relative to previous seasons) HR EXPLOSION outta Point Loma, credit due to Eric Thames and Daniel Murphy and Chris Davis. Let’s also just give credit to Jose Ramirez for being an all-around stud, he’s got a few dongs of his own cuz he’s got a few everything of his own. The speed kills strategy has brought success to this franchise in the past and they are once again utilizing it this year, however they have also managed to string together some impressive pitching weeks which might end up giving them jusstttt enough team balance to overcome the power (by design) and OBP (probably not by design) flaws. They’ll face their TOUGHEST TEST YET when they battle the #1 seed (me) in Week 14.

MOBB DEEP/PRODIGY SONG #2:  “Survival Of The Fittest”

“Survival Of The Fittest” AGAIN just a fantastic goddamned beat. It is becoming clear to me that I may just like their use of the piano more than their actual beats per se BUT whatfuckingever, excellent piano work and excellent intro.  “No doubt indeed, without weed” INDEED. RIP Prodigy.

Prodigy: “We made that in Hav’s crib, in Queensbridge. We’d make the beats in Hav’s crib [but lay vocals in the studio]. Or sometimes, we’d make the beat in the crib, write half of the song in the crib, then go to the studio and finish it. That was one of the ones where Hav ain’t really like the beat. He was about to erase that shit. There’s a lot of joints like that, where he was about to trash them and we had to change his mind. I was out somewhere on the block chilling probably, I came in the crib, and Hav had the beat playing.

“I was like, ‘Damn. What the fuck is this?’ He’s like, ‘It’s some bullshit, I’m about to fucking scratch this shit and do another one.’ I was like, ‘Nah, don’t scratch that nigga, hold up. Let niggas hear this.’ And I called niggas over like, ‘Yo, listen to this fucking beat this nigga just made.’ And everybody was like, ‘Yo, that shit is crazy.’ Then we both just started writing rhymes to it and it came out good. We knocked that out all in one day. So, I had to save that one.

“Hav’s pops was a DJ, so Hav had a lot of records from the ‘70s and the ‘80s. We both had a good record collection. Hav was already listening to records before I met him. He was trying to sample on a cassette player, hit record, pause, record, and pause, and making the beats like that. When he met me, we bought the equipment. That’s when he started to really get into making beats. I actually showed him how to sample, how to do this, and how to sequence the shit. Once he got the hang of it he just went in and started going crazy.”

s

s

s

3- River City Bad Dudes (7-5-1) – River City once again finds itself within striking distance of a bye, one year removed from scratching and clawing their way into yet another postseason as the #6 seed. Andddd they can be extremely dangerous when they get to the postseason as we have seen time and time again, and that is about the nicest thing I want to say about this franchise. I would also add that they have done a pretty good job of weathering some REALLY POOR PLAY by some guys that they expected to be studs in 2017 (Rougned Odor, Manny Machado), with the help of some other backup studs they just had laying around (Bryce Harper, Giancarlo Stanton) but also through some pretty respectable pitching numbers. As I shall now demonstrate thusly:  Strikeouts 2nd, QS t-2nd, CGs t-3rd, Wins 3rd, Saves 1st, ERA 3rd. All solid numbers that have helped keep them in matchups even when their offense has sometimes disappointed, as I shall now demonstrate thusly:  Runs 7th, Triples t-7th, OBP 7th, SBs 9th. But I mean also Doubles 1st, HRs 5th, RBIs 4th. Basically this paints the picture of a team that has found their way to win even though it hasn’t received the strongest of performances from some of its cornerstones. If those slumping sluggers can turn things around in the 2nd half of the season this team can get scary in a hurry, but for now they haven’t so fuck them. These pieces of shit take on Rojo’s Renegade Force in Week 14.

MOBB DEEP/PRODIGY SONG #3:  “Quiet Storm”

“Quiet Storm” perhaps Mobb Deep’s most well-known uhhh non-Shook Ones Pt. II song, IF I HAD TO GUESS. Murda Muzik was actually the first Mobb Deep CD I ever possessed, I believe I made my mother purchase it for me for Easter or some shit. So Quiet Storm stood out right away and then I had to go back catalog a bit to learn about The Infamous and Hell On Earth and whatnot. Rap sucks now, is my point.

Prodigy: “Hav was in the studio all day and I came late at night and these niggas was making a beat. Hav had the old Melly Mel song ‘White Lines’ sampled. After he laid the drum pattern, he added the piano—the piano is what puts that whole beat together—and then him and Noyd were like, ‘Yo, we going to pick up shorties.’ I was like, ‘Y’all niggas leaving? Let’s do this song, this shit is fire right here.’ They like, ‘Nah, we’ll be right back.’

“They bounced and I’m in the studio dolo. I’m like, ‘Fuck it. I’m going in on this beat right now.’ I sat there and wrote the whole song in like an hour and I recorded it. I was like, ‘I’m not leaving any room for anyone else to get on this shit, this is too ill.’ I was already working on my solo album so I was like, ‘Gimme this shit. I’m taking this beat. This is for my album nigga.’ [Laughs.] That was my whole mentality.

“I was coming clean like, ‘I spent too many nights, sniffing coke, getting right/Wasting my life, now I’m trying to make things right,’ because that’s how I was living. I felt like I had cleaned my life at that time. I wasn’t using anything, no drugs, no alcohol. I was living correctly and trying to make things right.

 

“I recorded that shit and these niggas never came back to the studio. I bounced and played it for niggas the next day and they were like, ‘That’s cool.’ They didn’t understand or see the power of that record. I called DJ Clue and was like, ‘Son, I got this song that I want you to put on a mixtape.’ Clue put it on every single mixtape that he put out that year. Usually a DJ will put it on one mixtape, but he kept putting it on all his mixtapes.

“Then, we were in the Tunnel—because that was our club, every Sunday we were there—and Clue is DJing. All of a sudden he threw on ‘Quiet Storm’—it was called ‘White Lines’ at the time because I didn’t even have a title for it. This shit ain’t mixed, it ain’t mastered, it sounds like shit, but he played it in the club and people were actually dancing to it. I guess they knew it from the mixtapes.

“I’m bugging off of this shit because I ain’t never seen some shit like that before. You don’t play a song in the club unless it’s a single, it’s getting radio play, unless people know that shit. This nigga played the song from a mixtape in the Tunnel nigga. The Tunnel holds like four thousand people. That’s not somewhere where you fuck around and play a song that niggas are probably not going to like.

“I’m looking at people’s reaction to it and they dancing and having a good time. We go back to the Tunnel, he plays it again. He starts playing it every Sunday or whoever is filling in, they’re playing it too. And from there the song just took off. After he started playing it in the Tunnel they started playing it on the radio and this is the unmixed version. This is for a year straight before we actually dropped it as a single.”

s

s

s

4- Barnegat Banana Slugs (7-5-1) – The SCRAPPY Banana Slugs of Barnegat have carved out a nice position in the playoff race despite their fair share of injuries (and a suspension) and for that they deserve respect. I will now respectfully point out that some combination of those injuries and ineffectiveness has lead to some reallllly ugly numbers on offense:  Runs 8th, Doubles 8th, HRs 10th, RBIs 9th, SBs 8th. Tough positioning to find yourself in for the power cats when you don’t boast the speedsters to make up for it in other areas; the Slugs may be the only team in the league that fails to place in the top 5 in any offensive category (WHAT am I saying, they are probably one of two teams). Helping to mitigate that damage, however, is some success in some pitching cats: Strikeouts 4th, CGs t-3rd, Saves 2nd, Holds 3rd, although even those cats have not been without their warts. BEEN A GRIND is what  you might say, but even with the struggles and the injuries and the CHEATING of Starling Marte Barnegat has themselves squarely positioned for a playoff berth in 2017 and could even find their way into a bye IMPRESSIVE WORK. Credit Max Scherzer and Luis Severino for being the aces of the staff, credit Cody Allen and Whoever The Orioles Have At Closer At Any Given Time for helping out in the Saves and Strikeouts cats, credit Jake Lamb and Ryan Zimmerman and Jonathon Schoop and characters like that for helping keep the offense’s head above water. This is a team that is not without its imperfections but also a team that can round into form at the right time. Also credit Trevor Story for trying to DROWNED the entire offense. The Barnegat Banana Slugs take on last year’s champs, the OceanGate Trout Fishing Club, in a pivotal Week 14 battle.

MOBB DEEP/PRODIGY SONG #4: “Drop A Gem On Em”

Be sure to read below for the fun fact here, this was a diss track aimed at Tupac in retaliation for “Hit Em Up” and then they RESPECTFULLY pulled it off the radio cuz Pac got murked like a week or two after radio started playing it. How polite.

Prodigy: “We recorded that song at Access Studios. We just went in and made that song after we heard Tupac saying some things about us because of our ‘L.A., L.A.’ song. We heard somebody playing ‘Hit Em Up’ on the block and we were like, ‘Oh word? Niggas wanna make songs about us? Aight, cool.’ As soon as we heard Tupac saying anything about Mobb Deep, we went in and made that shit about him. We were like, ‘Fuck this nigga, we going right at this nigga and whoever the fuck he’s down with.’

“‘Drop a Gem on ‘Em’ was unique and it was different. Pac just took a beat that everybody knew of already and just tried to flip the lyrics or whatever. That’s why I think with ‘Drop a Gem On Em’ people were like, ‘Yo, that shit is fire. Y’all killed the nigga,’ because it was like a new beat. Nobody had ever heard a beat like that before. The lyrics were crazy.

“We had actually pulled the song because it was the first single off of Hell On Earth. We submitted it to radio and radio put it in rotation, even in Cali. But when Pac died, we pulled the song off radio and told them to stop playing it out of respect for his family and out of respect for the dead. We were like, ‘Nah, stop pushing that.’ We still put it on the album.

“We were about to shoot a video for that. We were about to go in on that nigga, but we were like, ‘Yo, pull it.’ We were just going to go in on this nigga in the video. I mean, it was so new when Pac died that I think it was only on the radio for about a week or two. So, we didn’t really have plans for the video, but we were about to shoot a video for it. When Pac died, we switched the single to ‘Hell On Earth’ instead.”

s

s

s

5- OceanGate Trout Fishing Club (4-4-5) – STRANGEST TITLE DEFENSE EVER, as OceanGate has shattered our league’s ties record (there were no ties prior to 2013 to my knowledge) and we are only 2/3 through this newly SHORTENED season. So they have a lot of fucking ties, is what the data tells us. But ALSO, in part thanks to a few lucky ties, they have only lost like once since Week 6 and their talent (WHEN HEALTHY 🙂 ) has to be respected. Back to that when healthy part in a sec, first the raw #s. Where you will find the OGTFC in decent shape, but still #s that are likely down from a season ago when it all came together for OceanGate:  Runs 5th, Doubles 3rd, HRs 4th, SBs 2nd, OBP 1st, so the offense has been holding up fairly well. Also they are 4th in Holds so good on them there, but there is a reason that is the only pitching category discussed and that reason is that the OGTFC are in the bottom half of the league in every other category (8th Strikeouts, 8th QS, 8th Ws, and the only team in the league without a CG). NOT IDEAL. Equally NOT IDEAL is the injuries that have plagued this team of late, with Mike Trout, Trea Turner, Dexter Fowler, and Danny Duffy all currently out (and MadBum but you traded for him so boo hoo) with injuries and various other players missing various other time. NOT IDEAL, and it will be interesting to see which players return soon (allegedly some are due back week) and if those players can return to form quickly enough to give this team a shot at pulling off a playoff run similar to last year, where they flew under the radar as a 5th seed and then stormed through the field on their way to their first ever championship. THE ROAD IS MUCH HARDER THE SECOND TIME, take it from a former dynasty. The OGTFC’s road continues when they take on a scrappy Barnegat team in Week 14.

MOBB DEEP/PRODIGY SONG #5:  “Eye For An Eye”

One of like A COUPLE different times they sampled Scarface for a beat, we get it you liked Scarface we alllll liked Scarface. At least as teenagers.

Prodigy: “Right after we did the ‘G.O.D. Pt. III’ beat with the Scarface sample, there was another part of Scarface that we sampled for ‘It’s Mine.’ I’m sitting in the crib watching the movie again and I hear that part in the beginning where the boats are coming in from Cuba to Florida and I’m like, ‘Holy shit! Why nobody ever took this part right here? These niggas is stupid out here.’

”I ran to the studio again and said, ‘Hurry up son.’ [Havoc] sampled it and niggas was like, ‘Oh my God, these niggas did it again. They took something else out of Scarface that niggas could’ve used.’ We sampled Scarface a third time too when we did ‘When You Hear That,’ which Alchemist produced. We took three joints from Scarface that nobody was thinking about using.

“We had made the beat first and I was like, ‘Yo man, Nas gotta get on this shit because the shit is too ill. This is one for Nas.’ We called him up and the nigga said, ‘Hell yeah.’ Nigga heard the beat and went crazy. He was like, ‘Yo, this shit is ill right here.’ He just killed that talking about Barbara Streisand and Halle Berry and all this other shit on the song. The nigga went in on that shit. [Laughs.]

“He did that hook because we didn’t have a chorus for it. We just wrote our verses and then Nas came in and was like, ‘Yo, I’ve got an idea for the chorus.’ That Brandy and Monica song just came out, it was the brand new hot shit, and Nas was like, ‘Yo, we taking that chorus and we gonna flip it.’”

s

s

s

6- Astoria Isotopes (6-6-1) – THE NEW YOUTH MOVEMENT, one might call this bunch, as the Isotopes boast the two hottest hitters of dong on the planet in rooks Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger, as well as a young hurler who might have finally put it alllll together in Jose Berrios. They also have Khris Davis dinging dingers, Charlie Blackmon racking up every kind of extra base hit possible, and Will Myers slowly rounding into the form that made him a stud last year. Also Mike Moustakas has 20 HRs so maybe he isn’t as Mostsuckass as I previously presumed. All of this shit leads to this shit:  4th Runs, 2nd Triples (weirdly 10th Doubles), FIRST HRs (by a whopping 20 currently), FIRST RBIs, 3rd OBP. Make no mistake the ‘Topes are crushing the ball lately, with only the Doubles thing and the 8th in SBs thing as possible knocks to their offensive profile. On the pitching side more of a mixed bag, and by that I mean they really aren’t excelling in tooooo much of anything (Wins 5th Saves t-3rd ERA 4th, but also Ks 10th, QS 7th). Jose Quintana has been a FRAUD, and Dallas Keuchel was excellent prior to an injury but I deem that FRAUDULENT as well. All that being said the ‘Topes currently have some of the most dynamic young bats in baseball, which is something we probably haven’t ever been able to say about this franchise. If they can make their way back into the playoffs they will be feared a bit, AGAIN something we probably haven’t ever been able to say about this franchise. Fuck these guys in the face, and they face the (spoiler alert) bottom-dwelling Q-Tip City Morning Wood in Week 14.

MOBB DEEP/PRODIGY SONG #6: “Hell On Earth (Front Lines)”

The titular track off Hell On Earth and IF YOU READ ABOVE the track they chose as the first single after they had to switch off “Drop A Gem On Em” due to Tupac dying and all. Love this goddamned beat, love most of their goddamned beats. This has been established.

Prodigy: “We had a lot of people who died during the making of that album, we had at least five of our friends and family members die. It took us two years to make that album because of all the death that was happening around us. The shit was really devastating to our lives and we kept pushing on. We continued to make the album and we continued to record songs, but our minds were fucked up. We were in our zone from all those losses that we took those past two years. That’s what ‘Hell On Earth’ was about, we felt that we were living in hell.

“If you listen to that album, it’s crazy dark. You could tell that we were angry and upset making that album. When we made ‘Hell On Earth’ that was just one of those songs, but that was a single. Since we pulled ‘Drop a Gem on ‘Em,’ we put ‘Hell On Earth’ out. If you listen to that song you’ll be like, ‘This ain’t no single. Why would you use this for a single?’ It sounds like some dark, hardcore, grimy shit.

“You could tell that we didn’t give a fuck at the time. We were doing whatever the fuck we wanted. We were going against the grain. We didn’t give a fuck if it was a party record or radio record. We said, ‘This is what we want for the single and this is what it’s gonna be.’ A lot of people respected that shit when it came out because nobody was putting out songs like that.

“We lost Havoc’s brother Killer Black, my man Twin’s brother, we lost one of our man’s Yammy from the projects, I lost my father, and there were other people that were around us. The people that we lost were the strongest people around us. You’re talking about people that would kill somebody for Mobb Deep, on some real shit.

“When something goes down and we in the club, these are going to be the niggas that are going to pop off, no questions asked, no hesitation, none of that shit. It doesn’t matter who it is. These niggas that died were the reason niggas were scared of Mobb Deep. Anybody from Queensbridge knew about Yammy, Killer Black, and Scarface Twin. When we lost these niggas we lost a lot of power and strength because it’s hard to find niggas like that.”

s

s

s

7- Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz (6-6-1) – Lacey Township was actually SECOND in our last installment of the Power Rankings, but since then they have learned that the Backyard can be a cruel and unrelenting place. However, The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place. And so there is still time for the BDSliderz to turn this thing around and find themselves in the playoffs in their inaugural season (and they are one win or tie away from owning the H2H tiebreaker over the team currently in front of them). Let’s go to the numbers, Jim: Doubles 4th, SBs 3rd, and in that 5th-6th range in most other offensive categories so SMACK in the middle of the pack offensively. Pitching a bit of another story:  Strikeouts 9th, QS 9th, Wins 9th, Holds 8th, ERA FUCKIN 9th AGAIN. I hinted back when this team was riding high that pitching issues might threaten their success going forward, and sure enough pitching has been a bit of an issue and certainly has contributed to the current woes. INSERT A BUNCH OF OMITTED TRADE PREVIEW STUFF HERE. There’s signs of potential turnaround on the pitching staff with Rays rook Jacob Faria pitching excellently and JA Happ pitching pretty great himself upon his recent return, aside from those two the staff has been anchored by Jameson Taillon and Jacob DeGrom, with a little bit of Drew Pomeranz thrown in as well but fuck him. SOLID LOOKING STAFF on paper and yet, the numbers are the numbers right now. On offense the standouts are Marcell Ozuna, Adam Duvall, and Travis Shaw for some fucking reason. Not sure what to say there, the BDSliderz will likely welcome back Freddie Freeman with open arms and hope the wrist injury doesn’t sap his power for the rest of the year, I will say that. And Freeman very well MAY be back in Week 14, when Lacey Township hosts the Toms River Titans.

MOBB DEEP/PRODIGY SONG #7: “Keep It Thoro”

Made when Prodigy was living in BUSHWICK. Head Hipster In Charge (H.H.I.C.)

Prodigy: “I made that when I was living in Bushwick, Brooklyn at the time. Alchemist had given me a tape full of beats and that was one of my favorite beats on the tape. I just sat in the crib and wrote that song in a couple hours. As soon as I wrote it, I was like ‘Wow. This one is crazy.’ I had to call a couple of my mans to say it to them over the phone and everyone was like, ‘Record that. Go to the studio right now, and record that.’

“The reason I did [H.N.I.C.] was for another check. Mobb Deep was dropping albums every two years, so I figured why not get a check in between that? The difference is, it’s all P. It’s P’s ideas, P picks the beat, so it’s all my influence. It’s all my choices on there. With Mobb Deep, we have to agree on things. We have to agree that we want to use that beat or agree on the type of song we want to do. That’s the only difference really.”

s

s

s

8- Rojo’s Renegade Force (5-7-1) – RENEGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAADES. Once left for dead and declared the odds-on favorite for 9th place, the Renegade Force has come storming back in recent week and now moves all the way up to…..8th, in both the rankings and in playoff standings. HOWEVER they are still right there in contention for a 2017 playoff spot (HOWEVER a SSS at the hands of Astoria may come back to haunt them here). And they’ve gotten to this puncher’s chance point with some good old fashioned POWER HITTING, peep the numbers:  Runs FIRST, Doubles 2nd, Triples 4th, HRs t-2nd, RBIs 2nd, OBP 3rd JUST LOOK AT THE FORCE BEING DISPLAYED HERE. Lotta force. Lot of it due to Paul Goldschmidt, Joey Gallo, and the somewhat-recently-acquired George Springer. RRF also find themselves t-2nd in QS, 2nd in CGs, and 1st in Holds cuz duh. Credit Corey Kluber, Michael Fulmer, and Johnny Cueto for the first two and a FLAWED STRATEGY for the last one. RRF continue to assert that they can freely punt a relief category (also the wrong relief category), and at this point it would kinda be hard to acquire enough closers to reverse the trend, so it will be another year of waiting to see if the strategy can get it done in the postseason. First it will have to get them into the postseason.  Rojo’s Renegade Force have a tough matchup against the River City Bad Dudes on tap for Week 14.

MOBB DEEP/PRODIGY SONG #8: “It’s Mine (Feat. Nas)”

Putting this one in here because they somehow got Nas to sing HORRIBLY on the hook for it, and I think it was a riff on that “The Boy Is Mine” song with Brandy and Monica. Also the beat is the theme from Scarface. GODDAMNED VISIONARIES I TELL YOU.

s

s

s

9- Toms River Titans (4-8-1) – REMEMBER THE TITANS WHEN THEY WERE CLOSE TO .500? I do, they got pretty goddamn close. Things have since taken a turn for the worse, and Toms River now has an uphill climb in its bid to make the 2017 playoffs. But WHY? I’ll show ya why:  Runs 9th, Doubles 9th, HRs 8th, OBP 8th. Those would be your likely culprits, this team was built to be carried by pitching but stilllll probably requires a bit more from the offense in order to get through most matchups. And the pitching has mostly lived up to the billing:  Strikeouts 3rd, QS 1st, Wins 1st, ERA 1st (although SOMEWHERE ALONG THE LINE they got converted to Rojo’s cult, so they’re 9th in Saves and 2nd in Holds). Chris Sale and Clayton Kershaw are really fucking good and Stephen Strasburg and Yu Darvish are pretty fucking good and even Michael Pineda was kinda fucking good for stretches there. On offense the pretty fucking goods are mostly just limited to Carlos Correa and Miguel Sano and ANTHONY RENDON somehow, while guys like Christian Yelich and Francisco Lindor have been kinda fucking good. Matt Kemp remains fucking okay. And these guys aren’t dead in the water quite yet, but they would need to realllllly maximize their returns outta their hitters (or yanno, trade a pitcher for more balance but shhhhhhhhhh) in order to make a late run at the last one or two playoff spots. That late run will have to start in Lacey in Week 14.

MOBB DEEP/PRODIGY SONG #9:  “The Learning (Burn)

 

 

For some reason I feel like I remember this album being poorly received but I enjoyed several tracks off it. They also had a song with Ron Isley just going “OooOooOO’ in the background the whole goddamned time, you may know Ron Isley as the antagonist from R. Kelly’s “Downlow” video, and I nearly put THAT song on this countdown as well. I did not come close to putting the “Hey Luv” song with 112 on here cuz NO. Too mainstream.

Prodigy: “We were in Freeport at our crib. We were all living together at that time and Hav was making this beat in the basement of our studio, early in the morning. It had to be like seven in the morning, Hav always gets up early. I’m in my room sleeping and I hear this bassline thumping, it woke me up. I went downstairs and Hav had this ill beat playing. It sounded like something the Beach Boys would be playing, I don’t know why.

“We wrote the rhymes right there in the crib and recorded it and then we took it to the big studio to record over. At that time, we were on our female run. We were like, ‘Let’s add a female voice on the chorus. When it’s playing in the clubs, girls will be more into it if they hear a female in the club. But we already did Lil Kim. What female are we going to add without trying to do same thing we did before?’

“We called Vita because she had that song ‘Where Would I Be Without You’ with Ja Rule that was hot at that time. She came and did it and that shit was hot.

“Noyd killed it. We try to put Noyd on only fast party records because Noyd’s style is live performance. If you see Noyd live his energy alone is going to make you enjoy the show. So we always try put him on a song that fits his character.”

s

s

s

10- Q-Tip City Morning Wood (2-10-1) – THIS FUCKING TEAM, continues to wonder and amaze with its ability to be last place in a bunch of categories, although sadly the Runs gap has closed. Whereas last time they came in last in Runs by a whopping FOURTY-EIGHT, this time they are LAST in Runs by a mere 31. Let’s check elsewhere:  Triples LAST, SBs LAST, OBP LAST, Wins LAST, ERA LAST. That’s actually it in terms of LAST but the rest of the picture is more bad than good. More bad:  Doubles 7th, HRs 7th, RBIs t-7th, Saves 8th, Holds 9th. Than good:  FIRST in CGs somehow, though it only translates to 5th in QS. For the Morning Wood, the playoffs are all but guaranteed to not be a thing they are gonna see this year. AND THEY HAVE SOME SUSPECT TRADES TO THANK FOR IT.  Best bats left:  Logan Morrison, the smartly recently signed Ryon HealyBrian Dozier, Justin Upton, JD Martinez, Jay Bruce weirdly. SO SOME PIECES HERE, but ahem some pieces that are probably performing over their head (the first two) and would be better suited on a 2017 playoff team. Ahem. Best arms left:  Carlos Martinez, a rapidly returning to Earth Ervin Santana, a performing way over his head a la early season Santana Gio Gonzalez. DON’T WANNA TALK TOO MUCH ABOUT THIS STUFF YET, but the point of the name dropping is to point out there’s still plenty of assets here and if they are smart about the next few weeks they can possibly pull off a few deals as a “seller” and set themselves up for a rebound in Year 2 of their Bulldogs rebuild. The Morning Wood will host the Astoria Isotopes in Week 14 and I DUNNO maybe they can use each future matchup to start a possible trades dialogue, do a bunch of disgusting in-matchup deals or something.

MOBB DEEP/PRODIGY SONG #10:  “Where Ya Heart At”

If you just look at the title of this song it may look like I put it here as some sort of diss at the Morning Wood but IT IS NOT, this is just the song I always bumped when people died and shit and THEREFORE I figured it would be a fitting closing to the rankings. Cuz Prodigy died. RIP to one of the real ones…..

s

s

s

prodigymobbdeep-1497988605895

2017 JULY POWER RANKINGS: RIP PRODIGY EDITION

2017 June Power Rankings: RIP Chris Cornell Edition

chriscornell01

s

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…..

 s

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.

s

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.

s

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.

s

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.

s

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.

s

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.

s

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!

s

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….

s

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.

s

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.

s

s

chrisrip

2017 June Power Rankings: RIP Chris Cornell Edition