Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Three Worst Teams in Baseball

Who cares who's number one? It's all about who's racing to the bottom:

Power Ranking #28 Last Week: 30
Washington Nationals
The Nationals have certainly come a long way this year: from embarrassing on-field play to a series of off-field stumbles. (One I happened to be in attendance for: a guitarist taking five tries to get the national anthem right because he didn't have his guitar tuned properly.) But now they ripped off an eight-game winning streak, are tied for the sixth-best record since the All-Star break and have even corrected the whole national anthem snafu, recently employing a guy who plays the (electric) violin made out of a bat to perform the anthem. The Nationals: for the first time all year, they're not on Desolation Row. At least not this week.

Power Ranking #29 Last Week: 27
Pittsburgh Pirates
Well, this was inevitable. The Pirates went on an eight-game losing streak not long after they completed the trades that sent almost anyone who was recognizable, and several who weren't, out of town. They are buried in last place in the NL Central, Pedro Alvarez may not be making his major league debut this year despite tearing up Double-A pitching (.331/.401/.570), and the Steelers already opened training camp, which I think means that baseball in Pittsburgh is more or less done for the season.

Power Ranking #30 Last Week: 29
Kansas City Royals
Though one former first-round pick (Alex Gordon) has struggled, another (Billy Butler) is progressing nicely for the Royals. Butler has already established career highs for home runs (13) and RBIs (58), and his .300/.355/.481 batting percentages are also career highs. It's a little premature for him to be compared to Joe DiMaggio, but Butler is getting plenty of pub these days thanks to a nationwide TV commercial that shows him next to the Yankee Clipper.

I wouldn't necessarily argue with this. No one here watches the Royals--we have Nationals baseball almost every night and so we pick up a few Pittsburgh games here and there by association. I don't know that we will ever end up going to see the Nationals. As bad as Baltimore's team can get, there's nothing like a Camden Yards beatdown when Boston or New York are in town.

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