Luke's Power Rankings: The Preseason Edition

It's been a long offseason for one of our favorite writers at InsidethePark.com, Luke Lapinski, but the Arizona State student is recharged and ready for another year of baseball. He writes in with his opening installment of Luke's Power Rankings for the 2004 MLB season.

1. NY YANKEES - Another ridiculous off-season is sure to pay off - as long as someone tells A-Rod that moving to third doesn't mean you have to catch with your eye.

2. BOSTON – Remember Game 7 last year?  And Grady Little?  Sorry.

3. HOUSTON - Adding Pettitte and Clemens to a solid staff and a powerful lineup makes them a serious force in the NL.  Though they should probably show up for the playoffs one of these years. 

4. SEATTLE - How do you replace Sasaki?  Easy.  Eddie.  Easy Eddie.

5. PHILADELPHIA – It would be nice if Burrell could go ahead and hit above .209 this year.  And maybe not strike out 142 times again.

6. ATLANTA – Ok, so they lost Sheffield and Maddux.  They're still the Braves.  They're still on TV, like, 161 times a year.  And they're still one of the top teams in the NL.

7. CHI. CUBS – Well, they blew up the infamous Bartman Ball.  Does that mean the rest of us don't have to hear about it anymore?

8. SAN FRANCISCO – Hard to argue with what they've done over the past 7 seasons: .570 winning percentage (646-487), 2nd place or higher each year in the NL West, and a World Series appearance.

9. ANAHEIM - All they did was go out and get Escobar and Colon.  Oh yeah, and Vlad Guerrero too.  Look out.

10. ST. LOUIS - Pujols may be the best in baseball.  It would really help the Cardinals if he could learn to pitch too, though.

11. OAKLAND - See you in July when the A's officially start their season.

12. FLORIDA - Sure you won the World Series last year, but what have you done for me lately?

13. MINNESOTA - Yeah, whatever.  Maybe they'll win the division.  Wow.  It's the AL Central.

14. KANSAS CITY - Yeah, whatever.  Maybe they'll win the division.  Wow.  It's the AL Central.

15. TORONTO – So Halladay won 22 games last year. Big Deal.  A real man would've won 40.

16. ARIZONA - If Brandon Webb can pick up where he left off in 2003, they could make some noise.

17. BALTIMORE - They may very well improve by 15 games and finish even farther out than last year in the powerful AL East.

18. CHI. WHITE SOX - They could probably lose an extra 15 games and move up in the AL Central.

19. LOS ANGELES - Hey, they've already almost equaled they're run total from all of last year... zero!

20. TEXAS - Too bad they didn't get to trade A-Rod for an entirely new pitching staff.  Or at least trade Chan Ho for a tree stump.

21. COLORADO - Worth watching just to see if Todd Helton can hit .400.

22. SAN DIEGO - Allright, here's the thing: if your stadium is called Petco Park, you don't want any respect.

23. MONTREAL - Luckily, they only lost Guerrero.  And Vazquez.  And everyone's interest.

24. PITTSBURGH - They would definitely be a lot higher on this list if it were compiled backwards.  And inside out.

25. CINCINNATI - Hey, you never know.  As long as Griffey's healthy - ah, forget it.

26. NY METS - So, if Hideki Matsui is Godzilla, does that make Kaz Mothra?

27. TAMPA BAY - Feel free to check back in a couple years.

28. DETROIT - Power Ranking Calculator: let's see, add about 10 wins to last year's total for getting Pudge... Vina and Guillen might be worth about 5 more... that should put them about 237 games below .500.

29. CLEVELAND - My goal for the season is to not mention Kazuhito Tadano's… uh… "movie" career.  Starting next week.

30. MILWAUKEE - Only 332 more days 'till Spring Training.


Luke is a senior at Arizona State University after a childhood spent in the Pacific Northwest. He loves Packers football, Penguins hockey, Sonics basketball and everything Mariners. Give him a peace of your mind at thebigll@hotmail.com.

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