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Old 09-02-2002, 06:07 AM   #1
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Question Baseball Rankings Week 22

Weekly rankings include all games played from March 31st through September 1st. See where your favorite team is ranked and why. I have used special nicknames for some players in my rankings. They neither endorse them or really give a hoot. Yes my idol is Chris Berman on ESPN.

1.--OAKLAND ATHLETICS--(86-51)-Any team that has won 18 in a row deserves to be number one. A's swept Minnesota this weekend at home, winning in grand fashion Sunday, 7-5. They blew a two run lead in the ninth, but Miguel Tejada hit a three run shot to win the game in front of a frenzied crowd of 37,676. It was Tejada's second homerun of the game. Oakland has the longest winning streak in 49 years, since the Yankees did it in 1953, the same year they won the World Series. The 1916 New York Giants own the record with 26 consecutive wins. Oakland broke their franchise record of 17, which was held by the then Philadelphia Athletics in 1931. Last Wednesday pitcher Barry Zito improved his record to 19-5 with a 7-1 win over Kansas City. Zito retired the first 16 batters. Miguel Tejada hit a homerun in that game too. He could be a serious candidate for MVP.

2.--ATLANTA BRAVES--(86-49)-Braves swept Montreal this weekend. Pitcher Kevin Millwood won Sunday 6-4, to improve his record to 15-6. Millwood helped his own cause, by driving in two runs with his fourth double of the year. Closer John "should have been a closer long ago" Smoltz earned his major league leading 49th save. All he needs is nine more saves to break the all-time record, held by Bobby Thigpen. Thigpen had 57.

3.--NEW YORK YANKEES--(84-51)-Yankees had a tough time with Toronto this weekend, losing three out of four. Series started last Thursday. Yankees won Friday night 9-7. Second baseman and possibly A.L. MVP Alfonso"Ichiro has nothing on me" Soriano hit two homeruns to give him 34 on the year. He also stole his 36th base of the year. Soriano is batting .303 right now. Bernie Williams hit his 18th of the season. Pitcher Jeff Weaver earned the win to run his record to 8-11. He had seven strikeouts in the game and allowed no walks.

4.--ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS--(85-51)-D's had their hands full with the Giants this weekend, but came from behind on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball to beat San Francisco 7-6 at home. Outfielder David "give me a Deli sandwich" Dellucci doubled in two runs off closer Rob Nen of the Giants to win the game for his team. Arizona pitchers walked Barry Bonds four times. That is the way to let Bonds not beat you. May be the cowardly thing to do, but a win was needed. Diamondbacks lead in the N.L. West by six games over LA and eight games over SF. Arizona has the best home record in the N.L. with a 45-23 mark. Pitcher Curt Schilling leads the majors with 21 wins.

5.--ANAHEIM ANGELS--(82-54)-Angels swept Baltimore this weekend. Won Sunday 9-3, behind the pitching of John Lackey. Lackey is now 7-3. Closer Troy Percival earned his 32nd save. First baseman Scott Spiezio hit his ninth homerun of the year. Second baseman Adam Kennedy hit his fifth. Angels have won 15 out of their last 21 games. Have won four in a row. They are 3 1/2 games out of first in the A.L. West.

6.--SEATTLE MARINERS--(80-57)-Mariners beat Kansas City Sunday, behind the pitching of Ismael Valdes, who improved to 8-10 with the win. Valdes has pitched ok since coming over from Anaheim. Catcher Dan Wilson hit his sixth homerun of the year. Shortstop Carlos Guillen went 1-3 with two RBI's and two runs scored. He also hit his 20th double of the year. Second baseman Bret "wishing it was 2001 again" Boone went 1-5 with one RBI and one runs scored. He leads the team with 89 RBI's and in homeruns with 22. He's way off last year's stats. He's batting .270.

7.--MINNESOTA TWINS--(80-58)-Twins swept by the powerful Oakland machine this weekend. Twins lead the A.L. Central by 13 games over Chicago. They own the best home record with a 45-24 mark. Their road record isn't that great at 35-34. I do hope they win their division just to spite Selig and his contraction ideas.

8.--LOS ANGELES DODGERS--(79-57)-Pitcher Hideo "Boston you were crazy to trade me" Nomo wins again. He beat Houston, in a 2-1 game. He is now 13-6. He pitched seven innings, allowing five hits. He struck out eight batters. Closer Eric Gagne earned his 46th save. He's staying close to John Smoltz, of the Braves. Shortstop Cesar Izturis went 2-4 with two RBI's. He also hit his 23rd double of the year.

9.--BOSTON REDSOX--(76-58)-Red Sox beat Cleveland Sunday 7-1. Knuckleball pitcher Tim Wakefield improved to 8-5. He only allowed three hits through seven innngs of work. Manny "ill fitting uniform" Ramirez hit his 25th homerun of the year. He has 80 RBI's on the year. Brian Daubach hit his 18th. Third baseman Shane Hillenbrand went 3-5 with two RBI's and two runs scored. Nomar" not as good looking as Jeter" Garciaparra drove in his 103rd run of the year. He's batting .307. Side note: Outfielder Johnny Damon committed his first error in 250 games, when he committed one in Friday's 8-7 loss to Cleveland.

10.--ST. LOUIS CARDINALS--(76-60)-Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs in a doubleheader Saturday 8-1 and 10-4. Pitcher Luther Hackman of Columbus, Mississippi improved his record to 4-4 with the win in the first game. Albert "ain't I getting better and better" Pujols hit his 32nd homerun of the year. He hit his 31st double also. This guy is not slacking at all in his sophomore year. He now has 108 RBI's on the year. He's batting .307. By the way he had 130 RBI's in his rookie season in 2001.

11.--SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS--(77-59)-Giants beat up on Arizona pretty much this weekend. Giants won Saturday 5-0, behind the pitching of Kirk Rueter. He is now 12-7. Outfielder Kenny Lofton hit his second homerun with SF this year,and Rich Aurilia hit his 12th. Also, third baseman David Bell smacked his 19th. Barry "you may get sued if you catch my homerun ball" Bonds now has 607 career homeruns and 40 on the year. His 40th was a 455 foot shot they say.

12.--HOUSTON ASTROS--(72-64)-Astros beat LA Friday night 8-4. Pitcher Wade Miller improved to 12-3 with that win. He pitched 6 and 2/3 innings, allowing four hits and striking out eight. That was Miller's ninth consecutive win. Craig "what a dirty batting helmet I love to wear" Biggio hit his 12th homerun of the year. Orlando Merced went 2-3 with three RBI's and his 12th double of the year.

13.--PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES--(69-66)-Phillies swept the Mets this weekend. Most teams have been doing that lately. Phillies won Saturday 1-0 over the Mets. Pitcher Randy Wolf pitched a complete game shutout. Had 10 strikeouts. Shortstop Jimmy" I love bowling" Rollins went 3-4 with one RBI and hit his 25th double of the season.

14.--FLORIDA MARLINS--(67-68)-Beat Pittsburgh Sunday 8-4. Miguel Tejera was the starter, but Blaine Neal won the game in relief. He is now 3-0. Andy Fox hit his second homerun of the year in that contest. Kevin Millar went 2-4 with two RBI's and two runs scored. He hit his 25th double too.

15.--CINCINNATI REDS--(66-70)-The Reds are melting. They got swept by Milwaukee this weekend. They did beat St. Louis Thursday 7-0. Jimmy Haynes whom they acquired from Milwaukee, won the game. He is 13-8 on the year now. He pitched eight strong innings, striking out seven batters. Shortstop Barry Larkin went 3-5 with two RBI's and his 29th double of the year. Cincy needs to trade Ken Griffey Jr. for a hot hitter right now to have a chance of winning their division.

16.--CHICAGO WHITE SOX--(66-70)-Pitcher Mark Buehrle improved to 17-9 with a complete game shutout, by winning 7-0 over Detroit Sunday. Big Frank "you guys like me better now" Thomas went 3-4 with one RBI and one run scored. He hit two doubles to give him 26 on the year. Third baseman Joe Crede who had been hot all week went 3-5 with one RBI. He had two doubles to give him five on the year.

17.--MONTREAL EXPOS--(66-70)-Swept by Atlanta this weekend at home. Expos beat Philadelphia Wednesday 6-3. Pitcher Tomo Ohka improved to 12-6. Had 11 strikeouts in that game. A career high for Ohka. He's really starting to look like an ace for this team. Brad Wilkerson hit his 18th homerun of the year. Had two doubles to give him 21 on the year.

18.--BALTIMORE ORIOLES--(63-72)--This is a young club and should be competitive in the next couple of years. But Oriole fans are not very patient. They have a proud tradition up to live to up there. I really like outfielder Jay Gibbons. He has 23 homeruns with 56 RBI's this year. His average is not so great, but give him time. He's batting .245. He's only 25. I also like Melvin Mora. He has great potential. I really like 28 year old power hitter, Tony Batista. He has 27 homeruns and 77 RBI's on the year. I'm really high on rookie pitcher Rodrigo Lopez. He is 14-7 with an ERA of 3.39. Leads the team in strikeouts with 117.

19.--NEW YORK METS--(61-73)-Lowly Mets have lost 14 straight home games to set a new franchise record. The old team record of 13 was held by the 1979 team. They also tied the National League record for 14 straight home games losses with the National League Boston team of 1911. Mets are 24.5 games out of first place in the N.L. East.

20.--COLORADO ROCKIES--(61-76)-Rockies swept by San Diego this weekend. Pitcher Mike "couldn't buy or find a win" Hampton needs to be dealt or replaced. He can't pitch well in Coors Fields, or anywhere else, for that matter. Hampton is 7-14 on the year, and he lost last Thursday to San Francisco 10-6. Hampton gave up nine hits and eight earned runs in six and 2/3 innings. Hampton has an ERA of 6.23. Has walked 82 so far this year.

21.--TEXAS RANGERS--(60-75)-Rangers swept by Tampa Bay this weekend. In Friday's 9-7 loss, Alex Rodriquez hit his major league leading 48th homerun and first baseman Rafael Palmeiro hit his 38th. A-Rod leads the majors with 119 RBI's. He has walked 70 times this season. Catcher Ivan Rodriquez has been hot this week in hitting. Thursday he hit his 13th homerun in a 9-6 win over Baltimore. It was his fifth career grand slam. He hit his 15th homerun in Sunday's loss to Tampa Bay 8-3.

22.--PITTSBURGH PIRATES--(60-77)-Got swept by Florida this weekend. But did beat Atlanta two out of three last week. They won Thursday 4-1. Pitcher Bronson Arroyo improved to 2-1. Closer Mike Williams earned his 38th save out of 41 save chances. Third baseman Aramis Ramirez hit his 12th homerun of the year. Catcher Keith Osik went 1-3 with one RBI. He's considered a scab by the union players. He was one of the replacement players in the 1994-1995 strike. Union won't let him join now.

23.--CLEVELAND INDIANS--(59-76)-Pitcher C.C. Sabathia improved to 9-10 with a 2-1 victory over Detroit last Wednesday. He allowed four hits in seven innings of work. Had 6 K's. First baseman Jim Thome hit two homeruns to give him 41 on the year.

24.--TORONTO BLUEJAYS--(60-76)-Beat Yankees Sunday 7-6. Pitcher Roy "why can't I pitch for the Yankees" Halladay. He improved to 15-6. He tossed seven good innings. His ERA is 3.02. Kevim Escobar earned his 28th save. Vernon Wells went 4-4 with one RBI and two runs scored. He also hit his 31st double of the year. DH Josh Phelphs went 2-4 with three RBI's and one run scored. He hit his 12th double of the season.

25.--SAN DIEGO PADRES--(59-77)-Padres beat Colorado Sunday 9-5. Starter Adam Eaton didn't last too long for the Padres. Lasting three and 1/3 innings. Doug Nickle earned the win in relief, his first career win in the major leagues. Padres used eight pitchers in Sunday's game. Set a club record for using eight pitchers in nine innings. Closer Trevor Hoffman earned his 35th save. Has 349 career saves. Another milestone happened Sunday. Outfielder Ron Gant drove in his 1,000 RBI when he hit a homerun off Kent Mercker in the sixth inning. It was Gant's 16th of the year. Phil Nevin hit his 12th. Tom Lampkin got in on the act by hitting his eighth. Ready for another milestone or two milestone, I should say. San Diego set a major league mark when Nickle became its 57th player used this season. The Padres tied the major league record of using 57 different players this season, which they shared with the 1915 Philadelphia Athletics when Eaton started the game. I'm really confused with all these milestones going on.

26.--CHICAGO CUBS--(57-79)-The Cubs are a very likable team, and have some of the most loyal fans in all of baseball. That is all they have. I hope Sammy Sosa stays with them in the future. Second baseman Mark "can I help you win a pennant" Bellhorn hit his 24th homerun of the year in Saturday's first game doubleheader to St. Louis. Last Thursday, Bellhorn became the first National League player to homer from both sides of the plate in the same inning. Carlos Baerga did it for the A.L. in 1993 against the Yankees. Bellhorn hit two homeruns in Chicago's 13-10 rout over Milwaukee. Bellhorn also tied a Cubs record with five RBIs'in one innings, along with Hall of Famer Billy Williams(from my hometown of Mobile).

27.--KANSAS CITY ROYALS--(55-82)-Beat Seattle Friday night 5-1. Pitcher Paul Byrd improved to 15-10 with that needed win. Chuck "still can't throw to first base" Knoblauch hit his fifth homerun of the year.

28.--DETROIT TIGERS--(50-86)-I really think Detroit got lucky getting Carlos Pena from Oakland. He's a good hitter and hits with plenty of power. He hit his 16th homerun of the year in a 4-3 loss to the White Sox.

29.--MILWUAKEE BREWERS--(49-87)-Brewers beat Cincinnati Sunday 4-2. Jose Cabrera got the win in relief of Nick Neugebauer. Cabrera is now 6-10. Closer Mike DeJean earned his 22nd save. Outfielder Ryan Thompson hit his second homerun of the year and Lenny Harris hit his third.

30.--TAMPA BAY DEVIL RAYS--(47-89)-Beat Texas Sunday 8-3. Pitcher Victor Zambrano was the winner. Pitched six innings, allowing eight hits. He is 6-6. Lance Carter earned his first save. Randy Winn hit his 10th homerun and Jared Sandberg hit his 17th.

Written by Keith Thronson Mobile, Alabama
Keith "baseball nut" Thronson
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