Luke's Power Rankings - 7/3

Luke Lapinski hands out the mid-season awards... but under his own terms, of course. These aren't your typical honors.

1. Chicago White Sox (2) – "Best Record in Baseball". And the important thing is, they did it the traditional White Sox way: with Frank Thomas out most of the time.

2. St. Louis (1) – They don't get an award. They have perennial MVP candidate Albert Pujols. And they're looking at a return trip to the World Series. What more do they want? (Well, maybe to win it this time.)

3. Anaheim (6) – "Worst Offseason Move". Going from the Anaheim Angels to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim? Sorry, but even though there's a great chance this team's going to win the AL West this year, I can't take them seriously with that name.

4. Washington (5) – "Mr. Consistency" Award to closer Chad Cordero, who has now converted 25 consecutive saves (MLB best 28 total thus far) and didn't allow a single earned run in the month of June (16 appearances). Now, get the man a hat that fits.

5. Boston (9) – What? They're playing again this year? I figured they were done with the whole baseball thing after 2004's magical run.

6. Atlanta (15) – "Best Bench in Baseball". They've lost a ton of players to injury, yet they still have four more wins than they did last year at this time. And somehow 900-year-old Julio Franco has managed to play (and play fairly well) in 52 games.

7. Minnesota (3) – "Finishing Strong Award". Twins starters have logged an AL best 7 CG's already. And it's not just Santana. (No really, it isn't. He only has 2. There really are other pitchers on this team.)

8. Baltimore (4) – "Best Disappearing Act". They've won just 13 of their last 32 to fall completely out of first in the AL East. In fact, the only thing falling off faster than the O's may be Sammy Sosa's career (hitting .230 with just 26 RBI's in ‘05).

9. San Diego (8) – "NL West Division Champions". Why not? No one else seems to want it this year.

10. Cleveland (16) – "Opposite of Baltimore Award". Started awful, now one of the hottest teams in baseball (17-6 since June 9).

11. Florida (14) – "NL Cy Young Award" goes to Dontrelle Willis, who has been absolutely unbelievable this year (12-3, 4 CG's, 2.04 ERA, 85 K's)). So good, in fact, that he deserves more than just the Cy Young. Maybe a "Gold Glove"? Or how about NHL MVP? They're certainly not using that award this year. That settles it, Dontrelle's the most valuable hockey player this year, too.

12. Chicago Cubs (10) – "NL MVP" to Derrek Lee, who's still making a very legitimate run at the Triple Crown (1st in average, 2nd in RBI's and HR's).

13. NY Yankees (18) – "Man of the Year" to Gary Sheffield. Let's see, he punched a fan, shoved an ump, complained about possible trades… And it's not even the All-Star Break yet.

14. Texas (11) – "2nd Annual Kevin Brown Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Idiocy" goes to Kenny Rogers who decided to follow in Brown's footsteps and shatter his hand by beating a clubhouse object out of anger. It's always the water cooler's fault… And the cameramen…

15. Philadelphia (7) – "Best Performance By A Guy Named Chase". Utley's gotten the job done, hitting .329 with 17 RBI's in June.

16. Toronto (19) – "AL Cy Young Award" to Roy Halladay. Seems like 2003 all over again. Except, he might be even better this year (11 wins, 5 CG's, 98 K's, 2.40 ERA).

17. NY Mets (17) – "Most Disappointing Carlos in Baseball" to Mr. Beltran, who went from 5-tool playoff hero to a very mediocre first half of '05 (9 HR's, 38 RBI's, 2 SB's). Of course, none of this applies when Pedro's pitching (8 HR's, 20 RBI's in just 14 games).

18. Arizona (12) – "Worst to… um… Not-So-Worst". Offseason acquisitions (such as Glaus, Green, Vazquez) are making fans forget the 111-loss effort of a year ago, but the elbow injury to closer Brandon Lyon has them searching for bullpen help. Though, I hear B.K. Kim may be available…

19. Los Angeles (13) – "Most Likely to Fall Apart Down the Stretch". Wait, they already have.

20. Detroit (21) – "Most Impatience at the Plate". The Tigers have an MLB low 191 walks in '05. But who needs baserunners when you've got Carlos Pena, huh?

21. Milwaukee (22) – "Best Other Guy Named Lee in Baseball" goes to Carlos Lee (22 HR's, MLB best 72 RBI's). Or, maybe we could just give him the "Best Carlos in Baseball" award instead. If there were such a thing. But then, that'd be kind of weird.

22. Houston (24) – "Most Efficient Waste of Good Pitching". Clemens, Oswalt, and Pettitte have a combined 2.41 ERA and 258 K's in 328 innings pitched. Yet, the team is still six games below .500. Well done.

23. Oakland (25) – "Pitching Talent Does Grow on Trees" Award. Young hurlers Danny Haren (winner of his last 6 decisions) and Joe Blanton (5-1, 2.06 ERA in June) have been lights out of late. Only question now is, 'who can they be traded to?'

24. Seattle (23) – "Biggest Free Agent Bust" goes to Adrian Beltre. Let's see here: last season he hit 48 homeruns, drove in 121, hit .334, and nearly took home the NL MVP. This year, he's on pace to hit a whopping 10 long balls, drive in 73, hit .257, and finish somewhere behind Matt Stairs in MVP voting.

25. Pittsburgh (20) – Runner up for the "Kevin Brown Award" goes to Oliver Perez who broke his toe kicking a clubhouse laundry cart after a bad outing. Of course, he doesn't do it after every bad outing or he'd have no toes left.

26. San Francisco (27) – "Apparently We Were Totally Dependant on One Player All These Years" Award. Barry's been out all year. So has any respectability.

27. Cincinnati (26) – "Certificate of Appreciation" from the Cincinnati Bengals. For rapidly driving fan interest away from baseball and towards football.

28. Colorado (29) – "Commitment to Excellence" award. They make other teams look excellent all the time.

29. Tampa Bay (30) – "Enraged Lou Piniella Shaped Trophy". Put it near a Devil Rays game, and the face blows up bright red with anger. Mention Curt Schilling's name and it just blows up.

30. Kansas City (28) – The ever-popular "Participation Trophy". Actually, wait. They don't get that either.

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