What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions

The Memorial Day Dubsism Baseball Power Rankings – How Wrong We Were

Sure, this is a small-time blog written by a group of convicted felons and read by worse. Sure, we do that stupid shit about writing predictions, since that seems to be a rule…once you put electronic pen to electronic paper, you have to become a prognosticator. Failure to do so means the Blog Police come to your house and subject you to the Spanish Inquisition.

The difference is that we here at Dubsism follow-up on our bullshit…think about it; when’s the last time a stain like Mel Kiper ‘fessed up to how wrong he was? Well, it won’t take you long reading this list to understand that we screwed the pooch big time, and in ways we didn’t even think possible. Don’t worry, we have sentenced ourselves to plenty of time in the “comfy chair.”

1) Cleveland Indians – Opening Day Rank #30 ↑ 29

What We Said:

Upside: They have one good hitter in Shin-soo Choo, one good pitcher in Fausto Carmona, and one excellent catcher in Carlos Santana, and rumors keep swirling the Tribe has some interesting youngsters down on the farm.

Downside: The heyday for this team was fifteen years ago, and unless you can find a way to add Roger Dorn, Pedro Cerrano, Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn, and Jake Taylor to the roster, there will be more than one long summer in Cleveland’s near future.

What Happened:

Honestly, we haven’t the first fucking idea what happened, we really have no idea how this team was the first to 30 wins. Who else in anybody’s predictions went from bottom to top like Cleveland has? All we know is that history suggests a team like this leading at the quarter-turn will be leading come the home stretch. The question becomes do the young upstart Indians have the ponies to lead wire-to-wire?

2) Philadelphia Phillies – Opening Day Rank #1 ↓ 1

What We Said:

Upside: The pitching rotation – who else has three proven aces on their staff, with a chaser of Cole Hamels and Joe Blanton? Nobody.  Not to mention, this team won 97 games last year despite being crippled by injuries, and whoever wasn’t hurt kinda sucked.

Downside: The loss of Jayson Werth means if nobody emerges as protection for Ryan Howard, he won’t see 20 pitches to hit all year. It also means this line-up is waaaaay left-handed, and the Chase Utley injury doesn’t help. Oh, by the way, the bullpen sucks; and that was before the injury to Brad Lidge.

What Happened:

This team may be the other side of the “WTF” coin from the Indians. Chase Utley has didn’t see a major league pitch until Tuesday, Joe Blanton has been on the disabled list twice, the bullpen looks like a MASH unit, the back-up catcher is on the DL, as is the starting center fielder and one of the quartet of pitchers that were supposed to ensure the Phillies would lay waste to the National League. Yet, this team crossed the 30-win mark just behind Cleveland. I guess they know how to win while being crippled by injuries.

3) St. Louis Cardinals – Opening Day Rank #16 ↑ 13

What We Said:

Upside: At least they still have Albert Pujols. If Lance Berkman has anything left in the tank, if Colby Rasmus can become an All-Star, and if Jake Westbrook can pitch as well as he did in the 2nd half of last year, the Cards can keep the Reds honest in the NL Central.

Downside: This might be the end for the LaRussa era in St. Louis. Even if Pujols stays with the Cardinals, Adam Wainwright’s future is now a question mark, Chris Carpenter’s dominating ways are nearing an end, Jamie Garcia can’t be counted on to be as good as he was last year, and it wasn’t that long ago Colby Rasmus was making trade demands.

What Happened:

Three words – Lance Fucking Berkman. The same L.F. Berkman who died in the Bronx last year is on a pace to hit 39 homers and drive in 128 runs.

4)  San Francisco Giants – Opening Day Rank #5 ↑ 1

What We Said:

Upside: Hey Philadelphia, you can phorget about Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee; the best 1-2 big game pitcher punch is in San Francisco in the form of Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain.  Last October showed that.  The same rotation that led them to the title is still intact, and if Jonathan Sanchez and Madison Bumgarner continue to develop, this entire staff if healthy could be better than the Phillies top-to-bottom.

Downside: We still don’t know if they can hit.  Miguel Tejada was the only upgrade made on the offensive end, and Buster Posey is the real deal, so it will all come down to Aubrey Huff, Pat Burrell and/or Cody Ross, and the newly-svelte Pablo Sandoval.

What Happened:

The pitching has been there, especially given that Ryan Vogelsong looks much better that the #5 starter he is on this staff. The offense, however…let’s put it this way. There’s only one guy with more than 20 RBIs on the active roster and Pablo Sandoval is STILL tied for the team lead in home runs despite the fact he hasn’t seen the field in a month due to injury. The Posey injury doesn’t help.

5) Florida Marlins – Opening Day Rank #15 ↑ 10

What We Said:

Upside: Don’t look now, but this team can pitch.

Downside: What will the offense be without Dan Uggla, and what will Mike Stanton do in a full season?

What Happened:

Look at their road record, and look at the fact they have three starting pitchers with ERAs under 3.04.

6)  Tampa Bay Rays – Opening Day Rank #18 ↑ 12

What We Said:

Upside: The off-season is over, so it can’t get any worse…the Rays have had the worst off-season in recent memory, having lost Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena, Jason Bartlett, Rafael Soriano, Joaquin Benoit, and Grant Balfour. At least they can still pitch.

Downside:  After Evan Longoria, the line-up gets pretty scary. If Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez have nothing left, this could be a tough year.

What Happened:

It says something about Florida that its teams play better when they aren’t there. By the way, did you ever notice that every team Manny Ramirez left improved?

7) New York Yankees – Opening Day Rank #4 ↓ 3

What We Said:

Upside: They are a mirror image of the Red Sox; that offense will score runs in droves.

Downside: They will need to score, because their pitching staff is going to give it up faster than a cheerleader on prom night. CC Sabathia is a legitimate ace, but it gets dicey quickly after that. Is AJ Burnett finished? Is Phil Hughes for real? Do Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia know it isn’t 2003 anymore?

What Happened:

The pitching hasn’t been horrible, but the offense has underwhelmed.

8 ) Atlanta Braves – Opening Day Rank #3 ↓ 5

What We Said:

Upside: While they are a collection of “what-ifs” built around a solid core of just enough hitting and just enough pitching, too many of those “what-ifs” look pretty likely.

Downside: How long is this Chipper Jones thing going to last? My fear is that the “resurgence” we saw this spring will fade, and far too many at-bats will be tossed into a hole hoping the dream returns.

What Happened:

Dan Uggla has dissappointed, the rest of the offense doesn’t have a guy batting over .285, and the Braves are making it clear they need to trade for more offense. The bottom line is the Braves do not trust their lineup any longer; it has been far too inconsistent, and don’t surprised to see this team making several moves.

9)  Cincinnati Reds – Opening Day Rank #8 ↓ 1

What We Said:

Upside:  This team has one of the two young pitching staffs with  huge potential. They also have a reigning MVP in Joey Votto, and all signs point to this being the breakout year for Jay Bruce. Plus, they are in the NL Central, where nobody is going to be any good.

Downside: That pitching staff is managed by Dusty “The Ligament Shredder” Baker, and there’s no telling how long the Scott Rolen miracle will continue.

What Happened:

The Reds are currently first in the NL in runs scored with 250, fifth in batting average at .260, fifth in on base percentage at .333 and eighth in slugging at .408. They also have the NL home run leader in Jay Bruce, who has 14 HR and 38 RBI. Besides, the only other team in this division worth anything is the Cardinals.

10)  Los Angeles Angels – Opening Day Rank #6 ↓ 4

What We Said:

Upside: This team has ownership that isn’t afraid to make a move, and you can look for the Angels to be lurking in the weeds at the trade deadline. Everybody saw this team roll over and die after losing Kendrys Morales; the acquisition of Dan Haren was a move for the future, so don’t be surprised when the Angels make another big mid-season move.

Downside: The whole season may be riding on one move; the Vernon Wells acquisition. It could be a stroke of genius, or it could become a money-sucking vortex in the middle of the Angel lineup.

What Happened:

Jered Weaver and Dan Haren both have microscopic ERAs and WHIPs under 1.00, and thankfully the injury to Vernon Wells has kept Mike Scioscia from pumping at-bats into that $80 million black hole.

11)  Boston Red Sox – Opening Day Rank #2 ↓ 9

What We Said:

Upside: They are going to score runs by the buttload.  Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia setting the table  in front of a 3-4-5  Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, and Kevin Youkilis means there’s is going to be a lot of crooked numbers on the Fenway scoreboard.

Downside: I don’t give a damn what anybody says, I don’t buy this pitching staff.  Jon Lester is over-rated in my book, although he is still pretty solid. The rest of the starters are coin-flips; is the book out on John Lackey? It sure looks like AL hitters have figured him out.  For being some sort  of “wunderkind,” Clay Buchholz walks a lot of guys. Like it or not, this is as good as it gets, Josh Beckett and Daisuke Matsuzaka are non-factors. The addition of Bobby Jenks to the bullpen means, like me, the Red Sox have no faith in Jonathan Papelbon.

What Happened:

Did you know that Tim Wakefield needs only 11 more wins to tie Roger Clemens and Cy Young’s team record? I don’t know what that means in terms of this season, but something seems so completely wrong with that it may explain why Carl Crawford is managing to under-perform on an offense that currently defines over-performance. Oh, Josh Beckett’s sub-2.00 ERA won’t last considering that in any season he’s pitched more than 170 innings he’s never had an ERA lower than 3.27.

12) Milwaukee Brewers – Opening Day #12 ↔

What We Said:

Upside: There’s a love fest in Milwaukee. Everybody loves Zack Greinke in the NL.  Everybody loves the Shaun Marcum acquisition. Everybody loves Prince Fielder in a contract year.

Downside: All this love is still in Milwaukee. The Brewer line-up is thinner than light beer, and that will only get worse when Fielder gets traded.

What Happened:

I keep wanting to say this is a good young team, but then I realize that if they really were “good,” the Reds and the Cardinals would feel threatened by them, which they clearly don’t.

13) Texas Rangers – Opening Day Rank #13 ↔

What We Said:

Upside:  They can still be competitive in the AL West, even with the loss of Vlad Guerrero’s bat and the inevitable return to earth of C.J. Wilson and Colby Lewis.

Downside: It won’t take much to remain competitive in the AL West, which means it more than likely looks to be another long summer in Arlington.

What Happened:

Between Josh Hamilton and Buster Posey, I’ve seen enough season-tanking plays at home plate. More importantly, the AL Central is why I hate doing these blogosphere-mandated prognostications. Let’s face it, the AL West is a race to 88 wins, and right now it looks like any of the 4 teams involved might be able to pull it off.

14) Toronto Blue Jays – Opening Day Rank #14 ↔

What We Said:

Upside: This team has talent that should really give them a bright future.

Downside: The future isn’t today. The Blue Jays had a great season last year due to a rejuvenated offense led by Jose Bautista’s 54 homers. That isn’t likely to happen again, but if it does, Toronto could be in the three-way fight to finish third in the AL East.

What Happened:

Two words – Jose Bautista…and his major-league leading 19 homers, along with 32 RBI and a .342 average. In other words, what wasn’t likely to happen again did just tht.

15)  Colorado Rockies – Opening Day Rank #11 ↓ 4

What We Said:

Upside: They have 3 of the most exciting young players in baseball in Ubaldo Jimenez, Troy Tulowitzki, and Carlos Gonzalez.

Downside: That’s really all they have.

What Happened:

Ubaldo Jimenez going 0-for-2011.

16) Detroit Tigers – Opening Day Rank #14 ↓ 2

What We Said:

Upside: They have a “good enough” rotation, and they added some punch to an offense which already features the best offensive weapon in the AL.

Downside: Does the Miguel Cabrera situation become a distraction? If so, and the key to the Tiger offense goes in the tank, Detroit flounders faster than the Edmund Fitzgerald. If not, they could steal this division out from under the Twins and White Sox.

What Happened:

Justin Verlander chucked a no-hitter. Unfortunately, Verlander can’t do that every day. Magglio Ordonez finally went on the disabled list. Unfortunately, he can’t take Ryan Raburn, Brandon Inge, and Austin Jackson with him.

17) Arizona Diamondbacks – Opening Day Rank #28 ↑ 11

What We Said:

Upside: Kevin Towers has taken over as GM, so the rebuilding can begin.

Downside: It’s going to get worse before it gets better in Arizona. This was a team on the rise just a few years ago, now there will be a long rebuilding process. It starts with trading Justin Upton.

What Happened:

Having won nine of their last ten, Diamondbacks are somehow the hottest team in baseball, and they as of this writing are only 1.5 games out of first place in the NL West. I’ll wait a moment so you can let that sink in (Musical interlude)…

18) Chicago White Sox – Opening Day Rank #9 ↓ 9

What We Said:

Upside: This is another line-up that will score runs, especially with the addition of Adam Dunn and the fact they will be no longer wasting at-bats on Manny Ramirez and Andruw Jones.  If  Alex Rios’ resurgence wasn’t a fluke, if they can get Carlos Quentin healthy, and if Gordon Beckham plays like he did late last  year, they could run away with the AL Central.

Downside: Also known as the reasons why they won’t win the division, namely a pitching staff that is completely fraudulent after Mark Buehrle, and the fact they have no depth. A couple of key injuries, and this team suddenly becomes the Royals.

What Happened:

Adam Dunn Done suddenly can’t hit left-handed pitching; no one strikes out quite like Done. It looks so effortless. A lot of people don’t know this,. but “Pierzynski” is actually a Polish word meaning “second base is open and waiting for you.”  I mean, he does know you can try to throw runners out, right? Gordon Beckham is hitting more like Gordon Lightfoot, and Jake Peavy has a right arm like Dr. Strangelove.

19)  Baltimore Orioles – Opening Day Rank #17 ↓ 2

What We Said:

Upside: Don’t look now, but this team doesn’t suck.  Seriously, it jumped out at me how not terrible this line-up is: Brian Roberts, Nick Markakis, Derrek Lee, Vladimir Guerrero, Luke Scott, Adam Jones, Mark Reynolds, Matt Wieters, J.J. Hardy…and with Jake Fox crushing the ball this spring, Buck Showalter is going to have some interesting options on the line-up card.

Downside: Even though Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman show a ton of potential in the rotation, the rest of the pitching staff is thinner than an Ethiopian swimsuit model.

What Happened:

As noted, the starting pitching isn’t good enough, and the line-up suddenly became an “all or nothing” proposition. Considering the way the roster was constructed, they don’t have any other chance of scoring runs other than just hitting their way out of slumps. The O’s can’t steal bases, sluggers don’t do “small-ball” well, and giving up outs when a team is struggling to score makes no sense.

20)  Seattle Mariners – Opening Day Rank #24 ↑ 4

What We Said:

Upside: Felix Hernandez. Here’s how a guy wins a Cy Young Award on 13 measly wins: 2.27 ERA, 249.2 innings, 232 K, 1.06 WHIP, and a .212 BAA. He’s either the lynchpin of your pitching rotation for the next decade, or he’s the guy you will get a king’s ransom for some July in the future.

Downside: The line-up. After Ichiro, Seattle becomes a black hole of offense. This team will struggle to score three runs a game. If this team wins 75 games, I will eat my keyboard.

What Happened:

The M’s found a 1-2 punch partner for King Felix in Michael Pineda, the offense is somehow making it work with Justin Smoak, Jack Cust and an Ichiro Suzuki, whose only batting .285. And yet, this team is on a pace for a keyboard lunch.

21) Oakland Athletics – Opening Day Rank #10 ↓ 11

What We Said:

Upside: This is the other team with the fascinating young pitching staff. The top four starters in Oakland combined for a 3.16 ERA in 700 innings pitched last season.

Downside: Their offense was what let them down last year, and they only added Hideki Matsui and Josh Willingham. There aren’t a lot of guarantees on engine performance when you only add two used spark plugs.

What Happened:

Sorry A’s fans, but your offense sucks. This offense is ranked 17th in runs, 28th in home runs, 24th in RBI, and 3rd in strikeouts. The upside is the pitching staff is good enough to keep this team in the race.

22) New York Mets – Opening Day Rank #27 ↑ 5

Upside: If you believe in rays of hope, here’s a couple.  Brad Emaus will have double digit home runs and stolen bases for the Mets…his on-base percentage in the minors the last two years was .402 and .395, respectively.  Jose Reyes will score 100 runs, steal 40 bases and hit double-digit home runs…he’s in a contract year, and numbers like that could make him baseball’s next $100 million.

Downside: Right after any of those things happen, we can all join hands and visit the fairy princess together. Not only does the ownership situation threaten to sink the ship, it completely kills the ability to make the moves the Mets need to stay relevant in the NL East. Let’s face it, meltdown, dumpster fire, train wreck…they all are synonymous with “Mets.”

What Happened:

What happened can all be summed up in this Scott Boras quote on owner Fred Wilpon.

“This is not the Fred Wilpon I know. Any major league owner would be very pleased to have a player performing at the level at which Carlos Beltran is performing this season. I think it’s best that any evaluations remain internal and confidential. But it’s very clear to me that Carlos’s performance speaks for itself.”

Of course at the time, Carlos Beltran was hitting a respectable .281 with 8 HR and 28 RBI, which along with Ike Davis forms the only two bright spots in Met land. Of course, this is why Wilpon ripped them.

23) Los Angeles Dodgers – Opening Day Rank #19 ↓ 4

What We Said:

Upside: They have a couple of decent starters, they have some interesting arms in the bullpen, and Frank McCourt likely won’t own this team much longer.

Downside: Here’s the Dodgers represented in punctuation ???????????????????????????????????? This team is nothing but a parade of questions, not the least of which is who will own it this time next year? Who will pay the bills until then? Who, if anybody on this offense is actually going to do something at the plate?

What Happened:

Time for Dodger Math…What do you get if you take the Dodger offense and subtract Matt Kemp? An offense that would make that of the Padres and Twins seem robust, and would make the A’s look like the 1927 Yankees.

24) Pittsburgh Pirates – Opening Day Rank #26 ↑ 2

What We Said:

Upside: All things considered, the Pirates have actually cobbled together some pieces that threaten to put them on the verge of respectability. Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t there yet, but with some young talent like Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez, they at least have something to build on.

Downside: But will they build on it? You don’t go through two decades of being a laughing stock without making a science out of bad decision making. Also, if they decide to build, will they finally invest in some pitching?

What Happened:

The same thing that has been happening every day since 1993 in Pittsburgh.

25) Chicago Cubs – Opening Day Rank #21 ↓ 4

What We Said:

Upside: Its spring, when Cubs fans everywhere have hope that at long last, this will finally be the year the winning drought in Wrigley Field ends.

Downside: The Cubs have an average-at-best rotation, and aging stars on offense. Spring becomes summer; the drought continues.

What Happened:

The Cubs pitching staff in microcosm: With the Chicago Cubs starting pitching in shambles,  they were  eagerly anticipating the return of starter Randy Wells from the disabled list. Instead of making a triumphant return, Wells gave up five earned runs in four innings as the Cubs were shelled by the Pittsburgh Pirates 10-0.

26) Kansas City Royals – Opening Day Rank #29 ↑ 3

What We Said:

Upside: They got rid of the over-rated and soon-to-be-oft-injured Zach Grienke, and the monstrously overpaid Gil Meche. Now all they have to do is get rid of humps like anybody currently in the Royal outfield and the entire pitching staff except for Joakim Soria, so they can start bringing up the talent they are over-stocked on in the minors.

Downside: General Manager Dayton Moore is a bit of an unproven commodity, so there’s no guarantee that he isn’t going to mortgage the future if the fans expectations suddenly outstrip the team’s talent.

What Happened:

Vin Mazzaro. Sean O’Sullivan. Luke Hochevar.

27) Washington Nationals – Opening Day Rank #23 ↓ 4

What We Said:

Upside: This team certainly seems to get the idea that their time starts in 2012 or 2013, and they are building to that. There future is so bright, they may in fact need to wear shades.They’ve cracked open the piggy-bank, even to a ridiculous level, but in that spend-gasm they have sent the message they intend to field a competitive team built around the young phenoms in Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper.  The pitching staff is solid, although unspectacular.

Downside: Timing…this is the year the Gnats take a step toward the future by finishing in front of the meltdown known as the Mets. But this year is the last year before the expectations are going to go up. They can still be terrible this year, but if they finish fifth in 2013, they may just become a red version of the Cubs.

What Happened:

Jayson Werth, who the Gnats signed to lead the offense for 7 years, $126 million, is doing exactly that. Trouble is he’s doing it at .248.

28)  San Diego Padres – Opening Day Rank #22

What We Said:

Upside: You really can’t beat the weather in San Diego…and they still have a nice, albeit thin,  pitching staff.

Downside:  The competitive days are over, at least for a while. With the departure of Adrian Gonzalez, this team will be in rebuilding mode for a while.

What Happened:

Exactly what we thought.  It is hard to win when you have only two guys who have scored 20 runs.

29) Houston Astros – Opening Day Rank #25 ↓ 4

What We Said:

Upside:  See the Tampa Bay Rays…hopefully the nightmare is over soon.  Last year saw the Astros had a fire sale which leaves them arguably as a Texas version of the Pirates, although I’m not sure the are as good as the Pirates. After the carnage, they are left with a team consisting of a pitching staff starring a warmed-over Brett Myers and a pseudo-talented outfield. Hunter Pence is entering his prime and coming off a .282/25/91 season and now carries the torch as Houston’s best player. In left field, Carlos Lee still can put up some power numbers, although he’s is begin to show the signs of age. Michael Bourn swiped 52 bases last season and  Jason Michaels can play all three outfield positions.

Downside: Look at the Upside. Hunter Pence is your best player. Brett Myers is your best pitcher.  The credible concept has been floated you are worse than the Pirates <shudders>.

What Happened:

The theory about the Astros being worse than the Pirates has proven true.

30) Minnesota Twins – Opening Day Rank #7 ↓ 23

What We Said:

Upside: No matter what, this team always gets a miracle out of somebody when they need it, as in Jim Thome last year.

Downside: They might need that miracle, because this team really underwhelms me on paper, especially if this Morneau concussion situation keeps dragging on. Besides, to be honest, I’m growing weary of the Twins model – start slow, finish strong, get crushed by the Yankees in October.

What Happened:

This team is the yang to the Indians’ yin. While everything has gone right in Cleveland, the wheels fell off in Minnesota sometime around April 20th. The entire roster falls into two categories: injured or under-performing.  On offense, Jason Kubel is the only player exceeding expectations,  but even his numbers are spectacularly mediocre. Denard Span is probably performing about where we thought he would, better than last year but not as good as in 2008 or 2009.  The staring pitching outside of Pavano and Liriano has been tolerable, but the bullpen has only 2 arms with ERAs under4.00 (Glen Perkins and Matt Capps).

About J-Dub

What your view of sports would be if you had too many concussions

4 comments on “The Memorial Day Dubsism Baseball Power Rankings – How Wrong We Were

  1. chappy81
    May 31, 2011

    The A’s offense has sucked. I thought it would be a little better. I’m more disappointed in a lot of decisions Geren makes during games. We’ve hated him for a solid two years now. Good to see some other people ripping on him lately…


    • JW
      May 31, 2011

      The front office isn’t helping him any…Like I said before, if you are pinning your offensive hopes on Josh Willingham and Hideki Matsui, you are bound for some heartache.


  2. Chris Humpherys
    May 31, 2011

    Look at the bright side. If you stood on your head and read your initial predictions, you would have had the Indians right.

    Oh wait, then you would have had the Phillies wrong. Oh well.


  3. How dare you call me a convicted felon!!! I’ve never actually been convicted…LOL

    But seriously, anybody who said they saw the Indians being as good as they have been would be a liar.



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This entry was posted on May 29, 2011 by in Baseball and tagged , .

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